Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing that lost contact with air traffic control on 8 March 2014 at 01:20 MYT, less than an hour after take-off. At 07:24, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) reported the flight missing. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, (Extended Range) was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 nations. There has been no confirmation of any flight debris and no crash site has been found.
A multinational search and rescue effort, later reported as the largest in history, began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea. Within a few days, the search was extended to the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. On 15 March, based on military radar data and radio "pings" between the aircraft and an Inmarsat satellite, investigators concluded that the aircraft had headed west across the Malay Peninsula, then continued on a northern or southern track for approximately seven hours. The search in the South China Sea was abandoned. Three days later, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority began searching the southern part of the Indian Ocean.
On 24 March, the Malaysian government confirmed independent analyses by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Inmarsat, and announced that search efforts would be concentrated on the Australian-led area. In the first two weeks of April, aircraft and ships deployed equipment to listen for signals from the underwater locator beacons attached to the aircraft's "black box" flight recorders. No signals have been detected since, and the batteries of the beacons are believed to now be flat, therefor no longer capable of emitting pings. The search is continuing using robotic submarines.
Route: Kuala Lumpur – Beijing. Initial search areas and known path through waypoints IGARI, VAMPI, and IGREX. Small red squares: radar contacts. Small circles: claimed spotting of debris.
The flight departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 8 March 2014 at 00:41 local time (16:41 UTC, 7 March) and was scheduled to land at Beijing Capital International Airport at 06:30 local time (22:30 UTC, 7 March). It climbed to its assigned cruise altitude of 35,000 feet (11,000 m) and was travelling at 471 knots (872 km/h; 542 mph)] true airspeed when it ceased all communications and the transponder signal was lost. The aircraft's last known position on 8 March at 01:21 local time (17:21 UTC, 7 March) was at the navigational waypoint IGARI in the Gulf of Thailand, at which the aircraft turned westwards, heading towards a waypoint called VAMPI in the Strait of Malacca, primary radar tracking suggests that the aircraft descended as low as 12,000 feet (3,700 m). From there, the aircraft flew towards a waypoint called GIVAL, arriving at 2:15 local time (18:15 UTC, 7 March), thereafter to the Southern Thailand Islands (Andaman Coast) of Phuket, and was last plotted heading northwest towards another waypoint called IGREX.
The crew was expected to contact air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City as the aircraft passed into Vietnamese airspace, just north of the point where contact was lost. The captain of another aircraft attempted to reach the crew of Flight 370 "just after 1:30 am" using the International distress frequency to relay Vietnamese air traffic control's request for the crew to contact it; the captain said he was able to establish contact, and just heard "mumbling" and static.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) issued a media statement at 07:24, one hour after the scheduled arrival of the flight at Beijing, stating that contact with the flight had been lost by Malaysian ATC at 02:40. MAS stated that the government had initiated search and rescue operations. It later emerged that Subang Air Traffic Control had lost contact with the aircraft at 01:22 and notified Malaysia Airlines at 02:40. Neither the crew nor the aircraft's on-board communication systems relayed a distress signal, indications of bad weather, or technical problems before the aircraft vanished from radar screens.
Timeline of disappearance
Passengers and crew
Malaysia Airlines released the names and nationalities of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members, based on the flight manifest, later modified to include two Iranian passengers travelling on stolen passports.
All 12 crew members were Malaysian citizens. Two pilots were among the crew:
The Captain (Zaharie Ahmad Shah) was born in the Island of Penang. He completed his Malaysian Certificate of
Education (MCE) - the equivalent of the United Kingdom Ordinary (UK ‘O’) Level - at the
Penang Free School, where he sat for his MCE Examination in 1978. In 1981 he was
accepted as Cadet Pilot with MAS under the sponsorship of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA),
a Government agency. He was sent to Manila in the Philippines to be provided ab-initio pilot
training and graduated 2 years later with a Commercial Pilot Licence & Instrument Rating
(CPL & IR). He joined MAS as a Second Officer in 1983 and was posted on the F27 where
he obtained his initial airline flying experience. He was then posted to the B737-400 in 1985
and stayed on as First Officer until October 1991. By the end of 1991 he was promoted to
Captain on the B737-400 and he stayed on the B737-400 until December 1996. At this point
he gained promotion to the A330-300 and stayed on the fleet until September 1998 when he
was then promoted to the B777-200 fleet as a Captain until the day of the event. By virtue of
his good track record and seniority he was made a Type Rating Instructor (TRI) and Type
Rating Examiner (TRE) on this present fleet effective November 2007.
The Captain’s flying record for the last 72 hours and preceding 28 days cycle were well
within the Company’s specified limits. His last flight as an operating Captain was to
Denpasar, Bali in the Republic of Indonesia on 03 March 2014. This was a daily return flight
with a flight time of approximately 3 hours per sector. During this flight on the day of the
event, he was conducting training for the First Officer who was operationally checked out.
All his required licences and certificates were valid when he was operating this flight to
The First Officer (Fariq Abdul Hamid) was born in the State of Kelantan and had his basic primary education in
Segamat, Johor. He completed his secondary Education in Maktab Rendah Sains MARA
(MRSM) or MARA Junior Science College in Taiping, Perak, where he left with the Sijil
Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), which is equivalent to the UK ‘O’ Level, in 2004. He was
accepted as MAS Cadet Pilot and completed his flying training at the Langkawi Aerospace
Training Centre, Langkawi in 2008.
His first fleet posting was on the B737-400 where he was made a Second Officer until May
2010 on completion of his Type Rating training. He was promoted to First Officer in May
2010 and was on the fleet until August 2012. He left the fleet for promotion to the A330-300
where he was First Officer until November 2013.
In November 2013 he was promoted to the B777-200. On the day of the flight, he was
operating his last training flight before he was scheduled to be checked out on his next
scheduled flight. His flying record for the last 72 hours and preceding 28 days cycle were
well within the Company’s specified limits. His last flight was as an Operational First Officer
under Line Training, was to Frankfurt, Germany, on 01 March 2014 and departed back to
Malaysia on 02 March 2014. All his required licences and certificates were valid when he
was operating this flight to Beijing.
Of the 227 passengers, 152 were Chinese citizens, including a group of 19 artists with six family members and four staff returning from a calligraphy exhibition of their work in Kuala Lumpur; 38 passengers were Malaysian. The remaining passengers were from 13 different countries. Twenty passengers — 12 of whom were from Malaysia and eight from China — were employees of Freescale Semiconductor.
Under a 2007 agreement with Malaysia Airlines, Tzu Chi – an international Buddhist organisation – immediately sent specially trained teams to Beijing and Malaysia to give emotional support to passengers' families The airline also sent its own team of caregivers and volunteers and agreed to bear the expenses of bringing family members of the passengers to Kuala Lumpur and providing them with accommodation, medical care, and counselling. Altogether, 115 family members of the Chinese passengers flew to Kuala Lumpur. Some other family members chose to remain in China, fearing they would feel too isolated in Malaysia.