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MH370 KUL-PEK Missing 8 Mar 2014: Search & Recovery [PLEASE SEE WIKI]

MH370 KUL-PEK Missing 8 Mar 2014: Search & Recovery [PLEASE SEE WIKI]

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Old Jan 17, 17, 4:38 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
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MH370 Discussion and Speculation Thread is now open to keep this thread focused on confirmed news and known facts, and to allow folks to discuss their ideas about what might have happened

Archived older posts:

MH 370 KUL-PEK Missing: 8 - 15 Mar 2014 UTC - ARCHIVE WEEK #1

MH 370 KUL-PEK Missing: 15 - 21 Mar 2014 UTC - ARCHIVE WEEK #2

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS / FAQ has been inserted into Post #1 of this thread.

Malaysia Airlines has provided the following contact numbers for passengers' families: +603 7884 1234 (Kuala Lumpur) or +8610 6437 6249 (Beijing)

This thread now begins with posts made after 0536 UTC 22 March 2014..

N.B. Please do not alter the above message.


This wiki may be minimized or maximized by clicking on [-] or [+] box at upper right corner of post.
Signed-in members with 90 days / 90 posts on FlyerTalk may edit this Wikipost with updates.

Please report all times in UTC - Coordinated Universal Time (GMT - Greenwich Mean Time, Z - Zulu time) in order to
avoid confusion caused by complex time zone boundaries in the incident area.

SUMMARY: MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew early morning March 8 2014. After what appeared to be a normal departure, a handoff to Vietnamese ATC was not finalized - communications and secondary radar data no longer were transmitted. The aircraft has been assumed to fly on for 7 hours on an initially circuitous route and to have been lost at sea in the southern Indian Ocean, 1,500 mi / 2,500 km sw of Perth.

No operating theory has been put forth that provides a probable explanation of who has flown the aircraft nor for what possible purpose as of 27 March. Link to BBC written and video summary of the flight of MH370.

In reverse chronological order:

*All times regarding activities within the search area are expressed in Australian Western Standard Time (AWST). Please note all times are approximate.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

On the first anniversary of the disappearance of MH370 an interim report was released by Malaysia's Ministry of Transport.

Friday, 11 April 2014 - pm AWST (JACC)

The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret'd), said an initial assessment of the possible signal detected by a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft yesterday afternoon has been determined as not related to an aircraft underwater locator beacon.

Friday, 11 April 2014 (BBC and other sources)

Australian leader Tony Abbott says authorities are confident that signals heard in the Indian Ocean are coming from the "black box" flight recorders of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Link

Thursday, 10 April 2014 - pm AWST (JACC)

The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret'd), has confirmed that whilst conducting an acoustic search this afternoon a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft has detected a possible signal in the vicinity of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield.

"The acoustic data will require further analysis overnight but shows potential of being from a man-made source," Air Chief Marshal Houston (Ret'd) said.

"I will provide a further update if, and when, further information becomes available."

Shape of ocean floor / Profile of sea bed between signals (2 and 1) - BBC

Wednesday, 9 April 2014 (BBC)

An Australian vessel heard the signals again on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Signals heard earlier had also been further analysed by experts who concluded they were from "specific electronic equipment".

Experts at the Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre had also analysed the first two signals heard over the weekend.

Their analysis showed that a "stable, distinct and clear signal" was detected. Experts had therefore assessed that it was not of natural origin and was likely from specific electronic equipment.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014am AWST (JACC)

Up to 11 military aircraft, four civil aircraft and 14 ships will assist in today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Today AMSA has planned a search area of about 75,423 square kilometres.

The centre of the search area is approximately 2261 kilometres north west of Perth.

A weak front is moving in from the south east, expected to bring scattered showers.

The underwater search continues today, with ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the defined search area, and Chinese ship Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014am AWST (JACC)

Up to eleven military planes, three civil planes and 14 ships will assist in today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

AMSA has directed the search of one large search area today of approximately 77,580 square kilometres, 2268 kilometres north west of Perth.

Good weather is expected for searching throughout the day.

The underwater search continues, with ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the defined search area, and Chinese ship Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end.

Monday, 7 April 2014

An Australian military vessel has detected signals consistent with those emitted by an aircraft black box, indicating a potential breakthrough in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Two separate signals have been detected by Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the northern part of the search area.

In what he called "a most promising lead", Air Chief Marshal (ret) Angus Houston revealed that "the pinger locator has detected signals consistent with those emitted by aircraft black boxes". (Sydney Morning Herald, and others)

Monday, 7 April 2014am AWST (JACC)

Up to nine military planes, three civil planes and 14 ships will assist in today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The search area is expected to be approximately 234,000 square kilometres.

Good weather is expected throughout the day with showers in the afternoon although this is not expected to affect the search.

ADV Ocean Shield is continuing investigations in its own area.

HMS Echo is en route to assist the Chinese vessel Haixun 01, which detected pulse signals in the Indian Ocean.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (JACC dirrector): "This is an important and encouraging lead". BBC Video.
Sunday, 6 April 2014am AWST(JACC)

Up to 10 military planes, 2 civil planes and 13 ships will assist in Sunday's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has three separate search areas planned for today about 2,000 kilometres north west of Perth, which total approximately 216,000 square kilometres.

Weather in the search area is expected to be good with a cloud base of 2,500 feet and visibility greater than 10 kilometres.

Reports overnight that the Chinese ship, Haixun 01, has detected electronic pulse signals in the Indian Ocean related to MH370 cannot be verified at this point in time.

Saturday 5 April 2014:

The Chinese maritime patrol ship Haixun 01 has picked up a 37.5 kHz pulse signal, according to Chinese media. Though there is no evidence it is from the MH370 "black box", the frequency is the same as used by fight recorders. (Xinhuanet, others)

5 April 2014am - (JACC)

~10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships participated in today's search. ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo continued underwater search operations searching with TPL-25 towed pinger locator.

Weather was fair, with possible showers.

Friday 4 April 2014JACC

Up to 10 military planes, four civil jets and nine ships participated in today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. One civil aircraft operated to provide communications relay.

The weather was is fair, with visibility approximately 10 kilometres and a cloud base between 1000 and 2000 feet.

Two ships, the HMAS Ocean Shield and HMS Echo, towed TPL-25 "towed pinger locators" to search for the "black box" 37.5 kHz signal; the "black box" (Flight Data and Cockpit Voice Recorder assembly) is powered for approximately 30 days.

