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Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight incident - Update by Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Thursday, April 11, PM.
Friday, 11th April 2014
Source : External
The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret'd), said an initial assessment of the possible signal detected by a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft yesterday afternoon has been determined as not related to an aircraft underwater locator beacon.
“The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre has analysed the acoustic data and confirmed that the signal reported in the vicinity of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield is unlikely to be related to the aircraft black boxes,” Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret'd), said.
“Further analysis continues to be undertaken by Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre.
“Today Ocean Shield is continuing more focussed sweeps with the Towed Pinger Locator to try and locate further signals that may be related to the aircraft's black boxes. It is vital to glean as much information as possible while the batteries on the underwater locator beacons may still be active.
“The AP-3C Orions continue their acoustic search, working in conjunction with Ocean Shield, with three more missions planned for today.
“A decision as to when to deploy the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle will be made on advice from experts on board the Ocean Shield and could be some days away.
“On the information I have available to me, there has been no major breakthrough in the search for MH370. I will provide a further update if, and when, further information becomes available.”

Source: Joint Agency Coordination Centre (Copyright notice)

Update by Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Thursday, April 10, AM.

Up to 10 military aircraft, four civil aircraft and 13 ships will assist in today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Aircraft and ships reported spotting a large number of objects during yesterday's search, but only a small number were able to be recovered.
None of the recovered items were believed to be associated with MH370.
Today AMSA has planned a search area of about 57,923 square kilometres.
The centre of the search area lies approximately 2280 kilometres north west of Perth.
Moderate south easterly winds with isolated showers are forecast. Visibility will be fair (5000 metres) during the showers.
The underwater search continues today, with ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the defined search area, and Chinese ship Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia.

Press Briefing by Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Monday, April 7, 19:45.

It has been 31 days since MH370 went missing and as we enter this new week of the search operations, there has been a significant lead in the search for the missing aircraft.

As stated by the Joint Agency Coordinating Centre in Perth earlier today, the towed pinger locator deployed from HMAS Ocean Shield has detected signals consistent with those emitted by aircraft black boxes. While this may be a step closer towards finding MH370, there are still many steps to be taken before we can positively verify that these signals are from MH370.
1. Developments from Australia
This morning, Prime Minister Najib Razak had a call with Prime Minister Tony Abbott who updated him on the latest findings regarding the signals detected.
According to the Joint Agency Coordination Centre in Perth, two separate signal detections have occurred 1,650 kilometres northwest of Perth within the northern part of the defined search area. The first detection was held for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. HMAS Ocean Shield then lost contact before conducting a turn and attempting to re-acquire the signal.
The second detection on the return leg was held for approximately 13 minutes. On this occasion, two distinct pinger returns were audible. Significantly as stated by Angus Houston, this would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
Separately, the Chinese Ship Haixun 01 has also detected similar signals twice.
In line with Malaysia’s consistent stand of verifying and corroborating new evidence since Day 1 of the search operations, I would strongly urge all the parties concerned to treat this information responsibly and to give time and space for the authorities to conduct further verification. Malaysia also concurs with the statement by Prime Minister Abbott that all parties must be cautious about unconfirmed findings and making conclusions.
I have also personally spoken to Air Chief Marshal (ret) Angus Houston earlier today, who has confirmed the above and has briefed me on the ongoing operations based on information received from all parties involved.
Despite all this, We are cautiously hopeful that there will be positive developments in the next few days.
2.  Way forward for committees
As I have elaborated last Saturday, the Government—in order to streamline and strengthen our on-going efforts—has established three ministerial committees namely,
1. The Next of Kin committee, led by Hamzah Zainuddin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
2. The Technical committee, led by Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, the Deputy Minister of Transport
3. The Deployment of Assets committee, led by Abdul Rahim Bakri, the Deputy Minister of Defence
These three committee have started their respective tasks and we will be reporting to the public on their findings in due course.
I would also like to confirm that efforts to appoint an independent investigator in charge based on ICAO standards to lead an investigation team is underway. Three groups have been established, namely–

  • An airworthiness group, to look at issues such as maintenance records, structures and systems
  • An operations group, to examine things such as flight recorders, operations and meteorology;
  • And a medical and human factors group, to investigate issues such as psychology, pathology and survival factors
We are in the process of identifying to include accreditated countries into this investigation team.
Concluding remarks
The new developments over the last few hours have been the most promising lead we have had so urge all Malaysians and the international community to unite in their prayers and not give up hope. We
Will continue with all our efforts to find MH370.

