Australian planes spot two objects in jet search

An Australian plane spotted two objects in the search for Malaysia's missing jet in the southern Indian Ocean and was sending a ship to investigate, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday, with Malaysian authorities saying they could be reached "within hours".

"The crew on board the Orion reported seeing two objects, the first a grey or green circular object and the second an orange rectangular object," Abbott told parliament on Monday evening.

They are different to the pieces seen by a Chinese plane earlier in the day and were located by an Australian RAAF P3 Orion about 2,500km southwest of Perth.

Australian ship homes in on possible debris from Malaysia plane

An Australian navy ship was close to finding possible debris from a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner on Monday as a mounting number of sightings of floating objects raised hopes wreckage of the plane may soon be found.

The HMAS Success should reach two objects spotted by Australian military aircraft by Tuesday morning at the latest, Malaysia's government said, offering the first chance of picking up suspected debris from the plane.

So far, ships in the international search effort have been unable to locate several "suspicious" objects spotted by satellites in grainy images or by fast-flying aircraft over a vast search area in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

"HMAS Success is on scene and is attempting to locate and recover these objects," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who called his Malaysia counterpart Najib Razak to inform him of the sighting, said in a statement to parliament.

The objects, described as a "grey or green circular object" and an "orange rectangular object", were spotted about 2,500 km west of Perth on Monday afternoon, said Abbott, adding that three planes were also en route to the area.

Neither Malaysia nor Australia gave details on the objects' size.

Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8. No confirmed sighting of the plane has been made since and there is no clue what went wrong.

Attention and resources in the search for the Boeing 777 have shifted from an initial focus north of the Equator to an increasingly narrowed stretch of rough sea in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of miles from the original flight path.

Earlier on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency said a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft spotted two "relatively big" floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometres.

UPDATE [6.00pm, 24 March 2014]: Highlights from today’s press conference:

Highlights from today’s press conference from PWTC:

- PM Najib Razak was informed ‘a few minutes ago’ by his Australian counterpart that two objects - one circular and another rectangular- were seen. Objects could be received within the next few hours or by tomorrow morning at the latest.

- Two orange objects approximately one metre in length and one white coloured drum were sighted by search aircraft, but remain unidentified and have not been conclusively linked to MH370.

- MAS CEO: Plane carried 200kgs of lithium-ion batteries that were packaged according to international guidelines and fruits. Cargo manifest is with investigation team. Australia has to request cargo list from the investigation team.

- Minister Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed that the plane was carrying wooden pallets, but no verification that the wooden pallet found was indeed from MH370.

- Police have questioned more than 100 people including families of both pilot and co-pilot. Full story.

- On diversion of another MAS flight to Incheon, MAS CEO says it was a ‘a technical problem with the generator’. “It’s not a safety issue, but a technical one that the aircraft had”.

- Hisham: Not discounting human element in the disappearance of the plane.

- MAS says co-pilot moved from a lower fleet to a B777. He passed the first five flights and was flying on MH370 with the pilot - a B777 examiner- on his sixth flight.

[5:11pm]: A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon, the most advanced search aircraft in the world, had been unable to find objects spotted earlier on Monday by a Chinese aircraft.













































[4.11pm]: China's Foreign Ministry said it could not confirm that objects spotted by a its military aircraft earlier today were connected to the missing jetliner.


[1.10pm]: Chinese aircrew have spotted "suspicious objects" in the southern Indian Ocean in the search for the vanished Malaysia Airlines plane the official Xinhua news agency said.

[12.34pm]: The US Navy is sending a black box locator to the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, in a move they call a 'precautionary measure' in case the field of debris is confirmed.

[12:13pm]: Malaysia Airlines confirms that a separate flight -  MH066 from Kuala Lumpur to Incheon on Sunday (March 23) - was diverted to Hong Kong due to an inoperative aircraft generator which supplies normal electrical power. However electrical power continued to be supplied by the Auxiliary Power Unit. The aircraft was then diverted to Hong Kong for rectification and landed uneventfully. 

[8.50am]: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said in an interview with ABC Radio that the new lead in the widened hunt for MH370 was promising, but cautioned that the search in the remote icy southern Indian Ocean remained difficult.

Search teams scouring the remote Southern India Ocean for MH370 have been hampered by low visibility as cloud and fog descended over parts of the area, The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported. An Australian Air Force Lieutenant told the Australian daily that heavy cloud reduced his crew's ability, which he said was 'completely' engulfed in cloud at times, even at its lowest altitude.








 UPDATE [4.00pm, 22 March 2014]: Highlights from today’s press conference:

- 26 countries now involved in the search for MH370, the biggest huntin history.

- Countries involved in the Northern Search Corridor have not reportedany possible sightings of MH370 on their radars.

- The search in the next quadrant in the Southern Corridor covers10,500 sq nautical miles, involving 6 planes and 2 ships. SAR ops in the SouthernCorridor will be led by Indonesia and Australia. Cylcone has been detectednearby and search ships may be sailing into the storm.

- Briefings to families: Malaysian briefings went well, but there weretensions in the Beijing briefing. Related stories here and here.

- Transcripts of the communication between MH370 and air control cannotbe released yet due to on-going investigations, but the DCA D-G says there isno abnormality. Referring to the Daily Telegraph’s release of the alleged transcript,the D-G says that it was “not accurate”. Related story here.

- Cargo manifest has been investigated and findings will be releasedshortly. MAS CEO confirms that there are no suspicious items and everything complieswith international aviation standards. Cargo of Li-Ion batteries had beenpacked and handled according to regulations. Story here.

- Report by a sighting by a woman returning from Mecca: ActingTransport Minister says it will be investigated in due time, but focus now isto probe the most credible leads. Currently that is the Aussie sightings.

- To a question why MAS did not subscribe to more tracking serviceseven though it did only cost about USD10 extra per plane, the MAS CEO says thatcurrent tracking capabilities are sufficient and the additional services wouldnot have made a difference in the case of MH370.

- Hishamuddin revealed that Malaysian submarines did not have active orpassive sonar capabilities, and neither do any of the ships in the Royal MalaysianNavy

- PC ended abruptly when Hishamuddin received a notice saying the Chineseambassador has informed him that satellite images detected a large objectwithin the Southern Corridor measuring 22m x 30m. Story here.




















UPDATE [9.00 pm; Mar 21]: Highlights from today’s press conference:

- Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to speak to US Secretary of Defence tonight to request use of remotely-operated vehicles for possibility of deep ocean salvage.
- No information yet from Australians on the object spotted in Indian Ocean. Search and rescue to continue in southern and northern corridor and will be ‘long-haul’. Hishammuddin Hussein says the ‘most sophisticated’ planes are being deployed.
- Information on the pilot’s simulator has been sent to international authorities to verify.
- China, Japan and UK have deployed assets. UK has offered specialist search and investigative help to be given once more information comes in.
- Kazakhstan has not seen any sign of MH370. Malaysia is waiting for permission for Kazakhstan to be used as a ‘staging point’ for search operations.
- Background checks on Ukrainian passengers clear. International intelligence confirms there is nothing unusual in passenger manifest.
- MAS says small batteries were on cargo, but packaged and stored according to international aviation guidelines. Batteries not listed as  ‘dangerous goods’ by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
- Last night’s briefing in KL to update family members was well attended by all relatives. Constructive and frank discussion, but not all questions were answered.
- Families in Beijing met with high-level Malaysian government team for three hours.

