Malaysian authorities have released the transcript of communications between the cockpit crew and air traffic controllers of missing Flight MH370 and they found nothing ‘abnormal’ in their conversation.
A statement by Defence and Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said there was no sign of foul play in the conversation between the two departments.”There is no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript,” he said
The 43 separate transmissions over nearly 54 minutes are thick with air-traffic and navigational jargon and give no hint of trouble aboard the ill-fated plane, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March with 239 people aboard. The transcript concluded with Malaysian air traffic control first bidding MH370 “good night”, as it instructs the pilots next to contact controllers in Vietnam, over which the plane was due to fly. The final entry from just after 1:19 am came from one of the two MH370 pilots, who said “good night, Malaysian three seven zero”. The plane disappeared from radar shortly thereafter and is yet to be found, though Malaysia now believes it was deliberately diverted and flew on for hours to the Indian Ocean, where it is presumed to have crashed.
The transcript — and particularly the final words from MH370 — have been the subject of much speculation following earlier statements by authorities and the airline that the last transmission from the plane was a casual “All right, good night”. That apparent non-standard sign-off fuelled speculation that one of the pilots — either Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, or First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27 — diverted the plane on purpose. Under pressure to clarify the matter, the government corrected the final words late on Monday but until now had not released a full transcript.
Today’s statement said the transcript was “initially held as part of the police investigation”, but gave no other reason for the delay. Malaysia Airlines had said previously that the last words were believed to be uttered by First Officer Fariq, but the statement said the ongoing investigation was yet to confirm that.
The correction of the official account of the last words was made as Malaysian authorities face heavy criticism for their handling of the disappearance, particularly from families of the Chinese passengers on board Flight MH370, who have accused Malaysia of mismanaging the search and holding back information.