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Relatives of Chinese passengers demand straight answers

By Xu Wei ( Updated: 2014-03-13 21:35

Relatives of Chinese passengers demand straight answers
Malaysian jet missing

A Malaysia Airlines executive and his Chinese translator broke down at one point during a Q & A session in Beijing on Thursday - which lasted more than five hours - as relatives of Chinese passengers on board the missing plane questioned representatives of Malaysia’s civil aviation authority, the airline, as well as the Malaysian Ambassador to China. The following is a selection of some of the most pressing issues discussed:

Q: It is known that in the field of telecommunications, it is possible to trace the location of passengers by checking servers of various telecommunication systems and thus pinpointing the location of their cellphone. If the plane has landed somewhere and a cellphone is used, that cellphone would immediately establish connection with a server. Have you conducted such investigations?

A: We haven’t done that yet and we will provide the clue to the related authorities so that they can investigate it.

Q: What is the standard procedure for the Malaysian air force when they identify an unidentified object on the radar screen?

A: First we try to contact the object and identify it. If we could identify that it is friendly we will not take action. If it is unfriendly, we will ask our jet fighters to intercept it.

Q: Has the Malaysian air force taken down any unidentified object since the flight went missing on March 8?

A: No.

Q: When did the Malaysian military radar see an unidentified flying object on its radar? Where was it?

A: The unidentified object last appeared on the radar at around 2:40 am on March 8. It was last seen above the Palau Perak Island near the Strait of Malacca.

Q: Why is it that the military radar cannot identify whether or not it is the plane?

A: Because military radars do not have information about the flight information. Judging from the flying behavior of the flight, sometimes it resembles a Boeing 777-200ER flight and sometimes it does not. That’s why we cannot be 100 percent sure.

Q: Have you conducted any background check of the pilot and co-pilot on the flight, including contact information, email, phone records, communication with their family members before they took the flight? My husband is a pilot in the United States. Does the evidence suggest that it is increasingly likely that the pilots played a key role in the incident?

A: Yes, there will be an investigation on the pilots by the Malaysian authorities and let me be open with you and say that we will not be able to update you on the investigation until the investigation is concluded.

Q: Can you confirm the report by the Wall Street Journal that the missing flight stayed in the air for about four hours after reaching its last confirmed location, based on engine data sent to the ground from the Boeing aircraft?

A: That is not true, as we checked with related authorities and the last engine data sent to the ground from the Boeing aircraft was on 1:07 am on March 8.

Q: Could the pilots switch off the engine data communication between the aircraft and the ground?

A: That is possible but only in extreme circumstances.

Q: Was there any communication between the Malaysian civil aviation authority and the Malaysian military during the period when the flight lost contact with air traffic control and the unidentified object was lost from the military radar screen? Can you make the dialogue public?

A: Yes, we notified the Malaysian air force immediately after we lost contact with the flight. We will contact the military side and see if we could make public the dialogue.

Q: Can you talk to the Malaysian military side and let them to talk to us directly here?

A: We have made strong request to them and asked for at least one of their representatives here. We can only let you know the progress in the next briefing.

Relatives of Chinese passengers demand straight answers Relatives of Chinese passengers demand straight answers

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