Full statement here.

UPDATE [8.00 pm]: Australian radars have failed to pick up any sign of the missing plane and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (ASMA) is now replanning a 'visual search' with skilled observers. Full story.

UPDATE [12.53pm]: The first plane sent today to search over one of the remotest places on Earth returned empty-handed from its hunt through rough seas for objects that may be from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Details.
















UPDATE [10.15 am]: Three Chinese warships and an icebreaker wil join the search for possible pieces of the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean. Full report.

UPDATE [9.30 am]: Australia resumes search for possible wreckage from the missing Malaysian jetliner in a remote, storm-swept stretch of the Indian Ocean.

- The Wall Street Journal reported that finding flight MH370 could take months even if the debris shown in satellite images in the southern Indian Ocean is part of the missing plane.  Full story here.

UPDATE [Thurs 20 Mar]:

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has not found any debris yet, due to rain and clouds limiting visibility in the search area. Read in full.

Commander William Marks, spokesman for the US Navy's 7th Fleet, was quoted as saying that the radar hits of “significant size” - indicating something below the search area in the southern Indian Ocean - were not connected to missing flight MH370. Read in full.

The New Straits Times meanwhile, reported that the Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft has reached the search scene.


UPDATE [11.10 pm]: Largest object sighted is 24 metres, with a second, smaller object also spotted, Australian authorities said. Details.




Meanwhile, minister Hishammuddin Hussein confirms 'new lead' and is meeting with Australian delegation to verify. Full story.

UPDATE [9.10 am]: Two objects possibly related to MH370 have been spotted on Australian satellite imagery and an air force aircraft was diverted to the area, according to the Australian prime minister. Full story here.

UPDATE [8.30 am]:  Data from the multiple "handshakes" between the Inmarsat satellite and  flight MH370 could help plot the aircraft's last known location before it disappeared, The Washington Post reported. Full story here.

- The disappearance of a Malaysian plane has prompted calls for in-flight streaming of black box data over remote areas. A retired US Air Force general  said finding a way to transmit limited information from flight data and cockpit voice recorders to a virtual "cloud" database would help authorities launch accident investigations sooner. Full story here.

UPDATE [2.25pm]: Thai radar picked up an "unknown aircraft" minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location but officials failed to report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat. Full story here.




















Why didn't the passengers of MH370 try to use their cellphones to contact someone on the ground? Telecommunications experts share their knowledge and offer possible answers to this question. Full story here.

UPDATE [11.28am, 19 Mar]: A former pilot suggested that there may have been a fire on board, the smoke from which would have short-circuited the electronics (including the transponder) and caused the pilots to pass out. He adds that the Captain may have tried to save the plane by setting a course to Langkawi, which explains the turn-back. Full story here.

Another Australian pilot and aviation expert offers insights into another possible explanation, where the plane may have undergone decompression due to an explosion on board, causing the pilots to lose consciousness before completing the redirection of the autopilot. Full story here.

UPDATE [4.20pm]: Highlights from today's press conference:

- MAS says aircraft transponder switched off at 1.21am
- Search area is now a massive 2.2 mil square nautical miles (7.5mil sq km, about the size of Australia), all countries requested to relook radar and satellite data to narrow search area. Full report.

- Minister Hishamuddin Hussein confirmed that primary radar data from other countries shared but did not mention which countries.
- Malaysian military radar to be upgraded later because "interest of the passengers and plane has been placed above national security".

- MAS says it has given sufficient information and care to all the family members in Beijing and will look into any threat of a ‘hunger strike’ among them immediately.

- Hishammuddin rejected claims that Malaysia was a ‘den for terrorists’, calling them baseless allegations.

- Foreign Minister Anifah Aman says there is no need to contact Iran, as thorough investigation (on the two Iranian passengers) has already been conducted by Malaysia.

- On whether Anwar Ibrahim will be called in for investigations (over links between him and the pilot), Hishamuddin said ‘we did not bring this up’ and names the UK’s Daily Mail and CNN for bringing up the issue of politics. ‘This issue is above politics,” he said.

There was also a bizarre question from a foreign reporter asking Hishammuddin to confirm if he was PM Najib Razak's cousin and if he was protected. This was his answer: "I can confirm here that I am Najib’s cousin and I don’t know what i’m supposed to be protected from!".

Full statement here.

UPDATE [12.20pm]: Australia has sharply reduced its search for the missing jetliner as strong currents and high seas make the task more daunting. Read it here.

UPDATE [10:10am]: Police investigations into the pilot and co-pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have not turned up any red flags in their backgrounds, according to the The Wall Street Journal. Full story here.

Acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein urged China to re-evaluate its scrutiny of Chinese passengers on the passenger manifest of flight MH370. 

UPDATE [3.15pm]: Salient points from press conference:
- Last words from cockpit - ‘Alright, good night’ is believed to be said by the co-pilot at 1.19am. Read here.
- Last ACARS transmission at 1.07am. Next signal due 30 minutes later but did not happen. ACARS could have been switched off between this time.
- Plane was carrying three to four tonnes of mangosteen in cargo, no hazardous cargo.
- On a news report that plane flew at 5,000 feet to avoid radar, MAS says ‘it did not come from us’.
- Pilots flew as assigned by roster, no swap.
- Two Malaysian ships and a helicopter have been deployed.
- MAS now on ‘code tango’ - a heightened security code that looks at all possible security shortcomings. All psychological tests on pilots will be reviewed.
- Defence and Acting Transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein denied that Malaysia was not working closely with the FBI, saying he has been working with them ‘since day one’.
- Hishamuddin confirmed that investigations are looking at pilot psychological problems and suicide, but gave no details.
- Why only two corridors? The DCA says calculations done based on minimum and maximum speed. On the northern corridor plane could have reached Laos at minimum speed or the edge of the Caspian Sea at maximum speed.
On the southern corridor, plane could have reached east of Sumatra at minimum speed and south of the Indian Ocean at maximum speed.

DCA chief: Six handshakes (pings) were received by geo satellite on top of Indian Ocean. Only information available is the time of the pings, but no coordinates.

UPDATE [1.30pm]: Highlights from a press statement by the Transport Ministry this afternoon:
- The  Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force have deployed their assets to the southern corridor (Indonesia to southern Indian ocean).
- The Foreign Affairs Ministry has sent diplomatic notes to all countries along the northern and southern corridors requesting for:
  1) Radar and satellite information
  2) Land, sea and aerial search operations
  3) Search and rescue action plans for relevant countries
  4) Details of any information required from Malaysia
- Police are investigating crew and passengers of MH370 as well as all ground staff handling the aircraft; cops have re-assembled simulator taken from pilot's home.
- French investigators have arrived to share their knowledge from the search for Air France flight 447, which crashed in 2009.
- Countries involved in search and rescue 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.

