Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Malaysia Flight 370

9M-MRO at Paris in 2011
This post will be updated to keep abreast of events so please revisit ... Latest update 21st April 2017

On 8th March 2014 at 16.41 UTC (7th March),  Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) - a Boeing 777-200ER (Registration 9M-MRO) - departed Kuala Lumpur (ICAO Location Indicator WMKK) bound for Beijing (ZBAA).

Depending on the precise route, this is a flight distance of around 2380 nautical miles and takes approximately 6 hours.  The aircraft would have been expected to reach Beijing by around 22.30 UTC (7th March).

At time 17.19 UTC (7th March) there was a final radio communication between Air Traffic Control and the aircraft.  Details of that communication were, after some delay, released by the Malaysian authorities - see Missing plane: pilots' conversations revealed.  It may be worth noting the non-standard phraseology used which did not readback the frequency to which the aircraft had been instructed to transfer.  (On phraseology see, for example, UK Civil Aviation Authority material).  As to who made the final transmission from the aircraft see the report in Telegraph 24th June where it is claimed that the voice was that of the aircraft's captain.

Shortly after this at 17.20 UTC (7th March), the aircraft's transponder
was deactivated with the effect that the secondary radar return of the aircraft was no longer visible to civil Air Traffic Control. At the time of "disappearance" the aircraft was north of the Malayan Peninsula - over the South China Sea en route toward Vietnam.  It appears that the aircraft's flight path was established to some extent by military primary radar indicating that, after it disappeared on civilian secondary radar, the aircraft turned left and re-crossed the Malaysian peninsula and, having done so, turned right to the north west and, later still, turned left to fly an arc to the south.  (For details of primary and secondary radar see here).


Wikipedia is building an interesting and detailed entry on this flight

Malaysian Airlines - Information on MH370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau  has a webpage devoted to Malaysian 370 and has a page of Updates and Reports

Malaysian Airports

Note on Time:

Very basically, UTC (Universal Time Constant) is the time at Greenwich, London - (formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time or GMT).  UTC is explained fully here.

Kuala Lumpur is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich.  Thus, 16.41 UTC on 7th March would be 00.41 on 8th March in Kuala Lumpur.

: Updates will be entered below :

21st April 2017:

BBC News - MH370: New analysis reiterates plane's likely location


24th March 2017:

The Week - Why did investigators search in the wrong area?

After closing their search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 investigators admitted they had been looking in the wrong location and the most recent data indicates the plane is most likely to the north of the previous search area.

19th January 2017:

BBC News - Is it likely that MH370 will ever be found  -  The deep-water search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been called off, without the plane being found.  There is an even greater chance now that we will never know what happened to those 239 people who boarded a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on 8 March 2014 and then vanished.

9th January 2017:

Stuff.co.nz - Report that the search is to end

11th November 2016:

Telegraph 2nd November 2016 - MH370: New report sugests plane dived rapidly and rejects 'controlled descent' theory


7th October 2016:

Debris found on Mauritius in May 2016 positively identified as a part of MH370

5th October 2016:

Australian Government - Australian Transport Safety Bureau - Operational Update

12th September 2016:

BBC News - MH370 search: New debris in Madagascar includes 'burnt parts'

25th July 2016:

Immarsat - Malaysian government publishes MH370 details from UK AAIB


CNN - Search to be suspended

The Week - Has search team been looking in the wrong place?

The Independent - MH370 pilot flew 'suicide route' on a simulator


8th March 2016:

BBC News - MH370 search: Investigators remain 'hopeful' on anniversary

21st October 2015:

Daily Mail - Is this Flight MH370?


23rd September 2015:

News.com.au reports MH370 search to revisit more than 30 sites previously ruled out


12th August 2015:

Daily Mail 12th August - Is this missing flight MH370?  Sonar has detected some objects on the floor of the Indian Ocean.  However, due to weather, it may be some time before a submersible can reach them.

7th August 2015:

Yahoo News - Plane window (and some other debris) found at Reunion

6th August 2015:

Statement of Malaysian Prime Minister

The flaperon found on Reunion Island has been confirmed to belong to MH370.

MH370: Can missing plane mystery now be solved?

