MAS MH370 News: Latest Updates And Timeline Of Events On SAYS

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A timeline of events and latest updates from day 1 to day 18 of missing MAS flight MH370 on 8 March 2014. News updates here are curated by the SAYS Content Team from local and international media sources.

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DAY 18, 9.30AM: Bad Weather Suspends Search For MH370 In Australia

DAY 17, 10:00PM: PM Najib, "MH370 Has Ended In The Southern Indian Ocean"

6:00PM: China And Australia Search Planes Spot Floating Coloured Objects

DAY 17, 10:15AM: New Satellite Data From France Detects Floating Objects In MH370 Search Area

  • Malaysia said on Sunday it had received new satellite data from France indicating floating objects in the search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the southern Indian Ocean.

  • The Transport Ministry said the information had been passed on to Australian authorities who are coordinating the search for the plane, now focused on a remote stretch of ocean 2,500 kilometres (1,562 miles) southwest of Perth. The ministry said the latest data came in the form of images but France's foreign ministry later clarified this, saying it came in the form of "satellite-generated radar echoes".

  • A radar echo is an electronic signal that contains information about the location and distance of the object which bounces the signal back. According to the French statement, the debris was floating around 2,300 kilometres from Perth. It said France would increase its satellite capacity to continue the search in the zone.

  • An unnamed Malaysian official told the Associated Press that the new satellite image was taken on Friday, and that one of the potential objects was estimated to be about the same size as one spotted by a Chinese satellite that appeared to be 22m (72ft) by 13m (43ft).

  • However, the official said the French satellite imagery was fuzzy and very unclear, making it difficult to determine the exact dimensions.

  • New satellite data from the French has raised hopes of finding the missing Flight MH370 but Cyclone Gillian could make things much harder. The pilots of the radar-equipped aircraft with multiple sensors, however, are unfazed. They will adjust the systems to ˜search smarter€™ no matter how bad the weather.

  • Two Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China and two P3 Orion aircraft from Japan joined the search and rescue (SAR) operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the southern corridor on Monday. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said a total of 10 aircraft will be involved in the search for possible objects in the search area about 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

DAY 16: SAR Operations Intensified As More Planes Join The Search For Missing MH370

INFOGRAPHIC: A Visual Representation Of The Internet's Search For MH370

  • Where is that plane? That's the question we've all been asking since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously vanished after taking off on March 8. Seeking answers, we've collectively turned to the Internet.

  • Twitter has turned into a near-constant stream of news, rumors, and theories, many tweeted with the hashtag #MH370. In fact, nearly four million tweets have been sent with #MH370 since March 8, according to Topsy. On Reddit, users have set up a comprehensive thread on the r/news subreddit, where an ongoing post dedicated to sharing the latest information remains "stickied" at the top of the page. As of March 16, it now has its own subreddit, too: r/MH370. A Wikipedia page for the missing plane was established less than eight hours after the flight disappeared, and has grown from just 85 words to well over 4,000, and has been edited thousands of times. And Tomnod, a digital mapmaking company's platform for crowdsourcing satellite imagery, 3 million volunteers are scouring 26,000km of satellite imagery, searching for signs of debris. The company is continually adding new imagery to search.

DAY 16, 11:30AM: Debris Found In Indian Ocean But Has Not Been Confirmed As MH370's So Far

  • Small pieces of debris, including a wooden pallet, were spotted by one of the aircraft searching for a missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean, according to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as quoted by China's Xinhua News Agency. In a report on its website, Xinhua quoted Abbot as saying that it was too early to confirm their linkage to Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 that went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

  • "Yesterday, one of our civilian search aircraft got visuals of a number of objects in a fairly small area in the overall Australian search zone. "Obviously, before we can be too specific about what it might be, we need to recover this material. It's still too early to be definite," Abbot was quoted as telling reporters Sunday in Papua New Guinea where he is on an official visit.

  • Regarding the new satellite imagery released yesterday by China, Abbot said it suggested at least one large object. He said there was increasing hope that the authorities might solve the mystery of the missing aircraft. “It’s still too early to be definite, but obviously we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope - no more than hope, no more than hope - that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft," he is quoted saying by AFP.

  • Two Chinese military planes have arrived in Perth in Australia to join international search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Crews are set to scour southern areas of the Indian Ocean for a fourth day. Two sets of satellite images showing floating objects in the area have raised hopes that the jet may be there.

DAY 15, [BREAKING] China To Release New Images Showing Possible Debris Floating In The Southern Corridor

  • The Chinese government has sent a message to Malaysia's minister of defence and acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein during a press conference to alert authorities that it has a satellite image of debris in the southern Indian Ocean.

  • The object is 22 meters long and 30 meters wide, (72 feet by 98 feet) , Hishammuddin Hussein announced. He told reporters he's just gotten the information, and China will release more details in "coming hours."

  • "I do not have any more details, let me investigate further and I will inform you," said the acting Transport Minister before bringing the conference to a premature close.

6:30PM: FULL Transcript Of Press Statement By Hishammuddin On Missing MH370

  • Introductory statement

    Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.

  • Operational update

    In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that, based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar. With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search. HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

  • Australian search area

    Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest. Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles. The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today. Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas. A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

  • Family briefings

    The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes. I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened. We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them. We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

  • Cargo manifest

    On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course. Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance. As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.

  • Transcript

    The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed. As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

  • Concluding remarks

    Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.
    Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis. I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government. I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370. As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.

DAY 15: US Mulls Malaysian Request For Sonar Gear To Bolster The So-Far Frustrated Search For MH370

  • MH370 The Pentagon is weighing a request from Malaysia for sonar equipment to bolster the so-far frustrated search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, as concerns grow that any debris may have sunk to the bottom of the sea. Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein asked for undersea surveillance equipment in a phone call with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, as the Pentagon tallied US$2.5 million in costs so far in the nearly two-week-old search.

  • "No specific request was made for any particular type. It was just a general request for us to help them locate the wreckage and/or the black box," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told Reuters on Friday. "The secretary said he would consider the request, that he would examine whether we had anything that was both available and potentially helpful and that he would get back to the minister in the very near future."

  • The US Navy has a variety of active and passive sonar systems, some of which search the ocean for objects by emitting sound "pings" and monitoring the echoes that bounce back and others that listen for sound like an undersea microphone. One system, called a "Towed Pinger Locator", is towed behind ships and is used to listen for downed Navy and commercial aircraft at depths of up to 6,000 metres, according to the US Navy's website.

  • The US military loaned this technology to France during its two-year effort to locate the black box from an Air France jetliner that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in June 2009. The P-8 and P-3 spy planes, which the United States is already deploying in the Malaysian jetliner search, also carry "sonobuoys" that can be dropped into the sea and use sonar signals to search the waters below.

  • "Sound actually travels a long distance under water, depending on the conditions," Kirby said. "Temperature, current, the underwater topography, all of these things change the way sound travels underwater. But sound can travel a long, long way."

  • One big question will be where to drop any sonar equipment. Investigators suspect Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing shortly after midnight on March 8, was deliberately diverted thousands of miles from its scheduled path. They say they are focusing on hijacking or sabotage but have not ruled out technical problems. There has been no confirmed sign of wreckage so far and Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss cautioned yesterday that anything once floating "may have slipped to the bottom."

DAY 14, 5:30PM: More Assets Join Search For Possible Aircraft Debris In Australian Region

  • At the press conference at Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang today, acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that Malaysia is still waiting for information from Australian authority on whether the objects sighted in the southern Indian Ocean is related to MH370.

  • He announces new contributions to the search effort by the UK, HMS Echo on its way to the southern Indian Ocean. Those people who were involved in the investigation into the Air France crash have offered their assistance, and the minister says he will be speaking to America's defence secretary later today to ask for more assets.

  • He says authorities in Kazakhstan have confirmed they have found no trace of MH370, and Ukrainian police have completed the background checks on their passengers which have come back as clear. The Malaysian transport minister said they were using every possible asset, including the most sophisticated plans and vessels in the search effort.

  • China is sending three warships and an icebreaker to join the search for possible pieces of a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean, the government said Friday.

  • Chief executive of Malaysia Airlines is asked about lithium ion batteries in the cargo hold, and if they are unstable. He says they do carry some such batteries, but they are approved and not declared dangerous goods. He says many airlines do this.

  • Search planes flying deep into the southern Indian Ocean have found nothing so far that could be from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Australia's acting prime minister said in a press conference earlier. "The last report I have is that nothing of particular significance has been identified in the search today but the work will continue," said Warren Truss, who is acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is in Papua New Guinea.

DAY 14, 10:30AM: Six Merchant Ships And Five Aircraft To Continue Looking For Possible MH370 Debris In Australia

DAY 13, 6:15PM: Australia's Discovery, Regrets And Other Highlights From Day 13 Press Conference

  • At 10:00 this morning, the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian authorities in Kuala Lumpur have also briefed me on the situation, and the Australian Foreign Minister has spoken to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

  • “Today we have a credible lead, but we still need to corroborate and verify, but there is hope. We must never, never give up hope,” he said. With regards to when the images were captured on the satellite, Hishammuddin said the stamp date on the images that have been shared on the internet still needed to be checked and verified.

