"Meticulous" search in China finds no trace of plane

A Chinese relative of a passenger aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane is carried out by security officials as she protests before a press conference at a hotel in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. New radar data from Thailand gave Malaysian investigators more potential clues Wednesday for how to retrace the course of the missing Malaysian airliner, while a massive multinational search unfolded in an area the size of Australia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)   | Photo Credit: Vincent Thian

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it has found no sign so far that the missing Malaysian Airlines plane entered its territory or airspace, according to news reports.

“Search work is in full swing,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency, which said satellite and radar data had been analysed in “meticulous detail.” On the subject of the passengers’ relatives, Hong said that China had “repeatedly asked the Malaysian side to take care of relatives of passengers and respond to their reasonable concerns.”

Data deleted from Malaysian pilot’s flight simulator

Data was deleted from a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of the missing Malaysian passenger jet, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

“Some data has been deleted from the simulator and forensic work to retrieve that data is ongoing,” he said during a press conference.

The flight simulator was seized during a search of the pilot’s home.

Uncertain leads, new theories on Day 12 of search

The search for a missing Malaysian airliner entered its 12th day on Wednesday with investigators still puzzled over why the aircraft disappeared and where it could possibly be now, a Malaysian aviation official said.

“We are still clueless,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media.

A local newspaper reported that investigators found information on landing strips in Diego Garcia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and India in the flight simulator seized from the house of the plane’s pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, but a police source said he was not aware of such report.

“As far as I know experts are still examining the flight simulator,” he said.

Thai authorities said Wednesday they might have detected the missing plane on their radar, but neighbouring Laos confirmed that civilian radar had not detected the missing Malaysia Airline flight crossing the country, media reports said.

“There was a signal of a plane entering our radar but we cannot confirm that it was flight MH370,” Thai Air Force spokesman Air Marshal Monthon Sanchukorn said.

Reports from the United States said that the much-debated turn to the west carried out by the jet shortly after its communication systems were disabled had been previously programmed into a flight computer, rather than carried out manually.

The finding implies that someone highly familiar with the plane’s controls decided to carry out the diversion, the New York Times reported.

The search for the missing flight MH370, carrying 239 people, is continuing in two vast swathes of territory north and south of the plane’s last known location.

Australian authorities leading the southern corridor operation said Wednesday the search area for the jet had narrowed, and would now focus on a 600,000-square-kilometre patch 3,000 kilometres south-west of Perth.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday said the plane flew for up to seven hours toward an unknown destination after it vanished from radar.

Najib said the communication systems on the Boeing 777—200 were deliberately switched off in the early hours of March 8, before the plane was diverting from its route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

PTI adds:

U.S. rules out Malaysian jet landed at its Indian Ocean base

The United States has ruled out the possibility of the missing Malaysian plane landing at its Indian Ocean base in Diego Garcia.

“I’ll rule that one out,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday when asked about such news reports appearing mainly in the Chinese press.

Mr. Carney said the Malaysian government has the lead in this investigation and the U.S. officials are in Kuala Lumpur working closely with the Malaysian government on the investigation.

“This is a difficult and unusual situation, and we are working hard, in close collaboration with the Malaysian government and other partners, to investigate a number of possible scenarios for what happened to the flight. Our hearts of course go out to the families of the passengers. They are in a truly agonizing situation,” he said.

The United States remain fully committed to assisting the Malaysians and working with its international partners on this investigation, on this effort. “And we are providing assistance through the NTSB, through the FAA and through the FBI. We are in a close, collaborative relationship as regards this investigation,” he said in response to a question.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the focus now was on new search areas announced by the Malaysian Prime Minister over the weekend, which are based on a detailed, highly technical and innovative analysis of the potential flight path.

The U.S. Navy is repositioning the P-8A’s Poseidon to Perth, Australia to conduct searches along the southern corridor. And additionally, P-3C Orion will continue to conduct its mission to search west of Indonesia. And they’ve also made the determination that the USS Kidd’s capabilities did not match current task, and it has been reassigned, she said.

The mystery of the missing plane from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing since March 8 continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:43:24 AM |

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