Arakan

The land that is known as Arakan by the foreigners is called Rakhaing-pray by its own people, Rakhaing-thar (Arakanese) who were titled this name in honour of preservation on their national heritage and ethics or morality.

'No wreckage, no cracks in the fuselage and no secret engine data': Clueless airline officials rule out EVERY new crash theory - so when are they going to come up with some REAL information?

  • Defence minister continues to defend Malaysia's response to missing plane
  • Hishammuddin Hussein said reports it kept flying for hours were 'inaccurate'
  • He said China released images showing suspected debris 'by mistake'
  • Also insisted all maintenance checks on the plane 'were in order'
  • He did say it was possible the plane continued flying and that they would widen the search further to the west
  • He also said the search had been placed above Malaysia's national security
  • Six days on and a massive international air and water search involving 10 nations using 56 surface ships have failed to find a single piece of debris
By James Rush and James Nye and Richard Shears


Malaysian authorities have admitted they are no nearer to finding the missing flight MH370 after denying reports of several potential leads which could have explained the plane's disappearance.

Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein described reports suggesting the jetliner kept flying for four hours after it vanished as 'inaccurate' before saying satellite images showing suspected debris of the crash had been released 'by mistake'.

Responding to reports of a U.S safety directive that ordered additional inspections for cracking and corrosion on certain 777 planes, Hishammuddin insisted all maintenance checks on the plane 'were in order'.

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Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein (centre) described reports suggesting the jetliner kept flying for four hours after it vanished as 'inaccurate'
Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein (centre) described reports suggesting the jetliner kept flying for four hours after it vanished as 'inaccurate'

Six days on and a massive international air and water search involving 10 nations using 56 surface ships have failed to find a single piece of debris or sign of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft
Six days on and a massive international air and water search involving 10 nations using 56 surface ships have failed to find a single piece of debris or sign of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft

A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out of the window during the search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane
A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft looks out of the window during the search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane


Citing two unofficial sources, The Wall Street Journal said U.S. officials suspected the plane continued flying for four hours after its last contact, based on data sent from the Rolls Royce engines to the manufacturer as part of a maintenance programme.

Speaking at a news conference today, Hishammuddin said that both Rolls Royce and Boeing said that report was wrong.

According to the Wall Street Journal, government terrorism experts were examining the possibility that the pilot or somebody else turned the plane's transponders off to avoid detection and flew it to another country.
 
A total flight time of five hours upon leaving Kuala Lumpur would have meant that the Boeing 777 would have been able to remain airborne for an additional 2,200 nautical miles at its air-speed.

But Hishammuddin today said the final transmission from the aircraft came at 01.07am - just before it disappeared from civilian radar.

Malaysia Airlines has said previously that the Rolls-Royce Trent engines stopped transmitting monitoring signals when contact with the plane was lost.
Pilots of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft manage their plane during a search and rescue operation
Pilots of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft manage their plane during a search and rescue operation

A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft rests after long hours working in a search and rescue operation for the missing plane
A crew member of a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN-235 aircraft rests after long hours working in a search and rescue operation for the missing plane


Hishammuddin however did say it was possible the plane continued flying and that they would widen the search further to the west.

An international search effort is sweeping the South China Sea and also the Strait of Malacca because of unconfirmed military radar sightings indicating the plane may have changed course and headed west after it stopped communicating. 

Asked if it were possible that the plane kept flying for several hours, Hishammuddin said, 'of course, this is why we have extended the search.' 

He said the search had been expanded into the Andaman Sea and that the country was asking for radar data from neighboring countries. If the plane flew far from current search areas, then locating it will be a much harder task. 

Hishammuddin also said satellite images of three pieces of large debris floating near to the jet's last recorded position in the South China Sea had been released by China 'by mistake'.
He said searches were conducted of the area but nothing was found.  

Responding to reports of a U.S safety directive that ordered additional inspections for cracking and corrosion on certain 777 planes, Hishammuddin insisted all maintenance checks on the plane 'were in order'
Responding to reports of a U.S safety directive that ordered additional inspections for cracking and corrosion on certain 777 planes, Hishammuddin insisted all maintenance checks on the plane 'were in order'

A woman writes a message with others expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, displayed outside a mall in Kuala Lumpur
A woman writes a message with others expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, displayed outside a mall in Kuala Lumpur

Part of the search area is seen on an iPad of a military officer onboard a Vietnam Air Force AN-26 aircraft
Part of the search area is seen on an iPad of a military officer onboard a Vietnam Air Force AN-26 aircraft


The defence minister confirmed the aircraft had been 'fully serviced' and all maintenance checks 'were in order', following reports of a safety directive by the U.S Federal Aviation Administration about a potential problem with cracking and corrosion in the fuselage.
Hishammuddin continued to defend Malaysia's response to the incident.

