Missing MH370: Malaysia face fresh criticism after release of full transcript

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:59

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia on Tuesday came under fresh criticism from aviation experts after it released the full transcript of the communications between flight MH370 and air traffic control, 24 days after the plane vanished mysteriously.

The transcript shows the last voice transmission from the doomed Boeing 777-200 plane was "Good night Malaysian three- seven-zero," not the "All right, good night" transmission authorities had previously used.

It is not clear why the official account has changed now.

Many frustrated family members of those on board the crashed plane have already been accusing officials of mishandling the search, and the latest change may add to their mistrust of the Malaysian authorities.
The plane with 239 people onboard disappeared over the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam on March 8, after signing off with Malaysian controllers but before checking in with their counterparts in Vietnam.

Authorities do not know what happened on board after that, but radar and satellite data show the plane turned off course and flew back across Malaysia before turning south over the Indian Ocean.

That Malaysian authorities had given such an incorrect version earlier this month and allowed it to stand uncorrected for weeks undermines confidence in the investigation, air accident investigation experts said.

"High criticism is in order at this point," said Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general for the US Department of Transportation.

Malaysian officials have defended their work. Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein recently said, "History will judge us well."
But Michael Goldfarb, a former chief of staff at the Federal Aviation Administration, said people following the investigation "haven`t had a straight, clear word that we can have a lot of fidelity in."

"We have the tragedy of the crash, we have the tragedy of an investigation gone awry and then we have questions about where we go from here," he said.

After refocusing their search on March 28 to a new patch of Indian Ocean hundreds of kilometers from where they had been looking, authorities still have yet to find anything definitively linked to the missing plane.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:59

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