MH370: Malaysia releases Preliminary Report

MALAYSIA has released the Preliminary Report on the investigation into missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The five-page report was accompanied by cockpit audio recordings between the pilots and air traffic control, and cargo documents.

The Preliminary Report stated MH370 was the second large commercial passenger aircraft to have gone missing in similar circumstances in the last five years.


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“While commercial air transport aircraft spend considerable amounts of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no requirement for real time tracking of these aircraft. This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner,” the reported stated.

As a result, the Malaysian Air Accident Investigation Bureau made the following safety recommendation to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO):

“It is recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organisation examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft.”

Here’s a snapshot of what the Preliminary Report contained:

OPERATOR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS)
AIRCRAFT TYPE: Boeing 777-2H6ER
REGISTRATION: 9M-MRO
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE: 29th May 2002
ENGINES: 2 Rolls Royce RB211 Trent 892B17
LOCATION: Unknown
CALL-SIGN: MH370
TYPE OF FLIGHT: Scheduled commercial air transport
PERSONS ON BOARD: 227 passengers & 12 crew

Timeline leading up to the disappearance of MH370 – referenced in Malaysian Time – and subsequent search and rescue efforts.

00:42:07: Cleared to climb to Flight Level (FL) 180, issued by Lumpur Approach at Kuala Lumpur to waypoint IGARI.
00:42:52: Transferred to LUMPUR RADAR at Kuala Lumpur.
00:46:51: Cleared to climb to FL 250.
00:50:06: Cleared to climb to FL350
01:01:16: Reported maintaining FL 350
01:07:29: Last message to ACARS occurred.
01:07:55: Reported maintaining FL 350
01:19:24: Instructed to contact Ho Cho Minh. MH370 acknowledged: “good night Malaysian Three Seven Zero”.
01:21:04: Observed on Kuala Lumur radar while passing over waypoint IGARI.
01:21:13: Last secondary radar detection occurred. Radar label for MH370 disappeared from Kuala Lumpur radar.
01:38:00: HO CHO MINH queries the whereabouts of MH370 to Kuala Lumpur.
05:30:00: Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) activated after efforts to communicate with and locate the aircraft failed.
08:19:00: Last satellite ‘ping’ communication with the aircraft.

  • Search and Rescue operations were first conducted in the South China Sea where the aircraft position was last known.
  • Military radar revealed an aircraft, possibly MH370, made an air-turn back onto a westerly path, crossing Penninsular Malaysia.
  • The search area was then extended to the Straits of Malacca.
  • Later revealed that satellite communication automatically transmitted seven messages, or ‘pings’, from the aircraft, confirming the system was still logged onto the network.
  • Further analysis established MH370 flew along either a northern or southern corridor, with the last transmission occurring when the aircraft was on an arc of 40 degrees from the satellite.
  • The search was moved from the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca and relocated to the northern and southern Corridor.
  • On March 24 2014, it was revealed MH370 flew the southern corridor and ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean.
  • No wreckage has been found. The investigation continues to analyse data to locate the final position of MH370.
  • 26 countries have participated in the search for MH370, comprising of 82 aircraft and 84 vessels.
  • Search and Rescue operations are ongoing.