He said: 'We have spared no expense and no effort - from day one we have been in regular contact with our neighbouring countries and accepted all international offers of help.'

Hishammuddin also said Malaysia would not normally share military radar data with other countries, but in this case the search effort had been placed 'above our national security'.
He said: 'We have shared our data with our international partners including the U.S. and China to help with the search efforts.'

Six days on and a massive international air and water search involving 10 nations using 56 surface ships has failed to find a single piece of debris or sign of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft.

Hopes of a resolution were briefly raised when a Chinese state agency released satellite images of three pieces of large debris floating near to the jet's last recorded position in the South China Sea.
A man writes a message for the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airline plane, on a banner at Kuala Lumpur International Airport
A man writes a message for the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airline plane, on a banner at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing early on Saturday morning with 239 people on board while on its way to Beijing
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing early on Saturday morning with 239 people on board while on its way to Beijing

A visitor writes on a banner carrying messages for the passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport
A visitor writes on a banner carrying messages for the passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport


These were dashed early on Thursday morning when Vietnamese and Malaysian authorities said they found no trace at the co-ordinates.

'There is nothing. We went there, there is nothing,' Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said on Thursday morning.

Vietnam had already searched the area where Chinese satellites showed objects that were suspected to have been debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet but a plane was sent to check the area again, Vietnamese military officials said.

'We are aware and we sent planes to cover that area over the past three days,' Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu told Reuters. 'Today a military plane will search the area again,' he said.

And on Thursday morning Vietnamese authorities said two military jets searching for clues to the missing Malaysia Airlines jet found no wreckage at the location.

Aircraft repeatedly circled the area over the South China Sea but were unable to detect any objects, said a Reuters journalist, who flew aboard a Antonov 26 cargo plane for three hours.  

False hope for resolution: This image released by Chinese authorities was initially billed as the crash site of what could have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 - this was later refuted by authorities
False hope for resolution: This image released by Chinese authorities was initially billed as the crash site of what could have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 - this was later refuted by authorities

The sighting was made on March 9 - the day after Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing - however Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities said they could not locate any trace of the aircraft or debris
The sighting was made on March 9 - the day after Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing - however Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities said they could not locate any trace of the aircraft or debris

This is the third image released by Chinese authorities that was thought to be a piece of the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777
This is the third image released by Chinese authorities that was thought to be a piece of the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777


What at first seemed a potentially crucial development on the fifth day of the search even appeared to corroborate the testimony of a New Zealand oil worker who claimed he witnessed the crash of the missing airplane early on Saturday morning.

More-so the satellite images were captured in the original search area under the flight’s original path and appeared to discount the theory that the aircraft turned back towards Malaysia and crashed hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Malaysian peninsula.
Rig worker Michael Jerome McKay described seeing what he believed to be the plane burning - in one piece for 10-15 seconds - flying at a high altitude slightly off from the standard route of planes that cross the sea shortly after the plane vanished.

'There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary, or going away from our location,' he wrote in a letter to his employers about the sighting on Saturday and seen by ABC News.

Deputy general director of Vietnam's air traffic management, Doan Huu Gia, confirmed he had been sent an email from McKay, the BBC reported.

'We received an email from a New Zealander who works on one of the oil rigs off Vung Tau. He said he spotted a burning [object] at that location, some 300 km southeast of Vung Tau.'
Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) personnel participating in the search and rescue operations, approximately 380 nautical miles (700 kms) north of Singapore, in the South China Sea
Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) personnel participating in the search and rescue operations, approximately 380 nautical miles (700 kms) north of Singapore, in the South China Sea

A dozen countries are taking part in the search, with 42 ships and 39 aircraft involved
A dozen countries are taking part in the search, with 42 ships and 39 aircraft involved

Crew members of the Chinese Air Force search the sea areas where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact
Crew members of the Chinese Air Force search the sea areas where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact


China meanwhile has heaped pressure on Malaysia to improve its coordination over the search for the Boeing 777, which disappeared early on Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Of the 239 people on board, up to 154 were Chinese.

Premier Li Keqiang, speaking at a news conference in Beijing, demanded that the 'relevant party' step up coordination while China's civil aviation chief said he wanted a 'smoother' flow of information from Malaysia, which has come under heavy criticism for its handling of the disaster.

On Wednesday, Malaysia's air force chief said military radar had traced what could have been the jetliner to an area south of the Thai holiday island of Phuket, hundreds of miles to the west of its last known position.

His statement followed a series of conflicting accounts of the flight path of the plane, which left authorities uncertain even which sea to search in for Flight MH370.

The last definitive sighting on civilian radar screens came shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, less than an hour after the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur, as it flew northeast across the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand.

