Friday, March 7, 2014

Malaysia Airlines loses contact with plane carrying 239 people , mystery deepens with the news that stolen European passports on missing plane --- flight MH370 Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing , arrival time was 22:30 GMT.....

With prayers to families of those who flew this flight in our hearts and minds......



Clearly the investigation is early on , but with the change in flight direction so soon after takeoff , the fact that pilots didn't give any distress warnings and the sudden apparent disaster that occurred , was this a failed hijacking by some individuals or group ?


http://www.businessinsider.com/r-exclusive-probe-into-missing-malaysia-plane-looks-at-possible-mid-air-disintegration---source-2014-09


Probe Into Missing Malaysia Plane Looks At Possible Mid-Air Disintegration

A relative (front) of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she walks past journalists at a hotel in Beijing March 9, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Thomson Reuters
A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she walks past journalists in Beijing
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner with 239 people on board are narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated in mid-flight, a senior source said on Sunday.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing in the early hours of Saturday, but search teams have still not been able to make any confirmed discovery of wreckage in seas beneath the plane's flight path almost 48 hours after it took off.
"The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," said the source, who is involved in the investigations in Malaysia.
If the plane had plunged intact from such a height, breaking up only on impact with the water, search teams would have expected to find a fairly concentrated pattern of debris, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation.
The source was speaking shortly before Vietnamese authorities said a military plane had spotted at sea an object suspected to be part of the missing airliner.
Asked about the possibility of an explosion, such as a bomb, the source said there was no evidence yet of foul play and that the aircraft could have broken up due to mechanical issues.
Malaysian authorities have said they are focused on finding the plane and have declined to comment when asked about the investigations.





http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/09/malaysia-airlines-loses-contact-with-plane-carrying-23-people/

( flight deviation raised as a possibility , mystery passengers might number 4 ? )




