Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PrayForMH370 Live Updates: Possible crash site found, verification in progress

UPDATE [7.01am]: US satellites have not detected any sign of a mid-air explosion, say American officials. "If they had picked up something (by satellite), our ships would have been sent to that spot." Full story here.
UPDATE [6.15am]: An image taken by a Chinese satellite shows a possible crash site of MH370. Three objects sized 13m x 18m, 14m x 19m and 24m x 22m were spotted in the South China Sea. More here.
UPDATE [3.14am]: A fleet of Earth-monitoring satellites has joined the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The so-called International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, comprising 15 space agencies or national space institutes, will provide high-resolution images from satellites flying over the location. Full story here.
AFP speaks to experts regarding five possible theories behind the MH370 disappearance. Did the pilot commit suicide? Was there an explosion on board? Did the plane break up in mid air? Answers here.
UPDATE [1am]: Malaysia Airlines denies rumours that relatives of Chinese MH370 passengers were accidentally flown from Hong Kong to India, instead of Malaysia. Full story here.

UPDATE [12am]: Year Three students from a rural school in Johor pen a touching tribute to the passengers on flight MH370. Full story here.

UPDATE [9:23pm]: Malaysian bomoh (shaman) is back at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, this time with more assistants and equipment. Story here. His second appearance has drawn scorn and withering comments from Netizens, as can be seen here.

Meanwhile, a US lawyer is slamming Malaysia for what he describes as misleading information on flight MH370. Details here.

And, the air force says flight MH370 may have strayed towards the Andaman Sea. Full story here.

UPDATE [7:40pm]: Here's a quick look at the key areas of confusion in relation to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Full story here.

Meanwhile, this is an analysis of what's been a truly torrid decade for Malaysia Airlines. Full story here.

And, our columnist Kee Thuan Chye takes a look at whether Malaysia has any credibility left after criticisms of how it has handled the case. Full story here.

UPDATE [6:14pm]: Acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein and other officials just concluded a press conference with the media. It was an intense affair, with the media far more aggressive than they had been before.

Here are some highlights from what transpired:
Q: Will search and rescue ops now move to search and recovery ops?
A: Search and rescue will continue. We still have hope.
Full story here.

Q: There is a lack of transparency and communication. What is Malaysia hiding?
A: What we are going through is unprecedented, not easy coordinating with so many countries, so many vessels (and such a) vast area. We will never give up hope, we owe this to the families.

Q: Did the aircraft turn back?
A: There is a 'possible' turnback. Why 'possible'? Because we are trying to corroborate with all radars, including civil radars. We have been very consistent in what we have been saying in the last few days. The target disappeared at 1:30 in the morning. Primary radar didn’t pick it up at that point in time. Defence primary radar was analyzed same day. Indication of possibility of air turn back. That’s why search was conducted in Straits of Malacca.
The last plot was at 02:15, 200miles northwest of penang. But doesn’t give identification of aircraft. Full story here.

Q: You don’t seem to know what's going on. This is utter confusion.
A: I don’t think so. It’s only confusion if you want to see it as confusion.
Full story here.

Q: What about Boeing 777 warnings about fuselage? Are you confident about structural integrity?
A: The aircraft is airworthy.

Q: This specific plane?
A: Have to check. But this (that all aircraft be airworthy) is a policy.
Full story here.

Q: What about the conflicting information on the five passengers?
A: The five passengers were on board. No baggage offloaded. Those that booked that didn’t arrive were replaced from reserve (standby) list. Four didn’t turn up. Standby passengers replaced four that didn’t turn up.

On the search of unidentified aircraft, here's what they had to say:
A: The military sat down to think of areas to expand the search. We were baffled that there were no distress signals. So we decided that we should review if our air defense radar tracked this aircraft. When we looked at teh recordings, we looked at if there was a possibility the aircraft turned back. We're not sure if same aircraft, but it's in same area. We didn't track it in real time. we saw recording of data.

Q: How long with search and rescue last?
A: We won’t stop operations until we find the aircraft.

Q: Why didn't fighter jets intercept the UFO?
A: To radar operators, it is a trail of a civilian aircraft going north and not classified as hostile.