Press Briefing by Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Tuesday, April 1, 17:45.

1. Briefing for families -
Tomorrow a closed-door briefing meeting for the families will be held in Kuala Lumpur;

The Department of Civil Aviation and Malaysia Airlines will lead the briefing, which will be moderated by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China. Technical experts from Malaysia, China and Australia will participate in the briefing, and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia will attend.
2. Transcript
Today we are releasing the full transcript of communications between flight MH370 and Air Traffic Control Kuala Lumpur. The transcript has been shared with the families, and is attached as an Annex to this press release (click here for the transcript). There is no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript.

The transcript was initially held as part of the police investigation. Previously, Malaysia Airlines had stated initial investigations indicated that the voice which signed off was that of the co-pilot. The police are working to confirm this belief, and forensic examination of the actual recording is on-going.

The international investigations team and the Malaysian authorities remain of the opinion that, up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, MH370’s movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.

Press Briefing by Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Monday, March 31, 18:15.

Before I begin today’s briefing, I would like to reiterate what Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said this morning. The international co-operation underway in the search for MH370 is nothing short of tremendous. The militaries of Malaysia, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and Korea are all working to find the missing plane.

I should also like to point out that Indonesia has given clearance for 94 sorties - by aircraft from nine different countries - to fly in their airspace, as part of this search.

As Prime Minister Abbot said, it is heartening to see so many different countries working together for a humanitarian cause; to resolve this extraordinary mystery; and to bring closure for the families of those on board.

1.  Prime Minister’s trip to Perth
This morning, the Prime Minister spoke with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot. Prime Minister Abbot gave a full update on the status of the search operations, headed out of Perth.

Our Prime Minister has decided to travel to Perth on Wednesday for a working visit to Pearce Air force base, to see the operations first hand and also to thank the personnel involved in the multinational search effort, including the Malaysian personnel.

 2.  Operational update
This afternoon, the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia briefed me on the creation of a new, Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC), which will be based out of Pearce Air force base in Perth.

The JACC will be headed by Air Chief Marshal (ret.) Angus Houston, the former Chief of the Defense Force Australia.

The JACC will co-ordinate operations between all Australian government agencies and international search teams.

As per the information that we have received from the Australian authorities, the area of search today is 254,000 square kilometres.

Today, nine military aircraft and one civilian aircraft travelled to the search area. These planes were:

  • two Malaysian C-130.
  • one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.
  • one Japanese Coast Guard G5.
  • one Australian P3 Orion.
  • one New Zealand P3 Orion.
  • one New Zealand civilian aircraft.
  • one American P8 Poseidon.
  • one Japanese P3 Orion.
  • one Korean P3 Orion.
Today eleven ships were also deployed to the search area:

Eight Chinese ships:

  • the Xue Long,
  • the Kunlunshan,
  • the Haikou,
  • the Qiandaohu Jian,
  • the Jing Gang Shan,
  • the Haixun,
  • the Dong Hai Jian,
  • and the Nan Hai Jian.
Three Australian ships:

  • the HMAS Success,
  • the HMAS Toowoomba
  • and MV Barkley Pearl, which is currently transiting  in the search area. 
The Malaysian ship, the KD Lekiu, is expected to arrive in the search area on 3 April.

The ADV Ocean Shield - fitted with the towed pinger locator and a Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle - is due to arrive in the search area on 3 April.

In terms of the sightings of potential objects:
 a)On Saturday, five objects were retrieved by HMAS Success and the Haixun. However, it was found that none of these objects were related to MH370.
 b)On Sunday, an Australian P3 Orion made visual sightings of seven potential objects. A Korean P3 Orion also made visuals of three potential objects.

The Chinese ship, the Haixun, was tasked on Monday to retrieve these potential objects.

3.     ASEAN Defence Ministers’ meeting
In my capacity as Malaysian Defence Minister, I will leave tonight for the United States Pacific Command in Hawaii.

I will attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ meeting, which will be held from 1st to the 3rd of April.

