We’ve been provided the latest statement from the Malaysian authorities, from which news reports have been written. We find the information in the statement to be more than a little interesting, so we’re reprinting it verbatim.
Early this morning, I was briefed by the investigation team, which includes and FAA, NTSB, the AAIB, the Malaysian authorities and the acting minister for transport on new information that sheds further light on what happened to MH347.
Based on new satellite communication, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysia and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off. From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar data showed that an aircraft which was believed but not confirmed to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew into a westerly direction back over Peninsular Malaysia before turning northwest. Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.
Today, based on raw satellite data which was obtained from the satellite data service provider we can confirm that the aircraft shown in the primary radar data was flight MH370. After much forensic work and deliberation, the FAA, NTSB, AAIB and the Malaysian authorities working separately on the same data … according to the new data the last confirmed communication between the plane and the satellite was at 8:11am Malaysian time Saturday 8 March. The investigation team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after the last point of contact. This will help us to refine the search.
Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite. however, based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts, had determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors — a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Northern Thailand, or a Southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to Southern Indian Ocean.
The investigation team is working to further refine the information.
In view of this latest development, the Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board. Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, I wish to be very clear we are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path. This new satellite information has significant impact on the nature and scope of the search operation. We are ending our operations in the South China Sea and reassessing the redeployment of our assets. We are working with the relevant countries to request all information relevant to the search including radar data. As the two new corridors involve many counties, the relevant foreign embassies have been invited to a briefing on the new information today by the Malaysian foreign ministry and the technical experts. Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase.
The Wall Street Journal created this graphic to illustrate the positions referenced in th above statement.