Missing Malaysian Airlines jet search - As It Happened

The investigators reportedly piloted an identical Boeing 777-200 on the missing plane`s suspected flight path to find the possible direction in which the flight had travelled, a senior Malaysian military official said Sunday

Zee Media Bureau/ Neha Attre and Himanshu Kapoor

6:30 am: Authorities probing pilot’s hand in the suspected hijack of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight

According to reports, the commander of the missing Malaysia Airline jet Captain Zaharie Afmed Shah had said that there were no problems inside the plane. He also gave all-clear minutes after the transponders were shutdown.

Malaysian authorities are now probing the behavioral pattern before he took the flight.

2:30 am: No trace of missing Malaysian plane, says Pakistan

Rubbishing US media reports suggesting missing Malaysian plane was taken to Pakistan, Islamabad said Sunday that its radar network had no information about the aircraft, but the country is ready to share any information if it is available, Xinhua reported.

The comments came from the Pakistani foreign ministry after Malaysian government asked 25 countries, including Pakistan, for assistance as the search for the missing jetliner continued Sunday.

8:06 pm: Hunt for missing jet widens

Malaysian investigators examined a flight simulator found at the home of the pilot of the missing jetliner while probing hijacking, sabotage and terrorism angles as search operations expanded to large tracts of land and sea covering 11 countries, including India.

The mystery of the missing Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing since March 8 continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets, PTI reported.

5:46 pm: Malaysia seeks India`s help

Malaysian Premier Najib Razak today called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought India`s help in tracing the missing flight MH370 that went missing with 239 people aboard over a week ago.

Malaysian investigators suspect that the communication system in the aircraft was "deliberately disabled" and its transponder switched off before it vanished.

Awaiting fresh instructions from Malaysian authorities, India had put on hold its search operations for the missing airliner.

5:21 pm: China slams Malaysia, US over handling of lost plane

China accused Malaysia and the US of "squandering" away time and asked them to be more "open and forthcoming" in sharing vital information about the missing plane after the Malaysian Prime Minister said the plane might have flown beyond the search area.

"It is undeniable that the disclosure of such vital information is painfully belated, more than seven excruciating days after the 227 passengers and 12 crew members lost contact with their beloved relatives and friends," state-run Xinhua said in a commentary, PTI reported.

4:00 pm: Still waiting to get information on passengers, says Malaysian Police

The Malaysian police said that they are still waiting for some countries to send background checks on passengers who were on a missing Malaysia Airlines, as per Reuters report.

They are also investigating the ground staff at the airport.

3:50 pm: Pakistan denies hiding missing jet

The Pakistan government has denied media reports that said the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines jetliner, with 239 passenegers and crew on board, might be hidden somewhere in Pakistan, IANS reported.

3:40 pm: Malaysia asks for international help

Malaysia asked for international help to look for the missing jet as it expands its search operation across two hemispheres, as per Reuters report.

It will now search for the plane across two corridors from the Caspian Sea to the southern Indian Ocean.

3:30 pm: Still probing possible options of hijack and psychological problem, says Malayian Transport Minister

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Sunday said that authorities are still investigating four possible motive behind the disappearance of the flight - hijack, sabotage, personal problem and psychological problem.

Hussein further said that police has visited the house of both pilot and co-pilot and clarified that neither of the two asked to work with the other.

He said that the search operation has reached a new phase and details will be released after being confirmed.

The minister said that 25 countries are involved in the search operation on both land and sea. Satellite data has been requested from US, China and France for further investigation, he said.

3:05 pm: Families of missing jet`s passengers still looking for answers

The families of the passengers on the missing plane are still looking for answers after several theories including pilot suicide and hijacking have emerged.

While some are praying for the safety of their family members and friends, others are still waiting to know as to what happened to them.

2:30 pm: Friends defend pilots of the missing flight

Friends of the pilots of the missing Malaysian Airlines jet said that while Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was an engineering buff, co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid was a `good` boy, as per an AFP news report.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and is praised as a passionate pilot who has logged 18,365 hours of flying time at work and still more at home on his sophisticated simulator.

An Australian television report made waves this week by broadcasting an interview with a young South African woman who said Fariq and another pilot colleague invited them into the cockpit of a flight he co-piloted from Phuket, Thailand to Kuala Lumpur in 2011.

1:00 pm: China criticises Malaysia

China criticised Malaysia`s handling of probe in the missing aircraft case and said that it wasted crucial time by releasing information related to the disappearance a week after the incident took place, as per an AFP news report.

12:30 pm: Malaysian police examining pilot`s flight simulator

The Malaysian police are now investigating the flight simulators recovered from the home of the pilot of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, AP reported.

However, they said that it is too soon to conclude anything.

11:45 am: Investigators re-trace missing flight`s path

The investigators piloted an identical Boeing 777-200 on the missing plane`s suspected flight path to find the possible direction in which the flight had travelled, a senior Malaysian military official said Sunday, according to an AFP report.

The findings reportedly revealed that the missing flight had turned from its intended path across the South China Sea, doubled back across Malaysia, and then veered northwest toward the Andaman Sea.

10:45 am: Uighur separatist movement behind disappearance of jet?

The Malaysian authorities are now looking at an email sent by a 35-year-old man from Uighur, China`s troubled autonomous Muslim province, who was also flying on the Malaysia airlines flight, ANI reported.

The email, which was earlier dismissed, is now being probed.

An email was reportedly sent to a journalist by suspected Uighur separatist movement representatives who claimed responsibility for the flight`s disappearance.

10:00 am: `Pilots suspected to be behind Malaysia Airlines jet`s disappearance`

US intelligence officials believe that the pilots of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are suspected to be behind the disappearance of the missing jet, as per CNN report.

The houses of both pilot and co-pilot were searched and it is suspected that one of them or both could be behind the disappearance of the jet.

9:00 am: Malaysian Airlines plane suspected to hijacked for 9/11-type attack in India, tweets Strobe Talbott

Strobe Talbott, foreign policy analyst and former US deputy secretary of state, tweeted the possibility of hijackers using the missing Malaysian Airlines plane for a 9/11-type terror attack in India.

8:15 am: Malaysia launches criminal investigation

Criminal investigation has been launched after Malaysian PM Najib Razak said that the missing plane was deliberately diverted from the route and its communication systems were switched off, the AFP reported.

The plane flew for hours after losing contact and is believed to have flown westward.

8:00 am: India suspends search operation

India suspended the search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on Malaysia`s request which wants to re-evaluate the strategy for the ongoing operation.

Indian Navy ships, planes and helicopters were searching the Andaman Sea islands and Bay of Bengal area for clues related to the missing plane.