What happened next remains one of the most baffling puzzles in modern aviation history and the differing accounts put out by various Malaysian officials have drawn criticism of their handling of the crisis.

AN INTERNATIONAL SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORT: THE NAVAL PRESENCE OF EACH OF THE COUNTRIES HELPING TO FIND MISSING FLIGHT MH370

Nearly every navy with a presence in Southeast Asia is involved in the extensive search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared early Saturday. 

UNITED STATES
The U.S. Navy is easily the biggest and best equipped Navy in the Pacific and was fast to participate. 

Two San Diego-based destroyers have been searching areas designated by the Malaysian government. 

The USS Kidd searched the southwest section of the Gulf of Thailand before heading to the Strait of Malacca as of Thursday, according to 7th Fleet spokesman Cdr. William Marks. 

The USS Pinckney searched the northeast area, between Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before heading to Singapore for maintenance. 
A U.S. Navy SH-60R Seahawk helicopter takes off from the destroyer USS Pinckney in the Gulf of Thailand, to assist in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
A U.S. Navy SH-60R Seahawk helicopter takes off from the destroyer USS Pinckney in the Gulf of Thailand, to assist in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

The Kidd's two HM-60R Seahawk helicopters flew sorties from dawn to dusk in search of debris.  

A Navy P-3C Orion aircraft has been searching over both the Strait of Malacca and the Gulf of Thailand.

CHINA
Four Chinese naval vessels are joining the effort. 

The Jinggangshan is the largest in the Chinese navy and has a large flight deck capable of launching several helicopters. 

An air force plane was dispatched to search for signals from the flight's black box.
 
The People's Liberation Army Newspaper, run by the ruling party's military commission, said Beijing also sent four helicopters and four civilian search vessels. 

The Kunlunshan - another amphibious landing ship with two helicopters - arrived at the designated area in the Gulf of Thailand early Thursday morning. 
Chinese navy warship Jinggangshan prepares to leave to help in the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight at Zhanjiang Port, China, on Sunday, March 9
Chinese navy warship Jinggangshan prepares to leave to help in the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight at Zhanjiang Port, China, on Sunday, March 9


THE PHILIPPINES & VIETNAM
Despite its meagre resources, the Philippine military immediately dispatched search and rescue vessels and aircraft into the South China Sea southwest of Manila within hours of the plane being reported missing Saturday. 

The Philippines' largest and newest naval vessel, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a former U.S. Coast Guard cutter, was deployed on Wednesday to replace two smaller patrol boats that returned to port for refueling and resupply, said 1st Lt. Cherry Tindog, spokeswoman for the military's Western Command. 

She said an air force Fokker 27 that searched on Saturday and Sunday was replaced by a navy Islander on Monday. 

A C-130 was deployed on Tuesday. The navy Islander and the Gregorio del Pilar were both searching on Thursday. 
Chinese sailors check equipment before taking part in search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet onboard the Jinggangshan amphibious docking ship while in Sanya in south China's Hainan province
Chinese sailors check equipment before taking part in search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet onboard the Jinggangshan amphibious docking ship while in Sanya in south China's Hainan province


Tindog also said all fishermen and fishing boats in the area have been advised to help in the search. 

Meanwhile, in Hanoi, Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of Vietnamese People's Army, told The Associated Press that Vietnam has dispatched for the first time a helicopter to scour jungles of U Minh in southern Vietnam after the massive sea search found no clues.
He said the searches by helicopter will be widened to other jungles in the south central region. 

MORE ON THE WAY
Japan, which has been increasing its effort to participate in regional humanitarian missions, said it will deploy two C-130 transport planes and two P-3C aircraft to the area. 

A spokesman for Japan's Defense Ministry on Thursday said the transport aircraft are already on site and the P-3Cs will be deployed as soon as possible unless the situation changes. 

Neighbors Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei have already provided ships, and Singapore is planning to add more aircraft. Thailand has contributed helicopters, while Australia has offered two P-3C aircraft and India is reportedly mobilizing coast guard vessels. 
Life vests are prepared before search and rescue (SAR) operations for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, at Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Life vests are prepared before search and rescue (SAR) operations for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, at Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

A Vietnamese military official works inside a flying Soviet-made AN-26 of the Vietnam Air Force during search and rescue operations for the missing plane
A Vietnamese military official works inside a flying Soviet-made AN-26 of the Vietnam Air Force during search and rescue operations for the missing plane


'The Malaysians deserve to be criticized - their handling of this has been atrocious,' said Ernest Bower, a Southeast Asia specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Meanwhile, heavy smoke from illegal fires set to clear land for plantations has blanketed parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island, disrupting flights and hampering search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, officials and a pilot said today.