Malaysian government publishes MH370 details from UK AAIB


30th July 2015:

BBC News - MH370 search: Malaysia urges caution on Reunion debris find

Ocean Motion and Surface Currents

29th July 2015:

Telegraph - Wreckage found on Reunion matches Malaysia airlines flight

Information about REUNION ISLAND

30th June 2015:

Flight Global - Feature - Senior 777 Captain calculates MH370 crash site - according to this, the site is at S38.082 E87.400 - might be an idea to actually look there ?


11th June 2015:

Mirror 11th June 2015- Malaysia Airlines Flight came down nose first

Sydney Morning Herald 11th June 2015 - Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 nosedived into Indian Ocean, Dr Goong Chen says


12th March 2015:

Air Traffic Management 8th March - One year on: MH370 interim report published


6th March 2015:

The Week - MH370 pilot carried out final flypast of Penang

3rd March 2015:

Huffington Post - Missing Malaysia airlines flight mystery 'solved' by British Boeing 777 pilot Simon Hardy

23rd February 2015:

Daily Mail - Missing MH370 Data strongly suggests MH370 deliberately flown off course towards Antarctica, experts tell new documentary


6th February 2015:

Inquisitr - Theory that missing plane may have actually landed once again gains ground

29th January 2015:

Disappearance of MH370 officially an accident ... Daily Mail 29th January

8th January 2015:

The question of getting aircraft to automatically report their position periodically is being addressed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and will be part of the 2nd High Level Safety Conference to be held in Montreal in February 2015.

International Business Times - The latest on MH370: with eyes on Air Asia 8501, search for missing plane continues

11th October:

Mail Online - MH370 was under control, probably until the very end: Emirates CEO Sir Tim Clark reveals doubt over official view of missing airliner's fate

6th October:

The Independent - Search for MH370 - Officials cautiously optimistic as new phase begins in Indian Ocean

8th September

BBC World Asia - Missing Malaysian plane - What we know

6th September:

MH370: Seabed search spots unidentified 'Hard Objects' six months after aircraft disappeared

21st August:

Inquisitr - Conspiracy theories - what may have happened to MH370

15th August:

Daily Mail 15th August - Inside the desperate search for MH370

Daily Mail 14th August - Mystery as £20,000 in cash is withdrawn from accounts of four passengers who went down with ... MH370


22nd July:

In a completely separate incident, disaster struck Malaysian Airlines again on 17th July when their flight (MH 17) from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down as it crossed over Ukraine - The Guardian 17th July 2014.  298 people were killed. 

30th June (Australian investigation):

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau  has a webpage devoted to Malaysian 370.

Latest search areas to the west of Australia ..


30th June (news items):


Sydney Morning Herald 30th June - MH370 power outage linked to possible hijacking attempt

BBC News 26th June - World (Asia) - Missing Malaysia plance: What we know - Looks at the identification of a new search area in the Indian Ocean.

Daily Mail 30th June - Was MH370's cockpit tampered with? Australian investigators discover evidence of mysterious power outage during early part of flight

22nd June:

DOCUMENTARY - Missing Flight MH370

29th May:

The Guardian - MH370 not in the Indian Ocean search zone, authorities say

Daily mail - 'Pings' not MH370 ....

28th May:

Daily Mail - Could this image finally locate flight MH370? - Better mapping of the Indian Ocean bed to the south west of Australia might assist in finding the missing aeroplane


27th May:

The Telegraph - Data used to determine path of missing Malaysian flight released

23rd May:

The week - Mystery cargo continues to raise questions ...

Mail Online - So what have they been searching for?

5th May:

The Guardian - MH 370: Satellite data will be rechecked and search on ocean floor widened

26th April:

BBC News Asia - 122 objects spotted

23rd April:

Daily Mail 23rd April - Pieces of wreckage from MH370 may have been washed ashore .... (near Augusta - south west corner of Australia)

19th April:

The Telegraph - MH370: Search for missing jet reaches 'critical' stage

11th April:

BBC News Asia - Missing plane MH370: Abbott 'confident' over signals

8th April:

BBC - Search for MH370 switches underwater


7th April:

The Guardian - MH370: black box-type signals picked up twice by Australia's Ocean Shield

5th April:

Chinese patrol ship detects pulse signal - The Guardian... and see Daily Mail 6th April.