Thursday 3 April 2014am JACC

Up to eight planes (one dropping marker buoys) and nine ships were deployed on the SAR mission, an area of about 223,000 square kilometres, 1680 kilometres west north-west of Perth. Weather fair, with visibility approximately 10 kilometres, however the southern area may experience some isolated showers. No new findings today.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014 - JACC

Up to ten planes (one providing relay services) and nine ships will assist in today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. AMSA search area about 221,000 square kilometres,1504 kilometres North West of Perth.

British nuclear-powered Trafalgar class submarine HMS Tireless , with 138 crew including 18 officers, has joined the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370; the UK MOD has said it would assist in searchng for the "black box". (BBC)

Monday, 31 March: (AMSA Update #31, 8.00am (AEDT) 0000 UTC

10 aircraft searching, no notable results. The ADV Ocean Shield was scheduled to depart from Perth today. It has now been fitted with a black box detector and an autonomous underwater vehicle. Some parts of the search area will experience low cloud and rain throughout the day.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 AEDT: The search activities continued in an area about 1,850 kilometres west of Perth, focused on an area of about 319,000 square kilometres. Eight aircraft were involved in todays search.

Ten ships arrived or were on station today: HMAS Success, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration ship Haixun 01, China Rescue and Salvage Bureau ship Nan Hai Jiu, and the Chinese Navy vessel Jinggang Shan.All ships in the search area were tasked to locate and identify the objects sighted by aircraft over the past two days.

Weather in the search area included light showers and low cloud, though search operations are expected to continue.

AMSA Update #28, 30 March 2014: 0645(AEDT)

Debris spotted and identified by ship turned out to be fishing debris - a fishing vessel is missing and the search for the vessel has now been discontinued after finding the debris. - AMSA

Saturday, March 29, HMAS Success, the Chinese Maritime Administration patrol ship, Haixun 01, PLAN vessel Jinggangshan (carrying two helicopters) were active Saturday; the later specifically is searching for debris, oil slicks, lifejackets, etc. Eight aircraft were also launched today. A IL-76 from China spotted some small colourful debris (orange, white and red), dropped a marker and left the debris to be checked by ship - the debris, recovered and checked by Haixun 01, was not related to MH370. Weather began nicely but has been deteriorating today; the search day is over now. (National News Agency of Malaysia, BBC and others.)

The ANZAC class frigate HMAS Toowoomba left Perth this evening and is due to arrive in the search area in about three days.

Friday March 28 local time end of search day: Ten aircraft searched an area of nearly 100,000 sq mi / 256,000 sq km today. Five aircraft spotted debris in the new search area; another aircraft spotted debris 546 km away.
AMSA announcement PDF

The search area has shifted northeastward ~1,100 km / 700 mi based on the theory the aircraft was flying faster than previously believed (skewing the imputed flight path and decreasing range based on available fuel). The new search area is approximately 123,127 sq mi / 319,000 sq km and around 1,150 mi / 1,850 km west of Perth. Satellites are being redeployed to survey the new search area. (Aviation Herald, Malay Mail online and others; BBC article link)

The Malaysian government is expected to appoint an international panel on aviation security along with a parliament select committee to probe overall airline safety... an official said in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (29 Mar 2014).

Tuesday, 26 Mar, search activities were halted by Sea State 7; resumed Wednesday, Thursday 28 Mar again saw aircraft withdrawn from search activities.

If potential debris is spotted by satellite, further identification must be done by aircraft, and then recovered by ships for analysis. If debris proves positive from MH370, further analysis must determine drift distance and angle to a possible crash site. This all depends on the weather holding as well, though at least the search is no longer focused in the "Roaring Forties".

Soon, a US Navy Towed Pinger Locator will be towed by the HMAS Ocean Shield to try to detect "pings" from the aircraft's "black box", which is actually orange and consists of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (two hour loop) and Flight Data Recorder (25 hours continuous).
● BBC page on "black box" link
● BBC video "black box" search link.

If air and sea search fails, or further narrowing of the search area is required, sonar will be deployed and used. Support and research vessels, some of them with sonar and one with the U. S. autonomous underwater Bluefin 21, will then try to find the wreck amongst the sea bottom topography.
BBC sonar search video link.

Information reveals that Malaysia Airlines chose not to add an upgrade to aircraft communications ("Swift") that could have continually transmitted aircraft data even with ACARS shut down. Rather than pay the cost of USD $10.90 per flight, MH opted to download the data to a USB thumb drive after the end of a flight, according to various sources. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...f19_story.html

Monday, 24 March, Malaysian prime minister announced that new satellite data showed that flight MH370 crashed into the Indian Ocean. In a brief statement he said: "It is with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that... flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean." The ongoing multinational search operation would continue as they seek answers to the questions which remain.

Partners Inmarsat and SITA AIRCOM, UK and US aviation safety and security officials have determined MH370 may have flown up to seven hours beyond the point of last radar location; MH370 apparently broadcast automated hourly engine maintenance code "pings" received by satellite operator Inmarsat.

New satellite analysis techniques developed by British firm Inmarsat and the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have "concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean", said Malaysian PM Najib Razak.

"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

Debris is being searched for, but the USA is sending a Towed Pinger Locator towed sled equipped to find "pingers" such as the "black box" pinger, which is designed to be powered for 25 - 30 days.

A number of aircraft, including four long range commercial planes, three RAAF and one RNZAF P-3 Orion anti-submarine surveillance aircraft, one USN P8 Poseidon, two Chinese IL-76 and two JASDF P-3 Orion aircraft are searching, joined by a Korean (ROKAF) P-3 Orion and C-130H. The ASW aircraft have observation ports for observers, Magnetic Anomaly Detector gear and can deploy various sonobuoys, etc.

Chinese, British and Australian naval ships have joined Australian supply ship HMAS Success, including China's ice-breaking Xuě Lng (Snow Dragon) research vessel, (involved in the recent Antarctic rescue of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy) and three Chinese PLAN warships QianDaoHu, KunLunShan and Haikou, as well as merchant ship Zhonghai Shaohua, are participants as well. The U.K. is sending HMS Echo to join the search (has departed the Maldives), China is sending more vessels.

The HMAS Ocean Shield will be fitted on 28 Mar with the US "TPL" (Towed Pinger Locator) and "...is expected to reach the search area by 5 April, giving it only two days before the pinger's batteries possibly start to fade at 30 days."

