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On March 8th 2014, a Malaysian-registered Boeing 777 aircraft with registration 9M-MRO turned off its transponder after 1:21 AM, thus disabling itself from being detected by secondary radar, which is used by air traffic controllers to detect movements of aircraft.
The aircraft made few turns and altitude adjustments and all of the movements can be seen with primary radar, which is not used by air traffic controllers.
If we see 9M-MRO as a potential safety hazard, we would scramble our fighter jets to be near with the aircraft and take necessary steps to force it to land.
Because the aircraft could hit densely-populated areas like KL. Or it might be heading to an unknown place, like Southern Indian ocean.
In a report by Malaysia Ministry of Transport, data from primary radar was made available to them.
However, no information is given on why we did not treat 9M-MRO as potential safety hazard. It is a civilian aircraft. WTC at New York has collapsed in September 2001 after being hit by two civilian aircraft.
Report from MOT shows that our primary radar(s) is working.
Is there anyone monitoring it in case of any civilian aircraft illegally deviated from original route without any apparent safety concern, such as bad weather? We are (relatively) lucky because 9M-MRO did not hit densely-populated areas. However, until today, we still do not know where is the aircraft and what happened to those onboard.
Perhaps someone in RMAF can answer the question in bold type for us. Maybe it is classified to reveal radar capability to public, but our action/inaction on March 8th 2014 has indicated how serious we are in dealing with potential risk.
Malaysia Airlines will revamp its economy class meals to give more value for its customers. Yes, you heard it right. Economy class passengers will enjoy better meals in the future.
Malaysia Airlines Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Simmons has said the new menu have improvement in ingredients by having more than double the protein size and bigger portions. Besides, overall presentation of the meal will also be improved.
Passengers for short-haul flights will be able to enjoy better in-flight dining experience as hot meals will be introduced for them. All these improvements have added 20% of the overall meal cost.
“This (hot meal) includes dishes such as Japanese inspired appetiser shrimp salad with spring onion, sesame seed chicken teriyaki served with Japanese rice and also Korean influenced kimchi chicken with Asian greens and deep fried queen fish and Kung Pao sauce for North Asian destinations”, said Malaysia Airlines in a statement.
“More Malaysian dishes will also be served on flights between Kuala Lumpur to Australia including curry and rendang as part of the airline’s move to provide a truly Malaysian experience to reflect the cultural richness of the national airline,” it added.
A news report has just come out saying a helicopter was reported missing in Sarawak. The helicopter belongs to GCA Skyline Aviation Inc. Source: Interaksyon. It is registered in Philippines. The helicopter model is Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil.
Director-General (DG) of Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman has confirmed the disappearance. He said the helicopter lost contact with air traffic control tower just after departure from Betong. “The helicopter left Betong at 4:12 PM and should have arrived in Kuching around 5 PM”, he said.
Crew and Passengers
Capt Rudolf Rex Ragas – pilot
Datuk Noriah Kasnon, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC)
Asmuni Abdullah – Noriah’s husband
Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Chairman
Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Secretary-general, MPIC
Ahmad Sobri Harun – personal bodyguard to Datuk Noriah
Model: Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil
Type: Single-engine helicopter
Registration Country: Philippines
Registration Number: RP-C6828
Operator: GCA Skyline Aviation Inc.
Search and Rescue (SAR) Team
Malaysian Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai commented about SAR mission during a statement on Friday night (6 May 2016). Source
“The SAR mission is currently being led by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) with the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Air Force (TUDM), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Marine Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) and Civil Defence Department,” – Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysian Transport Minister
THURSDAY, MAY 5TH 2016
5:00 PM: A helicopter traveling from Betong to Kuching has been reported lost at that time.
9:00 PM: The Star news portal reported, albeit briefly, about the disappearance. “More to come” has been added at the end of news report, indicating there will be more stories.
9:30 PM: We are still looking for more information on the internet and no new information has been reported. The fate of crew and passengers as well as aircraft registration number remained unknown at the moment.
FRIDAY 6 MAY 2016
12:40 AM: Sarawak Police has given a press statement at 11:30 PM yesterday. No signs of the helicopter so far. Search and rescue team has been deployed at last known location of the helicopter. Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem has asked people to offer their prayer. Weather was reported as bad during the time of disappearance.
10:04 AM: A team of about 100 personnel are searching for the missing helicopter. They will focus on the districts of Sri Aman, Simunjan and Betong. Personnel involved are from Marine Police, Fire and Rescue Department, Police, General Operations Force and Civil Defence Department. Source: The Star
11:45 AM: Kuala Kangsar MP, Datuk Wan Mohammad Khairil is also in the missing helicopter. Friends and relatives begins to gather at his home to learn about the new developments of the disappearance.
11:49 AM: Fire Rescue team has found debris of a helicopter at Sungai Batang Sadong, believed to be remains of the missing helicopter.
Noon: A body belonged to a woman has been found. The body was brought to SMK Sebuyau with a boat later at 1 pm. It was flown to Kuching by TUDM’s Nuri Helicopter at arrived at 3:30 PM. Source
7:47 PM: Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the investigation will be conducted by DCA’s Air Accident & Investigation Bureau (BSKU).
Investigations into accident will be conducted by Air Accident & Investigation Bureau (BSKU) led by Captain Datuk Yahaya bin Abdul Rahman.
Malaysia Airlines has decided to utilize the new Airbus A350 for its Asia and London routes, starting as early as October 2017. The aircraft, also known as Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliners developed by Airbus.
The company has signed a long-term lease agreement for four new Airbus A350-900s with Air Lease Corporation (ALC). Additionally, two A350-900s and two A330-900neo (New Engine Option). It is not known whether the lease type is wet lease or dry lease.
Malaysia Airlines CEO, Christoph Mueller has expressed interest in acquiring more aircraft of that type to fulfill Malaysia Airlines’ future needs. The aircraft will be delivered between fourth quarter of 2017 and second quarter of 2018.