Thursday, March 27, 05:45 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport

1. Chinese Special Envoy

 

a. Yesterday, His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China, met with the Prime Minister and Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, the Acting Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defence.

 

b. Following the meeting with Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, His Excellency Zhang Yesui also received a comprehensive technical briefing by the international working group, led by the AAIB. Inmarsat’s findings - which led to the conclusion that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean - were explained during the meeting.

 

c. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) of the CAAC were present at yesterday’s technical briefing. The CAAC and AAID have been, and will continue to be, members of the international working group.

 

d. Today His Excellency Zhang Yesui also met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are currently in KL.

 

e. Malaysia is committed to working closely with the Government of China and to sharing all information related to MH370 in full.

 

2. Family briefing in Beijing

 

a. Yesterday, the Malaysian high-level team met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are based in Beijing, for the fourth time. Over the duration of the three hour meeting, the relatives received a technical briefing and an update on the search operation. The high-level team also answered questions. Today, the high-level team met relatives again, at 3:25pm Malaysia time. The meeting is still underway.

 

b. Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive. Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the Government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general.

 

3. Operational update

 

a. The planned area of search today was 16,298 square nautical miles in the West sector, and 6,506 square nautical miles in the East sector.

 

b. The area identified by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday – where the 122 potential objects were sighted – was also due to be searched today.

 

c. Today, nine planes travelled to the search area – five in the East sector and four in the West sector. In the East sector, searches by air were conducted by:

- two Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand civil aircraft.

- one Japanese Gulfstream.

 

In the West sector, searches by air were conducted by:

-two Australian P-3 Orions.

-two Australian civil aircraft.

 

d. Today six ships were deployed in the search area – one in the East sector and five in

the West sector.

 

In the East sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-one Chinese ship (the Xue Long).

 

In the West sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-four Chinese ships (the Kunlunshan, Haikou, Qiandaohui, and Zhonghaishaohua).

-one Australian ship (the HMAS Success).

 

e. One Chinese ship (the Hai Xun) is expected to arrive in the search area tonight.

 

f. Today the weather deteriorated in the search area and search operations were suspended at 11:40am.

 

4. Malaysian team going to Perth

a. Malaysia is in the process of sending a team, comprised of the DCA, MAS, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, to Perth. This team will work closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre to assist with the search operation.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 26, 05:45 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport

Introductory statement


The search for MH370 continues. Our efforts are now focused in the southern Indian Ocean, where a multi-national team, led by Australia, is combing the waters trying to find debris from the flight.


Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast. As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.

1. New satellite images
Australia, China and France have already released satellite images, showing objects that may be related to MH370.

Yesterday, on 25 March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France. The images were taken on 23 March.


MRSA analysed the images and - in one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometres - were able to identify 122 potential objects.
Some objects were a metre in length; others were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.


The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometres from Perth. We will issue handouts relating to this new information, after this press conference.
MRSA’s findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth yesterday. It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.

We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.

Click here to downlaod maps showing objects reported by MRSA.


2. Operational update
Australia is leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, based out of Perth. Malaysia continues to play a co-ordinating role. All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of co-operation; that has not changed. Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West.

Today the weather has improved, and twelve planes will travel to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West.
In the East sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand P3 Orion.


In the West sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one US P8 Poseidon.

- one Korean P3 Orion.

- one Japanese P3 Orion.

- two Australian P3 Orions, and one civilian aircraft.


Two ships will also join the search operations.


Yesterday ‘HMAS Success’ was redeployed to the south of the search area due to bad weather.  Today the ship has returned and will support the search operation in the West sector. Meanwhile, the Chinese ship ‘Xue Long’ has today been deployed to the East sector.

A Japanese Coast Guard gulfstream aircraft left Subang this morning for Perth, to join the search operation.

As I mentioned yesterday, the search operations in the northern corridor, and in the northern part of the southern corridor, have been called off. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change.

Before I continue, I would like to convey our appreciation to the Australian authorities, and in particular to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for making such an extraordinary contribution to the search operation.

3. Chinese Special Envoy
Today, the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China. I also met with His Excellency this afternoon.

During our conversation His Excellency conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible, and to deploy any assets that may be required.

Malaysia has provided his His Excellency and his delegation with a full update on the latest information from Inmarsat.
His Excellency and his delegation also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.

4. International Working Group
As I mentioned yesterday, based on the new information provided by Inmarsat, we have established an international working group. The agencies involved in this working group include: Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The role of the working group is to help try and refine the Inmarsat data and, if possible, more accurately determine the final position of MH370.

5. Further information
I should like to note that the CEO of Malindo Airlines, Chandran Rama Murthy, has joined me on stage today, and will be able to answer any questions that you might have.

As I announced yesterday, MAS is now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences. MAS will hold another press conference tomorrow.

Concluding remarks
New satellite images continue to provide clues in the search for MH370. And with improved weather conditions, aircraft are now able to investigate objects of interest.


I would like to thank once again our international partners for their continued support and assistance. The search for MH370, and the investigation into what happened on board the flight, is now a truly international effort.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 25, 06:50 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport

Introductory statement

As the search for MH370 continues, we remain focused on narrowing the search area.