The mystery of what happened to a Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared with 239 people on board early Saturday appeared to deepen Sunday when Malaysia's air force chief told reporters that military radar indicated that the plane may have turned from its flight route before losing contact. 
Air force chief Rodzali Daud didn't say which direction the plane might have taken when it apparently went off route.
"We are trying to make sense of this," he told a media conference. "The military radar indicated that the aircraft may have made a turn back and in some parts, this was corroborated by civilian radar."
 Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said pilots were supposed to inform the airline and traffic control authorities if the plane does start to return. "From what we have, there was no such distress signal or distress call per se, so we are equally puzzled," he said.
Earlier Sunday, Malaysia's defense and transport minister said that the identities of four of the plane's passengers are being investigated as "suspect." Hishammuddin Hussein, who holds both ministerial positions, said that "the four names are with me," but added that the investigation was focusing on "the entire passenger manifest." Hussein also said that investigators from the FBI had joined the probe. 
Scores of ships and aircraft from across Asia resumed searching the South China Sea and the west coast of Malaysia Sunday for any sign of the plane, which was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. There was still no confirmed sighting of debris in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam where it vanished from radar screens. The weather was fine and the plane was already at cruising altitude, making its disappearance all the more mysterious.
Just 9 percent of fatal accidents happen when a plane is at cruising altitude, according to a statistical summary of commercial jet accidents done by Boeing. The plane was last inspected 10 days ago and found to be "in proper condition," Ignatius Ong, CEO of Malaysia Airlines subsidiary Firefly airlines, said at a news conference.
U.S. officials said late Saturday that a team of safety experts had been dispatched to Southeast Asia to assist in the investigation. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board told Fox News that the team, which includes investigators from the agency and technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, had been sent to the region despite the fact that the plane had not been located due to the lengthy travel time from the U.S. and the team's desire to be in a position to assist local authorities right away. 
On Saturday, the investigation into the plane's disappearance took an unusual turn after officials in Italy and Austria revealed that two people aboard the plane were traveling with passports reported stolen in Thailand. 
Italy’s Foreign Ministry said that an Italian man, Luigi Maraldi, who was listed on the manifest as a passenger, reported his passport stolen last August.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry also confirmed that a man listed on the official manifest matched an Austrian passport reported stolen two years ago in Thailand, and that the Austrian was not on the plane. The foreign ministry did not release the man's name, but he has since been identified by Sky News as Christan Kozel
A U.S. official told Fox News that a key priority is clarifying the status of the passports, whether they were lost or stolen, and determining through airport security screening and video who exactly got on the flight under those names. 
The BBC reported Sunday that the two stolen passports were used to book tickets on the fight to Beijing, as well as on connecting flights from Beijing to destinations in Europe. The purchases reportedly took place almost simultaneously, and the tickets were numbered consecutively. 
Meanwhile, a former intelligence official told Fox News that the information about stolen passports from two adjacent European countries, combined with recent warnings for flights to the United States about the risk of possible shoe bomb attacks, is concerning.
The plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants and 12 crew members when it “lost all contact,” with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2:40 a.m., two hours into the flight, the airline said. The plane was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
The airline said there were 152 passengers from China, 38 from Malaysia, seven from Indonesia, six from Australia, five from India and three from the U.S. and others from Indonesia, France, New Zealand, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, Taiwan and the Netherlands.
The U.S. State Department later confirmed in a statement that three Americans were aboard the jetliner.
In the United States, a friend confirmed to the Associated Press that an IBM executive from North Texas named Philip Wood had been aboard the jet. 
Freescale Semiconductor, a company based in Texas, confirmed Saturday that 20 of its employees -- 12 from Malaysia and eight from China -- were passengers.
"At present, we are solely focused on our employees and their families," said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of the company said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic event."
Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks late Saturday in the first sign that the aircraft had crashed. The slicks were each between 6 miles and 9 miles long, the Vietnamese government said in a statement.
There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner. 
The lack of a radio call "suggests something very sudden and very violent happened," said William Waldock, who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz.
Malaysia had dispatched 15 planes and nine ships to the search area. The U.S. Navy sent a warship, the USS Pickney, which was conducting training and maritime security operations off the South China Sea.
The guided-missile destroyer is carrying two MH-60R helicopters that can be equipped for search and rescue efforts. The U.S. is also sending a surveillance plane, while Singapore said it would send a submarine and a plane. China and Vietnam were also sending aircraft to help in the search. 
It is not uncommon for it to take several days to find the wreckage of an aircraft floating on the ocean. Locating and then recovering the flight data recorders, vital to any investigation, can take months or even years. 
The airline said in a statement that it is currently notifying next-of-kin about the situation. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members," Yahya said. 
Asked whether terrorism was suspected, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said, "We are looking at all possibilities, but it is too early to make any conclusive remarks."
"We are extremely worried,'' Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing. "We are doing all we can to get details. The news is very disturbing. We hope everyone on the plane is safe." 
Vietnamese website VN Express said a Vietnamese search and rescue official reported that signals from the plane were detected about 140 miles southwest of Vietnam's southernmost Ca Mau province. A Vietnam rescue official later denied the report.
"We have been seeking but no signal from the plane yet," Pham Hien, director of a Vietnam maritime search and rescue coordination center in Vung Tau, told Reuters. 
China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported the plane was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam, and never made contact with Chinese air traffic controllers. There have been no reports of a plane crashing into Chinese waters, and China is assisting the airline in its search for the plane.
Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein also denied a Vietnamese state media report that the plane had crashed off south Vietnam, saying the government had not identified a crash scene.
The plane "lost all contact and radar signal one minute before it entered Vietnam's air traffic control," Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of the Vietnamese army, said in a statement issued by the government.
The airline says the plane's pilot is Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old who has been with the airline for over 30 years. The plane's first officer is Fariq Ab.Hamid, a 27-year-old who joined the airline in 2007. Both are Malaysians. 
At Beijing's airport, authorities posted a notice asking relatives and friends of passengers to gather at a hotel about nine miles from the airport to wait for further information, and provided a shuttle bus service. A woman wept aboard the shuttle bus while saying on a mobile phone, "They want us to go to the hotel. It cannot be good!"
Zhai Le was waiting for her friends, a couple, who were on their way back to the Chinese capital on the flight. She said she was very concerned because she hadn't been able to reach them.
Relatives and friends of passengers were escorted into a private area at the Lido Hotel, and reporters were kept away. A man in a gray hooded sweatshirt later stormed out complaining about a lack of information. The man, who said he was a Beijing resident but declined to give his name, said he was anxious because his mother was on board the flight with a group of 10 tourists.
"We have been waiting for hours," he said. "And there is still no verification."
In Kuala Lumpur, family members gathered at the airport, but were kept away from reporters. 
"Our team is currently calling the next of kin passengers and crew. Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support," Jauhair, said. 
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members," he said. 
Fuad Sharuji, Malaysia Airlines' vice president of operations control told CNN that the plane was flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet when it disappeared and that the pilots had reported no problem with the aircraft. 
Malaysia Airlines has 15 Boeing 777-200 jets in its fleet of about 100 planes. The state-owned carrier last month reported its fourth straight quarterly loss.
The 777 had not had a fatal crash in its 20 year history until the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco in July 2013.
Boeing said on its Twitter account it is monitoring the situation, and "our thoughts are with everyone on board."





and.....