Read full statement here

UPDATE [1.57pm]: Police are investigating a flight engineer who was among the passengers on the missing MH370 plane, as they focus on the pilots and anyone else on board who had technical flying knowledge.

UPDATE [12.30pm]: The last words from the cockpit of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 - "all right, good night" - were uttered after someone on board had already begun disabling one of the plane's automatic tracking systems, a senior Malaysian official said.

UPDATE [10.50am]: The New Straits Times reported that the Boeing 777-200ER dropped 5,000 feet (1,500m) to evade commercial radar detection.

UPDATE (MARCH 17, 10.00 am):Salient points from the press conference chaired by Malaysia Acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein


- The search for MH370 has become "even more difficult", with the search area expanded to include large tracts of land across 11 countries and oceans.
- The number of countries involved has increased from 14 to 25.
- Malaysia's Foreign Ministry has requested support from over 22 countries, including: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia & Australia.
- This support would be in the form of general satellite data, radar playback and provisions for ground, sea and aerial search and rescue.
- Both northern & southern corridors are being treated with equal importance.


- According to Malaysia Airlines, the pilot and co-pilot did not ask to fly together.
- The MH370 aircraft was subjected to Boeing's mandatory maintenance program, fully serviced and fit to fly.
- Malaysia Airlines says the plane departed with its planned fuel load with nothing extra.
- The cargo manifest has also been investigated and no hazardous materials were found to be onboard.
- A flight simulator was taken from the home of MH370's pilot and is being examined by police now.

- Malaysian police says not all background checks on passengers have been completed as some countries have yet to respond.
 
UPDATE (3:05pm): Salient points from the Prime Minister's statement given at the press conference:
1. New data shows last confirmed location was Saturday, 8 March at 8.11AM which indicate how far the plane has flown.
2. Based on new satellite communication data, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications, Addressing and Reporting System or ACARS, was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
3. Shortly aftewards, near the border between Malaysia and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft transponder was switched off.
4. From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s primary radar showed that an aircraft, believed to be (but not confirmed to be) MH370, did indeed turn back.
5. It then flew back over Peninsular Malaysia, before turning northwest into the Straits of Malacca, up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage.
6. The PM also said that plane movement was consistent with "deliberate action" by someone on the plane.
7. There will be refocused investigation into the crew and passengers on board.
8. Despite news reports that investigators concluded it was a hijacking, PM Najib said "I wish to be very clear we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path." Hijacking is not ruled out, however.
9. Based on the direction in which the plane flew, the plane could have headed in one of two possible corridors:
- Northern corridor: border of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan to Northern Thailand.
- Southern corridor: From Indonesia to Southern Indian Ocean.
9. Operations in the South China Sea will be ended and deployment of assets will be reassessed.
10. Malaysia Airlines is informing families of the passengers of the new developments.
11. "The search has entered a new phase... We hope this new information will bring us one step closer to finding the plane."























































































No question were taken, but reporters were asked to submit questions to be answered at the 5.30pm press conference. STAY TUNED!

(15 March, 10:55am): A Malaysian government official involved in the investigation says investigators have concluded that one or more people with significant flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, switched off communication devices and steered it off-course. Story here.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's twitter account has announced that the PM will be making a press statement at 1:30pm.

CNN reports that classified intelligence analysis says it is likely that MH370 crashed in the bay of Bengal or the Indian ocean, and gives a highly detailed description of the plane's flight path after it disappeared. Details here.

Over 2.3 million people worldwide are searching for MH370, scanning thousands of satellite images on their PCs in a crowdsourcing effort. Story here.





UPDATE [5.00pm]: Investigators involved in the search for the missing flight MH370 reportedly now fear that the aircraft is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Full story here.

Meanwhile, Chinese researchers have detected a "seafloor event" near the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, one-and-a-half hours after MH370 disappeared from the radar. Click here for the full report

An aviation journalist also reveals that MH370 could have landed on a runway based on the data received. Read his theory here.

UPDATE [4.30pm]: The press conference has just ended. Here are some key highlights:








  •     The authorities have investigated two oil slicks at the South China Sea two days ago. One oil slick has a tiny hint of jet fuel, but they can't confirm it belongs to MH370. No debris was found
  •     Acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, denied reports that MH370 kept flying after it lost contact, with Rolls Royce and Boeing confirming that they have not received any flight data.
  •     Authorities are still unable to confirm that the plane made a turn-back: "Though there is information, it’s not 100 per cent that it’s MH370. That has not changed.”
  •     The UK investigation team and representatives from Roll Royce will be arriving tonight to assist investigations.
  •     Authorities can't confirm if transponder was deliberately switched off: “There’s no confirmation on the signal. We are still investigating the possibility,” says Hishammuddin.
  •     Hishamuddin has continued to deny that the police have searched the houses of Malaysia Airlines crew.
  •     On extending their search area to the Indian Ocean, Hishamuddin said: "Together with our international partners, we are pushing further east into the South China Sea and further into the Indian Ocean."
  •     Hishamuddin also confirmed that they are working very closely with the U.S. team: "They indicated they were studying the possibility of satellite communication. Whatever they have and will share with us."


UPDATE [3.30pm]: Sources close to the ongoing investigation revealed that military radar-tracking evidence suggests that the missing jetliner was deliberately flown towards the Andaman Islands. Full story here.

UPDATE [2.15pm]: The best information about the missing flight MH370 is probably in the hands of American officials who are in Malaysia assisting the investigation but they are keeping mum, the New York Times reported. Full story.

UPDATE [1.20pm]: Several family members of Chinese passengers on board a missing Malaysian airliner have requested to speak directly with Malaysian leaders via teleconference. Story here.

UPDATE [12.30pm]: The US believes that the shutdown of two communications systems on missing flight MH370 could have been deliberate. Full story.

UPDATE [10.15am] : A crisis management expert has pointed to rumours and speculation from social media as a hindrance for Malaysian authorities investigating the disappearance of flight MH370. Read it here.

UPDATE [9:00am] : A crisis management expert has pointed to rumours and speculation from social media as a hindrance for Malaysian authorities investigating the disappearance of flight MH370. Read it here.

UPDATE [8:17am]:  US officials believe that the shutdown of two communication systems happened separately on missing MH370. One source revealed, it is an indication that the plane did not come out of the sky because of a catastrophic failure. Another source said that the data reporting system and transponder was shut down at 1.07am and 1.21am, respectively.











UPDATE [5.05am]: US officials revealed that flight MH370 continued to "ping" a satellite for four hours after it dropped off of the radar. The officials stated that the number of pings would indicate how long the plane stayed aloft. Full story here.

UPDATE [2:04am]: Communications satellites picked up faint electronic pulses ("pings") from MH370 after it went missing on Saturday, but the signals gave no indication about where the stray jet was heading nor its technical condition. Full story here.