The meeting is being convened by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

On behalf of the Malaysian Government, I will share with my ASEAN counterparts, and the Government of the United States, the latest developments regarding the search for MH370.

I will convey to our ASEAN neighbours and the United States, Malaysia’s utmost appreciation for their invaluable help in the multi-national search effort. I will also use this opportunity to discuss the possibility of deploying more specific military assets, in the event that we need to embark on a more complex phase of the operation.  I shall be discussing with the United States, and our other friends and allies, how best we can acquire the assets needed for possible deep sea search and recovery.

 4.  Meeting with the Indonesian Special Envoy
Today, I held a meeting with the Indonesian Special Envoy and Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister, Madam Wiwiek Setyawati Firman, and her delegation. The delegation included H.E. Mr. Herman Prayitno, the Ambassador of Indonesia to Malaysia.

The Special Envoy expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Malaysia and the multinational team conducting the search operation.

The Special Envoy also stated that Indonesia fully understands the complexity and the magnitude of the challenge ahead, and reaffirms its unshakeable support for Malaysia.

5.  Next of Kin
Yesterday a group of families, whose loved ones were on board MH370, arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Beijing.

The Government is due to hold a high-level briefing soon for these families, to update them on the latest developments regarding the search for MH370.

The briefing will include international experts who were not available during the briefings in Beijing, including experts from China. It will also be broadcasted live to other families in Beijing. 

The search for MH370 continues to be a large, complex, multinational effort involving many countries and international agencies.

Much of the research that has been used to track MH370 has been provided to the Malaysian investigators by our international partners.

This research is extremely complicated, involving teams of highly specialised experts, many of whom are based in different countries around the world.

The briefing will provide an opportunity for the families to hear directly from some of these experts. The experts will be able to explain the research, the data and the methodology that has informed the search operation.

6.  Concluding remarks
We understand that it has been a difficult time for all the families.  And we appreciate that many families want to see physical evidence before they will accept that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. 

We find ourselves in a difficult position. I repeat: the question that the families principally want answered, is the question we simply do not have the answer to - namely, where their loved ones are, and where is MH370. 

On Saturday I met with the Malaysian and Chinese families based in Kuala Lumpur. It was the most difficult meeting I’ve ever attended.

The families are heartbroken. For many, the strain of the past few weeks has been unbearable. But the one message they delivered to me again and again is not to give up hope. 

And I promised the families that Malaysia, working with our international partners, will not give up hope. We will continue with all our efforts to find MH370.

This is a promise that Malaysia intends to keep. We will continue searching, and we will keep investigating, and we will never give up until we find out what happened to MH370.

Media Statement by Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group CEO, Tuesday, March 30, 15:45.

Malaysia Airlines wishes to clarify that it will be making arrangements to fly family members to Perth, only once it has been authoritatively confirmed that the physical wreckage found is that of MH370.
Arrangements will be made as soon as the relevant government agencies have provided clearances for Malaysia Airlines to bring family members to the site where aircraft wreckage will be kept.
A Family Assistance Centre (FAC) will be established in Perth. The FAC will become the focal point for all activities that have been planned for the families including briefings, religious and prayer services.
Malaysia Airlines is fully committed to supporting all efforts by the relevant foreign Governments who continue to search for and recover the aircraft, and it continues to cooperate with all authorities involved in the investigation.

Friday, March 28, 05:45 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport

Introductory statement

Today, the search for MH370 has been further refined. The international investigation team continue working to narrow the search area, and shed further light on MH370’s flight path.

We are, as always, grateful for the continuing co-operation of our partners in this difficult and intensive search.
 Whilst search operations are on-going, we continue to focus our efforts on caring for the families. In Cabinet this morning, we discussed the importance of continuing to support the relatives of the passengers and crew.

1.  Refined search area
On Monday, the Prime Minister announced that based on new data analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB had concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

On Tuesday, I confirmed that further study of this data would be undertaken to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft. The Malaysian investigation team set up an international working group, comprising agencies with expertise in satellite communications and aircraft performance, to take this work forward.

The international working group included representatives from the UK, namely Inmarsat, AAIB, and Rolls Royce; from China, namely the CAAC and AAID; from the US, namely the NTSB, FAA, and Boeing; as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.

The group has been working to refine the Inmarsat data, and to analyse it – together with other information, including radar data and aircraft performance assumptions – to narrow the search area.

