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Malaysia Airlines Loses Track of a 777 After It Departs from Kuala Lumpur
On Friday (EDT), Asian carrier, Malaysia Airlines, put out a press release regarding a lost Boeing 777-2H6(ER). The airplane was registered as 9M-MRO and is approximately 11.8 years old. Itsfirst flight with Malaysia was on 05/14/2002.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (#MH370) departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am local time on March, 8th, 2014 and was scheduled to arrive in Beijing the same day at 6:30AM. The flight carried 227 and 12 crew members which means that the flight was not full. It lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2:40 AM; It has not been heard from since.
Local search and rescue teams have been sent out and the airline is expected to hold a press conference soon.
Due to the nature of this story, we will be posting regular updates here and on our social media platforms. Follow us on Twitter for the most up to date information.
UPDATE 3/7/14 10:13 P.M. EDT: Claims have been made saying that the aircraft has landed in Nanming, China. Malaysia Airlines has denied this statement.
UPDATE 3/7/14 10:20 P.M. EDT: Malaysia Airlines is still contacting next-of-kin’s. Spokesperson states that the captain has 18,365 flight hours, joining the airline in 1981.
UPDATE 3/7/14 10:31 P.M. EDT: The airline has released the nationalities of all the passengers onboard: China: 152 and a lap child, Indonesia: 12, Malaysia: 38, Australia: 7, France: 3, U.S.: 3 and a lap child, New Zealand: 2, Ukraine: 2, Canada: 2, Russia: 1, Italy: 1, Taiwan: 1, Netherlands: 1, and Austria: 1.
UPDATE 3/8/14 at 4:41 P.M. EDT: In the past hours, there has not been any new developments in this case besides speculation. Air searching will cease operations until the morning, but boat operations will continue throughout the night. There is also speculation that two passenger boarded the aircraft with stolen passports, this is unconfirmed by Malaysia Airlines. After 24 with no air traffic control contact, there is still no sign of wreckage.
UPDATE 3/8/14 10:10 P.M. EDT: Boeing has stated that they will be providing assistance to investigators on the technical level. Also, a disaster recovery management specialist is en route to Malaysia from Atlanta, USA.
UPDATE 3/8/14 10:38 P.M. EDT: As of the last press conference there is not much new information. Neighboring countries are being extremely helpful. The oil slick found this morning is unrelated to the disappearance. Several task teams including the NTSB are on the way to assist.
UPDATE 3/9/14 1:04 A.M. EDT: There are a number of aircraft and ships helping in the search for the missing aircraft: 22 aircraft and 40 ships. Ships: United States: 1 Chinese: 3 Singapore: 3 Indonesian: 5 Royal Thai Navy: 1 and a number of others; aircraft: United States: 1 Malaysian: 5 and a number of others. Officials say that military radar indicated that the aircraft may have been turning back. The search area has been expanded to the South China Sea; it will also stay in the East China Sea. “[On the Boeing 777] we are very confident in the safety of the aircraft. This is a very reliable aircraft,” said an official during the last press conference.
UPDATE 3/9/14 :20 A.M. EDT: BBC confirms that two passengers bought two fake Italian and Austrian passports and boarded with them.
UPDATE 3/9/14 8:59 P.M. EDT: Malaysia Airline CEO states that he will not ground the 14 remaining 777s. There are no other updates to post at this time.
UPDATE 3/11/14 9:54 P.M. EDT: Malaysia Airlines stated in a press release that the search for the missing airliner is being extended westward into the Straits of Malacca. Nine aircraft and 24 vessels are searching the area, most provided by assisting countries. Earlier this week, an oil slick and debris was spotted. Upon further analysis, it is confirmed that none of it came from MH370. The airline says that a routine maintenance check was performed 12 days prior to this incident and nothing was wrong with the “health” of the aircraft. Every Malaysia Airlines aircraft is equipped with an Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) which automatically transmits data; no distress signal or other information was transmitted.
UPDATE 3/12/14 11:33 P.M. EDT: Malaysia Airlines announced earlier that it will change the standard Kuala Lumpur to Beijing (and visa versa) flight numbers to “318” and “319” from “370” and “371.” There will be no changes to the frequency of flights between the two destinations.
UPDATE 3/13/14 10:00 P.M. EDT: As we near a week without any new or solid developments, the United States is stepping in and sending the USS Kidd to the Indian Ocean. The Navy destroyer won’t arrive in the Indian Ocean until Saturday morning. There are also unconfirmed reports of “pings” from the ACARS system that are registering on satellite. This may suggest that the airplane flew over or to the Indian Ocean.
UPDATE 3/15/14 4:20 P.M. EDT: After a press conference last night, Malaysian officials stated that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was possibly a result of criminal acts. China has sent out its Coast Guard to begin searching and the Vietnamese have discontinued their search. The Indian Ocean is being searched and some agencies have began to consider a possible hijacking and landing; This has NOT been confirmed by the airline in any way. Please stay with us as we continue to update this timeline with information.
UPDATE 3/24/14 6:39 P.M. EDT: MAS states that analysis of satellite data has led them to conclude that the aircraft went down in the southern Indian Ocean. The search operations will continue.
UPDATE 3/28/14 12:11 A.M. EDT: MAS released earlier that the Australian government has exempted the requirement for visa processing to the families of passengers and crew. The airline is making arrangements to transport the families to Perth should physical wreckage be found. For now though, the search has been shifted 683 miles to the northeast from it’s current location. New satellite analysis indicates that the aircraft may have been traveling faster than normal and possibly burnt fuel faster. This is the main reason for the search area shift.
UPDATE 4/7/14 9:17 P.M. EDT: Chinese officials are reporting that a ship of their own has detected a “ping” that sounds like one of an Emergency Locator Signal. The United Kingdom is sending a special ship, the HMS Echo, to investigate the area where the sounds were heard. HMS Echo is equipped with more sophisticated equipment than the Chinese ship had onboard.
*All times are local unless stated otherwise
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