  • As a result of this information, four aircraft have been re-orientated to an area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. A Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft arrived in the area at about 10:50AM. Another 3 aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area, including a second RAAF Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, and a US Navy P-8 Poseidon.

  • Counterparts - Hishammuddin said that during the course of the operation, the Chief of the Defence Force had spoken to his counterparts from several countries including: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, The UK, and the USA.
    "All were very supportive, and all offered their assistance," he said in his statement.

  • Currently, there are 18 ships, 29 aircraft and 6 ship-borne helicopters deployed along the northern and southern corridors, as follows: In the northern corridor, there are 4 aircraft: 2 from Malaysia; 1 from Japan; and 1 from the US.

    In the southern corridor, there are 25 aircraft: 2 from Malaysia; 5 from Australia; 3 from Chinal; 4 from Indonesia; 2 from India; 4 from Japan; 1 from New Zealand; 2 from South Korea; 1 from the UAE; and 1 from the USA.

  • All 18 ships are in the southern corridor: 6 from Malaysia; 1 from Australia; 5 from China; And 6 from Indonesia. This deployment includes 6 helicopters: 3 from Malaysia, and 3 from China. Until we are certain that we have located MH370, search and rescue operations will continue in both corridors. I can confirm that Malaysia is sending 2 aircraft to Kazakhstan, and the UK is planning to send 1 ship to the southern corridor.

  • On what had happened at the Sama-Sama Hotel yesterday where families from China stormed in demanding for more information, Hishammuddin told reporters, “We regret what had happened yesterday”, adding that representatives from the Prime Minister’s department had already spoken to the family members. “We do care for them and we are trying to understand what they are going through, we are getting expert help to deal with the raw emotions,” he said.
    He added that the high-level team, mentioned at yesterday’s press conference, will be leaving for Beijing this evening to brief family members there.

6PM: Australia Unable To Locate Possible MH370 Objects

  • The crew of a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion was unable to locate the two objects that satellites spotted in the southern Indian Ocean. A tweet from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said cloud and rain resulted in limited visibility. More aircraft searches will continue.

  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Youn said the objects are indistinct but of "reasonable size" - the largest about 24 meters long (79 feet). They were "probably awash with water and bobbing up and down," he told a press conference. David Gallo, who co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 which crashed in 2009, told CNN: "If that piece of the plane is that big maybe it's the tail section."

  • The credible breaking news of the satellite images will be on the minds of all of the families, Malaysia's acting transportation minister Hishammuddin Hussein said. "We do care about them, and we understand what they are going through."

12:20PM: Australia Dispatches Search Planes To Recover Two Possible MH370 Objects

  • Australian search planes have been diverted to find two objects in the southern Indian Ocean "possibly related" to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

  • “The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search,” Abbott told lawmakers in parliament today. “Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified.”

  • AMSA spokesman John Young says the images indicate that one of the objects measures around 24 metres in length. "The objects are relatively indistinct on the imagery. I don't profess to be an expert in assessing the imagery, but those who are expert indicate they are credible sightings," he said. "The indications to me is of objects that are a reasonable size and probably awash with water bobbing up and down under the surface."

  • The Prime Minister said he had spoken with his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified. Mr Abbott said a RAAF Orion has been diverted to find the objects and was expected to reach the area around 2:15 AEDT. He said three more aircraft would follow.

  • At 10:00 this morning, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received a call from Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian High Commissioner has also briefed me on the situation. “At this stage, Australian officials have yet to establish whether these objects are indeed related to the search for MH370,” Hishammuddin Hussein.

10:30AM: Malaysia Deploys KD Kasturi And KD Lekiu To Southern Corridor

DAY 13, 10AM: Deleted Files On Captain Zaharie's Flight Simulator Turns Out To Be Games As FBI Gets Involved

  • Deleted data in the simulator belonging to Malaysia Airlines Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pic), who piloted the MH370 flight which went missing on March 8, was data log from three types of aviation games, according to police.

  • Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said initial investigations found that the data log from the simulator was believed to have been deleted on February 3. "The three games in the simulator were 'flight simulator X', 'flight simulator 9', 'X flight 10'," he told the daily press conference on the updates on the MH370 search and rescue operation, in Sepang, today.

  • All game logs on the Boeing 777 simulator built by missing MH370 pilot Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah were deleted on Feb 3 this year - over a month before the Boeing 777 went missing, said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. Speaking at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel here Wednesday, Khalid said: "What we found from the simulators is the data log from the games was cleared on Feb 3 so the experts are looking at what was cleared.

  • The FBI is helping Malaysian authorities to analyse data from a flight simulator belonging to the captain of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, according to a Reuters report. Malaysia has now made available to the FBI electronic data generated by both pilots of Flight MH370, including data from a hard drive attached to the captain's flight simulator, and from electronic media used by the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, a US law enforcement official told Reuters.

DAY 12, 9PM: Files Were Recently Deleted From Flight Simulator Of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah Onboard MH370

  • Malaysia’s defense minister says files were recently deleted from the home flight simulator belonging to the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian jetliner. Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot onboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance. He also said that the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, is innocent until proven guilty of any wrongdoing.

  • He said members of Mr Zaharie’s family are cooperating in the investigation. Files containing records of the simulations carried out on the program were deleted on Feb 3, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu told the news conference.

  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard went missing March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanations, but have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca. They are unsure what happened next.

5:30PM: False Maldives Report, Screaming Women And Other Highlights From The Latest MH370 Press Conference

  • Malaysia says 'so far' no red flags on any missing jet passenger. Background checks on nearly all but three of the 239 passengers and crew on board a missing Malaysia Airlines jet have produced no "information of significance". Ukrainian and Russian passengers have not yet been checked.

  • "Our focus remains the search and rescue operation. We are working on narrowing the search corridor by: - gathering satellite information, analysing radar data, increasing air and surface assets, and increasing the number of technical experts. We are also taking further steps to address the needs of the families at this difficult time."

  • Accordingly, the main technical team organising the search and rescue operation has been broken into three groups: a diplomatic team, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; an assets deployment and logistics team led by the Armed Forces; and a technical group retaining overall operational control, which is led by the Department of Civil Aviation.

  • Meanwhile, on reports that a low fying jumbo jet was sighted in the Maldives on March 8, Hishammuddin said that the Malaysian chief of the defence force has contacted his counterpart there and this claim was proven untrue. He reiterated that the flight flew on a normal routine up until waypoint Igari, and added that there were no additional waypoints on the documented flight plan.

  • "On the diplomatic front, all 26 countries involved in the search and rescue operation have verbally agreed to assist the operations, and Malaysia has written to all countries formally requesting co-operation. A number of assets which have already been committed are awaiting diplomatic clearance to begin operations. Once we receive formal clearance, we can then speed up the deployment of assets along the search corridors."

  • "All passengers, crew and ground staff handling the aircraft are being investigated. I would like to take this opportunity to state that the passengers, the pilots and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise. For the sake of their families, I ask that we refrain from any unnecessary speculation that might make an already difficult time even harder."

  • "I would like to announce that in addition to the team that is already on the ground, Malaysia is currently assembling a high-level team that will immediately travel to Beijing. The team will give briefings and updates to the next of kin on the latest situation, and on search and rescue plans. The team will include representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, the Department of Civil Aviation, and Malaysia Airlines."

  • Incredible scenes as relatives of the passengers knocked to the floor in scuffles outside the media conference room in Kuala Lumpur. Women were forcibly removed after trying to attend plane news conference without permission.

4:50PM: Maldivian Military Radar Picked No Plane Despite Islanders Claiming To Have Spotted A 'Low Flying Jet’

  • Military radar in the Maldives did not pick up any trace of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, despite reports that islanders has sighted a “low-flying” jet some five hours after the plane went missing on March 8. “Further to the surveillance conducted thus far, none of the military radars in the country have detected a trace of the missing plane,” stated a Maldivian National Defense Force (MNDF) spokesperson.

  • The spokesperson, according to The Star, asserted that surveillance is being carried out with “heightened level of vigilance” to find the missing aircraft, and claimed in a statement that even airport radars did not detect the plane passing through.

  • It was yesterday reported by Maldives' longest serving newspaper Haveeru that residents on the remote island of Kudahuvadhoo reported seeing a "low-flying jumbo jet" at 6.15am on March 8. Eyewitnesses described the aircraft as having "red stripes" and was travelling North to South-East towards Addu City, the southern tip of the island country.

  • "I've never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We've seen seaplanes, but I'm sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly," an eyewitness was quoted as saying. The eyewitness added that the aircraft made a loud noise, prompting several residents to come out of their houses. Haveeru also quoted Mohamed Zaheem, a councilor of Kudahuvadhoo, as saying that residents had raised the alarm about the incident.

  • A local aviation expert was quoted as saying that the likelihood of any aircraft flying over the island at the reported time was "extremely low". Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur destined for Beijing vanished from civilian radar over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 passengers and crew on the early morning hours of March 8.

  • It was later detected by military radar to have made a turn back, flew westwards and possibly went on in an unknown direction for more than six hours. Malaysian military radar last detected flight MH370 in the Straits of Malacca at 2.14am.

