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Timeline: The search for missing jet MH370

English.news.cn   2014-03-26 16:27:41

BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese IL-76 aircraft reached the search area in the southern Indian Ocean on Wednesday morning and began searching for missing flight MH370.

As the hunt enters its 19th day, three other aircraft are en route to the area where Chinese airborne searchers spotted debris on Monday.

Here is a timeline of the search for the Malaysia Airlines aircraft which vanished from radar screens on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.


-- The Boeing 777-200 aircraft carrying 227 passengers (including 154 Chinese) and 12 crew members takes off from Kuala Lumpur at 00:41 a.m. and is expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.

-- Contact with the flight is lost at 1:20 a.m., when it is believed to be in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area.

-- President Xi Jinping urges all-out search and rescue efforts.

-- Vietnam launches a search operation in its waters where the plane is presumed to have crashed, while Malaysia, China, Singapore, the Philippines and the United States all dispatch rescue vessels and aircraft to search for the missing jet.

-- Vietnamese planes spot two "suspicious" oil slicks near the plane's last known location, but the finding turns out to be unconnected.

-- Two passengers are reported to have boarded the plane using stolen passports.


-- Chinese rescue vessels arrive at the search site.

-- Nine nations join the hunt for the missing plane but no significant discoveries are reported.


-- China works out a search plan involving four patrol and rescue vessels and two naval warships, and adjusts high-resolution satellites to help with the search.

-- A 13-member working group sent by the Chinese government arrives in Kuala Lumpur.

-- An oil slick spotted by the search team of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and some floating objects spotted earlier are confirmed not to be connected to the missing jet.


-- Five Chinese vessels arrive at waters of MH370's last known location.

-- Dozens of ships and planes from about 10 countries and regions scour the waters, but no solid clues are found.

-- The multinational search mission is extended to land, with the focus on the West Peninsular of Malaysia at the Strait of Malacca.


-- Chinese vessels continue to search waters, but no debris is found.

-- The MMEA moves its search and rescue teams to the Andaman Sea to the south of Thailand, where the Thai Navy has been searching for three days.

-- Malaysia's air force chief denies reports that military radar tracked MH370 flying over the Strait of Malacca, but says they have not ruled out the possibility that the aircraft turned back before it vanished from radar screens.

-- Vietnam officials say the missing Malaysian jetliner seems unlikely to have fallen in waters off Vietnam.


-- Premier Li Keqiang says China will keep searching for the missing flight "as long as there is a glimmer of hope".

-- A Chinese satellite finds three floating objects on the South China Sea, but Malaysian officials deny the finding.


-- More than 80 ships and planes from 13 countries comb the waters on both sides of the Malaysian peninsula to locate the missing plane.

-- Malaysia confirms search areas have been widened to cover the Indian Ocean.


-- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the disappearance of the missing jet was deliberate. Authorities refocus their investigation into MH370's crew and passengers.

-- The prime minister says the last confirmed signal between the plane and a satellite came at 8:11 a.m. Malaysian time on March 8. He says the flight turned back, then flew westward back over Peninsula Malaysia before turning northwest.

-- The Malaysian authorities try to trace the missing jet in one of the two possible corridors -- a northern one from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and a southern one stretching from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.


-- Twenty-five countries are involved in the search and rescue operation.

-- Malaysian police retrieve the flight simulator of the pilot. Malaysian Airlines says the pilot and co-pilot did not request to fly together, dismissing speculation of a pre-planned hijack attempt.


-- Li Keqiang asks Malaysia to provide Beijing with more detailed data and information about MH370 in a timely, accurate and comprehensive manner.

-- Malaysian officials confirm "All right, good night", spoken by the co-pilot, are the last words from the missing plane.

-- Twenty-six countries are involved in the search mission.


-- China announces nine vessels will sail from Singapore to waters southeast of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia.

-- China says it has deployed 21 satellites to search for the missing jetliner.

-- Background checks on all passengers from the Chinese mainland on board the flight find no evidence of links to sabotage or terrorism.


-- China shifts its search focus from the South China Sea to waters southeast of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia, covering an area of 300,000 square kilometers.

-- Malaysia says background checks on almost all passengers and crew produce no "information of significance".

-- The Thai air force reveals that its military radar picked up what appears to be flight MH370 just minutes after it was diverted.


-- Australia says it has spotted two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite images, about 2,500 kilometers southwest of the Australian port city of Perth. An Australian navy P-3 plane later fails to locate the debris.

-- China confirms MH370 did not enter its territory.

-- During a phone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Xi Jinping urges full efforts as long as there is a gleam of hope, despite difficulties searching the remote area.


-- Search planes from Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand spend a second fruitless day scouring a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean, trying to locate the objects seen on the satellite images.

-- A delegation of the Malaysian government and military officials meet with relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the flight in Beijing.


-- China releases a satellite image of possible wreckage from MH370, describing the object in the picture captured on March 18 as 22 meters long and 13 meters wide. It is spotted around 120 km from debris earlier reported by Australia in the southern Indian Ocean.

-- Two Chinese Air Force Ilyushin IL-76 transport aircraft arrive at the Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce to serve as "eyes" to identify floating objects in the ocean.

-- An aircraft of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reports sighting a number of "small objects", including a wooden pallet, within a radius of 5 km.


-- A visual search is carried out by an international air team focusing on finding the 22-meter-long object China spotted and the "small objects", including a wooden pallet, detected by the AMSA in the southern Indian Ocean. But there are no significant sightings.

-- French satellite images show debris in the search area, which remain to be located and confirmed as previous findings.


-- A Chinese IL-76 plane spots debris -- two big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometers -- in the southern Indian Ocean, but the AMSA later says a U.S. P-8 Poseidon aircraft is unable to locate the objects.

-- Chinese icebreaker Xuelong changes its course toward the latest sighting, with more Chinese vessels heading for the waters.

-- An Australian air force P-3 Orion plane spots two objects, a grey or green circular object and an orange rectangular object, in the southern Indian Ocean region. This finding is separate to the objects earlier reported by the Chinese IL-76 plane.

-- The U.S. Pacific Command orders the Pacific Fleet to move a black box locator into the region in case debris is located.

-- Malaysia announces that new analysis of satellite data suggests MH370 "ends" in the southern Indian Ocean and Malaysia Airlines tells relatives of the passengers the plane has been "lost" and "none of those on board survived".


-- The Chinese government asks Malaysia to provide all information and evidence leading to Malaysia's conclusion that the plane ended in the Indian Ocean, pledging to continue search efforts.

-- Xi Jinping orders a special envoy to be sent to Kuala Lumpur.

-- Malaysia Airlines says "rational deduction" leads to the belief there are no survivors on the plane.

-- The AMSA suspends the search operation for Tuesday due to bad weather.

Editor: chengyang
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