Friday, May 02, 2014

How Malaysia Airlines lost MH370

CNN's Richard Quest dissects Malaysia's preliminary report:-

Controllers told the airliner to check in with their counterparts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. "Good night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero," someone in the cockpit answered.

That check-in never happened, but something else did. The plane dropped off radar, and the clock ticked.

"Control of the aircraft had left Malaysia to Vietnam. Even so, for 17 minutes, neither Kuala Lumpur nor Ho Chi Minh noticed nor acted," Quest said.

Then at 1:38 a.m., Ho Chi Minh contacted Kuala Lumpur to let the controllers know that it had not heard a word from the plane. "Verbal contact was not established," the transcript said.

The two control centers began a conversation about communications attempts with Flight 370 and previous radar blips along its path.

Then two messages came from Malaysia Airlines which is BEWILDERING:

At 2:03 a.m. came the first seemingly reassuring message from the airline. The plane was in Cambodian airspace,the airline told Kuala Lumpur air traffic control.
The Malaysians passed the message on to Vietnamese controllers. They then tried to confirm Malaysia Airlines' news with Cambodian air traffic controllers.

The airline later confirmed its reassuring message. It had been able to "exchange signals with the flight," which was in Cambodian airspace, the transcript read.
But an hour after Flight 370 signed off, Vietnamese air controllers poked holes in Malaysia Airlines' message. The flight had not been scheduled to fly over Cambodia, and officials there had no information on the plane -- nor contact with it.

Malaysian air traffic controllers kept in communication with the airline, which gave them yet another seemingly reassuring message at 2:35 a.m.

The airliner was "in normal condition based on signal download," which placed it off the coast of Vietnam.

At 5:20 a.m., a Malaysian official pronounced, based on what was then known, "MH370 never left Malaysian airspace."

Where was the military?

The Malaysian Prime Minister has said the military tracked the plane as it headed back across Malaysia.

According to the report, a playback of a recording from military primary radar revealed that an aircraft that may have been Flight 370 had made a westerly turn, crossing Peninsular Malaysia. The search area was then extended to the Strait of Malacca.

But it's unclear WHEN that happened. The report makes no mention of the military's role the night of the disappearance.

CNN: MH370 lost due to incompetence

CNN: Why did Malaysia Airlines say the plane was in Cambodia?

Watch the video: Richard Quest on Malaysia's anaemic and "disgraceful" report

Malaysia Chronicle: Is the search conducted at the wrong area "on purpose"?

William Pesek: Malaysian government intent on ensuring nothing changes as a result of this tragedy

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