Q: What about allegations that co-pilot allowed passengers into cockpit in previous flight?
A: It is against company policy. We are against any acts which will compromise the safety of the aircraft.
UPDATE [5.30pm]: A Malaysian minister blamed the media for a series of conflicting statements attributed to government officials. Read.
UPDATE [3.25pm]: Bloomberg reported that MAS had opted out of a Boeing's Airplane Health Management programme which would have allowed Boeing to mine data and help airlines detect mechanical faults early. Read it here.
UPDATE [2.39pm]:  A senior Malaysia Airlines' executive said that the airline has "no reason to believe" that any actions by the crew caused the disappearance of a jetliner. Read it.

UPDATE [12.50pm]:  Frustrated researchers have pointed out that China missed a golden opportunity to exploit the capability of its satellites in the search for flight MH370. Full story.
UPDATE [11.21am]:  The search for MH370 has been expanded into the Andaman Sea, hundreds of kilometres to the northwest of the original search radius. Read it here.
UPDATE [10.20am]: Vietnam is scaling back the search for MH370 in Vietnam waters. Its deputy transport minister said they have plans to search with a few flights today but have suspended other activities. Read it here.

UPDATE [9.45am]:  Malaysia's air force chief has denied saying military radar had tracked the lost passenger jet turning back and flying to the Straits of Malacca. The statement had been reported by  a local Malay-language daily. Read it.

Meanwhile, the Indian navy has joined in the search and rescue operations, activating the navy satellite Rukmini or GSAT-7 to pick up any clue that may lead to the missing aircraft. Read it here.