http://news.yahoo.com/stolen-european-passports-missing-plane







MILAN (AP) — Foreign ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirm that names of two nationals listed on the manifest of the missing Malaysian airlines flight match passports reported stolen in Thailand.
Italy's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that an Italian man whose name was listed as being aboard is traveling in Thailand and was not aboard the plane.
A foreign ministry functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed Italian reports that Luigi Maraldi had reported his passport stolen last August.
Italian news agency ANSA says Maraldi called home after hearing reports that an Italian with his name was aboard the plane.
Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss confirmed that a name listed on the manifest matches an Austrian passport reported stolen two years ago in Thailand. Weiss would not confirm the identity.


no distress calls  from pilots a bad sign !






Flight tracking website flightradar24.com says it lost contact 40 minutes after take off from Kuala Lumpur, not two hours as previously reported.






A leading aviation safety expert has said it is "extraordinary" that the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane did not make a distress call.
The Boeing B777-200 aircraft would have been cruising at about 35,000 feet when it lost contact over the South China Sea, giving the pilots "plenty of time" to report any technical problems, Flight Global's operations and safety editor David Learmount said.
"Something happened and the pilots did not tell anyone. Why? It's a good question," said Mr Learmount.
"It's extraordinary the pilots failed to call because they had plenty of time to. Unless there was a bomb on board but there has been no evidence of that."
Search and rescue crews across south east Asia have been scrambled to find the plane, which was was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.
Passengers were from 14 countries, including 152 from China, 38 from Malaysia, six Australians and four Americans. It is believed no Britons were on board.






and......


Such Events Are Rare

By Newley Purnell
While the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and the 239 people on board is still unclear, one analyst says the plane may have suffered from something “absolutely rare”: a “catastrophic event” at cruising altitude over water. This could complicate recovery efforts, the analyst said.
If the aircraft proves to be lost over water, “This kind of accident is so rare,” said Jonathan Galaviz, a partner with Global Market Advisors, an aviation and leisure consulting firm.
In 2009, when Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 people aboard, everyone “was flabbergasted,” said the Los Angeles-based Mr. Galaviz, who is also a licensed pilot. An “international effort” was required in the aftermath to recover the aircraft’s flight recorders.
Such accidents are “the most difficult in the world” in terms of locating potential wreckage in the water and the equipment required to find cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders, said Mr. Galaviz.
Mr. Galaviz noted that the emphasis over the next 48 to 72 hours will be on search and rescue for the Malaysia Airlines airplane.  Then, sophisticated sonar equipment could be required to locate the airplane’s recorders, if indeed it went down over water, he said.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-08/us-probes-terrorist-concerns-over-missing-malaysian-airlines-jet

( theory coming together... )



US Probes Terrorist Concerns Over 'Missing' Malaysian Airlines Jet

Tyler Durden's picture





The dismal news overnight that a Malaysian Airlines jet, carrying over 200 passengers and crew, had "gone missing" appears to have become considerably more troublesome. News this morning of pools of oil off the Vietnam coast - suggestive of a crash - are dreadful but, asNBC News reports, perhaps more crucially, U.S. officials told NBC News on Saturday they are investigating terrorism concerns after two people listed as passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet turned out not to be on the plane and had reported their passports stolen.


The lastest on the "missing" plane (via The Telegraph),
Vietnam air force planes spot two oil slicks suspected to be from missing Malaysian Boeing 777 jet.

The fate of flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing remains unclear more than 12 hours after air traffic controllers lost touch with the plane.

However, Vietnamese authorities said they had spotted a 14-mile long oil slick 120 miles off the coast of Cape Ca Mau - the most southerly point of Vietnam's mainland. 

A Vietnamese government statement said the slicks were spotted late on Saturday off the southern tip of Vietnam and were each between six and nine miles long.
But there are growimng concerns that this was a terrorist attack... (via NBC News,)
Luigi Maraldi, 37, was the only Italian on a passenger manifest released by the airline after the jet disappeared over the South China Sea.

?But his father, Walter Maraldi, told NBC News from Cesena, Italy: “Luigi called us early this morning to reassure us he was fine, but we didn’t know about the accident. Thank God he heard about it before us.”

Luigi Maraldi was on vacation in Thailand, the father said.He said that Luigi Maraldi’s passport was stolen one year ago.

The foreign ministry of Austria confirmed to NBC News that police had made contact with a citizen who was also on the passenger list, and who reported his passport stolen two years ago while traveling in Asia.





and.........






