Search for Malaysian plane: As it happened

The Transport Minister says Malaysia has “nothing to hide” and all efforts are being made to find the missing aircraft, including sharing of raw radar data with the US and China.

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar and Himanshu Kapoor

Malaysia time 2:10 am/11:40 pm IST: According to fresh information, new search area may be opened in Indian Ocean" for Malaysia Flight 370, White House says - reported CNN.

Malaysia time 12:32 am/10:02 pm IST: Aviation source have told CNN that no tech data from missing plane suggests that plane kept flying for four hours after transponder contact lost.

Malaysia time 11:52 pm/9:22 pm IST: ABC news reported that US officials have “indications” that the flight MH370 crashed in the Indian Ocean. The officials told the news channel that USS Kidd is moving to the area to begin searching for the missing plane.

A senior Pentagon official said that it will take another 24 hours to move the ship into position.

Malaysia time 11:27 pm/8:57 pm IST: China`s Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to continue search efforts for the missing MH370 flight "as long as there is a glimmer of hope".

Malaysia time 11:16 pm/8:46 pm IST: Latest reports are coming in suggesting that the missing Malaysian jet may have flown without the beacon on.

Malaysia time 9:49 pm/7:19 pm IST: PTI reported that after stepping up search operation for the missing flight MH370, Indian Air Force has now deployed C-130J aircraft to join the efforts to trace the plane.

Malaysia time 8:59 pm/6:29 pm IST: A theory on the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines plane by an undergraduate from Stanford University in California has gone viral on the internet.

Andrew Aude, 20, a student of computer science, in his Tumblr post mentioned a 2013 US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Airworthiness Directive for the Boeing 777, the aircraft that was operating the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which spotted a weakness in the plane, The Strait Times reported Wednesday, according IANS report.

Malaysia time 8:23 pm/5:52 pm IST: India has deployed three warships along with four surveillance aircraft including the latest P-8I anti-submarine warfare plane in the search operations, PTI report.

Malaysia time 8:01 pm/5:31 pm IST: Vasthu Shastra expert Yuvaraj Sowma has also joined in the search efforts.

Yuvaraj Sowma, a Chennai-based astrologer and Vasthu Shastra expert, told the Malaysian Star Wednesday that he was making the prediction based on the current alignment of the planets, the sun and stars, IANS reported.

According to Sowma, a seventh generation astrologer, the aircraft went missing on an inauspicious day - Saturday - which was an Ashtami, the eighth day of the Hindu lunar calendar.

Malaysia time 7:35 pm/5:05 pm IST: After denying reports about the missing flight MH370, the officials of Malaysia Airlines said that the search efforts will continue to be focused on the South China Sea.

Malaysia time 6:10 pm/3:45 pm IST: The Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur now says that the publication of satellite image was an `accident` and was not endorsed by government, reports the Strait Times.

Malaysia time 6 pm/3:35 pm IST: Malaysian authorities now say that contact with the aircraft was lost after Malaysia air traffic control transferred control to their Vietnamese counterparts.

Authorities also said that no distress signal was recorded at all from MH370.

Malaysia time 5: 50 pm/3:25 IST: "There is no real precedent for a case like this. The plane vanished," says Hishammuddin.

Malaysia Airlines CEO has rubbished the report that the engines of MH37 continued to send data to Boeing even after it disappeared from the radar.

“No signals have been received from the missing MH370 aircraft since it disappeared,” he said.

Malaysia time 5: 45 pm/3:20 IST: The Transport Minister says Malaysia has “nothing to hide” and all efforts are being made to find the missing aircraft, including sharing of raw radar data with the US and China.

Hishammuddin also confirmed that police have not searched the homes of the pilots of MH370.

Malaysia time 5: 40 pm/3:15 pm IST: Malaysia Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein terms reports of missing MH370 having flown for four hours from its last reports position as “inaccurate”.

All leads are being investigated with the focus still remained South China Sea, adds Hishammuddin.

Malaysia time 5:20 pm /3 pm IST: Three Indian ships and one aircraft to join search for missing Malaysia Airlines MH370.

Malaysia time 4:50 pm /2:25 pm: The WSJ report on the missing plane MH370 having flow close to four hours after it went off the radar has opened up new possibilities on its fate. A four hour journey - at air speed of 480 knots - from its last reported location over South China Sea, theoretically, can take the plane as far as 2,200 nautical miles or 4000 kilometres.

Perth in Australia, most locations in India including New Delhi, South Korea and Japan borders, even Pakistan can be reached within that distance. Also, the plane could have gone as far as Beijing – its scheduled destination - within mainland China.

Malaysia time 3:45 pm/1:30 pm IST: India`s defence ministry has instructed the joint command on the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands to deploy ships, aircraft and helicopters to search for MH370, a command spokesman Harmeet Singh said.

Malaysia time 3:00 pm/12:45 pm IST: The Royal Malaysia Police has denied that it is focusing the probe on one of the MH370 crew members and a Chinese national of Uighur descent, Malaysian daily The Star reported.

Malaysia time 1:55 pm/11:30 pm IST: The Wall Street Journal has quoted US investigators as saying that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane flew for four hours after the Air Traffic Control lost contact with it.

The reports says the Boeing 777 had continued to send data on engine performance to its maker Rolls-Royce long after the the plane went `missing`.

Malaysia time 1:20 pm/11 am IST: Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman says no plane debris has been found at the spot identified in Chinese satellite images. Vietnamese authorities have also said that they too had thoroughly searched the area but found no trace of the missing plane.

Five days have passed since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went off the radar over South China Sea and the world is yet to know the fate of the 236 souls on board the plane to Beijing.

While it` is debatable whether China would remain unaware, this long, of the reasons behind a incident of such magnitude in its strategic backyard, Beijing has now put the onus on Malaysia to come clean on the issue and present “all information available”.
China has reasons to be annoyed as 154 of the 227 passengers are Chinese, putting the government under pressure to seek answers from Malaysia.

"We have send requests to the Malaysian side through diplomatic channels, asking them to check up on rumours right away and inform China of all information available," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.

A Malaysian military official had said the missing flight may have changed route and turned back from its scheduled course before disappearing last Saturday. Later, Malaysia Air Force Chief Rodzali Daud confirmed the change in flight path and said a "blip" detected on the military radar over the Straits of Malacca may have been the missing flight MH370.
The big question is whether Malaysia is indeed suppressing information? If yes, then the bigger question is why it is doing so?

Malaysia has so far denied presence of any clue to classify the disappearance as an act of terrorism and cleared two Iranians who travelled by stolen Italian and Austrian passports.

The search area was extended to waters around Andaman Islands with tens of ships, aircraft and satellites on the look out for any signs of the Malaysia Airlines plane.