A dozen countries are taking part in the search, with 42 ships and 39 aircraft involved.
Authorities have not ruled out any possible cause for the plane's disappearance. Malaysian police have said they were investigating whether any passengers or crew on the plane had personal or psychological problems that might shed light on the mystery, along with the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage or mechanical failure.

Two men on board were discovered by investigators to have false passports, but they were apparently seeking to emigrate illegally to the West.

The Boeing 777 has one of the best safety records of any commercial aircraft in service. Its only previous fatal crash came on July 6 last year when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 struck a seawall with its undercarriage on landing in San Francisco, killing three people.

Boeing Co, the U.S. aircraft company that makes the 777, has declined to comment beyond a brief statement saying it was monitoring the situation.

TIMELINE: THE SEARCH FOR THE MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES JET

SATURDAY, MARCH 8
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, departs at 12:21am, and is due to land in Beijing at 6:30am the same day.

- Airline loses contact with plane between 1-2 hours after takeoff. No distress signal and weather is clear at the time.

- Missing plane last has contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu.

- Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam says plane failed to check in as scheduled while flying over sea between Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City.
Malaysian Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahyain, front, speaks during a press conference at a hotel in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, March 8
Malaysian Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahyain, front, speaks during a press conference at a hotel in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, March 8

- Flight tracking website flightaware.com shows plane flew northeast over Malaysia after takeoff and climbed to altitude of 35,000 feet. The flight vanished from website's tracking records a minute later while still climbing.

- Malaysia search ships see no sign of wreckage in area where flights last made contact. Vietnam says giant oil slick and column of smoke seen in its waters.

- Two men from Austria and Italy, listed among the passengers on flight, are not in fact on board. They say their passports were stolen.

SUNDAY, MARCH 9
- Malaysia Airlines says it fears the worst and is working with U.S. company that specialises in disaster recovery.

- Radar indicates flight may have turned back from its scheduled route to Beijing before disappearing.
A woman, surrounded by media, covers her mouth on her arrival at a hotel which is prepared for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing plane
A woman, surrounded by media, covers her mouth on her arrival at a hotel which is prepared for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing plane

- Interpol says at least two passports recorded as lost or stolen in its database were used by passengers, and it is 'examining additional suspect passports'.

- Investigators narrow focus of inquiries on possibility plane disintegrated in mid-flight, a source who is involved in the investigations in Malaysia tells Reuters.

MONDAY, MARCH 10
- The United States review of American spy satellite imagery shows no signs of mid-air explosion.

- As dozens of ships and aircraft from seven countries scour the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam, questions mount over whether a bomb or hijacking could have brought down the Boeing airliner.

- Hijacking could not be ruled out, says the head of Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority, Azharuddin Abdul Rahmanthe
Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, briefs the media over latest updates on missing Malaysia Airline MH370 on March 10
Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, briefs the media over latest updates on missing Malaysia Airline MH370 on March 10


TUESDAY, MARCH 11
- Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble names the two men who boarded jet with stolen passports as Iranians who had entered Malaysia using their real passports. 'The more information we get, the more we are inclined to conclude it is not a terrorist incident,' Noble said.

- Malaysian police chief said the younger man appeared to be an illegal immigrant. His mother was waiting for him in Frankfurt and had been in contact with authorities, he said.
- Malaysian police say they are investigating whether any passengers or crew on the plane had personal or psychological problems that might shed light on the mystery, along with the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage or mechanical failure.

- Malaysia's military believes missing jet turned and flew hundreds of kilometres to the west after it last made contact with civilian air traffic control off the country's east coast, a senior officer told Reuters. The jet made it into the Strait of Malacca, one of the world's busiest shipping channels, along Malaysia's west coast, said the officer.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble names the two men who boarded jet with stolen passports as Iranians who had entered Malaysia using their real passports. 'The more information we get, the more we are inclined to conclude it is not a terrorist incident,' Noble said, on Tuesday, March 11
Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble names the two men who boarded jet with stolen passports as Iranians who had entered Malaysia using their real passports. 'The more information we get, the more we are inclined to conclude it is not a terrorist incident,' Noble said, on Tuesday, March 11


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12
- The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet expands to an area stretching from China to India, as authorities struggle to answer what had happened to the aircraft that vanished almost five days ago with 239 people on board.

- Chinese state agency releases satellite images of three pieces of large debris floating near to jet's last recorded position in South China Sea

- Vietnamese and Malaysian authorities say they find no traces at co-ordinates and it is later claimed the images were released 'by mistake'

THURSDAY, MARCH 13
- The Wall Street Journal quotes U.S. investigators as saying they suspected the plane remained in the air for abour four hours after vanishing, citing data sent from plane's Rolls Royce engines

- Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein describes reports as 'inaccurate' and says the last engine data was received at 1.07am

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