Dato' Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation briefs the media over latest updates on missing Malaysia Airline MH370 on March 10, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia Unsure About Which Direction Plane Was Going
Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, headed for Beijing, China, around 12:41 a.m. local time on Saturday. It showed up on radar two minutes later.
Malaysia's radar tracked flight MH370 until 1:20 a.m. when the flight dropped off the radar. At the time the plane was on its route over the South China Sea heading for the southern tip of Vietnam. An air traffic controller told the plane's captain he was about to be handed over to air traffic control out of Ho Chi Minh City. The pilot responded, “All right, good night.” Authorities initially said this was the last time they had contact with the flight.
Authorities have discovered that a flight showed up on the country's military defense radar at 2:15 a.m. local time in the Straits of Malacca, hundreds of miles due west of their last contact point and far from its route to Beijing. They said today that contact could possibly have been MH370.
The military radar also showed something make a turn back, meaning some aircraft reversing course, but they are not sure whether it was flight MH370. Because of the uncertain radar data, they are not sure of the plane's last position.
The engines on the plane, manufactured by Rolls Royce, are designed to send pulses of data at certain stages of the flight. Malaysian authorities said today they are working with Rolls Royce to determine what data MH370's engines sent before it went missing.
Search Focuses on Possible Debris Sighting and Wide Area of Open Sea
An oil rig worker stationed off the coast of Vietnam reported seeing a burning object fall into the ocean early Saturday, which could help show a fiery crash doomed the plane. The worker, a New Zealand resident, wrote an email to Vietnamese authorities explaining what he saw.
Vietnamese authorities said today they searched the area and did not see any evidence of a crash or debris.
Authorities in Malaysia said today they will "not reduce the tempo" and "not spare any effort" in searching for signs of the plane after five days without any hard evidence of what could have happened to Flight 370.
The search has been broadened to encompass 27,000 square nautical miles, an area roughly the size of Indiana.
Forty-two ships and 39 aircraft from 12 countries are scanning the area in the Straits of Malacca and South China Sea where the plane is last thought to have traveled.
Despite reports, there have been no plane parts or signs of passengers found.