UPDATE [7.18am]: The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER sent at least two bursts of technical data back to the airline before it disappeared, according to the New Scientist magazine. However, MAS has not revealed if it has learnt anything from the data. Full story here.
Malaysians have slowly grown angry over discrepancies about passengers, offloaded baggage and concealed information about its last known position. Full story here.
UPDATE [4.59am]: DigitalGlobe, the company that invited the public to help locate MH370 as a crowdsourcing initiative, has seen unprecedented traffic, which overloaded its servers. They sent out a tweet asking volunteers to return later as they have new imagery collections to be searched. Full story here.
UPDATE [1:42am]: The two mystery passengers which boarded the MH370 on stolen passports are most likely migrants looking for a new home, rather than terrorists with an agenda. Full story here.
Malaysia Airlines said it was shocked by allegations aired in an Australian news programme regarding the questionable behaviour of the co-pilot on its missing passenger jet. They are unable to verify the validity of the claims, and do not want to divert their attention away from search and rescue operations. Full story here.
What we know as of 11:20pm, 11 March 2014:
Search and rescue operations:
1. Searchers describe their efforts as akin to looking for the needle in a haystack.
2. Relatives of passengers are claiming that phones are still ringing when they try calling them.
3. Strange reports have emerged that MH370 was detected at the Straits of Malacca at about 2:40am on Saturday.
4. Vietnamese officials say they are preparing for the worst. However they are widening their search net, and Singapore is set to join the underwater search today.
5. An American satellite imaging company, DigitalGlobe, is getting the public to join the search by analyzing satellite imagery.
6. The search area has expanded to 500,000 square nautical miles (1.7mil sq km), from Sumatra to Hong Kong.
7. The USS Kidd joins the search, with both having Seahawk helicopters designed for search and rescue.
8. A commercial plane from out of Hong Kong reportedly saw several large pieces of debris 60km southeast of Vung Tau, a coastal city in Vietnam.
9. A low-flying plane was allegedly sighted early in the morning of March 8. Authorities refuse to confirm.
10. Malaysian submaries will not be deployed as they are not 'equipped for search and rescue'.
11. Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are assisting in the search.
Investigations still on-going:
1. Legalities and jurisdiction issues are hampering investigations.
2. France is opening a manslaughter investigation into the MH370 disappearance.
3. Police are investigating the matter from four angles: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems, and personal problems among passengers and crew.
4. The B777-200 aircraft that operated MH207 had undergone maintenance 12 days before the flight. There were no issues.
5. Previously-thought floating debris turns out to becable reel – not adoor or life raft. Analysis of oil slick reveals that it isn't aviation fuel from MH370 , but from ship bunkering activities. More pictures here .
6. Experts are starting to believe the plane veered from its flight path, and could be hundreds of kilometers away.
7. French accident board BEA offers help,citing similarities with the 2009 Air France Flight 447 crash.
Boeing’s Airplane Health Management system, which allows real-time plane monitoring, was not installed in the missing flight MH370.
9. No signals were spotted from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT) .
10. A portion of the aircraft wingtip was fixed by Boeing and was certified safe to fly. They dismissed the possibility of a technical problem and any form of threat prior to this.
11. PM Najib said that satelite imagery cannot be used as it cannot detect anything below the water surface.
12. MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).
Situation in Malaysia:
1. Hoaxers, opportunists and tasteless jokers have come out of the woodworks.
2. Malaysia Airlines will provide a total of 31,000 yuan (RM16,577) to all families of MH370 passengers, and will be flown to the crash site once the location is known.
3. A local bomoh (shaman) and psychic claim to be able to find MH370, and an African televangelist says he predicted this last July.
4. Guo Shaochun, head of a joint working group from the China govt has arrived in KLIA to further assist in the case, as well as the welfare of Chinese families here.
5. Ex-PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad chastises those who are 'playing the blame game' over the MH370 case.
6. Ex-NST head laments 'lax’ security at KLIA, blames third world mentality.
7. The internet is ablaze with concerned netizens and celebrities expressing their views. Hashtags #MH370 and #PrayForMH370 were trending on Twitter.
8. Politician Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was slammed for an insensitive tweet about a 'new Bermuda triangle'.
9. The DCA Dir-Gen Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the airport authorities have examined security footage of the passengers and the baggage, and he is satisfied.
10. MAS says all other flights will proceed as usual, for now.
Missing passports and possible terror links:
1. All passengers who checked in for the flight had boarded the plane, dispelling earlier claims that 5 passengers were missing.
2. DCA Dir-Gen denies inconsistencies with police information.
3. The immigration chief insists security SOPs were followed.
4. The two passengers travelling with stolen passports were likely migrants, not terrorists. The first, Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, had wanted to migrate to Germany. The second is Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, 30. They had both stayed over at a friend’s house before leaving for MH370.
5. U.S. and European government sources are skeptical that MH370 was the target of an attack..
6. Thailand has been exposed as a crime hub for forged documents.
7. Azharuddin said all cabin baggage on the flight went through security screening, following protocols. MAS also confirms plane security complied with ICAO regulations.
8. Security in Malaysian airports remain the same as the government is not treating this as a security threat yet, despite PM Najib Razak saying KLIA security protocols will be reviewed and improved if necessary. An Immigration Dept source admits “ the SOP does need to be reviewed.”
9. The Chinese Martyr's Brigade claims responsibility, but authorities brush off the ‘unheard-of group’.
10. The Immigration Department is under internal investigation following reports that Italian and Austrian passengers with Asian facial features were allowed to pass through. They had bought their tickets together through an Iranian link.
11. Interpol confirmed that the two missing passports were recorded in its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.
12. Malaysia is working with the FBI on possible terror links to the MH370 disappearance.
Analysis, theories, opinions:
1. CNN laid out four possible scenarios regarding the MH370 disappearance.
2. Authorities are investigating the possibilities of a mid-air disintegration. A video explains the theory further. Radar and transponder information alone would be enough to confirm this theory, says a veteran pilot.
3. Industry experts offer insights into major questions, as well as a detailed analysis of possible reasons behind the MH370 disappearance.
4. An aviation lawyer said that the plane might have broken up due to lack of pressurisation or electrical failure.
5. Retired American Airlines Capt. Jim Tilmon said the route taken by the aircraft had plenty of antennae, radar and radios for contact, and the plane was 'as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be with an excellent safety record'.
6. The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, with total flying hours of 18,365 hours. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours.
Stories surrounding missing passengers:
1. Abdul Hamid Mohd Daud has not given up hope on his son, Fariq, 27, who is the first officer aboard MH370.
2. 38 Malaysians were on-board MH370, including twelve colleagues, a family of three, a couple on honeymoon, a woman who had just celebrated her retirement and about 20 top management staff from Freescale Semiconductor.
3. The niece of Kuching police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad was a passenger on MH370.
4. MH370 Full passenger list here .
Editors's note: The public may contact +603 7884 1234. Next-of-kin may head to the Support Facility Building at KLIA's South Support Zone. For directions, call 03 8787 1269.  
Yahoo News
Post a Comment