1:50PM: Search Teams Have Only 18 Days Left To Find Black Box Before Its Battery Runs Out

DAY 12, 11:00AM: Thailand Held MH370 Data For 10 Days Because It Wasn't Specifically Asked To Share It

  • The military said Tuesday that its radar detected a plane that may have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 just minutes after the jetliner's communications went down, and that it didn't share the information with Malaysia earlier because it wasn't specifically asked for it.

  • A twisting flight path described Tuesday by Vice Marshal Montol Suchookorn took the plane to the Strait of Malacca, which is where Malaysian radar tracked Flight 370 early March 8. But AVM Montol said the Thai military doesn't know whether it detected the same plane.

  • Thailand's failure to quickly share possible information regarding the fate of the plane, and the 239 people aboard it, may not substantially change what Malaysian officials know, but it raises questions about the degree to which some countries are sharing their defense information, even in the name of an urgent and mind-bending aviation mystery. With only its own radar to go on, it took Malaysia a week to confirm that Flight 370 had entered the strait, an important detail that led it to change its search strategy.

  • When asked why it took so long to release the information, Montol said, "Because we did not pay any attention to it. The Royal Thai Air Force only looks after any threats against our country, so anything that did not look like a threat to us, we simply look at it without taking actions." He said the plane never entered Thai airspace and that Malaysia's initial request for information in the early days of the search was not specific.

  • "When they asked again and there was new information and assumptions from (Malaysian) Prime Minister Najib Razak, we took a look at our information again," Montol said. "It didn't take long for us to figure out, although it did take some experts to find out about it." Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:40 a.m. Malaysian time and its transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to identify and track the airplane, ceased communicating at 1:20 a.m.

  • Montol said that at 1:28 a.m., Thai military radar "was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane," back toward Kuala Lumpur. The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca. The radar signal was infrequent and did not include any data such as the flight number. He said he didn't know exactly when Thai radar last detected the plane. Malaysian officials have said Flight 370 was last detected by their own military radar at 2:14 a.m.

DAY 11, 7:00PM: FULL Statement Of Hishammuddin's MH370 Press Conference On 18 March

  • Yesterday I stated that the search for MH370 has entered a new phase, which brings new diplomatic, technical and logistical challenges. Today, I would like to give you an update on the logistical and diplomatic aspects of the search.

  • The search and rescue operations have taken on a new international dimension. The search is still co-ordinated by Malaysia, but our partners have taken an increasing role in organising and carrying out operations, both within their own territory and also within agreed search sectors. My colleague the Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman will give a more detailed statement on our diplomatic efforts in a moment.

  • On the logistical front, over the past 24 hours we have been working hard with other countries to narrow the search corridors. Our focus is on four tasks: gathering information from satellite surveillance, analysis of surveillance radar data, increasing air and surface assets, and increasing the number of technical and subject matter experts. On satellite surveillance, I cannot disclose who has what satellite capability, but I can confirm we have contacted every relevant country that has access to satellite data.

  • On analysis of radar data, in the southern corridor Australia and Indonesia have agreed to take the lead of their respective parts of the search corridor. In the northern corridor, China and Kazakhstan have agreed to lead in the search areas closest to their countries. On air and surface assets, I have spoken to almost all ASEAN leaders to request further support, including assets with deep ocean surveillance detection capabilities. We are also asking international partners who have assisted us before to take another look at their primary radar data.

  • In the northern corridor, we have divided the search area into seven quadrants. Each of the seven quadrants is 400 nautical miles by 400 nautical miles – or 160,000 square nautical miles in total. We have also divided up the southern corridor into seven quadrants. Just like in the north, each quadrant covers an area of 160,000 square nautical miles. The entire search area is now 2.24 million square nautical miles.

  • This is an enormous search area. And it is something that Malaysia cannot possibly search on its own. I am therefore very pleased that so many countries have come forward to offer assistance and support to the search and rescue operation.

  • In terms of the deployment of specific assets: Today, the Royal Malaysian Navy deployed two more ships to the southern corridor. This deployment includes a Super Lynx helicopter, which can operate from either ship. This brings the total number of Malaysian ships deployed to the southern corridor to four; with two Super Lynx helicopters. Today, Malaysia also deployed two C-130 aircraft to the Indonesian sector of the southern search corridor.

  • Other countries are also contributing the following assets: The United States has deployed one P-8 Poseidon, and will redeploy a P-3 Orion aircraft. Australia, as I mentioned yesterday, has deployed three P-3 Orions and one C-130 Hercules. New Zealand is redeploying a P-3 Orion to support Australian search efforts. The Republic of Korea has committed one P-3 Orion and one C-130 Hercules. Japan has committed two P-3 Orions, two C-130s and one Gulfstream jet. The UAE has committed one C-17 aircraft and one Bombardier Dash-8 aircraft. The assets from Korea, Japan, and the UAE are currently in Malaysia awaiting orders from their respective governments. Aside from deploying its assets to the northern corridor, China has also made arrangements with Australia to deploy an aircraft to the southern corridor.

  • I would like to clarify what has been said about ACARS and the sequence of events before the air turn back. On Saturday, we stated that – and I quote: “Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East coast of peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.” These findings were drafted together with representatives from the lead international investigators, based on the information available at the time.

  • Yesterday Malaysia Airlines clarified that we cannot determine exactly when ACARS had been disabled, only that it occurred within a specific time range: from 01:07 – approximately when the aircraft reached the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, and the last ACARS transmission occurred – to 01:37, which was the next scheduled reporting time. That is indeed the case. This does not change our belief, as stated, that up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, the aircraft’s movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. That remains the position of the investigating team.

  • It is also important to recognise that the precise time ACARS was disabled has no bearing on the search and rescue operation. We know that the last known position of the plane as confirmed by the international investigations team was in either the northern or southern corridors, which is where our search and rescue efforts are focused. Our priority has always been to find the aircraft.

  • I am aware there is a lot of interest in the Royal Malaysia Police investigation into the passengers and crew of MH370. I hope you understand that I cannot comment on the specifics of the investigation, which is still on-going. I would also like to state that the search for MH370 is bigger than politics. I urge all Malaysians to put our differences aside and unite during this difficult time as we focus on finding the aircraft and the 239 people on board.

  • The search for MH370 remains our top priority. We will continue to provide you with operational updates, including further information about assets being deployed, as soon as they are available. In the last few days we have been intensively contacting our friends across the search regions. The co-operation we saw in the first phase continues in this new phase. In fact, there is even more commitment to assist us in this much larger and more complex multinational operation. In the meantime our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those on board.

INFOGRAPHIC: Search For MH370 Enters Daunting New Phase

10:00AM: Taliban, "We Wished We Had An Opportunity To Hijack Such A Plane"

  • After eleven days and more than 200 hours of searching, investigators are now baffled by the absence of distress calls from mobile phones of those on board missing flight MH370, said The New York Times. Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahaya said that there have been no evidence "of any number they’re (passengers and crew) trying to contact, but anyway they (investigators) are still checking and there are millions of records for them to process".

  • NEW DELHI/PESHAWAR: Aviation officials in Pakistan, India and Central Asia as well as Taliban militants said they knew nothing about the whereabouts of a missing Malaysian jetliner after the search for Flight MH370 extended into their territory.

  • Indian defense officials rejected the possibility of a plane flying for hours above the country undetected. "The idea that the plane flew through Indian airspace for several hours without anyone noticing is bizarre," a defense ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "These are wild reports, without any basis," he said, adding a pilot would have to know the precise location of all Indian radars and surveillance systems to be able to get around them.

  • Pakistani officials said they had detected nothing suspicious in the skies after the plane vanished. "We have checked the radar recording for the period but found no clue about the ill-fated flight," the Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

  • Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, at the northern end of the search arc, said no unidentified planes had entered their air space on March 8. "Even if all on-board equipment is switched off, it is impossible to fly through in a silent mode," the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee said in a statement sent to Reuters. "There are also military bodies monitoring the country's air space."

  • Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan, who are seeking to oust foreign troops and set up an Islamic state, said the missing plane had nothing to do with them. "It happened outside Afghanistan and you can see that even countries with very advanced equipment and facilities cannot figure out where it went," he said. "So we also do not have any information as it is an external issue."

  • A commander with the Pakistani Taliban, a separate entity fighting the Pakistani government, said the fragmented group could only dream about such an operation. "We wish we had an opportunity to hijack such a plane," he told Reuters by telephone from the lawless North Waziristan region.

  • “There is a growing consensus that this was a suicide by the pilot or co-pilot and that they wanted to get as far away and land in the farthest and deepest part of the ocean,” the US lawmaker was quoted as saying, before adding, “If they never find the plane, they can’t call it suicide.”

DAY 11, 9:30AM: US Withdraws Naval Ship USS Kidd From MH370 Search

DAY 10, 5:30PM: French Investigators From Air France Probe Join 26 Other Countries In MH370 SAR

  • The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 26. These countries are: Malaysia, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, US, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

  • "Yesterday, experts from Civil Aviation Administration of China joined the investigations team. Today, officials from the French Office of Investigations and Analysis for the Safety of Civil Aviation also joined the team. These authorities are working with Malaysia Airlines and the DCA to refine data that can help with the search," Hishammuddin.

  • Interesting to note that French investigators have been invited to assist the search. Remember they spent two years searching for the wreckage of the Air France plane which crashed over the Atlantic in June 2009.

  • Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes calling for radar and satellite information; land, sea and aerial search operation details; search and rescue action plans for relevant countries and other details of any information required from Malaysia. The notes were sent to all countries along the northern and southern corridors.

  • MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari, is being asked about the security checks performed on the pilot before he was permitted to fly. He says they were standard, but are currently being reviewed."Going forward, we will obviously look into this, and see if we can strengthen or tighten the requirements. We are now on "Code Tango", which means a heightened security environment. Extra precautions are currently being taken."

  • The last words spoken from the cockpit of the plane - All right, good night - are believed to have been spoken by the co-pilot, the airline's top executive says.

  • A communications system in the plane could have been switched off before or after the last verbal contact with the flight deck. "We don't know when the ACARS system was switched off. What we know is the last transmission," Malaysia Airlines' Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

11AM: PKR Dismiss Allegations That MH370 Pilot Captain Zaharie Is A "Political Fanatic"

DAY 10, 10AM: Australia, Thai And Indonesian Radars Did Not Detect Missing MH370

  • Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday said he had no information that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have come close to Australia, but conceded the incident was “deeply mysterious”.

  • Asked whether Australian agencies had detected the plane close to Australia, given its western coast borders the Indian Ocean, Abbott said: "I don't have any information to that effect. "But all of our agencies that could possibly help in this area are scouring their data to see if there's anything that they can add to the understanding of this mystery," he told reporters.

  • The Royal Thai Air Force today reaffirmed that its radar system did not detect the missing Malaysia Airlines flight following the latest remarks by the Malaysian prime minister that the jetliner was deliberately deviated and announcement of new search corridors cover Kazakhstan to northern Thailand and Indonesia to the South Indian ocean. Thai Air Force spokesman Air Marshal Monthon Sanchukorn said the air force radar system did not record any new data from the MH370.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Indonesia said its two radar stations in the Aceh province, nearest to where Malaysia lost sight of the Boeing 777-200ER carrying 239 people in the Straits of Malacca, found no indication of the aircraft. “Had the plane entered Indonesian territory, the two radars must have detected it,” First Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto of the Indonesian air force told the WSJ.

DAY 9, 7:00PM: New SAR Operations For MH370 Widens To 11 Countries

  • The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will involve vast tracts of lands spanning 11 countries as well as oceans, announced acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. "From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries, as well as deep and remote oceans.

  • "The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25, which brings new challenges of co-ordination and diplomacy to the search effort," he said, adding that the search for MH370 has entered a "new phase". He said this at the Malaysian authority's daily press conference on the search for MH370 at Sama-Sama Hotel, KLIA this evening.

  • The new search area comes after Malaysian authorities confirmed that Flight MH370 which disappeared from civilian radar at 1.21am on March 8 over the Gulf of Thailand had made a turn back and flew westward. This information has led the search and rescue operation to quit looking in the South China Sea and focus its attention on a northern corridor from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the northern Thai border and from Indonesia to south of the Indian Ocean.

2:10PM: BBC Reports That Investigators Are Studying MH370 Pilots' Family Life And Psychological State

  • Malaysian police have searched the homes of the pilots of the Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished eight days ago with 239 people on board. The police are also reportedly looking at family life and psychological state of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27.

  • This comes after the authorities said the communications systems of the plane had been deliberately disabled. The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight is believed to have then changed course. According to satellite evidence, the Boeing 777 could have continued flying for a further seven hours after its last radar contact, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.

  • He added that the plane could be anywhere from Kazakhstan to the Indian Ocean. Mr Razak stopped short of saying it was a hijacking, saying only that they were investigating "all possibilities".

DAY 9, 12:30PM: India Puts Its SAR Operations On Hold For Missing MH370

Foreign Envoys Briefed Regarding The Latest Development On The SAR Operations For MH370

6:30PM: Police Search The Home Of Missing MH370's 53-Year-Old Captain

  • Police began searching the home of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight today, after Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the plane was suspected to have been deliberately diverted, a senior police official told Reuters.

  • Police officers arrived at the home of the captain, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah in Shah Alam, on Saturday afternoon, shortly after Najib ended his news conference. Zaharie has apparently set up the Boeing 777 simulator at his home. Pictures posted by Zaharie on his Facebook page show a simulator with three computer monitors, a tangle of wires and several panels.

  • However, Penang chief police officer Abdul Rahim Hanafi said he had yet to receive orders to search Zaharie's family home in Balik Pulau, Penang. "We have yet to receive instructions from IGP Khalid Abu Bakar to search Zaharie's home here. We have not done it here," he told Malaysiakini.

  • Zaharie and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, were among the 12-member crew of the plane with 227 passengers on board including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian. Outside of aviation, he had a YouTube channel dedicated to DIY projects, where he told viewers how to fix home appliances like air-conditioners.

FULL Press Statement Given By Prime Minister Najib Razak On 15 March 2014

  • Seven days ago Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared. We realise this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board. No words can describe the pain they must be going through. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them. I have been appraised of the on-going search operation round the clock. At the beginning of the operation, I ordered the search area to be broadened; I instructed the Malaysian authorities to share all relevant information freely and transparently with the wider investigation team; and I requested that our friends and allies join the operation.

  • As of today, 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft are involved in the search. I wish to thank all the governments for their help at such a crucial time. Since day one, the Malaysian authorities have worked hand-in-hand with our international partners – including neighbouring countries, the aviation authorities and a multinational search force – many of whom have been here on the ground since Sunday. We have shared information in real time with authorities who have the necessary experience to interpret the data. We have been working non-stop to assist the investigation. And we have put our national security second to the search for the missing plane.

  • It is widely understood that this has been a situation without precedent. We have conducted search operations over land, in the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean. At every stage, we acted on the basis of verified information, and we followed every credible lead. Sometimes these leads have led nowhere. There has been intense speculation. We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world. But we have a responsibility to the investigation and the families to only release information that has been corroborated. And our primary motivation has always been to find the plane.

  • In the first phase of the search operation, we searched near MH370’s last known position, in the South China Sea. At the same time, it was brought to our attention by the Royal Malaysian Air Force that, based on their primary radar, an aircraft – the identity of which could not be confirmed – made a turn back. The primary radar data showed the aircraft proceeding on a flight path which took it to an area north of the Straits of Malacca. Given this credible data, which was subsequently corroborated with the relevant international authorities, we expanded the area of search to include the Straits of Malacca and, later, to the Andaman Sea.

  • Early this morning I was briefed by the investigation team – which includes the FAA (Federation Aviation Administration), NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch), the Malaysian authorities and the acting Minister of Transport – on new information that sheds further light on what happened to MH370. Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.

  • From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar showed that an aircraft which was believed – but not confirmed – to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over Peninsular Malaysia before turning northwest. Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. Today, based on raw satellite data that was obtained from the satellite data service provider, we can confirm that the aircraft shown in the primary radar data was flight MH370. After much forensic work and deliberation, the FAA, NTSB, AAIB and the Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.

  • According to the new data, the last confirmed communication between the plane and the satellite was at 8:11am Malaysian time on Saturday, March 8. The investigations team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after this last point of contact. This will help us to refine the search. Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite. However, based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian ocean. The investigation team is working to further refine the information.

2:50PM: Najib Says SAR Operation In The South China Sea Has Been Called Off And Assets Will Be Redeployed

  • The Prime Minister revealed new information that the last confirmed satellite communication of MH370 was at 8.11am on March 8. “Based on new satellite communication, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft’s ACARS was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.”

  • “Up until the point where it left primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action of someone on the plane. We can confirm that the aircraft shown in the military’s primary radar data was flight MH370.”

  • “After much forensic work and deliberation, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.” Based on this new information, the Prime Minister confirmed that search and rescue operation in the South China Sea has been called off and assets will be redeployed.

1:30PM: Malaysian Investigators Conclude MH370 Was Hijacked

DAY 8, 12:00PM: Military Data Suggests ‘Skilled’ Flyer Deliberately Turned MH370 Towards The Indian Ocean

  • Malaysian officials now believe that missing MAS flight MH370 may have been deliberately turned towards the Indian Ocean by someone with up-to-date knowledge of flying and radar positions, a senior military official told AFP Saturday.

  • The comments lend credence to growing suspicions that the plane, which disappeared a week ago with 239 passengers and crew, might have been commandeered. “It has to be a skilled, competent and a current pilot,” said the official, who is involved in a vast international search and rescue operation and spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that theory was based on still undisclosed data from military radar.

  • The radar continued to plot the plane’s course for hours after it vanished from air-traffic control screens and civilian radar, he said. The plane flew in the direction of the Indian Ocean far west of its intended flight path “for four to five hours,” the official said. “He knew how to avoid the civilian radar. He appears to have studied how to avoid it.” The official would not divulge details of the military data, citing an ongoing investigation.

DAY 7, South Korea Joins SAR Mission With Bangladesh Reported To Follow Soon

  • In a statement made available to Bernama, the embassy said South Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Cho Byung-jae informed Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the decision today. The South Korean government will be dispatching two aircraft, namely P-3 and C-130 of the South Korea Air Force with 39 supporting personnel, and they were expected to arrive here tomorrow, the statement said.

  • Quoting unnamed sources, local news agency Bernama said “Bangladesh will be the latest country to joint the search and rescue mission for missing MAS flight MH370.” The source, which according to Bernama is close to the development of the search and rescue mission said, Bangladesh’s patrol aircraft was launched at dawn today while ships will join tomorrow.

