A preliminary report on MH370, submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has been made public. There is not a lot of new information in the main report. In the accompanying materials there is some new content.
A press conference was held earlier today. Malaysian time, with Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein outlining the information released and the next steps.
Released with the preliminary report were audio recordings of conversations between air traffic controllers and the pilots of the 777. There are no indications of concern in the voices of the pilots.
A document was also released outlining what happened between 01:38 and 06:14 on Saturday 8th March. It confirms that it took four hours after the plane disappeared from radar to activate emergency search and rescue operations. Some key points:
01:19- Malaysian Controllers told the pilots to check in with ATC in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. They received the response from the plane which you can hear above in the YouTube recording: “Good night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero“.
The check-in never happened and the plane dropped off the radar.
01:38- Ho Chi Minh ATC contacted Kuala Lumpur advising that “Verbal contact was not established“. The two control centres began back tracking MH370’s flight positiins from tehn radra
02:03 – Malaysia Airlines reassures questioners that the plane is in Cambodian airspace
02:18- Cambodia denies any contact with MH370.
02:35 – Malaysia Airlines stated that that MH370 was “in normal condition based on signal download,” somewhere off the coast of Vietnam and on track for its destination of Beijing.
03:30 –Malaysia Airlines amends its message stating: “The flight tracker information was based on flight projection and not reliable for aircraft positioning,”
05:20 – Malaysia announces: “MH370 never left Malaysian airspace.”
05:30 Malaysian air traffic controllers alert a rescue coordination centre. The plane probably only had 2½ hours of fuel left at this point.
One clear recommendation is real-time tracking of commercial planes. It was overdue for Air France 447 and its overdue now.
This map showing MH370’s flight path was made available along with the plane’s cargo manifest and the seating plan for the jet.
There are still too few answers in this puzzling search.
MH370- 3 weeks 3 questions unanswered (March 28)
MH 370 Map: Two Possible Routes (March 15)
Sun rises on a new day in Malaysia (March 8)
Malaysia Airlines Missing Plane (March 8)