The US is sending a UUV (autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle) Bluefin-21, designed by Bluefin Robotics, equipped with side-scanning sonar and a "multi-beam echo sounder" which can examine underwater objects in detail and operate in depths of up to 4,500 metres (14,700 ft) (BBC).

Malaysia has asked the FBI to help recover data it said was deleted from a home flight simulator belonging to the plane's chief pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, but otherwise no evidence has emerged to implicate him or the crew. FBI announced on 26 Mar a couple of more days are needed, but so far they have found no forensic evidence against Capt. Zaharie.
Last updated: Friday April 11 0915 UTC / 1715 AWST (changes made since 00:01 Thursday UTC are in highlighted text) or indigo.
Please continue to use indigo text to highlight your changes until the next maintenance period (after ~00:01 UTC Friday).

Summary of events in the FAQ (Post #1) and what we think we know as of 14 Mar, 1727 UTC in this post.


Aviation Herald possibly the best and most objective summary in general, latest updates are highlighted in yellow last updated on Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 at 11:40 UTC.

MH370 Flight Incident - official announcements by Malaysia Airlines

BBC tabbed pages with newest news of the MH370 incident

BBC: Ten Theories of MH370's Disappearance

Malaysian Prime Minister's statement that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean, March 24, 2014 Youtube video

Live updates (Yahoo News Singapore)

Streaming news (WSJ)

Reuters graphics: story, search and emergency

How a pilot deals with an emergency. (BBC, Capt. Philip Riddell <spelling in conflict with BBC>)

Summary of events, known information and technical background Airliners.net

Please Edit and Update as Needed! Please Use Indigo Text to Highlight Changes!

NOTE: While links to relevant and reasonably reliable news sources are welcome, please take a few minutes to scroll back a couple dozen posts to make sure a similar story hasn't already been posted. There have been many well-meaning posters eager to share breaking news that ends up having been posted by others hours before. Thanks for helping us to avoid redundancy and repetition!

Time Frame Confusion

Sources may appear to be reporting conflicting timeframes for various stages of the incident. However, this is likely due to confusion about time zone changes between Malaysia (last ATC contact) and Vietnam (next ATC contact) - see time zone map here for boundaries. Please report times in UTC/GMT wherever possible.

SAR / Search and Rescue Recovery Operations Investigation

NOTE: Discussion of opinions and perspectives on SAR costs and timeliness, which involves coordination of 26 nations' civil and military authorities, is beyond the scope of this thread. Users have been advised to shift such discussion to OMNI - see post #2047. Thanks for your cooperation.

Reports indicate latest satellite ping around 0811 MYT (0011 GMT/UTC/Zulu), or nearly 7 hours after contact was lost.

Boeing and Rolls Royce have teams on site; the NTSB (USA) and UK AAIB are involved due to US and UK manufacture of aircraft and engines, France's BEA due to AF447 similarities and other resources are likely to be invited to assist. The U. S. FBI has become involved in investigating the crew, passengers and ground staff.

Reports that the aircraft climbed to 45,000 feet, above its service ceiling, and as low as 5,000 ft remain unverified. More here and in posts #3894 on.

Malaysia Airlines has issued a statement that the shipment of lithium-ion batteries was in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements, where it is classified as "non-dangerous goods".

Disproven Reports to Date

Early reports that the plane had landed in Nanming, Vietnam or Nanning, China, have been disclaimed by Chinese authorities and MH leadership.

All reports of possible aircraft debris, up to and including a possible debris field off the southeast coast of Vietnam, China SASTIND satellite imagery from 9 Mar debris reported 105.63 east longitude, 6.7 north latitude investigated 12 Mar have been discredited. The latter is now "a mistake", according to SASTIND. Read more here.

Possible fuel slicks identified early on have been tested and determined NOT to be aircraft fuel.

Various life rafts found in the SAR ops area have been unrelated to the missing aircraft. See one example at this post.

Reports of another pilot contacting MH370 have been discredited.

Reports of passenger cell phones still ringing when called are almost certainly an artifact of international telephony - see explanation by one FTer at post #1832.

All claimed ground observations of the aircraft (Malaysia, Vietnam oil platform, etc.) data are unverified at this time.

Beware of data from sites like FlightRadar24, FlightAware, etc. These data are not entirely reliable, as they are synthesized; erroneous readings may be present on some sites. The aircraft could not climb to 49,500 feet as some sites may indicate, as this is considerably above the aircraft's design ceiling.

Authorities deny that five other passengers checked in for the flight, but did not board, stating the pax were actually no-shows who never checked in, and that no baggage was loaded for these five pax. Four standby passengers were accommodated.

Reports of seismic readings being possibly related to the aircraft crashing into seafloor have been described by experts as improbable. USGS records a natural earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra - info here

Other speculation (EMP, shot down, etc.) has been mentioned in the thread but currently has no basis, and is not appropriate for this thread. Please observe the moderator note at the beginning of this wiki.

Timeline/Facts (Please see FAQ / Post #1)

NOTE: flight number MH370/371 will be renumbered MH318/319 effective 14 March 2014
!!! REMINDER !!!

This thread is about the loss of MH370. In depth discussion of unrelated topics geopolitics, passport theft, aviation security, airport security procedures, etc. belongs in other fora. A few include:

OMNI/PR: Discussion of perspectives on politics and religion, including geopolitics and terrorism (requires 180 days on FT and 180 constructive posts prior to admission)

Travel Safety/Security: Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate

Travel Safety/Security: Practical Travel Safety Issues for those discussing travel safety and security issues because they are planning a trip soon.

TravelBuzz: TravelBuzz for those wishing to discuss the relative safety of a specific aircraft - e.g. Boeing 777.

We have a number of Destination fora to discuss various aspects of destination travel (including airports, airport connections, etc.)

Please try to re-size your pictures to fit the normal width. We have had several folks (particularly, but not exclusively, those on mobile devices) request that the size of graphics be "normal."

Area of debris sightings and search
The original map was posted on BBC website but is too large to post here.

Ministry of Transport Malaysia:

This diagram shows the Doppler contributions to the burst frequency offset.

Blue line: the burst frequency offset measured at the ground station for MH370.

Green line: is the predicted burst frequency offset for the southern route, which over the last 6 handshakes show close correlation with the measured values for MH370.

