Category Archives: Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines Video – Not sure where airplane was headed

Malaysia Airlines Video – Not sure where airplane was headed


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — More than four days after a Malaysian jetliner went missing en route to Beijing, authorities acknowledged Wednesday they didn’t know which direction the plane carrying 239 passengers was heading when it disappeared, vastly complicating efforts to find it.

Amid intensifying confusion and occasionally contradictory statements, the country’s civil aviation authorities and the military said the plane may have turned back from its last known position between Malaysia and Vietnam, possibly as far as the Strait of Malacca, a busy shipping lane west of Malaysia.

How it might have done this without being clearly detected remains a mystery, raising questions over whether its electrical systems, including transponders allowing it to be identified by radar, were either knocked out or turned off. If it did manage to fly on, it would challenge earlier theories that the plane may have suffered a catastrophic incident, initially thought reasonable because it didn’t send out any distress signals.

Vietnamese officials gave conflicting accounts of whether the search effort there was being scaled back as a result of the confusion. This likely will anger relatives of those on board who are desperate for information about the fate of their loved ones.

Authorities have not ruled out any possible cause, including mechanical failure, pilot error, sabotage or terrorism. Both the Boeing 777 and Malaysia Airlines have excellent safety records. Until wreckage or debris is found and examined, it will be very hard to say what happened.

The search for the missing aircraft was begun from the spot it was last reported to be over the ocean between Malaysia and Vietnam. But Malaysian authorities have said search operations were ongoing in the Strait of Malacca. Scores of planes and aircraft have been scouring waters in both locations.

The country’s air force chief, Gen. Rodzali Daud, released a statement denying remarks attributed to him in a local media report saying that military radar had managed to track the aircraft turning back from its original course, crossing the country and making it to the Malacca strait. The Associated Press contacted a high-level military official, who confirmed the remarks.

Rodzali referred to a statement he said he made March 9 in which he said the air force has “not ruled out the possibility of an air turn back” and said search and rescue efforts had been expanded to the waters around Penang Island, in the northern section of the strait.

“There is a possibility of an air turn back. We are still investigating and looking at the radar readings,” the country’s civilian aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said Wednesday.

It is possible that the radar readings are not definitive or subject to interpretation, especially if a plane is malfunctioning.

The confusion has prompted speculation that different arms of the government have different opinions over where the plane is most likely to be, or even that authorities are holding back information. The crisis may have led to internal mix-ups and miscommunication.

The Strait of Malacca that separates Malaysia from Indonesia’s Sumatra Island is 400 kilometers (250 miles) from where the plane was last known to have made contact with ground control officials over the Gulf of Thailand at a height of 35,000 feet (almost 11,000 meters) early Saturday

Indonesia air force Col. Umar Fathur said the country had received official information from Malaysian authorities that the plane was above the South China Sea, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Kota Bharu, Malaysia, when it turned back toward the strait and then disappeared. That would place its last confirmed position closer to Malaysia than has previously been publicly disclosed.

Fathur said Malaysian authorities have determined four blocks to be searched in the strait, which Indonesia was assisting in.

Vietnam’s Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu was quoted by the Laborer Newspaper as telling reporters that operations had been scaled down following the air force chief’s reported remarks, while Vietnam awaited confirmation. But Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of Vietnamese People’s Army, said this was not the case, and that efforts were being intensified. It wasn’t immediately possible to clear up the conflicting accounts.

Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar, who has been ordered to look at possible criminal aspects in the disappearance of the plane, said Tuesday that hijacking, sabotage and issues related to the pilots’ psychological health were being considered.

Aviation experts said they were becoming more uncertain about what most likely happened to the airliner.

Some said a major power outage was an unlikely explanation for why the aircraft’s transponder and communications system were apparently not functioning at the time it was reportedly detected by Malaysian military radar flying back toward Malaysia.

With a power catastrophe so large that the various back-up systems, independent power supplies and built-in redundancies could not cope, the aircraft would be barely able to fly, said Jason Middleton, professor of aviation at the University of New South Wales.

Yet Middleton said if one or more passengers overpowered the pilots to take control of the plane, they would need training to switch off the transponder and other systems to ensure the jet was able to fly undetected.

“It’s stretching belief a little bit that someone’s going to be capable enough in the (777) to do all that,” Middleton said. “It’s a very curious outcome, you just can’t rule out the possibility that the captain or the first officer have gone crazy,” he said.

Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 sparks conspiracy theories

A helicopter takes off from a Jinggangshan warship to search the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.   STRINGER/CHINA/REUTERS
A helicopter takes off from a Jinggangshan warship to search the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. STRINGER/CHINA/REUTERS

It may take years before investigators determine exactly what happened to Malaysia Airline Flight MH370.

But the conspiracy theories are already flowing freely.

The facts behind the plane’s mysterious disappearance make it ripe for theories that range from the plausible, like pilot error, to the outright bizarre, like alien abduction.

Source: NY Daily News            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Malaysia Airline


Mystery Malaysia flight may have lost signal, gone hundreds of miles off course


It was 1:30 a.m. when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 lost all communications, including important transponder signals that send data on altitude, direction and speed. Still, it showed up on radar for about 1 hour, 10 minutes longer — until it vanished, having apparently moved away from its intended destination, hundreds of miles off course.

Those details — told to CNN by a senior Malaysian air force official, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media — seemingly shed more light on what happened to the aircraft that mysteriously went missing early Saturday.

Source: CNN            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Malaysia Airline

Interpol: No Terrorism Link to Missing Flight

Fox News
Fox News

As of today, Interpol does not believe that terrorism is involved in the missing Malaysia Flight 370.  No sign of terrorist activity has been reported and Interpol has not found anything to point in that direction.  Both individuals, who were traveling with stolen passports have been identified.

“The more information we get, the more we’re inclined to conclude that it was not a terrorist incident” Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said at a news conference in Lyon, France.

Among the evidence pointing in that direction, he said: news from Malaysian authorities that one of two people said to be traveling on stolen passports, an Iranian, was trying to travel to his mother in Germany.

Source:  CNN                     Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Malaysia Airline


Mystery Passport Holders where Seeking Asylum from Iran

Fox News
Fox News

The two individuals using stolen passports to board the missing Malaysia Airline flight were Iranians seeking asylum in Europe. The men were identified as Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29.  Both were identified by Interpol.

Interpol secretary general Ronald K. Noble identified the men.  Noble said that the two men had traveled to Malaysia from Tehran using Iranian passports, but had secured stolen Italian and Austrian passports in Kuala Lumpur for their planned journey to Beijing and Amsterdam, for which both had tickets and planned to travel together.

Source: Fox News            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Malaysia Airline

Malaysia Airlines Update

There is still no evidence of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft Airline that disappeared more than 48 hours ago.  Two attempts to identify objects believed to be pieces of the plane ended with no results.  (more info)

News Tracker: Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines Disappearance History

Timeline of Events for Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people lost contact with air traffic control and was still missing many hours after it had been scheduled to land in Beijing. Here is a timeline of the incident:

12:41 a.m. — The Boeing 777-200 — carrying 227 passengers from 14 countries along with 12 crew members — takes off from Kuala Lumpur.

2:40 a.m. — Air traffic control in Subang, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, loses contact with the plane about two hours after takeoff. According to the Vietnamese military officials, the plane was just about to enter Vietnam’s airspace when its communications systems went silent.

6:30 a.m. Saturday — The flight is scheduled to land in Beijing.

7:24 a.m. — Malaysia Airlines announces it had lost contact five hours earlier with the flight.

11:14 a.m. — Malaysia Airlines holds a news conference confirming the loss of contact with its aircraft. Four Americans, including an infant, were aboard, a spokesman said. “Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support,” he added. Most of the passengers — 153, including one of the infants — were Chinese, the airline said Saturday. The other infant was an American, one of four on the plane. Thirty-eight people were from Malaysia, and 12 were from Indonesia.

All times are local Kuala Lumpur  (EST plus 13 hours)

Links:  NBC: Timeline, CNN, CBSNews: Search Team Sent, NY Times

News Tracker: Malaysia Airlines


Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappears; two passengers may have had stolen passports

Iranian passengers with stolen passports
Iranian passengers with stolen passports

Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappears with reports that two passengers may have had stolen passports. An international search team continues looking for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner. Two large oil slicks have been spotted by the Vietnamese Air Force and could be possibly the first evidence of where the plane may have crashed. In the meantime, Italian and Austrian officials have confirmed that that the names of two citizens listed on the flight’s manifest matched the names on two passports reported stolen in Thailand. Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks Saturday in the region where a Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared, the first sign that the Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard had crashed. Asked whether terrorism was suspected, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said authorities were “looking at all possibilities, but it is too early to make any conclusive remarks.”  Contributing to fears of foul play was word from foreign ministries in Italy and Austria that the names of two citizens listed on the flight’s manifest matched the names on two passports reported stolen in Thailand.

Source: AP        News Tracker:  Malaysia Airlines