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Central Region News

March 09, 2014 15:28 PM

Military Radar Indicates Missing MAS Plane MH370 Turns Back

SEPANG, March 9 (Bernama) -- The recordings of the military radar have indicated the possibility that the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 aircraft could have made an "air turn back" to the KL International Airport (KLIA).

Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief general Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said investigators were collaborating with radar recordings from other civil and international agencies on this possibility.

He said this possibility prompted the search and rescue operation to be widened to the Straits of Melaka.

An air turn back is an aviation term denoting the return of an aircraft to the airport of origin as a result of the malfunction or suspected malfunction of any item on the aircraft.

Meanwhile, MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in such scenario (air turn back), the pilot was unable to proceed as planned and normally would report to the base and the air traffic controller.

"From what we know, from both, the ATC recordings and as well as our own, there was no distress signal or call, so we are equally puzzled why," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Armed Forces chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said 40 ships and 22 aircraft were now involved in the search for the missing plane which had been widened to the west coast of the Peninsula.

"Without reducing our resources in the South China Sea, there is an increase in assets being used because we have managed to get assistance from our neighbouring countries," he said, the assets did not include those deployed by Vietnam.

Ahmad Jauhari confirmed that the wingtip of the aircraft had broken off in August 2012, but it was repaired by Boeing and certified safe for flying by various authorities. "The aircraft was safe to fly and we are confident of its capability," he said.

On two passengers who allegedly used fake passports, he said, the authorities were reviewing the CCTV footage from their check-in to departure.

Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said only two passengers were travelling on stolen passports and not four as reported earlier.



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