  • “All of Bangladesh’s available resources will be deployed to assist Malaysia,” Bernama quoted the unnamed source as saying.

6:30PM: MH370 Search Team Increases To 13 Countries, 57 Ships, And 48 Aircrafts

4:30PM: Reuters Reports MH370 May Have Deliberately Flown Towards The Andaman Sea

DAY 7, 10:00AM: From The South China Sea, US Navy Is Now Moving To The Indian Ocean To Search For Signs Of MH370

  • The USS Kidd (DDG-100), currently sailing to the suspected crash site of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane MH370 in the Indian Ocean, is one of 62 guided missile destroyers of the Arleigh Burke class, designed for anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-surface operations.

  • It was been deployed to join its sister ship, the USS Pinckney (DDG-91) on March 10, after the Pinckney was diverted from a training mission in the South China Sea on March 8 to assist with the search and rescue operations.

  • The focus of search efforts shifted from the South China Sea after the White House said "new information" indicated the plane may have gone down to the west in the Indian Ocean. "The USS Kidd is transiting the Strait of Malacca en route to the Indian Ocean," a navy official told AFP, referring to a guided-missile destroyer initially deployed to the Gulf of Thailand.

  • Seven days since flight MH370 fell off the radar, two senior US defence officials are now convinced there was “manual intervention” that led to the shutdown of two communication systems aboard the jumbo jet that happened separately.

  • US broadcasting network ABC News cited one of the military officials as saying the information indicates the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane did not fall out of the sky due to a catastrophic failure of its systems, a theory that had been previously floated after the Boeing 777-200 vanished without a trace. The report also cited US investigators saying the two modes of communication were “systematically shut down”.

6.10PM: China Released The Debris Pictures By Mistake And Hishammuddin Assures SAR Missions At Full Force

3:13PM: US Investigators Say MH370 May Have Been Airborne For About 4 Hours After Last Point Of Contact

  • Adding to the deepening mystery surrounding the fate of the plane and 239 people on board, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that US investigators suspect the aircraft flew for about four hours after reaching its last confirmed location under conditions that remain murky.

  • Boeing, the maker of the 777-200 MAS aircraft that went missing since Saturday was reported to have disclosed information that MH370 was airborne for five hours after air traffic controllers lost contact with it. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed security officials and aviation investigators from the US who said the data was downloaded automatically and transmitted to the ground from the plane’s engines as part of its maintenance and monitoring program.

  • But the huge uncertainty about where the plane was headed, and why it apparently continued flying so long without working transponders, has raised theories among investigators that the aircraft may have been commandeered for a reason that appears unclear to U.S. authorities. Some of those theories have been laid out to national security officials and senior personnel from various U.S. agencies, according to one person familiar with the matter.

  • As part of its maintenance agreements, Malaysia Airlines transmits its engine data live to Rolls-Royce for analysis. The system compiles data from inside the 777’s two Trent 800 engines and transmits snapshots of performance, as well as the altitude and speed of the jet.

DAY 6, 10:30AM: MH370 Search Plane Sent To Verify Three Large Floating Objects Spotted On China Satellite Images

DAY 5, 11:50PM: Mashable Reports That An Oil Rig Worker "Saw The MAS MH370 Come Down"

  • An oil rig worker working off the south-eastern coast of Vietnam claims to have witnessed the crash of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. In a email sent to his employer, which was acquired, confirmed, and then shared by the ABC journalist Bob Woodruff, the man says, "I believe I saw the Malaysian Airlines plane come down. The timing is right."

  • Vietnamese officials reportedly confirmed they got the letter, but found nothing in the water.

  • He describes seeing what he believes to be the plane burning — in one piece — at high altitude, flying perpendicular to the standard plane routes that cross over the area. "From when I first saw the burning (plane) until the flames went out (still at high altitude) was 10-15 seconds. There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary, or going away from our location," he writes.

11:30PM: A Fleet Of Earth-Monitoring Satellites Join The Search For Missing MH370

  • A fleet of Earth-monitoring satellites has joined the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the organisers of the satellite pool said on Wednesday. China on Tuesday requested activation of the so-called International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, the organisation said on its website.

  • Under the agreement, 15 space agencies or national space institutes help emergency or relief efforts by passing on images from satellites flying over the location. "Satellite imagery is now being employed to search for any evidence of the plane, both before and after it disappeared," the website said. "As of 12 March 2014, the search remains ongoing."

  • "They are providing high-resolution data," a European Space Agency (ESA) official, whose organisation is a charter member, told AFP. He was unable to say which geographical areas were being covered.

  • The Charter, which took effect in 2000, has been activated more than 400 times, but this is the first time it has been called in to help the search for a missing aircraft, according to records of its operations. It has been mostly used in the aftermath of earthquakes and floods when rescue teams needed to identify badly damaged zones or roads, railways and bridges that are still passable. It was invoked last November to aid swathes of the Philippines ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan.

6:30PM: There Was An Unidentified Plot Detected On Primary Military Radar 322km Southwest Of Penang On 8 March 2014

  • An unidentified aircraft was detected 200 miles (322km) northwest of Penang at 2.15am early Saturday morning, along the Straits of Malacca and they are looking into it, according to Air Force chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud. The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that the radar could not identify the plane, only its presence. This was why search and rescue operations were split early on between the Gulf of Thailand and the west side of Peninsular Malaysia.

  • Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed that defence radar picked up an “indication” that the plane turned back. He said this was why the search operation had been extended to the Andaman sea. Hussein stressed this was just a “possibility”.

  • Malaysia’s air force chief has denied making a statement that said the plane was tracked by military radar off course to a location near the Strait of Malacca. Rodzali Daud said the reports were untrue, but added that the navy “has not ruled out the possibility of an air turn back on a reciprocal heading.”

  • This would be 45 minutes after the Boeing 777-200 lost contact with air traffic control about 100 miles from Kota Baru at 1.31am Saturday. It had taken off for Beijing at 12.41am Saturday from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

6:20PM: Ministers Emphasise On "Possibilities" And "Consistency" In Most Intense MH370 Press Conference Yet

  • "Our immediate focus is to find the aircraft and the black box." The ministers are emphasising on the 'POSSIBILITY' of MH370 turning back to the straits of Malacca. "We said there is a possible turn back because we are corroborating with all the available radars."

  • Twelve countries are now involved in the search, he said. Asked about the lack of transparency. “China obviously feels aggrieved because so many of their nationals are involved ... it will not changes our focus.” He added: “We have not found anything but we are expanding it further.”

  • Asked whether they were satisfied with the safety of the Boeing 777, Rahman stressed that the plane had passed a safety inspection. “All our planes are airworthy”, an official added. Pressed on whether the authorities were aware of a known fault with the Boeing the official said he would have to check.

  • Hishammudin denies any confusion in the sharing of SAR information. "We have been consistent". "This #MH370 PC is to clarify that the information that we've been saying for the last 3 days is consistence, that we have nothing to hide," Hishammudin.

  • MAS clears the confusion about the five passengers that did not board the MH370 flight: Four passengers did not turn up for the MH370 flight. There was no checked-in baggage. Four standby passengers then replaced them.

  • Britain’s engine manufacturer Rolls Royce has offered technical help, an official confirmed.

3.30PM: Life Raft Found Near PD On 11 March Sank Back Into Sea After Fishermen Surrendered It To MMEA

1:30PM: Malaysia Civil Aviation Officials Reveal Last Words Heard From Pilot Of Missing MH370

11:00AM: Malaysia Air Force Chief Denies Missing MH370 Was Detected On Radar Over The Strait Of Malacca

  • As the search for the missing flight MH370 continues for the fifth straight day, Malaysia's air force chief has denied saying military radar had tracked the lost passenger jet turning back and flying to the Strait of Malacca.

  • The pro-government Berita Harian daily had quoted General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud (pic below) as saying military radar at the Butterworth air force base believed it was tracking the Boeing 777-200ER jet until it disappeared at 2.40am last Saturday.

  • "I wish to state that I did not make any such statements as above. What occurred was that the Berita Harian journalist asked me if such an incident occurred as detailed in their story. However, I did not give any answer to the question. Instead, what I said to the journalist was, 'Please refer to the statement which I made on 9 March 2014, during the press conference with the Chief of Defence Forces at the Sama-Sama Hotel, Kuala Lumpur International Airport'," the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief said in a statement late last night.

  • Hours after his statement was carried by the Malay daily, the Reuters news agency flashed a report quoting a military source as saying the RMAF had tracked the flight to the Strait of Malaccca which is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. But Rodzali's statement has only covered the Malay daily's report and did not mention the Reuters report.

  • "I request this misreporting be amended and corrected to prevent further misinterpretations of what is clearly an inaccurate and incorrect report," he said in his six-paragraph statement.

DAY 5, 10:30AM: India Joins SAR Mission, Vietnam Freezes Their Search And Thailand Might Withdraw Soon

  • Ships of the Indian Navy that are on patrol in the Straits of Malacca are participating in the search and rescue (SAR) operations for the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 which went missing last Saturday.

