ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
MH370: Malaysia releases report on missing flight
Publication Date : 02-05-2014
The five-page report mostly recaps information released over the weeks
Malaysia released a preliminary report on the missing MH370 yesterday as Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said it would stop putting up families of passengers in hotels from next week.
Search operations began four hours after the MAS plane went off the radar at 1:21am on March 8, sparking a flurry of exchanges between Malaysian air traffic controllers and Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore, the report said.
The five-page report, mostly recapping information released over the weeks, also said Malaysia's air traffic control was informed by its Vietnamese counterpart at 1:38am that the plane could not be contacted.
It was later established that the plane's communications systems were disabled, with the last communication at 1:07am. Military radar subsequently found that the plane had turned back over peninsular Malaysia before vanishing north-west of Penang.
It is believed to have turned south and flown until it went down in the southern Indian Ocean, based on its last communications with a satellite.
According to the time line released by Malaysia, search operations were activated at 5:30am in the South China Sea at the plane's last known position.
No trace of the plane carrying 239 people has been found.
The Wall Street Journal reported that global aviation experts and investigators were planning to meet privately in Canberra, Australia, next week to further refine estimates of the crash site.
It said closely guarded military radar data will be reviewed before the information is handed over to a civilian contractor.
Malaysia is seeking private firms with deep sea expertise to join the search.
Yesterday, MAS told families it would end their hotel stays in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing next Wednesday, and would keep in touch with them via other means. It will also make advance compensation payments.
The preliminary report dated April 9 had been submitted earlier to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and was released to the public after Malaysia came under fire for withholding information.
It recommended that ICAO look into the benefits of introducing a standard for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft.
It noted that two large commercial planes have gone missing - MH370 and Air France's Flight AF447 in 2009 - in the past five years and their last positions were not accurately known.