A new search area may be opened in the Indian Ocean, says the White House. "We are consulting with international partners about the appropriate assets to deploy." Full story here.

UPDATE [1.30am]: U.S. officials have an "indication" that the missing jetliner may have crashed in the Indian Ocean. Naval ship USS Kidd was dispatched to the area to begin searching in the next 24 hours. Full story here.

What we know as of 11:06pm, 13 March 2014:

Search and rescue operations:

1. Currently 43 ships and 40 aircraft are involved in the search, according to acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein.
2. The Chinese ambassador to Malaysia confirms that the image leak was 'an accident' and 'a personal behaviour' and was not authorized by the Chinese government.
3. An image taken by a Chinese satellite shows apossible crash site of MH370. Malaysia sent an aircraft to search the location, while Chinese authorities say they could not confirm any links to MH370. Vietnam also mentioned that the area had previously been searched. Search aircraft eventually said they did not find anything.
4. India will deploy ships, aircrafts and helicopters.
5. A fleet of Earth-monitoring satellites by the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters has joined the search.
6. Search and rescue efforts will still continue, says acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin.
7. Researchers say China missed a chance to use its satellites to find MH370.
8. The search has been expanded into the Andaman Sea, as the air force believes MH370 might have strayed west.
9. Vietnam is scaling back the search for MH370.
10. Malaysia's air force chief denies saying the plane turned back into the Straits of Malacca.
11. The Indian navy has joined in, together with the navy satellite Rukmini or GSAT-7.
12. A crowdsourced initiative to find the MH370 has overloaded the provider’s servers.
13. Searchers describe their efforts as akin to looking for the needle in a haystack.
14. Relatives of passengers are claiming that phones are still ringing when they try calling them.
15. Strange reports have emerged that MH370 was detected at the Straits of Malacca at about 2:40am on Saturday.
16. Vietnamese officials say they are preparing for the worst. However they are widening their search net, and Singapore is set to join the underwater search today.
17. An American satellite imaging company, DigitalGlobe, is getting the public to join the search by analyzing satellite imagery.
18. The search area has expanded to 500,000 square nautical miles (1.7mil sq km), from Sumatra to Hong Kong.
19. The USS Kidd joins the search, with both having Seahawk helicopters designed for search and rescue.
20. A commercial plane from out of Hong Kong reportedly saw several large pieces of debris 60km southeast of Vung Tau, a coastal city in Vietnam.
21. A low-flying plane was allegedly sighted early in the morning of March 8. Authorities refuse to confirm.
22. Malaysian submaries will not be deployed as they are not 'equipped for search and rescue'.
23. Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and India are assisting in the search.





















Investigations still on-going:

1. US investigators suspect MH370 continued flying for four hours after it vanished due to data supposedly being sent from the engine. Hishamuddin denied this, quoting Boeing and Rolls Royce.
2. US satellites have not detected any sign of a mid-air explosion, say American officials.
3. A lawyer has slammed Malaysia for the ‘misleading information’ on MH370.
4. MAS insists that all planes are ‘airworthy’ despite the Boeing 777 flaw being noted.
5. Under fire by the media, Hishamuddin insists there is no confusion in the MH370 search.
6. A Malaysian minister blamed the media for conflicting statements attributed to the government.
7. A senior MAS executive says there’s no reason to believe this was caused by the crew.
8. The plane sent back two bursts of technical data before vanishing.
9. Legalities and jurisdiction issues are hampering investigations.
10. France is opening a manslaughter investigation into the MH370 disappearance.
11. Police are investigating the matter from four angles: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems, and personal problems among passengers and crew.
12. The B777-200 aircraft that operated MH207 had undergone maintenance 12 days before the flight. There were no issues.
13. Previously-thought floating debris turns out to becable reel – not adoor or life raft. Analysis of oil slick reveals that it isn't aviation fuel from MH370 , but from ship bunkering activities. More pictures here .
14. Experts are starting to believe the plane veered from its flight path, and could be hundreds of kilometers away.
15. French accident board BEA offers help,citing similarities with the 2009 Air France Flight 447 crash.
16. Boeing’s Airplane Health Management system, which allows real-time plane monitoring, was not installed in the missing flight MH370.
17. No signals were spotted from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT) .
18. A portion of the aircraft wingtip was fixed by Boeing and was certified safe to fly. They dismissed the possibility of a technical problem and any form of threat prior to this.
19. PM Najib said that satelite imagery cannot be used as it cannot detect anything below the water surface.
20. MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).

















UPDATE [4.00pm]: In today's press conference, acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said that the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia has confirmed that the release of Chinese satellite imagery of alleged MH370 debris was 'an accident' and 'a personal behaviour' which is now under investigation. He added that an MMEA plane was deployed but found nothing and that the government of China neither authorised nor endorsed the release of satellite images.

Hishamuddin added that:

1. There was no passenger on board MH370 with flight experience.

2. Every single name on the passenger manifest is being investigated by local and international forces.

3. Reports of engine plane flying for 4 hours after last transmision are not true. "Based on records, the last transmission was at 1:07am local time. It did not run beyond that." Hishamuddin said  Rolls Royce and Boeing was called in to assist and that they have verified this.

5. Reports that police have searched the crew's homes are untrue.

6. Reports that search and rescue efforts have slowed down are untrue. "That is totally untrue. In fact, we have intensified the search," he said.

7. Currently 43 ships and 40 aircraft are involved in the search and the capabilities of all assets will be released tomorrow.

8. Hishamuddin also says he is still confident in Malaysia's radar capabilities and that this has now 'been verified by the FAA and NTSB.'

9. Hishamuddin also said all information that is not verified will affect search and rescue operations, using the information on the satellite images as an example. "We had to send our assets to check and it turned out to be untrue," he said, adding that it affected operations.

UPDATE [2.15pm]: Aircrafts searching the area where Chinese satellites picked up images of possible 'debris' from MH370 have found no sign of wreckage.

UPDATE [1.30pm]: India will deploy ships, aircrafts and helicopters to search the missing jetliner.

UPDATE [12.49pm]:  American investigators suspect that flight #MH370 had stayed in the air for about four hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, the Wall Street Journal reported. Read it here.




















UPDATE [12.05pm]: Malaysia Airlines has retired the missing jetliner's flight code as a sign of respect to the 239 passengers and crew on board. Full story.

UPDATE [11:00 am]:  Malaysian police searched the homes of the crew members of flight MH370 as they pursue the sabotage angle, a local Malay-language daily reported. Cops are also checking the background of a passenger of Uighur descent. Full story here.

Meanwhile, a British terror plotter was quoted by the Daily Star as saying he was aware of plans for an 'earlier shoe bomb attack in Malaysia'. Read it here.




File picture of Chandrika Sharma with her husband Narendran and daughter Meghna. An NGO activist Chandrika Sharma is one of the five Indian passengers of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

UPDATE [10:00am]: Vietnam says the area where Chinese satellite images show what might be debris from MH370 has been thoroughly searched in recent days. Read it here.