  • The Indian Navy's satellite Rukmini or GSAT-7 has also been activated to pick up any clue that may lead investigators to the missing aircraft, Indian Media reported. The SAR operations for the aircraft entered its fifth day today.

  • He explained that no additional vessels were needed as a close search had already been conducted in the area assigned to the Thai Navy - in the Andaman Sea from Langkawi Island to Pangkor Island off Malaysia’s Perak state. He said the search could be temporarily put on hold if there were no sign of further progress.

  • Meanwhile, Vietnamese authorities froze search and rescue activities for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 today, after reports arose that the plane was last spotted over the Straits of Malacca in Malaysia.

  • Vietnam’s deputy transport minister Pham Quy Tieu also complained today that a Malaysian official with whom Vietnam is liaising, was not providing sufficient information. He did not, however, identify the person.

  • “We are temporarily suspending search and rescue activities, although there will still be a few planes going out,” Pham told reporters here today.

  • The search by the Royal Thai Navy in Thai-Malaysian waters for missing MAS flight MH370 might end soon if no progress is seen, a senior Navy commander said Tuesday. However, the operation would resume if requested by Malaysian authorities, said Vice Admiral Taratorn Kajitsuwan, chief of the Third Naval Area Command.

  • He explained that no additional vessels were needed as a close search had already been conducted in the area assigned to the Thai Navy - in the Andaman Sea from Langkawi Island to Pangkor Island off Malaysia's Perak state.

DAY 4, Malaysian Military Reveals The Missing MH370 Was Tracked By Radar Over The Strait Of Malacca

  • In a strange twist, Malaysia's military believes it tracked the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by radar over the Strait of Malacca, far from where it last made contact with civilian air traffic control over the Gulf of Thailand.

  • A military source confirmed with Reuters that the Boeing 777-200ER with 239 on board changed course and made it to the other side of the Malay peninsula."It changed course after Kota Baru and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Straits," the military official, who has been briefed on investigations, told Reuters.

  • The Straits of Malacca, one of the world's busiest shipping channels, runs along Malaysia's west coast. The airline said on Saturday that the flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew last had contact off the east coast Malaysian town of Kota Baru.

  • The Berita Harian newspaper was the first to report this development, quoting the Royal Air Force Malaysia (RMAF) chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud as saying they tracked the signal to Pulau Perak on the country's west coast.

  • "The last time the plane could be traced by an air control tower was near Pulau Perak, which is on the Straits of Malacca at 2.40am. After that, the signal from the plane was lost," he said.

  • This contradicts earlier reports that the aircraft had disappeared from radar screens 120 nautical miles off Kota Bharu and over the South China Sea, at 1.30am on 8 March.

"There's No Such Thing" That Five Passengers Did Not Board MH370 Says IGP

  • The police chief has also contradicted the earlier statement made by Malaysia’s aviation chief on Monday that five people did not board the plane. In no uncertain terms he said: “There is no such thing as five person who did not board the plane. There is no such thing.”You take it from me, there were no such thing. Nobody booked the ticket that did not board.”

  • We are looking into four areas: one; hijacking, two; sabotage, three; psychological problems of the passengers and crew and four; personal problems among the passengers and crew.”

  • The missing plane may have tried to head to another airport, according to an announcement from Malaysia airlines on Tuesday. The search area has again been expanded as it entered a fourth day.

4.20PM: Official Images Of Two With Stolen Passports Onboard MH370 Released

10:30AM: MH370 Search Area Now Pans From Hong Kong To Sumatra

DAY 4, 10AM: Maker Of MH370 Aircraft Joins The Search As A Technical Advisor

DAY 3, 9:00PM: Oil Slicks Test Results, Unhappy China And 40 Ships In MH370 Search And Rescue

  • Nine countries are now taking part in the search, which Rahman said covered the area within a 50 nautical mile radius of the aircraft’s last known position and the northern Straits of Malacca in case the plane had turned back.

  • Forty ships are working round the clock, while 34 aircraft are working during daylight hours. Potential sightings of aircraft debris by Vietnamese searchers have not been verified, Rahman said.

  • "We... have a responsibility to demand and urge the Malaysian side to step up [its] search efforts, start an investigation as soon as possible and provide relevant information to China correctly and in a timely manner," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang. Patience appears to be wearing thin in the search for the missing airplane, says the BBC's Celia Hatton in Beijing.

  • The Malaysian authorities are attempting to address Chinese concerns - they have reissued a pledge to fly worried family members to Kuala Lumpur so they can be closer to the search efforts, our correspondent adds.

  • The oil slicks found off the coast of Malaysia during the search for Flight MH370 were not caused by the missing jet, authorities have said. Laboratory analysis on the oil, which was first spotted on Saturday night, found that it had nothing to do with the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared almost three days ago, Malaysian officials have confirmed.

  • He added that debris has been spotted south of Hong Kong and ships have been deployed to the area to confirm it, adding that the findings could be known tomorrow.
    “We will intensify search to 100 nautical miles around Igari.”

8:15PM: Suspects With Stolen Passports Are NOT Asian-Looking But May Look Like Mario Balotelli

5.40PM: One Of Two Suspects Who Used Stolen Passport Has Been Identified

  • "I can confirm that he is not a Malaysian, but cannot divulge which country he is from yet," said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. Khalid added that both suspects had no record of entering the country legally.

  • Two passengers who board MH370 with fake European passports were not Chinese - Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

  • Hishammuddin also made a plea to the media not to disseminate unverified news.
    “The authorities have nothing to hide and are sharing every news as it comes in,” he said.

Yellow Object Was Moss-Covered Cap Of A Cable Reel While Experts 100% Sure Oil Slick Was Not Jet Fuel

  • “It has salvaged the object, at the notice and request by Malaysia’s rescue centre, 130 km southwest of Tho Chu island. The object has been identified as a moss-covered cap of a cable reel,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said on its website.

  • The test conducted on the oil slick sample showed that it was not jet fuel, but ship fuel.
    According to Bernama, the results were announced by the East Coast Marine enforcement chief Datuk Nasir Adam.

  • Experts are '100 per cent sure' that the oil slicks found at South China Sea came from other sources and not from the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) MH370 aircraft. “While I am not 100% certain that the slick is from a tanker, I am 100% certain that it is not aircraft fuel,” said the source

4:47PM: 17,880 Fishermen On 1,788 Fishing Vessels To Help Search For Missing MH370

  • Almost 1,800 fishing vessels in the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca have been told to assist in the search and rescue efforts of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

  • ‎Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob‎ said 1,788 fishing vessels from five states, namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Perak and Penang, have been told to report sightings of unusual objects to the Ministry to assist in the search of the aircraft.

  • ‎Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob‎ said the grade C2 vessels, amounting 17,880 crewmen are from Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, Perlis and Penang. "The fishermen are expert and familiar with the areas. We wish they can give a lead to the mystery incident.

  • "Although we have our police and army who are professionals, these fishermen are very experienced at sea and they know the sea very well," he said adding that each vessel had an average of 10 crew members that would make a total of 17,000 to 20,000 fisherman helping rescue efforts.

  • "If they find anything unusual while carrying out their daily works, they can report to the relevant authorities," he told the media after visiting the families of missing passengers at Everly Hotel here today.

  • "Our Indonesian counterpart has agreed to assist us. They are organising fishermen from areas such as Acheh and Medan to help us. We are also contacting the Thai and Vietnamese side," added Ismail Sabri.

4:30PM: MH370 Search And Rescue Investigates Floating Yellow Object Resembling Life Raft

  • A Singapore aircraft has just spotted an orange object, appearing to be an airplane life raft or life vest, in the waters believed to be the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that vanished on the weekend, according to Tuoi Tre’s on-the-scene reporters.

  • Acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang that authorities are currently in touch with its Vietnamese counterparts to verify on reports that say a floating object was spotted in the sea.

  • The SAR operation involved MAS, the Department of Civil Aviation, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Butterworth-based Integrated Area Defence System (IADS) headquarters and with the assistance of agencies from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and the United States Pacific Command (USPC), based in Hawaii.

  • IADS headquarters administers the five-power defence pact involving Malaysia, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, while United States Pacific Command has a flotilla of warships and aircraft carriers scouring the Pacific Ocean in search of the Boeing 777-200ERs.

Malaysian Authorities Have A CCTV Footage Of The Two Passengers Using Stolen Passports

12:00PM: 60 Hours Since MH370 Disappeared And No Sightings Till Date

  • 34 aircrafts, 40 ships, over 100 men, and over 1,000 man hours have been deployed in the search and rescue operations to locate the missing MH370. Air search are conducted daily from 7am to 7pm, throughout the night. "We are mystified. MAS is helping us, experts around the world are helping us." DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman assures the search and rescue efforts will be intensified.

  • "Our boys in the rescue control centre, in the aircraft, on the ships are trying their best to locate the aircraft. Every minute, every hour, every second looking at every inch of the sea," DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

  • DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman denies any sightings of the MH370 Boeing 777 aircraft. He confirms that the Vietnamese spotted debris believed to be from the MH370 aircraft but the reports were not verified officially by the Vietnamese government. There are no confirmation of sighting of MH370 wreckage to date.

  • With regards to reports on the Vietnamese finding a door panel believed to be part of the aircraft, the DCA said this hasn’t been confirmed by the Vietnamese authorities. “There are reports of tail of the aircraft being found but it was discovered to be logs after we dispatched our assets to look into it.”