Information which had already been examined by the investigation was re-examined in light of new evidence drawn from the Inmarsat data analysis.

In addition, international partners – who continue to process data in their home countries, as well as in the international working group – have further refined existing data. They have also come up with new technical information, for example on aircraft performance.

Yesterday, this process yielded new results, which indicated that MH370 flew at a higher speed than previously thought, which in turn means it used more fuel and could not travel as far. This information was passed to RCC Australia by the NTSB, to help further refine and narrow the search area.

The Australian authorities have indicated that they have shifted the search area approximately 1,100 kilometres to the north east. Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images over the past week.

This work is on-going, and we can expect further refinements. As the Australian authorities indicated this morning, this is standard practice in a search operation. It is a process of continually refining data which in turn further narrows the search area. With each step, we get closer to understanding MH370’s flight path.

Searches must be conducted on the best information available at the time. In the search for MH370, we have consistently followed the evidence, and acted on credible leads. Our search and rescue efforts have been directed by verified and corroborated information. This latest refinement of the search area is no different.

2.  Satellite images
Last night, Japanese authorities announced they had satellite images which showed a number of floating objects approximately 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. Early this morning we received separate satellite imagery from the Thai authorities which also showed potential objects.

These new satellite images join those released by Australia, China, France, and Malaysia, all of which are with RCC Australia. The range of potential objects, and the difficulty in re-identifying them shows just how complex this investigation is. We remain grateful to all our partners for continuing to assist in the search operations.

3.  Concluding remarks
The new search area, approximately 1,680 kilometres west of Perth, remains in the Australian area of responsibility.

Australia continues to lead the search efforts in this new area, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority gave a comprehensive operational update earlier today. As more information emerges, they will be issuing frequent operational updates, including on assets deployed.

I would like to echo their statements that the new search area, although more focused than before, remains considerable; and that the search conditions, although easier than before, remain challenging.

For the families of those on board, we pray that further processing of data, and further progress in the search itself, brings us closer to finding MH370.

Friday, March 28, 10:15 AM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Media Statement 26 by Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer

These past couple of days have been especially difficult for everyone.
For Malaysia Airlines, it was very difficult to break the devastating news of the loss of the aircraft, especially to a large number of family members of passengers and crew onboard MH370, located in many places around the world, within a short time before the Prime Minister’s public announcement.
However, the well-being and feelings of family members are and have always been close to our hearts and minds.
Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370, Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities.
Malaysia Airlines is extremely thankful for the support pouring in from governments around the world and of Malaysia, especially the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Transport. Both Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak and Acting Transport Minister Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and their staff have been at the forefront of every effort in locating MH370.
Ever since satellite findings first indicated that flight MH370 ended in the South Indian Ocean nearest to Australia, the Australian government too has given immense support to Malaysia Airlines, from coordinating the search for the aircraft to offering an exemption of visa application process for families of passengers and crew on board MH370. Malaysia Airlines will be making arrangements to take family members to Perth, should physical wreckage be found. We are extremely grateful for such support.
Whilst we understand that there will inevitably be speculation during this period, we do ask people to bear in mind the effect this has on the families of all those on board. Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumour, and with each false or misleading report.
Malaysia Airlines wishes to thank media publications that have been responsible in their reporting of MH370. We shall continue to cooperate in providing such information as we can but independent investigations are now underway and we do operate under strict constraints in this regard. In the meantime our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew.

Press Briefing by Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Tuesday, March 25, 18:50

As the search for MH370 continues, we remain focused on narrowing the search area;

With such strong co-operation from our international partners, the challenge is no longer diplomatic, it is now primarily technical and logistical.

Because the scale of the investigation is now much more complex, the release of technical and logistical information will be handled differently. As you have seen today, this means that Malaysia Airlines will take the lead in communicating with the families.

As the search area has narrowed, new challenges have arisen, including managing resources in a remote search and rescue effort. We continue to work closely with our friends and partners as we seek to marshal more specific resources in support of the operations in that area.

1. New data
Last night the Prime Minister announced that according to new analysis of satellite data, Inmarsat and UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have concluded that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

Today I will provide further details of how the data was analysed, as provided to us the UK AAIB. This information is quite technical in nature. So although I will give you as much information as I can, I will not be in a position to answer questions about this data analysis today.

