air safety

Mar 11, 2014

MH370: Did authorities visit crash site today (Tuesday)?

There is compelling information that puts the crash site of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as near Pulau Perak or Silver Island, the westernmost point of Malaysia in the Str

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Palau Perak, near MH370 crash site? Panoramio image by Google Maps

There is compelling information that puts the crash site of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as near Pulau Perak or Silver Island, the westernmost point of Malaysia in the Straits of Malacca.

It is possible that the crash site was visited by Malaysia government officials earlier today Tuesday, including the defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein who cancelled his attendance at the scheduled daily media conference on the status of the search for the missing 777-200 and its 239 passengers and crew to participate in a search flight on the western side of the Malaysia Peninsula.

Pulau Perak is far from the previously last known radar return from MH370 on Saturday morning, when it was 162 kilometres NE of Kota Baru, heading across the Gulf of Thailand toward Vietnam on a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

This is the update on the Aviation Herald site:

On Mar 11th 2014 Malaysia’s Air Force reported their primary radar data suggest, the aircraft may have turned west over the Gulf of Thailand at about 1000 meters/3000 feet below the original flight level (editorial note: another possible interpretation could be: at 1000 meters of height compared to 10000 meters original level) and flown past the east coast near Khota Baru and the west coast of Malaysia near Kedah, the radar return was last seen at 02:40L near Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca, about 285nm westsouthwest of the last known (secondary) radar position. Local Police at the city of Bharu confirmed a number of locals reported lights and a low flying aircraft at Bharu at an estimated height of 1000 meters/3000 feet.

This is part of this report in the Malaysia Chronicle:

A Berita Harian report today quoted the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) as saying the plane may have reversed course further than expected while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Air Force chief Rodzali Daud  is quoted as saying that based on military radar readings from its station in Butterworth, MH370 may have turned west after Kota Bahru and flown past the east coast and Kedah.

“The last time the plane was detected was near Pulau Perak, in the Straits of Malacca, at 2.40am,” Berita Harian quoted Rodzali as saying.

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 March 8.

Earlier today the official narrative on the search for MH370 began to fall apart.  As it did intelligence sources in Europe and the US were briefing their media that the loss of the flight did not look like the work of terrorists, although reporters were cautioned not to completely dismiss the possibility of evidence to the contrary emerging.

That advice has dire potential for Malaysia Airlines on legal and commercial levels. Those risks to be fair to the airline remain to be resolved, despite the Malaysia police chief making the startling and unprompted declaration earlier today (Tuesday) that the mental state of passengers and crew on MH370 was being investigated.

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