UPDATE [8.15am]: Malaysia is sending a search aircraft to the possible crash site identified by a Chinese government website, says an air force official. Full story here.

UPDATE [7.01am]: US satellites have not detected any sign of a mid-air explosion, say American officials. "If they had picked up something (by satellite), our ships would have been sent to that spot." Full story here.

UPDATE [6.15am]: An image taken by a Chinese satellite shows a possible crash site of MH370. Three objects sized 13m x 18m, 14m x 19m and 24m x 22m were spotted in the South China Sea. More here.

UPDATE [3.14am]: A fleet of Earth-monitoring satellites has joined the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The so-called International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, comprising 15 space agencies or national space institutes, will provide high-resolution images from satellites flying over the location. Full story here.

AFP speaks to experts regarding five possible theories behind the MH370 disappearance. Did the pilot commit suicide? Was there an explosion on board? Did the plane break up in mid air? Answers here.

************************************

What we know as of 1:00am, 13 March 2014:

Search and rescue operations:

1. Search and rescue efforts will still continue, says acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin.
2. Researchers say China missed a chance to use its satellites to find MH370.
3. The search has been expanded into the Andaman Sea, as the air force believes MH370 might have strayed west.
4. Vietnam is scaling back the search for MH370.
5. Malaysia's air force chief denies saying the plane turned back into the Straits of Malacca.
6. The Indian navy has joined in, together with the navy satellite Rukmini or GSAT-7.
7. A crowdsourced initiative to find the MH370 has overloaded the provider’s servers.
8. Searchers describe their efforts as akin to looking for the needle in a haystack.
9. Relatives of passengers are claiming that phones are still ringing when they try calling them.
10. Strange reports have emerged that MH370 was detected at the Straits of Malacca at about 2:40am on Saturday.
11. Vietnamese officials say they are preparing for the worst. However they are widening their search net, and Singapore is set to join the underwater search today.
12. An American satellite imaging company, DigitalGlobe, is getting the public to join the search by analyzing satellite imagery.
13. The search area has expanded to 500,000 square nautical miles (1.7mil sq km), from Sumatra to Hong Kong.
14. The USS Kidd joins the search, with both having Seahawk helicopters designed for search and rescue.
15. A commercial plane from out of Hong Kong reportedly saw several large pieces of debris 60km southeast of Vung Tau, a coastal city in Vietnam.
16. A low-flying plane was allegedly sighted early in the morning of March 8. Authorities refuse to confirm.
17. Malaysian submaries will not be deployed as they are not 'equipped for search and rescue'.
18. Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and India are assisting in the search.
















Investigations still on-going:

1. A lawyer has slammed Malaysia for the ‘misleading information’ on MH370.
2. MAS insists that all planes are ‘airworthy’ despite the Boeing 777 flaw being noted.
3. Under fire by the media, Hishamuddin insists there is no confusion in the MH370 search.
4. A Malaysian minister blamed the media for conflicting statements attributed to the government.
5. A senior MAS executive says there’s no reason to believe this was caused by the crew.
6. The plane sent back two bursts of technical data before vanishing.
7. Legalities and jurisdiction issues are hampering investigations.
8. France is opening a manslaughter investigation into the MH370 disappearance.
9. Police are investigating the matter from four angles: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems, and personal problems among passengers and crew.
10. The B777-200 aircraft that operated MH207 had undergone maintenance 12 days before the flight. There were no issues.
11. Previously-thought floating debris turns out to becable reel – not adoor or life raft. Analysis of oil slick reveals that it isn't aviation fuel from MH370 , but from ship bunkering activities. More pictures here .
12. Experts are starting to believe the plane veered from its flight path, and could be hundreds of kilometers away.
13. French accident board BEA offers help,citing similarities with the 2009 Air France Flight 447 crash.
14. Boeing’s Airplane Health Management system, which allows real-time plane monitoring, was not installed in the missing flight MH370.
15. No signals were spotted from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT) .
16. A portion of the aircraft wingtip was fixed by Boeing and was certified safe to fly. They dismissed the possibility of a technical problem and any form of threat prior to this.
17. PM Najib said that satelite imagery cannot be used as it cannot detect anything below the water surface.
18. MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).















UPDATE [4.10pm]: Malaysia asked India to join the expanding search for the missing Boeing 777 near the Andaman Sea. Read.

UPDATE [3.45pm]: Acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein and other officials just concluded a press conference with the media. It was an intense affair, with the media far more aggressive than they had been before.

Here are some highlights from what transpired:

Q: Will search and rescue ops now move to search and recovery ops?
A: Search and rescue will continue. We still have hope.

Q: There is a lack of transparency and communication. What is Malaysia hiding?
A: What we are going through is unprecedented, not easy coordinating with so many countries, so many vessels (and such a) vast area. We will never give up hope, we owe this to the families.

Q: Did the aircraft turn back?
A: There is a 'possible' turnback. Why 'possible'? Because we are trying to corroborate with all radars, including civil radars. We have been very consistent in what we have been saying in the last few days. The target disappeared at 1:30 in the morning. Primary radar didn't pick it up at that point in time. Defence primary radar was analyzed same day. Indication of possibility of air turn back. That's why search was conducted in Straits of Malacca.

The last plot was at 02:15, 200miles northwest of penang. But doesn't give identification of aircraft. Full story here.

Q: You don't seem to know what's going on. This is utter confusion.
A: I don't think so. It's only confusion if you want to see it as confusion.

Q: What about Boeing 777 warnings about fuselage? Are you confident about structural integrity?
A: The aircraft is airworthy.

Q: This specific plane?
A: Have to check. But this (that all aircraft be airworthy) is a policy.

Q: What about the conflicting information on the five passengers?
A: The five passengers were on board. No baggage offloaded. Those that booked that didn't arrive were replaced from reserve (standby) list. Four didn't turn up. Standby passengers replaced four that didn't turn up.

On the search of unidentified aircraft, here's what they had to say:
A: The military sat down to think of areas to expand the search. We were baffled that there were no distress signals. So we decided that we should review if our air defense radar tracked this aircraft. When we looked at teh recordings, we looked at if there was a possibility the aircraft turned back. We're not sure if same aircraft, but it's in same area. We didn't track it in real time. we saw recording of data.

Q: How long with search and rescue last?
A: We won't stop operations until we find the aircraft.

Q: Why didn't fighter jets intercept the UFO?
A: To radar operators, it is a trail of a civilian aircraft going north and not classified as hostile.

Q: What about allegations that co-pilot allowed passengers into cockpit in previous flight?
A: It is against company policy. We are against any acts which will compromise the safety of the aircraft.

UPDATE [3.30pm]: A Malaysian minister blamed the media for a series of conflicting statements attributed to government officials. Read.

UPDATE [2.25pm]: Bloomberg reported that MAS had opted out of a Boeing's Airplane Health Management programme which would have allowed Boeing to mine data and help airlines detect mechanical faults early. Read it here.