Red line: predicted burst frequency offset for northern route (which over last 6 ACARS - Inmarsat "handshakes" does not correlate with the measured values for MH370).

Archived maps

Map with calculated tracks (contribution by Reason077)
Nrg800 map showing runways within range, line of possible ping transmission and range limit from last radio contact.
See posts #4145 and #4163 for more info.

ADV Ocean Shield towed pinger locator detections - JACC

Signals detected by Chinese (5 April) and Australians (6 April) - BBC
Locations where signals were detected
Search area and location where possible signal detected, 6 April 2014 (BBC)
Search area and location where possible signal detected, 5 April 2014 (BBC)
Search area, 4 April 2014 (BBC)
Searach area, 2 April 2014 (BBC)
Search area, 1 April 2014 (BBC)
Search area, 30 March 2014 (BBC)
New search area, 28 March 2014 (BBC)
Detailed map of area of debris sightings and in original Indo-Australian search area (BBC)
Area of debris sightings
How big is the search area?
BBC map of search zones

BBC area and key events map
BBC possible final aircraft track map

Print Wikipost

Old Mar 7, 14, 5:19 pm
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MH370 KUL-PEK Missing 8 Mar 2014: Search & Recovery [PLEASE SEE WIKI]

Malaysia Airlines 370 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Note: Viewers and members are global, so we are using UTC / GMT / Zulu time. Malaysia time is MYT, UTC/GMT +8 hours. A closer up map of the areas's time zones can be seen here. The use of various time zones has caused confusion in media and timing of events. The FAQ has been generated form some of the most common questions asked by members in this long thread.

Q. What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? What is the timeline for its disappearance?

Friday 07 March 2014 16:41 UTC (08 March 2014 at 00:41 Malaysia time: Flight MH370 / codeshare as CZ748, a Boeing 777-2H6ER, departed Kuala Lumpur (KUL) on Sat., en route to Beijing (PEK), where it was due to arrive 07 Mar 22:30 UTC (08 Mar at 06:30 local time). Route is approximately 2,375 nm / 2,733 mi / 4,399 km (per Great Circle Mapper), average speed is 500 MPH / 805 kph, duration normally ~6 hrs.

● 1707 UTC (01:07 Malaysia) Last ACARS aircraft information data received from MH370.

● 1719 UTC (01:19 Malaysia) final voice contact. MH370 departs Malaysia Subang ATC with the words "Good night, Malaysia three seven zero" - and not the "All right, good night" originally released by the Malaysian authorities - who are now saying they will investigate further who said that, after initially attributing the incorrect version to First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid.
Aircraft was to check in with Ho Chi Minh ATC Center ~1722 UTC (01:22 Malaysia time) and to check in and be given new transponder codes — failed to do so, transponder ceased transmitting.
● 1722 UTC (01:22 Malaysia) Aircraft at 35,000 ft MSL / 10,668 meters, on course for PEK between Kota Bharu (Malaysia) and Cape Ca Mau (Vietnam); initiates westward turn (last Subang primary radar indications). No contact indicating reason or trouble; no contact, no transponder, no active transmissions at this time.

● 1815 UTC (02:15 Malaysia) Recorded military radar data shows last radar contact showing aircraft departing westward over Pulau Perak island. This information was leaked by two RMAF officers, later contradicted in no uncertain terms by the Chief of the Air Force, and then again retracted when the radar data were retrieved and analyzed; by this time, the search had already encompassed the Straits of Malacca.

● 1840 UTC (02:40 Malaysia) Aircraft officially reported to Malaysia Airlines as missing by air traffic control.

● Weather conditions were good, and are not considered a factor; moonset was at approximately 00:40 MYT that night (07 Mar - 16:40 GMT). This post reports warm water conditions and low wave heights at the time of disappearance.

● Further Malaysian military radar information seems to show the aircraft turning to a westward direction, making some altitude changes, crossing the Thai / Malay peninsula and proceeding northwestward over Penang and Pulau Perak, a small island in the Straits of Malacca at approximately 29,500 ft / 8,992 m.

● Though communications were shut down by people in the cockpit, the aircraft continued to intermittently "handshake" with Inmarsat satellite(s) in a ready condition to transmit ACARS data for roughly seven hours, allowing ground computers to record these data; these were eventually discovered by aviation technicians and released to authorities including USA and Malaysia.

● The available signals information indicates the aircraft flew on for seven hours, the limit of its fuel allocation. Other nations within that range, including Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Thailand et al were consulted and radar data was investigated; no overflight by MH370 was revealed.

● New mathematical models developed by Inmarsat, SITA AIRCOM (data link provider) and UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) reveal the last ping, received at 0811 the day of flight. The new maths also are claimed to reveal the direction and distance data from hourly "pings" and show the aircraft's last "piing" was in the southern Indian Ocean far from any land or runway and that the aircraft must have crashed into the sea due to fuel starvation afterwards. (These data were reviewed once more and the search pattern moved slightly north and east on the new assumption the aircraft was traveling faster than previously believed, also reducing possible range.)

● Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and others have stated the diversion considered a deliberate act by someone onboard. <link to BBC video>

● Search operations expanded from the Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea, Straits of Malacca (now presumably discontinued or reduced) to the Andaman Sea and farther to the Bay of Bengal and the broader Indian Ocean, involving as many as twenty six nations' search assets, including satellites, surface ships and various kinds of aircraft.

● Search and Recovery operations are now ~1,150 mi / 1,850 km west of Perth, Australia, with P-3 Orions (New Zealand 1, Australia 3, Japan 2, one en route from Korea), P-8 Poseidon (US, 1), Ilyushin IL-76 (China, 2), C-130H (Korea) and five civil long range aircraft . The Australian supply vessel HMS Success is on site, as well s Chinese Maritime Patrol vessel Haixun 01, and PLAN vessel Jinggangshan (carrying two helicopters), with Chinese polar research vessel Xuě Lng (Snow Dragon) and more warships, to be joined by a commercial vessel and two patrol vessels also from China. The USS Echo research vessel is en route as well.

● To date (28 Mar 0417 UTC), all reports of cell phone calls, aircraft to aircraft transmissions, reported debris fields, sightings, items found ranging from life rafts to life jackets have all proven to be false or not from MH370. New Chinese, US and French satellite findings are being checked for origins.