  • When asked about possibilities of hijacking, DCA says they looking at every aspect of what could have happened on the ill-fated aircraft. "We have to have concrete evidence. We have to get the aircraft, we have to find the aircraft and we are intensifying our efforts to locate the aircraft."

  • Meanwhile, Azharuddin confirmed that the oil slick obtained from the South China Sea is being tested. He reiterated that from the time the aircraft lost contact, no signal was received from it.

11:20AM: Australia Sends Second Aircraft To Join MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

  • Australia this morning sent a second RAAF aircraft from Darwin to join the search for a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that has been missing since early Saturday. Australia sent an RAAF AP-3C Orion on Sunday night and a second aircraft left Darwin at 8.30 am (AEDT) on Monday, the Australian Associated Press reported.

  • Air Marshal Mark Binskin said the maritime patrol and long-range surveillance aircraft were equipped with sensors and electro-optic detectors that were ideal for the operation. There are 18 Australian crew on board each RAAF jet.

  • Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been in touch with her Malaysian counterpart to offer Australia's support. She said the reports of stolen passports were concerning. "There may be no connection at all but it is a worrying development," Bishop told ABC radio on Monday. "Our officials are in urgent and ongoing contact with authorities in Malaysia."

  • France's air accident board, which led a three-year investigation into the 2009 loss of an Air France jet in the Atlantic, has offered to help Malaysia and Vietnam with the recovery of a missing Malaysia Airlines plane. "We have communicated to Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities that we are ready to assist with the underwater search operations or recovery of wreckage," a spokeswoman for the Paris-based BEA accident investigation branch said on Sunday.

9:30AM: Officials Mull Mid-Air Disintegration As Search For Missing MH370 Expands To Malacca

  • With 34 aircrafts and 40 vessels from Operations the search has expanded from 20 nautical miles to 50 nautical miles, some 120 nautical miles east of Kota Baru. Based on information provided by the Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, who stated of a possible turn back to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as per radar records, the search has now been expended to include the West Coast Straits of Malacca.

  • Officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner with 239 people on board are narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated mid-flight, a senior source said on Sunday. Asked about the possibility of an explosion, such as a bomb, the source said there was no evidence yet of foul play and that the aircraft could have broken up due to mechanical issues.

  • Search teams have not been able to make any confirmed discovery of wreckage in seas beneath the plane's flight path almost 48 hours after it took off. "The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," said the source, who is involved in the preliminary investigations in Malaysia.

  • If the plane had plunged intact from such a height, breaking up only on impact with the water, search teams would have expected to find a fairly concentrated pattern of debris, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation. The source was speaking shortly before Vietnamese authorities said a military plane had spotted an object at sea suspected to be part of the missing airliner.

9:00AM: Vietnamese Officials Say Door Of Missing MH370 May Have Been Found

DAY 3, 8:50AM: Chinese Family Claims Mobile Phone Of MH370 Passenger Rang

  • Desperate family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 have urged MAS to use satellite technology to pick up signals from mobile phones on the aircraft before they run out of batteries, Singapore's The Sunday Times reported yesterday.

  • A Chinese family claimed they had successfully reached the mobile phone of a passenger on board the flight, which is still missing after it lost contact with air traffic controllers on Saturday. A video clip of a man dialling the number of his elder brother was shown on a Beijing Television's news bulletin. The call got connected, but no one picked up.

  • The man, who did not give his name, spoke to reporters at a Malaysia Airlines briefing in Beijing. He claimed that he made a total of three calls, but no one answered.

DAY 2, 8:50PM: Najib Wants All Airport Security Protocols Reviewed And Enhanced

  • The security protocols for air travellers at the country’s airports will be reviewed following the discovery that two passengers aboard missing MAS flight MH370 may have boarded the plane using stolen passports.

  • Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that security protocols would be enhanced following the review if it was necessary to do so. “We will review all security protocols and if needed we will enhance them if necessary, because we still do not know the cause of the incident,” Najib told reporters after launching the 2014 National Reconciliation Programme here, Sunday.

  • Commenting on the possibility of elements of terrorist threat in the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 aircraft, he said the government would not draw any conclusions without firm evidence. "There is no firm evidence now, just a lot of theories flying around. We are forced to find all possible leads and must investigate before making a conclusion," he told reporters after opening the 2014 National Unity programme here, today.

8:00PM: Department Civil Aviation Says Yellows Debris Seen In Viral Photo Not From Missing MH370

  • In the latest press conference on the situation of missing flight MH370, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that “after more than 24 hours, the search and rescue operation has yet to locate the missing aircraft.” “Finding the MAS MH370 is of utmost importance as it will reveal the reason of the aircraft’s disappearance,” he told a roomful of international and local reporters.

  • Vietnamese media reports that suspicious object is not related to flight MH370 reports. Jacky Ly Thang, a defense cooperation official in US Embassy Hanoi, told VN Search & Rescue Center just now that US search party has confirmed that the object - seen by Singaporean search plane earlier - had nothing to do with the missing plane.

  • A total of 34 aircrafts and 40 ships are involved in the search and rescue operation as at 8.30pm tonight.

  • Malaysian authorities hold press conference, but stonewall most media questions. Questions they dodged include:
    1) Was there a security lapse? Who is Malaysia Airlines' insurer?
    2) What possibilities and angles are you looking at?
    3) Did the passengers traveling on stolen passports look like they were German or Italian?

Photos From Day 2 Of Missing MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

5:50PM: Two Passengers Traveling On MH370 Using Stolen Passports Bought Their Tickets Together

  • New information has surfaced on the two stolen passports that were used to board MH370. CNN reported that the passports, one Italian and one Austrian, bought the tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing together from China Southern Airlines in Thai baht at identical prices.

  • This information came to light after checks were made with China’s official e-ticket verification system Travelsky. “The ticket numbers are contiguous, which indicates the tickets were issued together,” the CNN report read.

5:20PM: Pak Lah Joins Interfaith Prayers At KLIA And Lends Support For MH370 Family Members

4:20PM: Datin Seri Rosmah Sheds Tears With Family Members Of The Passengers And Crew Of MH370

4:10PM: Debris Spotted But Unclear If It's From Missing MH370

3:00PM: 8th Media Statement By MAS Focuses On Families Of Passengers On Missing MH370

  • Together with all those affected by the MH370 incident, we understand the need to provide regular updates on the progress of the search and rescue operations. As the hours turn into days, we at Malaysia Airlines are similarly anxious and we appreciate the patience, support and prayers from everyone.

  • We however acknowledge that the most affected group in this incident is the families of those on-board. As such, our primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals and emotional support. Initial financial assistance has been given out to all families. Caregivers are already assigned to each family and they are trained staff and volunteers from Malaysia and Australia.

  • Family members of the MH370 passengers from Beijing who wish to travel will be flown in stages to Kuala Lumpur on the available flights. We are also communicating with the families from other nations to similarly arrange for their travel to Kuala Lumpur. In the event flight MH370 is located, a Response Control Centre (RCC) in the area will be activated to support the needs of families.

2:55PM: US FBI Joins Missing MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States is deploying a team of agents and technical experts to assist in investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane, according to US media reports.

  • The national carrier also said in a statement on its website that in fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, United States, would assist the airline "in this crucial time".

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States is deploying a team of agents and technical experts to assist in investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane, according to US media reports. The US official was quoted as saying that the FBI was not ruling out terrorism or any other issue as a possible cause in the jetliner's disappearance.

  • The US National Transportation Safety Board said it has dispatched a team to Asia to help in investigations into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that is presumed to have crashed and claimed 239 lives.

  • Reuters reported that the NTSB team is accompanied by technical advisers from the US Federal Aviation Administration, the US air safety regulator and Boeing Co, which made the 777-200ER jet that was lost while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. "Once the aircraft location is identified, International Civil Aviation Organisation protocols will determine which country will lead the investigation," the NTSB said.

  • Because of the travel time to Asia, the team departed from the United States on Saturday night so it could be in place to assist without delay, the NTSB said.

2:00PM: MH370 Search Area Expands To Penang As 40 Vessels From Various Countries Join Rescue Operations

Another Pilot Who Was Flying 30 Minutes Ahead Of Missing MH370 Reveals He Made Contact With The Plane

  • A BOEING 777 pilot, who was flying 30 minutes ahead of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, said he established contact with MH370 minutes after he was asked to do so by Vietnamese air traffic control.

  • The captain, who asked to not be named, said his plane, which was bound for Narita, Japan, was far into Vietnamese airspace when he was asked to relay, using his plane's emergency frequency, to MH370 for the latter to establish its position, as the authorities could not contact the aircraft.

  • "We managed to establish contact with MH370 just after 1.30am and asked them if they have transferred into Vietnamese airspace. "The voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie (Ahmad Shah, 53,) or Fariq (Abdul Hamid, 27), but I was sure it was the co-pilot. "There were a lot of interference... static... but I heard mumbling from the other end.

  • That was the last time we heard from them, as we lost the connection," he told the New Sunday Times. He said those on the same frequency at the time would have heard the exchange. This, he said, would include vessels on the waters below. He said he thought nothing of it, as the occurrence (of losing contact) was normal, until it was established that MH370 never landed.