UPDATE [1.39pm]:  A senior Malaysia Airlines' executive said that the airline has "no reason to believe" that any actions by the crew caused the disappearance of a jetliner. Read it.

UPDATE [11.50pm]:  Frustrated researchers have pointed out that China missed a golden opportunity to exploit the capability of its satellites in the search for flight MH370. Full story.

UPDATE [9:10am]:  The search for MH370 has been expanded into the Andaman Sea, hundreds of kilometres to the northwest of the original search radius. Read it here.













































UPDATE [8:45am]: Vietnam is scaling back the search for MH370 in Vietnam waters. Its deputy transport minister said they have plans to search with a few flights today but have suspended other activities. Read it here.

UPDATE [8:25am]: 

Malaysia's air force chief has denied saying military radar had tracked the lost passenger jet turning back and flying to the Straits of Malacca. The statement had been reported by  a local Malay-language daily. Read it.

Meanwhile, the Indian navy has joined in the search and rescue operations, activating the navy satellite Rukmini or GSAT-7 to pick up any clue that may lead to the missing aircraft. Read it here.



UPDATE [8.18am]: The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER sent at least two bursts of technical data back to the airline before it disappeared, according to the New Scientist magazine. However, MAS has not revealed if it has learnt anything from the data. Full story here.

Malaysians have slowly grown angry over discrepancies about passengers, offloaded baggage and concealed information about its last known position. Full story here.

UPDATE [8:15am]: DigitalGlobe, the company that invited the public to help locate MH370 as a crowdsourcing initiative, has seen unprecedented traffic, which overloaded its servers. They sent out a tweet asking volunteers to return later as they have new imagery collections to be searched. Full story here.

UPDATE [8:00 am]: The two mystery passengers which boarded the MH370 on stolen passports are most likely migrants looking for a new home, rather than terrorists with an agenda. Full story here.

Malaysia Airlines said it was shocked by allegations aired in an Australian news programme regarding the questionable behaviour of the co-pilot on its missing passenger jet. They are unable to verify the validity of the claims, and do not want to divert their attention away from search and rescue operations. Full story here.

************************************

What we know as of 11:20pm, 11 March 2014:

Search and rescue operations:

1. Searchers describe their efforts as akin to looking for the needle in a haystack.
2. Relatives of passengers are claiming that phones are still ringing when they try calling them.
3. Strange reports have emerged that MH370 was detected at the Straits of Malacca at about 2:40am on Saturday.
4. Vietnamese officials say they are preparing for the worst. However they are widening their search net, and Singapore is set to join the underwater search today.
5. An American satellite imaging company, DigitalGlobe, is getting the public to join the search by analyzing satellite imagery.
6. The search area has expanded to 500,000 square nautical miles (1.7mil sq km), from Sumatra to Hong Kong.
7. The USS Kidd joins the search, with both having Seahawk helicopters designed for search and rescue.
8. A commercial plane from out of Hong Kong reportedly saw several large pieces of debris 60km southeast of Vung Tau, a coastal city in Vietnam.
9. A low-flying plane was allegedly sighted early in the morning of March 8. Authorities refuse to confirm.
10. Malaysian submaries will not be deployed as they are not 'equipped for search and rescue'.
11. Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are assisting in the search.









Investigations still on-going:

1. Legalities and jurisdiction issues are hampering investigations.
2. France is opening a manslaughter investigation into the MH370 disappearance.
3. Police are investigating the matter from four angles: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems, and personal problems among passengers and crew.
4. The B777-200 aircraft that operated MH207 had undergone maintenance 12 days before the flight. There were no issues.
5. Previously-thought floating debris turns out to becable reel – not adoor or life raft. Analysis of oil slick reveals that it isn't aviation fuel from MH370 , but from ship bunkering activities. More pictures here .
6. Experts are starting to believe the plane veered from its flight path, and could be hundreds of kilometers away.
7. French accident board BEA offers help,citing similarities with the 2009 Air France Flight 447 crash.
8.
Boeing’s Airplane Health Management system, which allows real-time plane monitoring, was not installed in the missing flight MH370.
9. No signals were spotted from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT) .
10. A portion of the aircraft wingtip was fixed by Boeing and was certified safe to fly. They dismissed the possibility of a technical problem and any form of threat prior to this.
11. PM Najib said that satelite imagery cannot be used as it cannot detect anything below the water surface.
12. MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).









Situation in Malaysia:

1. Hoaxers, opportunists and tasteless jokers have come out of the woodworks.
2. Malaysia Airlines will provide a total of 31,000 yuan (RM16,577) to all families of MH370 passengers, and will be flown to the crash site once the location is known.
3. A local bomoh (shaman) and psychic claim to be able to find MH370, and an African televangelist says he predicted this last July.
4. Guo Shaochun, head of a joint working group from the China govt has arrived in KLIA to further assist in the case, as well as the welfare of Chinese families here.
5. Ex-PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad chastises those who are 'playing the blame game' over the MH370 case.
6. Ex-NST head laments 'lax’ security at KLIA, blames third world mentality.
7. The internet is ablaze with concerned netizens and celebrities expressing their views. Hashtags #MH370 and #PrayForMH370 were trending on Twitter.
8. Politician Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was slammed for an insensitive tweet about a 'new Bermuda triangle'.
9. The DCA Dir-Gen Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the airport authorities have examined security footage of the passengers and the baggage, and he is satisfied.
10. MAS says all other flights will proceed as usual, for now.








Missing passports and possible terror links:

1. All passengers who checked in for the flight had boarded the plane, dispelling earlier claims that 5 passengers were missing.
2. DCA Dir-Gen denies inconsistencies with police information.
3. The immigration chief insists security SOPs were followed.
4. The two passengers travelling with stolen passports were likely migrants, not terrorists. The first, Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, had wanted to migrate to Germany. The second is Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, 30. They had both stayed over at a friend’s house before leaving for MH370.
5. U.S. and European government sources are skeptical that MH370 was the target of an attack..
6. Thailand has been exposed as a crime hub for forged documents.
7. Azharuddin said all cabin baggage on the flight went through security screening, following protocols. MAS also confirms plane security complied with ICAO regulations.
8. Security in Malaysian airports remain the same as the government is not treating this as a security threat yet, despite PM Najib Razak saying KLIA security protocols will be reviewed and improved if necessary. An Immigration Dept source admits “ the SOP does need to be reviewed.”
9. The Chinese Martyr's Brigade claims responsibility, but authorities brush off the ‘unheard-of group’.
10. The Immigration Department is under internal investigation following reports that Italian and Austrian passengers with Asian facial features were allowed to pass through. They had bought their tickets together through an Iranian link.
11. Interpol confirmed that the two missing passports were recorded in its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.
12. Malaysia is working with the FBI on possible terror links to the MH370 disappearance.