Mar 8, 8:10 AM EST

VIETNAM SPOTS OIL SLICKS IN 
HUNT FOR MISSING JET

AP Photo
AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin
WORLD VIDEO







KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Vietnamese air force planes on Saturday spotted two large oil slicks in the area where a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 vanished earlier in the day, the first sign that the aircraft carrying 239 people on board had crashed.



The air force planes were part of a multinational search operation launched after Flight MH370 fell off radar screens less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday morning.

A Vietnamese government statement said the slicks were spotted late Saturday off the southern tip of Vietnam and were each between 10 kilometers (6 miles) and 15 kilometers (9 miles) long. 

There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner.

Two-thirds of the missing plane's passengers were from China, while others were from elsewhere in Asia, North America and Europe.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said there was no indication that the pilots had sent a distress signal, suggesting that whatever happened to the plane occurred quickly and possibly catastrophically.

At Beijing's airport, authorities posted a notice asking relatives and friends of passengers to gather at a nearby hotel to wait for further information, and provided a shuttle bus service. A woman wept aboard the bus while saying on a mobile phone, "They want us to go to the hotel. It cannot be good."

Relatives and friends of passengers were escorted into a private area at the Lido Hotel, and reporters were kept away. A man in a gray hooded sweatshirt later stormed out complaining about a lack of information. The man, who said he was a Beijing resident but declined to give his name, said he was anxious because his mother was on board the flight with a group of 10 tourists.

"We have been waiting for hours and there is still no verification," he said.
The plane was last detected on radar at 1:30 a.m. (1730 GMT Friday) around where the South China Sea meets the Gulf of Thailand, authorities in Malaysia and Vietnam said.

Lai Xuan Thanh, director of Vietnam's civil aviation authority, said air traffic officials in the country never made contact with the plane.

The plane "lost all contact and radar signal one minute before it entered Vietnam's air traffic control," Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of the Vietnamese army, said in a statement.

The South China Sea is a tense region with competing territorial claims that have led to several low-level conflicts, particularly between China and the Philippines. That antipathy briefly faded as China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia all sent ships and planes to the region.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that Malaysia had dispatched 15 planes and nine ships to the area, and that the U.S. Navy was sending some planes as well. Singapore, China and Vietnam also were sending aircraft.

It's not uncommon for it to take several days to find the wreckage of aircraft floating on the ocean. Locating and then recovering the flight data recorders, vital to any investigation, can take months or even years.

"In times of emergencies like this, we have to show unity of efforts that transcends boundaries and issues," said Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, commander of the Philippine military's Western Command.

Thanh said Malaysian, Singaporean and Vietnamese search officials were coordinating operations in an 11,200-square-kilometer (4,324-square-mile) area where the plane was last known to be. He said Vietnamese fishermen in the area were asked to report any suspected sign of the missing plane.

The air search was suspended for the night and was to resume Sunday morning, while the sea search was ongoing, the airline said.

The plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said. It said there were 152 passengers from China, 38 from Malaysia, seven from Indonesia, six from Australia, five from India, three from the U.S., and others from Indonesia, France, New Zealand, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Austria.

In Kuala Lumpur, family members gathered at the airport, but were kept away from reporters.

"Our team is currently calling the next of kin of passengers and crew. Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support," said Yahya, the airline CEO. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members."

Fuad Sharuji, Malaysia Airlines' vice president of operations control, told CNN that the plane was flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,670 meters) and that the pilots had reported no problem with the aircraft.

Asked whether terrorism was suspected, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said authorities had "no information, but we are looking at all possibilities."

Malaysia Airlines has a good safety record, as does the 777, which had not had a fatal crash in its 19-year history until an Asiana Airlines plane crashed in San Francisco in July 2013, killing three passengers, all teenagers from China.

Airliner "black boxes" - the flight data and cockpit voice recorders - are equipped with "pingers" that emit ultrasonic signals that can be detected underwater. Under good conditions, the signals can be detected from several hundred miles away, said John Goglia, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. If the boxes are trapped inside the wreckage, the sound may not travel as far, he said. If the boxes are at the bottom of an underwater trench, that also hinders how far the sound can travel. The signals also weaken over time.

Air France Flight 447, with 228 people on board, disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009. Some wreckage and bodies were recovered over the next two weeks, but it took nearly two years for the main wreckage of the Airbus 330 and its black boxes to be located and recovered.

Malaysia Airlines said the 53-year-old pilot of Flight MH370, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, has more than 18,000 flying hours and has been flying for the airline since 1981. The first officer, 27-year-old Fariq Hamid, has about 2,800 hours of experience and has flown for the airline since 2007.

The tip of the wing of the same Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200 broke off Aug. 9, 2012, as it was taxiing at Pudong International Airport outside Shanghai. The wingtip collided with the tail of a China Eastern Airlines A340 plane. No one was injured.