With such strong co-operation from our international partners, the challenge is no longer diplomatic. It is now primarily technical and logistical. Because the scale of the investigation is now much more complex, the release of technical and logistical information will be handled differently. As you have seen today, this means that Malaysia Airlines will take the lead in communicating with the families.

As the search area has narrowed, new challenges have arisen, including managing resources in a remote search and rescue effort. We continue to work closely with our friends and partners as we seek to marshal more specific resources in support of the operations in that area.

1. New data

Last night the Prime Minister announced that according to new analysis of satellite data, Inmarsat and UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have concluded that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

Today I will provide further details of how the data was analysed, as provided to us the UK AAIB. This information is quite technical in nature. So although I will give you as much information as I can, I will not be in a position to answer questions about this data analysis today.

However, we will accept written questions which will be answered as soon as possible. We will be providing this information as a press release at the end of this press conference. This is the information provided to us by the AAIB. Click here for the document.

2. Further details

In recent days Inmarsat developed a second innovative technique which considers the velocity of the aircraft relative to the satellite. Depending on this relative movement, the frequency received and transmitted will differ from its normal value, in much the same way that the sound of a passing car changes as it approaches and passes by. This is called the Doppler effect. Click here for Doppler document.

The Inmarsat technique analyses the difference between the frequency that the ground station expects to receive and that actually measured. This difference is the result of the Doppler effect and is known as the Burst Frequency Offset.

The Burst Frequency Offset changes depending on the location of the aircraft on an arc of possible positions, its direction of travel, and its speed. In order to establish confidence in its theory, Inmarsat checked its predictions using information obtained from six other B777 aircraft flying on the same day in various directions. There was good agreement.

While on the ground at Kuala Lumpur airport, and during the early stage of the flight, MH370 transmitted several messages. At this stage the location of the aircraft and the satellite were known, so it was possible to calculate system characteristics for the aircraft, satellite, and ground station.

During the flight the ground station logged the transmitted and received pulse frequencies at each handshake. Knowing the system characteristics and position of the satellite it was possible, considering aircraft performance, to determine where on each arc the calculated burst frequency offset fit best.

The analysis showed poor correlation with the Northern corridor, but good correlation with the Southern corridor, and depending on the ground speed of the aircraft it was then possible to estimate positions at 0011 UTC, at which the last complete handshake took place. I must emphasise that this is not the final position of the aircraft.

There is evidence of a partial handshake between the aircraft and ground station at 0019 UTC. At this time this transmission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work. No response was received from the aircraft at 0115 UTC, when the ground earth station sent the next log on / log off message. This indicates that the aircraft was no longer logged on to the network.

Therefore, sometime between 0011 UTC and 0115 UTC the aircraft was no longer able to communicate with the ground station. This is consistent with the maximum endurance of the aircraft.

This analysis by Inmarsat forms the basis for further study to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft. Accordingly, the Malaysian investigation has set up an international working group, comprising agencies with expertise in satellite communications and aircraft performance, to take this work forward.

3. Technical background

The new analysis I have described above was convincing enough for the AAIB to brief the Prime Minister that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Within a few hours, the families had been informed, and the Prime Minister announced the new development to the world.

As the Prime Minister stated, this type of analysis has never been done in an investigation of this sort. There remains more work to be done, and we are grateful to Inmarsat, AAIB and the international investigations team, who are continuing to work with the Malaysian authorities. This is a developing situation, and as soon as we know more, we will share it.

4. Operational update

As a result of this new data analysis, the search and rescue operation in the northern corridor has been called off. We have also stopped the search and rescue operation in the northern part of the southern corridor, close to Indonesia.

All search efforts are now focused in the southern part of the southern corridor, in an area covering some 469,407 square nautical miles, as against the 2.24 million square nautical miles which we announced on 18th March.

We are currently working to further narrow down the search area, using the four methods I mentioned previously: gathering information from satellite surveillance, analysis of surveillance radar data, increasing air and surface assets, and increasing the number of technical and subject matter experts.

On the assets deployed, 2 Korean aircraft left Subang airport for Perth this morning, to help in the multinational search operation. No flights from Perth to the search area took place today, due to bad weather. 6 Chinese ships are currently in the search area. They are expected to arrive within the vicinity of MH370’s last known position by tomorrow morning. These ships include the ice breaker ‘Xue Long’.

HMAS Success is also currently in the search area.

The American Towed Pinger Locater – an instrument that can help find a black box - is currently en route to Perth and will arrive tomorrow. The system will be fitted onto the Australian ship Ocean Shield, which is due to dock in Perth on 28th March. The Ocean Shield, fitted with the Towed Pinger Locater, is due to arrive in the search area on 5 April.

5. Concluding remarks

The new analysis shared with the investigation by Inmarsat and the AAIB has focused our efforts on the southern part of the southern corridor.

Although yesterday’s news was incredibly hard for the family members, as our Prime Minister said, it was released out of a commitment to openness and respect for the relatives, two principles which have guided the investigation.

-ENDS