However, we will accept written questions which will be answered as soon as possible. We will be providing this information as a press release at the end of this press conference. This is the information provided to us by the AAIB. Click here for the document.

2. Further details
In recent days Inmarsat developed a second innovative technique which considers the velocity of the aircraft relative to the satellite. Depending on this relative movement, the frequency received and transmitted will differ from its normal value, in much the same way that the sound of a passing car changes as it approaches and passes by. This is called the Doppler effect. Click here for Doppler document.

The Inmarsat technique analyses the difference between the frequency that the ground station expects to receive and that actually measured. This difference is the result of the Doppler effect and is known as the Burst Frequency Offset.

The Burst Frequency Offset changes depending on the location of the aircraft on an arc of possible positions, its direction of travel, and its speed. In order to establish confidence in its theory, Inmarsat checked its predictions using information obtained from six other B777 aircraft flying on the same day in various directions. There was good agreement.

While on the ground at Kuala Lumpur airport, and during the early stage of the flight, MH370 transmitted several messages. At this stage the location of the aircraft and the satellite were known, so it was possible to calculate system characteristics for the aircraft, satellite, and ground station.

During the flight the ground station logged the transmitted and received pulse frequencies at each handshake. Knowing the system characteristics and position of the satellite it was possible, considering aircraft performance, to determine where on each arc the calculated burst frequency offset fit best.
The analysis showed poor correlation with the Northern corridor, but good correlation with the Southern corridor, and depending on the ground speed of the aircraft it was then possible to estimate positions at 0011 UTC, at which the last complete handshake took place. I must emphasise that this is not the final position of the aircraft.

There is evidence of a partial handshake between the aircraft and ground station at 0019 UTC. At this time this transmission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work. No response was received from the aircraft at 0115 UTC, when the ground earth station sent the next log on / log off message. This indicates that the aircraft was no longer logged on to the network.

Therefore, sometime between 0011 UTC and 0115 UTC the aircraft was no longer able to communicate with the ground station. This is consistent with the maximum endurance of the aircraft.

This analysis by Inmarsat forms the basis for further study to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft. Accordingly, the Malaysian investigation has set up an international working group, comprising agencies with expertise in satellite communications and aircraft performance, to take this work forward.

3. Technical background
The new analysis I have described above was convincing enough for the AAIB to brief the Prime Minister that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Within a few hours, the families had been informed, and the Prime Minister announced the new development to the world.

As the Prime Minister stated, this type of analysis has never been done in an investigation of this sort. There remains more work to be done, and we are grateful to Inmarsat, AAIB and the international investigations team, who are continuing to work with the Malaysian authorities. This is a developing situation, and as soon as we know more, we will share it.

4. Operational update
As a result of this new data analysis, the search and rescue operation in the northern corridor has been called off. We have also stopped the search and rescue operation in the northern part of the southern corridor, close to Indonesia.

All search efforts are now focused in the southern part of the southern corridor, in an area covering some 469,407 square nautical miles, as against the 2.24 million square nautical miles which we announced on 18th March.

We are currently working to further narrow down the search area, using the four methods I mentioned previously: gathering information from satellite surveillance, analysis of surveillance radar data, increasing air and surface assets, and increasing the number of technical and subject matter experts.

On the assets deployed, 2 Korean aircraft left Subang airport for Perth this morning, to help in the multinational search operation. No flights from Perth to the search area took place today, due to bad weather. 6 Chinese ships are currently in the search area. They are expected to arrive within the vicinity of MH370’s last known position by tomorrow morning. These ships include the ice breaker ‘Xue Long’.

HMAS Success is also currently in the search area.
The American Towed Pinger Locater – an instrument that can help find a black box - is currently en route to Perth and will arrive tomorrow. The system will be fitted onto the Australian ship Ocean Shield, which is due to dock in Perth on 28th March. The Ocean Shield, fitted with the Towed Pinger Locater, is due to arrive in the search area on 5 April.

5. Concluding remarks
The new analysis shared with the investigation by Inmarsat and the AAIB has focused our efforts on the southern part of the southern corridor.

Although yesterday’s news was incredibly hard for the family members, as our Prime Minister said, it was released out of a commitment to openness and respect for the relatives, two principles which have guided the investigation.
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