  • "If the plane was in trouble, we would have heard the pilot making the Mayday distress call. But I am sure that, like me, no one else up there heard it. "Following the silence, a repeat request was made by the Vietnamese authorities to try establishing contact with them."

1:54PM: Missing MH370 Bound For Beijing
Could Have Been Forced To Turn Around

1:30PM: Two More Onboard Missing MAS Flight MH370 Had Fake Passports

  • Four individuals on MH370's passenger manifest might be linked to stolen or faked passports, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

  • Authorities have yet to confirm the identities of two more European passengers on flight MH370, adding to two others using stolen passports in the Malaysia Airlines plane which vanished over the Malaysia-Vietnam maritime border yesterday.

  • "All the four names are with me. and I have delegated the names to our intelligence agencies and I have also spoken to the international intelligence agencies. “I will be meeting them later this afternoon,” he said, adding that it will be decided at that meeting what can and cannot be revealed.

  • Investigators were verifying the identities with the relevant embassies in Malaysia, said the official, who has knowledge of the investigation and declined to be identified. The passengers being checked had all bought their tickets through China Southern Airlines, the official said.

  • "The background checks with the embassies are being done but these two cannot be confirmed," a source told The Malaysian Insider, adding that both were from the same country.

12:00PM: Malaysian Government Is Not Dismissing Possibilities Of Terrorist Attack Onboard MH370

  • Authorities say that while the stolen passports certainly raise questions, investigators are far from calling the flight’s disappearance an act of terror. “At this time, we have not identified this as an act of terrorism,” a senior American intelligence official, who remained anonymous, told the New York Times. “While the stolen passports are interesting, they don’t necessarily say to us that this was a terrorism act.”

  • Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi was asked about the possibility of terrorism as the cause for MH370's disappearance. A foreign reporter asked Aziz whether MH370 had been lost due to foul play. "We cannot reveal too many details about our security," Aziz said. "We have reviewed the closed-circuit television video footage pertaining to passengers and their baggages."

  • However, Aziz said, authorities were not ruling out any possibilities at this juncture. He said search and rescue operations were still ongoing and would continue around the clock.

  • Former Army soldier Colonel Richard Kemp says the possibility that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had been attacked by terrorists must be given serious consideration. Col Kemp, a former head of counter-terrorism for the Joint Intelligence Committee and chairman of Cobra, said: "The possibility of this being a terror attack has to be seriously considered.

  • Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said they were also checking the entire manifest again, adding that he has spoken to international intelligence agencies on the matter.
    “All those I have spoken to have activated their counter terrorist units,” Hishammuddin told reporters.

11:16AM: Day 2 Of MH370 Search And Rescue Continues With Three Aircrafts

  • KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines is to set up a command centre in Kota Baru, Kelantan, or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as soon as the location of its missing aircraft is established, the airline said today.

  • The national carrier also said in a statement on its website that in fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, United States, would assist the airline "in this crucial time".

  • A press conference conducted by MAS and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) told reporters that the search and rescue operation using three aircraft restarted at 7am Sunday (March 9) morning.
    DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the aircraft are in the search and rescue area and nothing has been spotted yet. “The overnight operation using ships did not spot any wreckage.”

  • "There is nothing to report at this juncture ... The rescue operations continue... and we have to report that we have not been able to locate anything," Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, from the Malaysia's civil aviation authority told a new gathering in Kula Lumpur.

DAY 2, 2:00AM: Supposed Aerial View Image Of Oil Slicks Believed To Be From Missing MAS Flight MH370 Surfaces

DAY 1, 11PM: It Is Confirmed That Two Passengers Onboard MH370 Used Stolen Passports

  • Luigi Maraldi, 37, was named as one of the people on board flight MH370 - but his parents have confirmed he is alive and well in Thailand. One of the passengers travelling on board a missing Malaysian Airlines carrying 239 people was using a stolen Italian passport, it has emerged. But Italian sources have confirmed he is alive and well and rang his worried parents after reading news reports about the missing flight.

  • "I'm alive - I'm in Thailand!" he said. Mr Maraldi reported his passport stolen on August 1 last year and was not on board the plane, according to news agency ANSA.

  • The Italian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, told Hodal that Luigi Maraldi is an Italian national living in Phuket who was recently given a new passport but did not get on the flight. An embassy official told her it sounded like a case of “double passports”, where the new one is issued but the old one is stolen.

  • Similar to the case of Luigi Maraldi, Austria has said that one of its citizens included on the passenger list was not on board the flight. Austria’s foreign ministry spokesman, Martin Weiss, told media outlets on Saturday that the citizen, who he did not name, was safely living in Austria and had his passport stolen two years ago during a visit to Thailand. There is only one Austrian on the passenger list: Christian Kozel, aged 30.

DAY 1, 8.20PM: Two Large Oil Slicks Discovered Suspected To Be From MH370 Say Vietnamese Authorities

  • A 12-mile long oil slick spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam is thought to be the first sign that a missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard went down in the waters between the two countries.

  • “An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft -- we have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search,” Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, said in reporting the sighting of the slick.

  • He said he did not know whether the slick was closer to the Malaysian or Vietnam side of the entrance to the Gulf of Thailand. The last coordinates automatically transmitted by the aircraft were from near the midpoint between the two countries, when the plane appeared to be in stable flight at 35,000 feet.

  • Vietnamese air force planes have spotted two large oil slicks that authorities suspect are from a Malaysian jetliner that went missing early Saturday. A Vietnamese government statement says the slicks were spotted off the southern tip of Vietnam. The slicks were each between 10 kilometers (6 miles) and 15 kilometers (9 miles) long.

  • The search has focused on an area of the South China Sea roughly 120 nautical miles south west of Vietnam - the last point of contact with the jet, and where the oil slick has been reported.

7:50PM: Vietnamese Navy Confirms It Has Not Located The Wreckage Of The Missing MAS Plane

WATCH: Malaysia Authorities Say No New Developments On Missing MH370

5:00PM: Malaysia Airlines And Malaysia Transport Minister Deny That Flight MH370 Crashed

A Photo Of An Emergency Rescue Message That Was Sent Out To Vessels Nearby

1:30PM: Vietnamese Navy Has Confirmed Flight MH370 Crashed Into The Sea

  • According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, Commander of the Region 5, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 153 miles South of Phu Quoc island.

  • When contacted, Malaysia Airlines declined to confirm or deny the reports, saying that the Malaysian authorities are working together with the Vietnamese government on the matter. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reports that China has dispatched two maritime rescue ships to help locate the missing plane.

12:50PM: Unconfirmed Reports From Vietnam Say Missing MH370 Crashed Into The Ocean

11.00AM: MAS Group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, "The Passengers Were From 14 Different Nationalities"

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, we are deeply saddened this morning with the news on MH370. Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight MH370 had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am, today. There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed at Nanming. We are working to verify the authenticity of the report and others.

Unconfirmed Reports Of Flight MH370 Landing Safely In Nanming, China Surfaced At 9:30AM, Are False

  • Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has denied several reports which stated flight MH370 had made an emergency landing in Nanning, China. “We have checked with ground control and it’s not true,” said Fuad Sharuji, VP Operation Controlsaid.

  • He said during the last reported contact at 35,000 feet, around two hours from KLIA, there was no call from the crew or notification from the tower that they were having any kind of difficulties.

  • “As of now, we still have no clue on where it is right now” he told CNN at 10.45am. MAS is holding a press conference at 11am.

First Officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, A Malaysian, Is Aged 27. He Has A Total Flying Experience Of 2,763 Hours. He Joined Malaysia Airlines In 2007.

The Flight Was Piloted By Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, A Malaysian Aged 53. He Has A Total Flying Experience Of 18,365 Hours. He Joined Malaysia Airlines In 1981.

20 Top Management Staff From Freescale Semiconductor Were On Board MAS Flight MH370

  • About 20 top management staff from semiconductor company Freescale Semiconductor were among 38 Malaysians onboard MAS flight MH370. The team comprising senior managers and managers were on their way to China to undergo a month-long course in Beijing.

  • It is learnt that they were part of a group of 29, nine of whom were supposed to leave for China today. Among the managers onboard the missing plane was Safuan Ramlan, 33, whose wife, Jelawati Jalil, 32, was waiting at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for news of the missing plane.

A Statement From The Airline Said It Was Contacting The Next-Of-Kin Of Passengers And Crew

At The Time Of Its Disappearance, The Plane Was Carrying About 7.5 Hours Of Fuel

The Flight Went Missing Two Hours After Taking Off From KL. China's Xinhua State News Agency Said It Was Lost In Airspace Controlled By Vietnam.

  • It said some 160 Chinese passengers were among the people on board. The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, the agency added.

The Flight Was Carrying A Total Number Of 239 Passengers And Crew – Comprising 227 Passengers (Including 2 Infants), 12 Crew Members

An Official Media Statement Released Earlier This Morning Of The Incident Provides The Details Of The Missing Flight

  • *Saturday, March 08, 09:05 AM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident

    We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning bound for Beijing. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30am local Beijing time. Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40am (local Malaysia time) today. Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing B777-200 aircraft. *

Sepang, 8 March 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Lost Contact With Subang Air Traffic Control At 2.40am

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