Malaysia Airlines flight search: As it happened on Wednesday

The Malaysian Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said that certain information has been deleted from the flight simulator which was recovered from the residence of pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

By Neha Attre | Updated: Mar 19, 2014, 23:55 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Neha Attre

9:00 pm: Malaysia seeks FBI help

After Malaysian Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said that certain information has been deleted from the flight simulator which was recovered from the residence of pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, the authorities have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help in recovering data.

The Malaysian authorities have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help in recovering data that was deleted from a home flight simulator belonging to one of the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, in the hope that it will provide some clue to what happened to the plane.

Providing more details, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said, "All game logs on the Boeing-777 simulator built by the pilot of the Malaysian Airline MH370, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, were deleted on February 3 this year, over a month before the plane went missing."

"Our forensic experts, including those from cybersecurity, Malaysia Airlines and foreign experts are working to restore the erased data logs in the flight simulator," he said.

Malaysian authorities had earlier dismantled the simulator and reassembled it to analyse its data, hoping to find something that could give insight into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8 with 239 people, including five Indians, aboard.

7:05 pm: Missing plane roils Malaysian politics

It took more than a week, but both sides of Malaysia`s bitterly contested political divide are now sparring over the disappearance and hunt for the missing jetliner, a possible distraction for a government already under fire for its handling of the crisis.

The opposition is attacking the government, relishing in the international criticism that has been directed at leaders unused to such scrutiny. Pro-government blogs are focusing on the pilot`s support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, hoping that suspicions against the former will discredit the latter, an Associated Press report said.

5:35 pm: Search for missing plane narrowed down by Australia

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Wednesday that the search operation for the Malaysian airliner that went missing March 8 is being conducted in a smaller area closer to the Western Australian coast, the IANS reported.

The development reportedly comes after the search operation conducted by Australia Tuesday found no result relevant to the missing passenger jet.

5:15 pm: Relatives of jet`s passengers dragged away from news conference

Angry Chinese relatives of passengers on a missing Malaysia Airlines plane burst into a media centre near Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, unfurling a banner protesting Malaysia`s handling of the crisis until they were bundled out by security, the AFP reported.

Amid chaotic scenes, the relatives were besieged by camera-wielding reporters awaiting the start of a daily press briefing by Malaysian officials on the search for the missing aircraft.

Shouting and crying, they unfurled a banner that accused the Malaysian authorities of withholding information and not doing enough to find the plane.

4:05 pm: Missing aircraft`s pieces found floating on Andhra coast?

Pieces of what is suspected to be an aircraft were seen washed up on Andhra coast Wednesday, a Telugu television channel reported, as per IANS news report.

However, there was no confirmation from any official if the objects seen floating were indeed pieces of an aircraft.

3:15 pm: Some data deleted from flight simulator, says Malaysian Transport Minister

The Malaysian Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said that certain information has been deleted from the flight simulator which was recovered from the residence of pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

He added that forensic experts are working on retrieving the deleted data.

Hussein also said that the reports of sighting of Malaysian plane over Maldives are untrue.

Commenting on the background check of the crew and passengers, Hussein said that “no information of significance” has been found and that except Ukraine and Russia, all other countries have given the information.

2:30 pm: UAE joins search for the missing plane

The UAE Armed Forces have joined multinational search operations to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, amid deepening mystery over the sudden disappearance of the plane carrying 239 people on March 8, the PTI reported.

The UAE is reportedly using two search aircraft in the multinational operation, which covers a zone stretching south over the Indian Ocean to Australia and north over an area extending to the south and central Asia, said state-run news agency Wam, citing a source at the General Headquarters.

2:00 pm: Plane did not enter our territory, says China

China has not yet found any sign a missing Malaysian Airlines jet entered in its territory, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

1:00 pm: Missing Malaysian jet in southern Indian Ocean?

Investigators are suspecting that the missing Malaysian jet may have flown into southern Indian Ocean, Reuters reported.

"The working assumption is that it went south, and furthermore that it went to the southern end of that corridor," the Reuters quoted the source who was referring to a search area stretching from west of Indonesia to the Indian Ocean west of Australia.

12:20 pm: No trace of missing plane in southern Indian Ocean

Australian and American planes drew a blank Wednesday on the first full day of a search across a vast tract of the southern Indian Ocean for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the AFP reported.

Authorities in Kuala Lumpur on Monday asked Canberra to take responsibility for the "southern vector" of the operation to locate the Boeing 777, the report stated.

11:00 am: China deploys ships to search new areas

Soon after Thai authorities claimed to have detected an `unknown aircraft` suspected to be the missing Malaysia Airlines plane on radar, China has launched its ships in the water to search for the plane.

China has reportedly sent nine ships to search the waters of south-east of Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia for the missing plane.

10:30 am: Hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines plane reaches deadlock?

Investigations into the mystery of a missing Malaysian jet appeared to be at a deadlock on Wednesday, with no conclusive evidence of foul play and doubts whether nations would share military tracking data that could show where the plane may have headed, the Reuters reported.
Eleven days have passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing, and 26 nations are struggling to search for the airliner over an area more than two-thirds the size of the continental United States, the report stated.

10:00 am: Maldives islanders claim to have seen the missing plane

Several residents of Dhaalu Atoll island in Maldives have reportedly claimed that they saw a jet flying at an extremely low altitude above the island around seven hours after the plane disappeared.

The residents said that they saw a plane flying at such low height that even it`s doors could be easily sighted from the homes, as per news report.

However, the authorities are yet to confirm if it is the same plane.

9:15 am: Indian techie finds satellite images of missing plane?

A Hyderabad IT analyst, Anoop Madhav Yeggina, might have reportedly stumbled on crucial clue related to the missing plane.

Yeggina has claimed to have found the probable satellite image of the missing plane flying at a low altitude over Andaman Islands on March 8, a leading Indian newspaper reported.

The image was also posted on CNN along with a write-up by the techie on March 14.

The 29-year-old is one of the hundreds of people who are looking for clues related to the missing plane.

Meanwhile, a university student from Taiwan has also claimed to have found image of the missing plane which are yet to be verified by the authorities, news reports stated.

8:45 am: Missing plane might have appeared on our radar: Thailand military

In what could be a possible lead in the missing jet search, the Thailand military has claimed that the missing plane might have appeared on the radar 10 days ago.

The unidentified plane was seen on the radar minutes after the transponder of the plane was turned off. However, the “radar blips” were not reported as the authorities did not pay attention to it.

The Thai authorities are now suspecting that the unidentified plane could be the missing Malaysia

8:30 am: Relatives of Chinese passengers threaten hunger strike

Still clueless about the fate of their family members, the relatives of the Chinese passengers who were travelling on the plane have threatened to go on hunger strike, the BBC reported.

The threat was reportedly made after the Chinese relatives met the Malaysian Airlines officials and claimed that accurate information is being withheld from them.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein while addressing a press conference on Tuesday had said that there is no politics involved in the missing flight.

The plane vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board and their have been several theories related to the missing plane since then.
8:00 am: `Missing Malaysia Airlines plane didn`t land at Indian Ocean base in US`

The US has ruled out the possibility that the missing plane had landed at its Indian Ocean base in Diego Garcia, as per PTI news report.

The clarification was issued by the White house after media reports in China claimed the same.

To intensify the search for the missing plane, the US Navy is now repositioning the P-8A`s Poseidon to Perth, Australia to conduct searches along the southern corridor.