● All MH aircraft are equipped with ACARS transmitting monitoring data automatically; no distress call or information was transmitted or relayed, nor is it known if local radar facilities are capable of receiving ACARS data. The airline chose not to install the Swift upgrade from Inmarsat that would allow continuous aircraft data transmission (which AF447 had, enabling a much shorter time to find the crash site) and chose to download such data to a USB thumb drive after each flight was on the ground; the cost would have been just over USD $10.00 a flight had they chosen to purchase the system.

● The aircraft was equipped with ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast). Barring failure of the ADS-B transponder, the FlightRadar24.com track of the aircraft may be the most accurate track we have access to. However, Flightradar24.com cannot track ADS-B broadcasts below 30,000 feet in the Gulf of Thailand, so if the plane had some type of issue forcing a rapid descent, this would not be noted in their system. (It has not been reported whether the Malaysian or Vietnamese ATC organizations have the capability to receive ADS-B broadcasts. There may be some discrepancies in the last reported positions of radar contact and the ADS-B flight track.)
Q. What about the Boeing 777; is it safe? What about this particular Boeing 777?

The Boeing 777 series aircraft are operated by a Captain and First Officer; very longhaul flights may carry relief pilots as well. There is no flight engineer on this aircraft type.

The Boeing 777 and Malaysia Airlines are considered to have good safety records. The aircraft in question is the Boeing 777-200ER (Extended range).

In its history, the 777 aircraft type has been involved in three other hull-losses: (1) OZ214 is unofficially but widely considered pilot error; (2) BA38 experienced fuel starvation due to engine ice forming and blocking the fuel lines, forcing a short landing (Fuel/Oil Heat Exchangers mere modified to prevent reoccurrence); (3) MS667 while parked at gate in CAI, fire in cockpit prior to door-close. Another report relating to a fire incident involving a UA 777 at Heathrow is available here which involves the Main Equipment Centre.

The missing aircraft (registration 9M-MRO, s/n 28420, line #404) had accumulated 53,465 flight hours in 7,525 flight cycles since delivery to MH in May 2002. Maintenance last undergone ~23 Feb 2014. 9M-MRO was involved in an incident in Shanghai Pudong International Airport on 09 August 2012, when the tip of its wing collided with a China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-600 in a "wing clip" incident; the wing was subsequently repaired.

All MH aircraft are equipped with ACARS transmitting monitoring data automatically. Apparently, MH also has a contract with aero engine manufacturer Rolls Royce to receive regular reports from engines running for analyses. Monitoring and reporting is explained in this post.

MH aircraft were not been fitted with the "Swift" Inmarsat upgrade, which would have transmitted aircraft data and "health" information in real time, preferring to save money and download the data at the end of a flight into a thumb (USB) drive. AF447 was easier to find because it was upgraded with Swift, which has been said to cost USD $10.90 per aircraft flight.
Q. What is "ACARS" and how does it work?

A. ACARS means Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System; it is a digital datalink communication system between aircraft and ground base computers (using radio or satellite links) using short bursts of Telex protocol information, which may include "aircraft health" information (such as engine data reported to the engine manufacturer). It will eventually be replaced by Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) and Internet Protocol. (Prior to datalink use everything was communicated using HF (High Frequency) and VHF (Very HF) radio - which may not be useful at all times).

In this instance, ACARS transmitted various aircraft condition data until the time of "last reported position", and then it appears ACARS was off, the system still is in a standby mode that still allows"handshake" signals that essentially could be "translated" as "I'm here when you're ready". Those can be tracked, but if received by one satellite, the location data is very limited; two is better, and with three one could theoretically triangulate a fairly exact position.

In this instance, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday MH370's signals continued for about seven hours (until 8:11 AM local time, 00:11 UTC or "Zulu" time).
Q. How was ACARS data ultimately used to determine the presumed point of aircraft impact with the ocean?

Inmarsat (satellite provider), SITA AIRCOM (data link provider) and UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) developed some new algorithms using other aircraft's flights information and Doppler effects on the signal to determine positional information from the MH370 ACARS "pings". They have stated this information leads them to conclude the aircraft went down some time after the last ping was received and the aircraft ran out of fuel. Link to BBC article.
Q. What is the "black box", how long does it remain on and is it separately powered?

A. The "black box" consists of two bright orange (for easier finding) "boxes": the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder), which records the last two hours of cockpit sounds; the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) records certain flight data for a period of 25 hours (minima). The entire device is powered by a separate battery and it remains powered for nearly a month. It is generally located in the tail area of the aircraft for protection and can not be turned off with normal means.

The "black box" must be able to survive 3,400 Gs (3,400 times the force of gravity), acceleration, and survive temperatures of 2,000 F / 1,093 C for one hour and pressures to 20,000 ft / 6,096 m of saltwater (there are a few locations deeper than that). The beacon signal is emitted once per second; the signals may become weaker if it falls into topographical features like underwater canyons. The U S Navy has sent a "Towed Pinger Locator" to the region in an attempt to find the "black box" whilst it is still capable of pining (~30 days).

The TPL-25 Towed Pinger Locator must be towed at about 3 knots, and is able to detect sounds within a one-mile radius; it is capable of searching about 150 mi sq miles a day.

The MH370 "black box" is presumed to lie in up to ~3,500 meters / ~11,500 feet. The "black box" for Air France 447 was found in approximately 13,000 ft / 3,800 m of water after nearly two years - it took a marine research vessel le de Sein and its Remotely Operated Vehicle, Remora 6000. SA 295's was retrieved from 4,900 m / 16,100 ft. The US already has a Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle en route.

"The Bluefin-21 uses sonar technology to search across a preprogrammed area of water, but is only capable of mapping about 40 square miles of ocean floor a day with a high degree of accuracy." - WSJ

This means the search area must be narrowed down considerably for the tools to be useful. 29 March the search area was about the same as the surface area of the U. K.
Q. What is "radar" and how does it work?

A. "RADAR is short for Radio Detection and Ranging. Two kinds of "radar" come into play here (aircraft have radar to show weather and ground features, but it's not germane here).

Primary radar is basically a transmitted electronic burst that is reflected by dense objects. The reflection is translated into a "blip" that is displayed on a screen that shows direction distance and in most instances altitude. The radar sets in this instance have a range of approximately 120 mi / 193 km (depending on weather, size and shape of aircraft, etc.) Primary radar is "noncooperative" - the radar will show all aircraft, but has no identification feature to discern which individual aircraft is being "painted" if no further information is known.