Analysis, theories, opinions:

1. CNN laid out four possible scenarios regarding the MH370 disappearance.
2. Authorities are investigating the possibilities of a mid-air disintegration. A video explains the theory further. Radar and transponder information alone would be enough to confirm this theory, says a veteran pilot.
3. Industry experts offer insights into major questions, as well as a detailed analysis of possible reasons behind the MH370 disappearance.
4. An aviation lawyer said that the plane might have broken up due to lack of pressurisation or electrical failure.
5. Retired American Airlines Capt. Jim Tilmon said the route taken by the aircraft had plenty of antennae, radar and radios for contact, and the plane was 'as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be with an excellent safety record'.
6. The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, with total flying hours of 18,365 hours. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours.




Stories surrounding missing passengers:

1. Abdul Hamid Mohd Daud has not given up hope on his son, Fariq, 27, who is the first officer aboard MH370.
2. 38 Malaysians were on-board MH370, including twelve colleagues, a family of three, a couple on honeymoon, a woman who had just celebrated her retirement and about 20 top management staff from Freescale Semiconductor.
3. The niece of Kuching police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad was a passenger on MH370.
4. MH370 Full passenger list here .


UPDATE[6.30pm]: Vietnam widens net, Singapore joins underwater search.

As hopes for MH370 grow dim, Vietnam says it is widening its search net. Meanwhile, Singapore is set to join the underwater search for the missing jet tomorrow.

UPDATE[4.20 pm]: Interpol has identified second passenger who used stolen passport to board MH370. He is also an Iranian, named Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, born on 21 Sept 1984.

Interpol Secretary General stressed that both identities were based on the information on the Iranian passports they used to enter Malaysia on Feb 28, and asked the media and public to help confirm if the information was true.

He added that neither of the Iranian passports were listed on the Interpol database as stolen or missing, which is why they would not have triggered any red flags.

UPDATE [4.10PM]:  Malaysian military believes it tracked missing plane on radar to strait of Malacca, according to TV reports.

MH370 was detected at about 2:40am on Saturday.

UPDATE [3.30pm]: From the press conference by Malaysian Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar:

The identity of the passenger traveling with a stolen Austrian passport: He is  Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19 from Iran.  He was traveling to Germany, where his mother had been waiting for him, with plans to migrate. His mother got in touch with Malaysian police when he failed to arrive and confirmed that she had known that he was traveling with a stolen passport. Checks on him found that he was 'not likely to be a member of any terrorist group'. He entered Malaysia on Feb 28. Read it here

The identity of the second passenger traveling on a stolen Italian passport has yet to be revealed.

Police also confirmed that there were no passengers who checked in for the flight and did not board. Full story here.

Police are investigating the matter from four angles: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems among the passengers and crew and personal problems among passengers and crew.

Asked to elaborate what personal problems meant he said there may have been someone on the flight who wanted the family to gain from a large insurance sum or there may have been someone who was in financial debt. "We are looking at all possibilities," Khalid said.


















UPDATE [3:00pm]: Experts confident of finding the missing plane

Following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, investigators are confident they will find the missing plane carrying more than 200 people, including three Americans. Watch video here

UPDATE [2:45pm]: Mohan Kumaramangalam's grandson confirmed on missing plane


Uma Mukherjee, who lives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is the daughter of the late Mohan Kumaramangalam, who was a minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet. Full story here

UPDATE [12:10pm]: Shutting up dissent in Malaysia




These are dark days for Malaysia. We are in mourning over the loss of Flight MH370, though many Malaysians are praying and hoping for a miracle. Full story here

UPDATE [11:15am]: MH370: A look at some of the 38 Malaysian passengers on board




Twelve colleagues, a family of three, a couple on honeymoon and a woman who had just celebrated her retirement over lunch earlier that day. These are some of the 38 Malaysians on board the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370. Read more

UPDATE [10:45am]: 

It is “impossible” for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to have escaped all radar detection in the area where it was travelling, unless it entered remote territories, an aviation analyst has said. Full story here

UPDATE [8:15am]: 

U.S. and European government sources close to the probe say investigators are skeptical over a theory that the missing aircraft was the target of an attack. Full story here.



UPDATE [8.00am]:  Malaysia Airlines will provide a total of 31,000 yuan (RM16,577) in initial financial assistance for all families of MH370 passengers. Read it here.

UPDATE [7:10am]: The search for MH370 has expanded to 500,000 square nautical miles (1.7mil sq km), from the shores of Sumatra to Hong Kong, as initial leads turned up empty. One thing the search and rescue team know is that the plane is not in the air as it would have run out of fuel by now. Full story here.

************************************

What we know as of 3:03am, 11 March 2014:

Search and rescue operations:

1. The USS Kidd joins the search, with both having Seahawk helicopters designed for search and rescue.
2. A commercial plane from out of Hong Kong reportedly saw several large pieces of debris 60km southeast of Vung Tau, a coastal city in Vietnam.
3. A low-flying plane was allegedly sighted early in the morning of March 8. Authorities refuse to confirm.
4. Malaysia also searching the Straits of Malacca due to reports that MH370 turned back.
6. Malaysian submaries will not be deployed as they are not 'equipped for search and rescue'.
7. Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are assisting in the search.




Investigations still on-going:

1. Previously-thought floating debris turns out to becable reel – not adoor or life raft. Analysis of oil slick reveals that it isn't aviation fuel from MH370 , but from ship bunkering activities. More pictures here .
2. Authorities are investigating the possibilities of amid-air disintegration. A video explains the theory further. Radar and transponder information alone would be enough to confirm this theory, says a veteran pilot.
3. Experts are starting to believe the plane veered from its flight path, and could be hundreds of kilometers away.
4. A man claims to have made contact with a mobile phone supposedly on MH370, however nobody answered the phone.
5. Industry experts offer insights into major questions, as well as a detailed analysis of possible reasons behind the MH370 disappearance.
6. French accident board BEA offers help,citing similarities with the 2009 Air France Flight 447 crash.
7.
Boeing’s Airplane Health Management system, which allows real-time plane monitoring, was not installed in the missing flight MH370.
8. No signals were spotted from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT) .
9. A portion of the aircraft wingtip was fixed by Boeing and was certified safe to fly. They dismissed the possibility of a technical problem and any form of threat prior to this.
10. An aviation lawyer said that the plane might have broken up due to lack of pressurisation or electrical failure.
11. PM Najib said that satelite imagery cannot be used as it cannot detect anything below the water surface.
12. The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, with total flying hours of 18,365 hours. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours.
13. MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).
14. Retired American Airlines Capt. Jim Tilmon said the route taken by the aircraft had plenty of antennae, radar and radios for contact, and the plane was 'as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be with an excellent safety record'.