2nd April:

British submarine joins hunt for missing plane

1st April:

Missing plane: Pilots' conversations revealed

31st March:

Daily Mail - Revealed - Last words from MH370 - "Goodnight, Malaysian 370"


29th March:

Express - Expanded search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane wreckage may be a success


28th March:

The Guardian - MH370: Search zone moved as new fuel theory emerges

BBC News Asia - 'Objects spotted' in new search area

27th March:

The Guardian - MH370: Scanners reach search HQ as crews pin hopes on new satellite images

26th March: 

Telegraph - Black box may have wiped out crucial moments of doomed flight - This article states that litigation has been commenced in the USA against Boeing and Malaysian Airlines.  The reference to the "black box" must refer to the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

The Guardian - MH370: 122 objects spotted in Indian Ocean are ' most credible lead yet'


25th March:

Bad weather prevented further searching - BBC News

Malaysian airliner path ultimately tracked by satellite pings' Doppler shift - Ars Technica 24th Marc.  The Doppler effect has numerous applications including in aviation.

Update Monday 24th March:

The Malaysian Prime Minister announced that MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean - BBC 24th March.  The aircraft was equipped with technology supplied by British company Immarsat and this enabled the most probable flight path of the aircraft to be analysed - see Telegraph 24th March - How British satellite company Immarsat tracked down MH370.

The Immarsat 3-F1 satellite is in a geostationary orbit over the Indian Ocean - see here.

The United Kingdom's Air Accident Investigation Branch worked with Immarsat - see the AAIB Press Release.


The fact of a crash in the ocean may be confirmed if floating debris is definitely identified as belonging to the missing aircraft. 

The causes for the disappearing secondary radar, the aircraft turning westwards (and, it seems, later southwards) remain unknown.

Daily Mail 24th March - Missing flight 370 'fell to 12000 ft after cabin emergency ...- according to this report, the aircraft turned left and, at some point, descended to 12000 ft.   This raises the possibility that some form of emergency occurred - e.g. decompression.  However, this is just a theory at this time.

Reports after 18th March:

Reports of interest will be added as they become available

22nd March - The Guardian - MH370: Chinese satellite spots potential debris

22nd March - Daily Mail - Missing jet WAS carrying lithium batteries - "Malaysian Airlines today confirmed that flight MH370 had been carrying highly flammable lithium-ion batteries in its cargo hold, re-igniting speculation that a fire may have caused its disappearance.  The admission by CEO Ahmad Jauhari comes four days after he denied the aircraft was carrying any dangerous items and nearly two weeks after the plane went missing."

In 2013, the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) moved towards restricting carriage of lithium ion batteries - see ICAO 13th February 2013

See also IATA - Lithium Batteries

For more on Lithium batteries see Civil Aviation Authority Aviation regulators launch lithium battery safety guides

21st March - The Guardian - search to the SW of Australia has not found wreckage


20th March - The Independent - The best lead so far ...

20th March - Daily Mail - Possibility that object seen in sea to WSW of Australia may be part of MH370 - images from satellites were taken on 16th March


19th March - Telegraph -  MH370: Maldives Islanders claim to have spotted 'low flying jet'

19th March BBC News Asia - Malaysia missing plane: China widens ship search 

19th March The Guardian - MH370: plane search sweeps far to north and south of equator

Some Media Reports up to 18th March:

Timeline of MH370 disappearance 

Independent 18th March - Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Confusion deepens over 'missing 30 minutes' at heart of mystery engulfing stricken jet

Daily Mail 17th March - Two million square miles to be searched, 26 countries involved ....

Telegraph 16th March - MH370: pilot's 'calm' last words said after plane seized

Daily Mail 15th March - Democracy is dead - fanatical missing airline pilot ....

The Guardian 15th March - Diversion of MH370 - deliberate act, says Malaysian PM

14th March - Independent -  Satellite "pings" sent five hours after contact was lost ....




A Federal Aviation Agency Airworthiness Directive:

In the absence of finding the aircraft, it is not clear whether this Airworthiness Directive is relevant to this particular aircraft.  The Directive refers to a possibility of fatigue cracks in the skin. Undetected fatigue cracks can grow and cause sudden decompression of the airplane.

3 comments:

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  2. Dear ObiterJ,
    I take the liberty of writing to you, since you have taken an interest in and displayed your expertise in a topic that has my current attention.
    Is there a way to contact you, eg via email or telephone to follow up?
    Thanks in advance and kind regards,
    JP

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