Though probably all the countries MH370 is assumed to have overflown have military / air defence radars, it's hard to know if they were on and monitored, full capabilities, etc. at least in part because most nations are reluctant to discuss military matters this openly. We are fairly certain the Malaysian military primary radar systems recorded the data and those data were retrieved at a later time than the flight transit was recorded. This delayed search operations in the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea.

Secondary radar is a "cooperative" system. A pulse is sent from a secondary antenna to the aircraft and gets the aircraft's transponder to reply with coded information, set by the pilots, that identify the specific aircraft to ground controllers. Secondary radar was turned off at the time the aircraft went "missing" between Kota Baru in Malaysia and Cape Ca Mau in Vietnam.
Q. What is a "transponder", then? And why can pilots turn it off?

A transponder is basically a radio, previously called "Identification Friend or Foe " and "Selective Identification Feature" used by the military to receive a "code" that identified "friendly" aircraft - and by airlines / air traffic control to identify specific aircraft. The transponder can be set to "squawk" (broadcast) specific codes (or to respond to ground "interrogation" activating signals) to the ground or to airborne receivers. Pilots need to be able to change codes and even to turn off a transponder on the ground or during specific flight conditions.
Q. If the pilots were incapacitated and the autopilot were engaged, would the plane have just flown on forever on its previous heading?

This has happened previously. E.g. Helios Airways Flight 522 and
US coach Bo Rein (10 Jan 1980), LearJet 24B N234CM 16 Dec 16, 1988 (US - Mexico), and 4 Sep 4, 2000 Beechcraft 200 Super King Air out of Perth. These aircraft flew, with apparently incapacitated crew (in Helos' case a flight attendant attempted to fly the aircraft) until they exhausted fuel supplies and ceased flying. See this post to learn more about hypoxia (oxygen deficiency); a human can not survive prolonged oxygen deprivation to the brain.

Also see here for how pilots discern loss of cabin pressure and how they handle it. (Pilots have separately provided oxygen tanks in the cockpit, passengers use a limited supply of oxygen from oxygen generators; the passenger supply may last as long as 15 minutes, and crew have separate, small "walk-around" tanks). One professional pilot has theorized fire, smoke inhalation and hypoxia disabled the crew and the aircraft may have flown on using automatic flight controls <link>.
Q. What about passengers' cell phones? Could they have called anyone?

A. GSM service cellular phones generally have a range of 22 mi / 35 km from a cellular telephone service tower. If the aircraft had passed close to a tower (usually on the ground, not at sea) signals could have been received and sent to the phone's home network. At this time we have no information that has occurred.
Q. Some commentators have said the aircraft's systems were "pre-programmed" to turn off course from Beijing at the last point of contact. What does that mean?

Not much. Though an aircraft's Flight Management Systems (FMS), which include the Flight Management Computer, are generally programmed by flight personnel on the ground, qualified pilots can change the programming using the CDU (Control Display Unit) for various reasons, disconnect the system from aircraft control inputs and "hand-fly" for various reasons. Link to more information on the FMS.
Q. Are there runways within the aircraft's range they could have used?

Sure; there are plenty of runways that could be used by a 777, but where an airport with 777-usable runways exists there is usually airport control, security and maybe nearby air defence radar. Member Nrg8000 has nonetheless gathered data and generated a map:

Click the map to view a larger version.
Red dots are runways over 5,000 feet.
Purple dots are between 2500 and 5,000 feet, Blue dots LESS.
Q. Did the pilots use terrain following to mask the aircraft from radar?

Highly unlikely. A one-time Air Force member and pilot members have told us that, even with extensive training, special terrain-following radar and mapping, night goggles etc. this kind of flying is very tricky. The Air Force has lost aircraft and crews. Without extensive training, knowledge and experience, it would be suicidal. Also note much terrain masking is flown at or below 500 (five hundred) feet above the terrain.
Q. Could the pilots have "shadowed" the SQ flight to hide its radar reflection?

Very unlikely. Military pilots trained in formation flying with midnight vision equipment and extensive formation flying training and experience in much more agile and maneuverable aircraft would be challenged; airline pilots without any of these would be courting a speedy death.
Q. What about satellites - and the "pings"?

According to a member with communications background, most reconnaissance satellites either pass overhead during their orbits, or are stationed over a specified location; the simultaneous intersection of an orbiting satellite and a flying aircraft is statistically nil unless foreknowledge and a high need to do this are present. The "parking" of a surveillance satellite over the Gulf of Thailand for strategic military purposes at the time of MH370's disappearance is unlikely. There is a finite number of very expensive surveillance satellites, their fuel for shifting orbit or position is limited and only used for high priority reasons.

The so-called pings between the Inmarsat satellite and MH370's ACARS system (which was turned off, but still in a "ready" or "standby" mode, awaiting activation, were hourly attempts by the satellite to "ping" and alert ACARS systems in the broad reception area the satellite was within range and ready to receive data. The aircraft's system seems to have replied with a ping of its own acknowledging it had received the incoming electronic "handshake" attempt. (See "ACARS" listings above.)

If three satellites had received the acknowledgement ping, triangulation would have been possible. A single satellite receiving those, as occurred, presents very limited ranging options - resulting in the infamous arcs delineating possible aircraft routines.

Two useful guides supplied by a member downstream:


"Pings" location probability, single satellite (member dtc)

Also see this video of the recent Australian Maritime Safety Authority press conference:

Q. What about the aircraft's range, speed and altitude? What do we know about those?

These depend on a number of factors including aircraft weight, fuel loaded, density altitude, etc. The best non-technical explanation may be the one posted by member CaptainMiles here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22548629-post2523.html.
Q. What about the 50 "blocked seats"? Doesn't that imply special cargo arrangements?

There has been no evidence of any blocked seats. The flight appears to have been undersold. Five booked passengers did not check in, four standby passengers were accommodated. The only unusual cargo were NiMH batteries that were, according to MH, packed and prepared safely.
Q. How many crew and passengers was MH370 carrying? Who were they?

