Malaysia Airlines jet search: As it happened on Tuesday

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 01:30

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha and Sushmita Dutta

11:55 pm: Malaysia says may sue over `false` MH370 media reports

Malaysia`s authoritarian government, which has been under harsh global scrutiny over the handling of its missing-plane drama, said that it would compile "false" media reports over the crisis and consider filing lawsuits.

Transport and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on his Twitter feed the country`s attorney general had been instructed to "compile evidence and advise" on possible legal action.

8:30 pm: Only 43% of Malaysians content with MH370 handling, says poll

Just 43 per cent of Malaysians are satisfied with their government`s handling of the missing-plane mystery while 50 per cent are dissatisfied, according to a survey released today.

The Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, Malaysia`s leading polling firm, said the survey of more than 1,000 people was conducted from March 13 to 20.

Since that time, however, there has been rising anger among Malaysians against Chinese and other criticism over the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

7:20 pm: MH370 shows need for better aircraft tracking, says IATA

Malaysia`s missing jet tragedy illustrates the needs to improve in-flight tracking of passenger aircraft, the International Air Travel Association (IATA) said today, adding: "We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish."

"MH370 has highlighted the need to improve our tracking of aircraft in flight," Tony Tyler, head of the airline industry trade body, said in a statement.

5:00 pm: Malaysian jet search most challenging ever, says Australian search chief

Angus Houston, chief of Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC)said that the search operations for the Malaysian jet MH370 were the most complex and challenging ever and could take weeks.

4:51 pm: Malaysia plane transcript `normal`, lengthy search ahead

There was "nothing abnormal" in the final communication between the pilots of crashed Malaysian jet and air traffic control, authorities said today as Australia warned the search for wreckage of the ill-fated plane could be long and frustrating.

The full transcript of Flight MH370 released by Malaysian authorities confirmed that the final sign off was "Good Night Malaysian Three Seven Zero" not the casual "All Right Good Night" as earlier reported.

4:10 pm: Australia to deploy Boeing jet as flying air traffic controller

Australian search chief Angus Houston said that a modified Boeing 737 aircraft will be deployed as a flying air traffic controller over the search area in the Indian Ocean so as to avert any collision among the aircraft involved in the mission.

The AMSA tweeted that the RAAF E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft was on its way.

3:10 pm: Weather marginal; ships face rough seas

Further complicating the hunt for the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, weather is deteriorating in the search area. The AMSA tweeted that the ships had to face rough seas and strong gales. However, the weather is expected to ease in next 24 hours.

2:25 pm: Malaysia releases cockpit transcript

Having corrected its earlier account of last words heard from the cockpit of the ill-fated jet`s cockpit, Malaysia on Tuesday released the transcript, saying there was nothing "abnormal" with it, reported the AFP.

It may be noted that the fresh version of last words from cockpit is - "Good Night Malaysian 370" and not "All Right Good Night" as suggested earlier.

1:40 pm: US court threatens sanctions on firm that filed lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines

A US law firm`s move to file a million-dollar lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines and Boeing Co fell flat as the Illinois Court rejected the petition and instead threatened to slap sanctions against it for its "improperly brought" petitions, reported the Reuters.

The law firm named Ribbeck Law Chartered filed the lawsuit in Illinois Circuit Court seeking documents from the two companies (MAS)and Boeing last week for possible design defects that might have led to the crash.

However, judge Kathy Flanagan slammed the petition citing the law firm`s similar motions moved earlier without any base.

"Despite these orders, the same law firm has proceeded, yet again, with the filing of the instant petition, knowing full well that there is no basis to do so," Ms Flanagan was quoted as saying by the Reuters.

"Should this law firm choose to do so, the court will impose sanctions on its own motion."

12:20 pm: `No debris so far`

Despite a bunch of satellite images showing possible plane debris from MH370, Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center today clarified that no debris related to the missing Malaysian jet has been collected so far, the CCTV news reported.

So far, the satellite images from China, France, Vietnam, Australia and Thailand have flashed what seemed like possible debris from the missing jet, but none were retrieved in the Indian Ocean search area despite an array of hi-tech ships and planes in the action for search.

11:00 am: Clock ticking for search of black box

The black box of the ill-fated plane could go silent in few days as experts say the batteries of the flight recorders may expire in days or might already be dead.

One of the experts, Robert Francis, a former head of US National Transportation Safety board, said that the chances of black box detection were "enormously remote".

“I think the finding of those recorders ultimately is very, very slim,” Francis said on CNN.

10:30 am: `Search could drag on for long`

Saying that scouring the vast search area was extremely difficult, Australian search and recovery chief Angus Houston stated that the search could drag on for long time as the search area was vast (the size of Ireland).

"This is not something that could be resolved in the next few weeks," he said.
10:20 am: Australian search chief holds press conference

Former Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston, who is leading the coordination of the international search effort for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, is addressing a news conference regarding the hunt operations.

Houston said that the main priority was to find any debris or wreckage, failing which they would later decide the next course of action.

9:00 am: Last words from Malaysia Airlines cockpit were not `all right, good night`

Modifying the details provided earlier, the Malaysian government has given a fresh account of what were the last words heard from the cockpit of the MH370 jet.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that the last words spoken were "Good night Malaysian three seven zero" - and not "all right, good night" as reported earlier.

"We would like to confirm that the last conversation in the transcript between the air traffic controller and the cockpit is at 0119 (Malaysian time) and is `Good night Malaysian three seven zero`," the aviation department said in a statement.

The correction by the Malaysian government comes after four weeks of the plane`s disappearance and will further add to the scathing criticism heaped on it by the kins of Chinese passengers.

Malaysian government has been accused of cover-up, wasting the precious search time and also hiding the facts.
He added that it was not yet sure whether the pilot or co-pilot spoke the words and it will be decided by forensic probe.

8:30 am: 11 planes, nine ships roped in for today`s search

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has informed that today`s search will involve ten military planes, one civilian jet and nine ships. Also, the AMSA has marked a search area of about 120,000 square kilometres, west of Perth to hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Of ten military planes — two are Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orions, two Malaysian C-130s, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon, a Japanese Gulfstream jet, a Republic of Korea P3 Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 and a Japanese P3 Orion. Also, a civil jet will provide communications relay.



First Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 09:07

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