UPDATE [3: 20 pm]: Vietnam retrieves floating yellow object, not a plane life raft

A Vietnamese rescue helicopter has retrieved a floating yellow object from the sea and determined it was not a life raft from a missing MH370, as was earlier suspected, the country's civil aviation authority said today. Read more

UPDATE [3: 00 pm]: Baggage of five who did not fly MH370 ‘clean’, says DCA

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said today the baggage of five people who checked in but did not board a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight that disappeared was found to be 'clean'. Read more

UPDATE [2: 20 pm]: Girl’s touching tweets to her dad

Maira Elizabeth Nari tweeted this on Saturday when MH370 went missing. Her father Andrew Nari is the chief steward on the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that was bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Read more











UPDATE [12: 20 pm]: No explosion, no debris, just oil slicks after 60 hours of searching

Now 60 hours after Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 vanished from the radar, an international search and rescue team from nine countries have turned up nothing but oil slicks near a Vietnamese island and off Malaysia's east coast. Read more

UPDATE [12: 10 pm]: Hijacking not ruled out, debris sighting unconfirmed

Hijacking could not be ruled out and all possibilities were being investigated into why a Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 239 people went missing enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Read more

UPDATE [11: 50 am]: DCA keeps mum over minister’s revelation on dubious duo on MH370

Malaysian authorities today refused to verify a minister’s claims that the two passengers who boarded missing MAS flight MH370 using stolen passports had “Asian” features. Read more

UPDATE [10: 50 am]: Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared

It's too early to say why a Malaysia Airlines plane vanished but here are some probable causes. Read more













UPDATE [10 40 am]: Vietnamese searchers on ships have worked throughout the night but could not find the rectangle object thought to be one of the doors of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that went missing more than two days ago.

Doan Huu Gia, the chief of Vietnam's search and rescue coordination center, says that six planes and seven ships from Vietnam were searching for the object but nothing has been found. Read more

UPDATE [10:34 am]: Reports of an object spotted by the Vietnamese, believed to be a door of the aircraft, on Sunday were not officially verified by Vietnam officials, the Department of Civil Aviation said. No debris has been seen after 60 hours. Representatives from the US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) are in Malaysia.
UPDATE [10.150am]: Vietnamese searchers say they cannot find the rectangle object - thought to be one of the doors of MH370 - that was spotted on Sunday afternoon. Read it here.


UPDATE [10.05am]: Malaysia Airlines has given initial financial assistance to all families 'over and above their basic needs', it said in a statement this morning. More families expected in KL today. The airline will provide the families travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support.


UPDATE [9.30am]: Authorities will investigate why immigration officers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport had no questions about Italian and Austrian passengers with Asian facial features, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. Full story here.


UPDATE [8:11am]: A video clip of a man dialing the number of his elder brother was shown on a Beijing Television's news bulletin. The call got connected, but no one picked up. He made the phone call three times.  Full story here.

UPDATE [7.35am]: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has sent samples of an oil slick found in the South China Sea, about 100 nautical miles from the Tok Bali Beach, Kelantan, to the Chemistry Department in Petaling Jaya. The result of the analysis is expected to be known tomorrow (Monday) afternoon. Full story here.

The 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor who were on the MH370 flight 'were people with a lot of experience and technical background', says Mitch Haws, vice president, global communications and investor relations for Freescale Semiconductor. "It's definitely a loss for the company," he adds. Full story here.

UPDATE [4.46am]: French accident board BEA offers help in recovering missing flight MH370. There was a similar case in 2009 where Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris vanished in a storm. Full story here.

UPDATE [3.11am]: Thai police are investigating a 'passport ring' in Phuket, as details emerged of bookings made in Thailand with stolen European passports for the vanished Malaysia Airlines flight. Each ticket cost THB 20,215 (RM 2,036). Full story here .

UPDATE [1.17am]: Interpol confirmed that at least two passports - Austrian and Italian – recorded in its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database were used by passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. Full story here.

UPDATE [12:40am]: Vietnamese authorities believe that the piece of debris spotted off the country's waters may be a door from the flight MH370. Full story here.

UPDATE [11:00pm]: Vietnamese media is quoting search and rescue officials as being 'surprised' at how tight-lipped the Malaysian government is. According to VN Express, Vietnam’s Chief of Air Administration Lai Xuan Thanh says they are receiving very little information from Malaysian partners, with most updates coming from international media.


UPDATE [10:49pm]: Sources say authorities are investigating a possible mid-air disintegration, due to the lack of debris from MH370. Full story here.

************************************

What we know as of 9.44pm, 9 March 2014:

Search and rescue operations:

1. A Vietnam rescue plane has detected two objects that look like debris. However, MAS has not received any confirmation.
2. Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Australia are assisting in the search.
3. Search radius is 50 nautical miles (93km), involving 34 aircraft and 40 ships. Malaysia also searching the Straits of Malacca due to reports that MH370 turned back.
4. No signal from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT).
5. The US sent two naval ships and an aircraft equipped with long-range radar.
6. Malaysian submaries will not be deployed as they are not 'equipped for search and rescue'.
7. No sign of wreckage found till now.
8. Malaysia's Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will be searching for MH370 off the coast of Kelantan.






Technical investigations still ongoing:

1. No signal from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT).
2. Oil slicks were spotted in the area, but Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein does not confirm if it came from the plane. More pictures here.
3. The yellow ‘suspicious floating objects’ near Tho Chu islet is unrelated to MH370, confirmed by Vietnamese media.
4. A portion of the aircraft wingtip was fixed by Boeing and was certified safe to fly. They dismissed the possibility of a technical problem and any form of threat prior to this.
5. An aviation lawyer said that the plane might have broken up due to lack of pressurisation or electrical failure.
6. Associated Press ran a detailed analysis of possible reasons behind the disappearance.
7. PM Najib said that satelite imagery cannot be used as it cannot detect anything below the water surface.
8. The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, with total flying hours of 18,365 hours. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours.
9. The Vietnam Emergency Rescue Center found a signal of the missing plane at 9.50am, 8th March, 120 miles South West of Ca Mau cape, the Southern-most point of Vietnam.
10. MAS Operations Control Vice President Fuad Sharuji said the aircraft was carrying 7.5 hours of fuel at the time of its disappearance (2.40am).
11. Retired American Airlines Capt. Jim Tilmon said the route taken by the aircraft had plenty of antennae, radar and radios for contact, and the plane was 'as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be with an excellent safety record'.









Situation in Malaysia:

1. PM Najib Razak says KLIA security protocols will be reviewed and improved if necessary.
2. Transport for family members of MH370 passengers from Beijing and other countries to Kuala Lumpur will be arranged by MAS.
3. The internet is ablaze with concerned netizens expressing their views. Hashtags #MH370 and #PrayForMH370 were trending on Twitter.
4. Families of passengers in Malaysia will be flown to the crash site, according to MAS.
5. The Department of Civil Aviation’s director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the airport authorities have examined security footage of the passengers and the baggage, and he is satisfied.
6. 38 Malaysians were on-board MH370, including about 20 top management staff from Freescale Semiconductor.
7. The niece of Kuching police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad was a passenger on MH370.
8. Malaysia Airlines says all other flights will proceed as usual, for now.
9. Politician Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was slammed for an insensitive tweet about a 'new Bermuda triangle'.







Missing passports and possible terror links:

1. The two people (not four as previously reported) who traveled on MH370 under stolen passports had bought their tickets together.
2. Malaysia is working with the FBI on possible terror links to the MH370 disappearance.
3. MH370 Full passenger list here .