Flight was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew from 14 different nationalities:
  • 153 Chinese people
  • 38 Malaysian people
  • 7 Indonesian people
  • 6 Australian people
  • 5 Indian people
  • 4 French people
  • 3 American people
  • 2 people each from New Zealand, Ukraine and Canada
  • One person each from Russia, Taiwan, Netherlands

  • Twenty employees of Austin, Texas technology company Freescale Semiconductor (12 Malysian and 8 Chinese) were going to attend a meeting
  • Nine pensioners returning home from a trip to Nepal
  • Two men - one confirmed as Iranian - travelling under stolen Italian and Austrian passports
  • 24 renown Chinese calligraphy artists and five staff (79-year-old Lou Baotang was particularly renowned)
  • Malaysian Mohd Sofuan Ibrahim was flying to Beijing to his new job at Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry there.
  • Norli Akmar Hamid, 33, and her husband Razahan Zamani, 24, from Malaysia were on a long-delayed honeymoon trip to Beijing. A relative told Malaysian state news agency BERNAMA that the couple planned the holiday after Ms Norli suffered a miscarriage.
  • IBM executive Philip Wood, 50, from Texas, traveling briefly to Beijing prior to beginning his new job in Malaysia
  • Mechanical engineer Paul Weeks of New Zealand moved to Perth, Australia after the Christchurch earthquakes. He gave his watch and wedding ring to his wife, Danica Weeks, for safekeeping and told her "If something should happen to me then the wedding ring should go to the first son that gets married and the watch to the second."
  • Ding Lijun, a Chinese construction worker, was making his first trip home to Beijing since leaving to work in Malaysia.
See official passenger manifest at airline website (PDF).
Q. What about the stolen passports issue and the two Iranians using them?

Two passengers listed on the manifest as Austrian and Italian, were apparently traveling on stolen passports. The true passport holders were not on the flight, are alive and well, and reported their passports stolen in Thailand within the last year or two, confirmed by their respective countries and Interpol. The true identities of these two passengers have been reported as 19 year old Iranian, Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad (no known terrorist connections), and the other 29 year old Iranian national Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza.

Both tickets were purchased one day before the flight as China Southern Airlines codeshares through a travel agent in Pattaya, Thailand. The tickets were numbered sequentially, but this would not be uncommon with codeshares and/or tickets issued by a travel agent. Neither required a Chinese visa as both were supposed to be transiting at Beijing and then Amsterdam, with Mehrdad ticketed KUL-PEK-AMS-FRA, and Reza flying KUL-PEK-AMS-CPH - EU passport holders can get a 72 hour Transit Without Visa permission on arrival at PEK.

A third passenger, listed on the manifest as Zhao Qiwei, appeared to be traveling on a forged Chinese passport. The holder of the genuine passport still has possession of the passport, has reportedly never traveled abroad, and is still at home in mainland China.
Q. Who were the crew of MH370? Did their backgrounds demonstrate obvious reasons for taking the aircraft

The 777 normally has two cockpit crew (Captain and First Officer); the two for this flight had not requested to be assigned together to MH370, according to Malaysia Airlines sources. NEW link to BBC "Who are the pilots of flight MH370?"

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a native of Penang and age 53, father of three grown children (his daughter Aishah lives in Melbourne, Australia) and a grandfather. He and his wife share an apartment in a gated community and a second home, which both were residing up to the day of the flight.

Capt. Zaharie joined Malysia Airlines in 1981 and had flown 18,365 hours, a very seasoned pilot. He was an avid pilot and taught others with his detailed cockpit simulator system (computer, three flat screens, control wheel with console and rudders, photos of instrument panels, - perhaps $5-10,000 of gear, not the $2 million quoted in some media) in his family's apartment, and was certified by Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation as a Simulator Test Examiner. He built and flew remotely controlled model airplanes; flying was his passion. He also was an avid chef who enjoyed cooking Penangite dishes, and has posted videos online showing people how to carry out home and appliance repairs (e.g. how to make air conditioners more efficient, waterproof window panes and repair a refrigerator icemaker). He also enjoyed twisting balloons into animal shapes.

He was active on social media sites (including aircraft sim and aircrew communities). Zaharie, a Muslim, was a subscriber to atheist Richard Dawkins's Foundation for Reason and Science site and English comedian Edward John "Eddie" Izzard; he was an avid supporter of the Democratic Action Party, and he volunteered his time with assistance to poor people and with Orang Alsi (traditional peoples) in remote native villages. His postings on social media lean toward a lack of sympathy for terrorists; he expressed his personal condolences to the victims of the Boston Marathon terror attack.

First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, 2,763 flight hours. has worked with MH seven years. He attended Langkawi Pilot School met his fiance, Air Asia pilot Capt. Nadira Ramli, 26, who is also the daughter of a Malaysian Airlines pilot; they have known each other nine years and were to be married. He had recently graduated to the cockpit of a Boeing 777 and was becoming fully qualified as a 777 First Officer. Fariq is one of five children of Abdul Hamid Mad Daud, deputy director in Selangor's civil service.
Q. Were any of the crew known to be involved in radical religious, political or other suspect activity?

Not at this time.

Capt. Zaharie was active in the Democratic Action Party of Malaysia, one of three opposition parties forming the Pakatan Rakyat or PK, or People’s Justice Party, coalition. Anwar Ibrahim, the nominal head of the coalition PK was sentenced to five years in jail on gay sex charges on March 7, provoking widescale condemnation across the country. Zaharie attended Mr. Ibrahim's trial; some media sources questioned whether Capt. Zaharie may have "radical" beliefs and have acted out as an anti-government protest, but to date no political message from either pilot has been made available if there was one.

Wikipedia: The Democratic Action Party, or DAP (Malay: Parti Tindakan Demokratik, Chinese: 民主行动党, Tamil: ஜனநாயக செயல் கட்சி), Jawi: حزب العمل الديمقراطي is a secular, multi-racial, social democratic Malaysian political party.

DAP is one of the three main opposition parties in Malaysia, along with the PKR and PAS, that are seen as electable alternatives to the Barisan Nasional coalition of parties. It is one of the component parties of Pakatan Rakyat (or known as People's Alliance). PK's leader has recently been sentenced for gay sex in a sentence many believe was politically motivated.

The party's vision is to establish a peaceful and prosperous social democracy that can unite its disparate races and diverse religions and cultures based on a Malaysian Malaysia concept of forging a Malaysian race grounded on universal moral values, offering equal access and opportunity, upholding democratic governance and the rule of law, creating wealth and distributing it equitably, and fighting corruption.
Further, the police have taken the simulator into custody for examination by experts; one official said the simulator programs seemed quite normal. Another source said they had found no links to any militant group and Zaharie. The US FBI is investigating data deleted from the hard drive o/a 7 Feb 2014.