Malaysia Airlines' last fatal incident was in 1995, when one its planes crashed near the Malaysian city of Tawau, killing 34 people. The deadliest crash in its history occurred in 1977, when a domestic Malaysian flight crashed after being hijacked, killing 100 people.
In August 2005, a Malaysian Airlines 777 flying from Perth, Australia, to Kuala Lumpur suddenly shot up 900 meters (3,000 feet) before the pilot disengaged the autopilot and landed safely. The plane's software had incorrectly measured speed and acceleration, and the software was quickly updated on planes around the world.

Malaysia Airlines has 15 Boeing 777-200s in its fleet of about 100 planes. The state-owned carrier last month reported its fourth straight quarterly loss and warned of tougher times.
---


















Malaysia airlines flight carrying 239 people crashed into the sea – unconfirmed reports

Published time: March 08, 2014 00:34
Edited time: March 08, 2014 09:33

A man takes pictures of a flight information board displaying the Scheduled Time of Arrival (STA) of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (top, in red) at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014. (Reuters / Kim Kyung Hoon)
A man takes pictures of a flight information board displaying the Scheduled Time of Arrival (STA) of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (top, in red) at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014. (Reuters / Kim Kyung Hoon)
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 239 people crashed into the sea, reports Vietnamese state media citing a Navy official. The craft disappeared from radars early on Saturday morning over Vietnamese airspace.
Vietnamese state media said the plane came down close to Vietnam’s Tho Chu Island, however these reports have not yet been confirmed by Malaysia Airlines who still describe the flight as "missing". At a press conference in Beijing, representatives from Malaysia Airlines said no wreckage has yet been found and they have deployed boats and helicopters in the area to verify reports from the Vietnamese Navy.
Malaysia Airlines said flight MH370 lost touch with Subang Air Traffic Control around 02:40 local time Saturday morning
The aircraft left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:41 and was expected to land in Beijing at 06:30 local time (22:30 GMT).
Despite local news reports, Vietnamese and Malaysian rescue crews have not located the plane’s signal, but Hanoi believes the craft disappeared in Vietnamese airspace.
The flight was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said in a statement.
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," the airline added.
There were 14 nationalities represented among the 227 passengers, according to airline officials. Passengers include 153 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, seven Australians, five Indians, four Americans, and one Russian, among others.
A woman (C), believed to be the relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, covers her face as she cries at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing March 8, 2014. (Reuters / Kim Kyung Hoon)
A woman (C), believed to be the relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, covers her face as she cries at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing March 8, 2014. (Reuters / Kim Kyung Hoon)

“Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew,” Malaysia Airlines said in a further statement.“Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support.”
The last contact the plane had with air traffic controllers was 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, the airline said on Saturday. The pilot of the flight was 53-year-old Malaysian national Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah who has logged a total of 18,365 flying hours and has been working for Malaysian airlines since 1981.
China is assisting Malaysia Airlines with the search for the plane, Chinese state television reported.



View image on Twitter
Flightboard at Beijing T3



"We are very worried after learning the news. We are trying to get in touch with relevant parties to check it out," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in statement.
The flight was a codeshare with China Southern Airlines.
Prior to July 2013's deadly crash of an Asiana Airlines 777 in San Francisco, the aircraft had been one of only a few long-range jets built by Boeing and Airbus to have never recorded a fatality.
The 777 first flew in 1994, and was introduced into commercial service in 1995. Boeing had delivered 1,100 of the aircraft around the world as of last year.
"We're closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370," Boeing tweeted. "Our thoughts are with everyone on board."















Malaysia Airlines plane missing with more than 200 passengers on board

Date
  • 1225 reading now

Nick Toscano

Malaysia Airloine.
A Malaysia Airline plane is missing with 200 passengers. Photo: Joe Armao
Search and rescue teams are trying to find a Malaysia Airlines plane that has gone missing with more than 200 passengers on board. 
The airline lost contact with the B777-200 aircraft after it departed Kuala Lumpur shortly after 12.40am local time on Saturday.
It was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am.
Flight MH370 was carrying 227 passengers including two infants and 12 crew members.

An unconfirmed report from a flight tracking website said the plane had plunged more than 200 metres and changed course in the last minute that it had transmitted data.Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that it was working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft. 
The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.
Some websites listed the plane as having landed at 6.10am in Beijing but Malaysian Airlines issued the statement to report it was missing at 7.54am.
Malaysian Airlines said the public can call +60-378841234 for information about the plane.
with Lindsay Murdoch


kView image on Twitter
last recorded location of MH370 bz @flightradar24