UK & World News

  • 23 March 2014, 3:14

Missing Plane: Cockpit Conversations Revealed

A transcript of the final conversations between the crew of flight MH370 and air traffic control has been revealed two weeks after the aircraft vanished from radar.

The transcript, between the co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid and the control tower, includes conversations as the aircraft was taxiing at Kuala Lumpur airport up until the final exchange with Malaysian air traffic control at 1.19am.

It also includes a repeated message about the aircraft's altitude at the same time as the plane's Acars signalling technology sent its last transmission before it was apparently disabled.

At 1.01am it reads: "MH370 remaining in flight altitude 350 (35,000ft)."

Six minutes later, the co-pilot said: "MH370 remaining in flight altitude 350."

The final conversation in the documents, published in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror, was at 1.19am as the plane left Malaysian airspace, and reads: "All right, good night."

But former pilot Alastair Rosenschein told Sky News too much could be read into the repetition of the plane's altitude.

He said: "You make a radio call confirming your altitude and then a few minutes later you think 'gosh did I make that call?', you don't know, the easiest thing is to make it again.

"So no it's not suspicious, at least I don't see it as suspicious.

"If he wanted to hijack the aircraft then this was an ideal spot because it lies between Malay air space and Vietnamese air space. So you've got that handover - the Malaysians are no longer interested in the aircraft because it's left them, they've handed it over, and the Vietnamese don't yet expect a call.

"Quite frankly if you wanted to take an aircraft and didn't want anyone to know, you wouldn't have done it on a Beijing flight - you're covered by radar the whole way.

"You would have done it on a flight from Kuala Lumpur say to London where you've got plenty of fuel."

Peter Marosszeky, an aviation expert at the University of New South Wales in Australia, added: "I've sat through many thousands of flights myself and it's not something that would really strike me as unusual.

"Without being able to hear the inflection in the pilots' voices, it's very difficult to determine whether anything said is truly noteworthy.

"I'd love to hear the actual voice level of communication to see if there's any level of anxiety that might have been driving the pilot to say what he did."

It comes after the search for debris spotted on satellite in the south Indian Ocean resumed on Saturday for a third day.

Six aircraft took off from Perth to search seas around 1,550 miles southwest of the city after two large objects were spotted earlier this week.

More aircraft and shipping is expected to join the operation over the next few days.

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