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01 May 2014

Malaysia Ministry of Transport releases preliminary report on flight MH370

1 May 2014 - The Malaysia Ministry of Transport released a preliminary report on the Malaysia Airlines 777 that went missing on 8 March 2014. As of the release date (report dated 9 April 2014 but released 1 May 2014), the aircraft is still missing, and no part of the aircraft has been recovered. The highlights of the report include the following:

  • At about 1:38 am Kuala Lumpur time on 8 March 2014, Vietnamese air traffic control authorities contacted Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre about the whereabouts of flight MH370.

  • After all effort to communicate and locate the aircraft failed, Malaysian authorities activated the Kuala Lumpur Rescue Coordination Centre. This activation occurred at 5:30 am, almost four hours after the Vietnamese authorities contacted the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre about the flight.

  • A total 82 aircraft and 84 vessels representing 26 countries participated in search and rescue efforts.
  • In accordance with international agreements, specifically ICAO Annex 13, countries with official representatives in the investigation include the US, UK, China, Australia, and Malaysia.

  • Organizations providing technical advisors include Boeing, FAA, and NTSB from the US; Inmarsat and AAIB from the UK; as well as Malaysian Airlines.

  • Citing the experience of flight MH370 and of Air France flight 447, both of which went missing over remote stretches of ocean, The Ministry of Transport recommended that ICAO examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft.

Issues raised by the investigation
One of the key frustrations of many of those involved directly in the investigation and with many airline safety experts has been the delays in getting information to the organizations involved in the investigation and with search and rescue efforts.

Former NTSB board member John Goglia summarized many of these issues in an AINonline article released on 1 May 2014, and in the article Goglia suggests that Malaysia’s reluctance seeking assistance from other countries with more expertise and experience in accident investigations may have been do in part to misplaced national pride, and that this may not have been considered when ICAO Annex 13 was drafted.

Related resources
Preliminary report from the Malaysia Ministry of Transport
John Goglia comments on ICAO Annex 13 flight MH370 page

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