As to First Officer Fariq, articles and photos from 2011 surfaced earlier this week from South African Jonti Roos, who flew with him on a short hop from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, allege Hamid and his pilot invited Ms. Roos and another South African woman to enjoy the cockpit with them - from before takeoff through landing - taking photos and asking them to stay in Kuala Lumpur so they could go out with them. Malaysian Airlines has stated this is a serious breach of MH rules and passengers are not allowed on the flight deck.

FO Farig has been identified as the speaker of MH370s final broadcast communication, to Subang Center: “All right, good night".

Imam Ahmad Sharafi Ali Asrah said he was a "good boy" and mild-mannered who attended occasional Islamic courses and occasionally played a form of indoor football soccer (futsal) with neighborhood children, even buying them sports shirts.

Police sources are said to be looking into the personal, political and religious backgrounds of both pilots, crew and even ground support staff. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is participating and is said to have not found any terrorist links from anyone so far.
Note: This information has been sourced from public media and social media sites and verified, but does not claim to be comprehensive nor to guarantee ultimate accuracy.


Resources posted are generally reliable and offer free access (you may be required to watch an advertisement).


BBC video: How ATC, transponders, "black boxes" and ACARS engine "health" data work.

YouTube Video Press Conference 15 Mar Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces latest findings at

BBC video: David Gleave, an aviation safety investigator from Loughborough University, said whoever did this would need considerable knowledge and expertise.


BBC online MH370 articles: Tabbed articles include:
  • Latest News
  • What we know (including Who was on board? When was the last contact made? Where did the jet disappear? Theories, etc.)
  • How planes are tracked.
  • Air mysteries (Flight MH370: 10 other mysterious aviation disasters)
  • Passengers' stories
The Aviation Herald offers a succinct summary of information about the disappearance of HM370


Nrg800 map showing possible runways within range, arc of ping transmission and range limit from last radio contact.
Note: Inmarsat and UK AAIB mathematically deduced the 777 flew to the southern reach of the arc.


Link to last known position and passenger composition graphic (Malaysian Insider)

Link to map of last reported location - FlightRadar24

Link to PBS Malaysia area radar coverage map
(post #2140)

Link to chart of South China Sea Wave Height/Direction for 13 Mar

Link to Indian Ocean Wave Height/Direction chart

Link to airspace control boundary map
(post #2006)

NOTE: Facts stated here are to the best of our knowledge and reliant on the accuracy of outside sources. Opinions are those of the FAQ writers and do not reflect any official position of FlyerTalk or Internet Brands.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 17 at 11:20 pm Reason: update / add / correct as necessary
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:03 am
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Last few minutes at the daily press conference - announcement that China has satellite images of a large piece of debris 30m x 22m in the southern corridor. China will release more information "in 2 hours".
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:14 am
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on BBC

22 March 2014 Last updated at 10:11 China checks new 'debris' images
China is investigating new satellite images of debris in the southern Indian Ocean, potentially from missing flight MH370, Malaysian officials say.

Malaysia's acting transport minister read out the news as he was handed it during at his daily briefing, saying the debris was 30m by 22m.

He said the Chinese government would give more details on Saturday.
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by holmedown View Post
on BBC

22 March 2014 Last updated at 10:11 China checks new 'debris' images
China is investigating new satellite images of debris in the southern Indian Ocean, potentially from missing flight MH370, Malaysian officials say.

Malaysia's acting transport minister read out the news as he was handed it during at his daily briefing, saying the debris was 30m by 22m.

He said the Chinese government would give more details on Saturday.
30m by 22m - is that too big to be a part of a 777?
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:22 am
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Yes it is. By quite a bit.

EDIT: Conceivably you could describe a 30m long piece of the tail that way, if both horizontal stabilizers were still intact, since the span of the stabilizers is 21.5m. But wouldn't they just describe that as a "30m long" piece?

Last edited by JonV; Mar 22, 14 at 5:32 am
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by Pook View Post
30m by 22m - is that too big to be a part of a 777?
Translation error - 13m x 22m
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:37 am
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Reuters has a shot of the actual note handed to the acting transport minister:

Source: https://twitter.com/ReutersAero/stat...14734816059392
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by Pook View Post
30m by 22m - is that too big to be a part of a 777?
Yes. I'm having deja vu; we did all this on 13 March, 9 days ago. Why would China suggest something this big could be debris from MH370? (Edit: 13 x 22m may be more reasonable.)

Here is a post from 13 March; others in the same part of the thread:
Originally Posted by djrez4 View Post
Looking at diagrams of B777 dimensions, I can't see a part of the plane that would be 22mx24m.
... images deleted in this quote but go to original post to see them...

Last edited by RadioGirl; Mar 22, 14 at 6:03 am Reason: removed extra posts
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Old Mar 22, 14, 5:51 am
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Translation error - 13m x 22m
BBC website linked above now says '22.5m by 13m'.
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Old Mar 22, 14, 6:02 am
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CCTV Twitter account has posted a pic of the new satellite image

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Old Mar 22, 14, 6:19 am
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Chinese satellite image was taken on last Tuesday

According to WSJ's article, the image was taken on March 18th
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Old Mar 22, 14, 6:22 am
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I did a bit of a Google search to see if I could come up with any information on the Chinese satellite that is providing these images and pretty much turned up nothing.

Does anyone know any info about this satellite? For example, what is the pixel resolution? What are the bands that are used? I would expect some sort of near infrared band being used in this case, as anything that's not water should be relatively easy to identify as being a foreign object.

Apologies, if this information has already found its way into the thread and I've missed it.
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Old Mar 22, 14, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by greg5 View Post
I did a bit of a Google search to see if I could come up with any information on the Chinese satellite that is providing these images and pretty much turned up nothing.

Does anyone know any info about this satellite? For example, what is the pixel resolution? What are the bands that are used? I would expect some sort of near infrared band being used in this case, as anything that's not water should be relatively easy to identify as being a foreign object.

Apologies, if this information has already found its way into the thread and I've missed it.
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Old Mar 22, 14, 6:31 am
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China's Xinhua state news agency said the latest satellite image (taken by the Gaofen-1 high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite of China's National Space Administration) was of objects about 120km from the area planes and vessels had been searching for debris in the southern Indian Ocean.


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Or try
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaofen_1 (in German)
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