MH370: A timeline

It is now one year since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing

Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 passengers crying during press conference at a hotel in Seri Petaling near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photograph: EPA

Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 passengers crying during press conference at a hotel in Seri Petaling near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photograph: EPA

 

2014

March 8th - The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 takes off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am local time bound for Beijing, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew.

The plane is last seen on military radar at 02.14am, heading west over the Strait of Malacca. Half an hour later the airline reveals to the public that it has lost contact with the plane. The plane was due to land at around 6.30am.

March 10th - Vietnamese aircraft search for a plane door spotted in their waters but find nothing. A day later the hunt is widened to cover a 115-nautical mile radius involving 34 aircraft and 40 ships from several countries.

March 13th - Malaysian authorities expand their search for the missing jet into the Andaman Sea and beyond after acknowledging it could have flown for several more hours after its last contact with the ground.

March 15th - Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak says the missing airliner was deliberately diverted and continued flying for more than six hours after losing contact with the ground.

March 8th to April 24th - The search area covers the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the southern Indian Ocean.

April 24th - The search and rescue phase becomes a search and recovery phase, with it moving a few days later to an underwater phase using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a bathymetry survey covering an area around 692km long and 80km wide.

June 2014 - Australian authorities issue a preliminary report in which they theorise that MH370’s crew became incapacitated, possibly due to oxygen starvation, with the plane continuing on autopilot.

August 28th - Australia’s deputy prime minister, Warren Truss, says the aircraft “might have turned south a little earlier than we have previously expected”.

September 19th - After a four-month lull, it is announced that the underwater search, involving depths of up to 3.7 miles (6km), would resume at the end of September.

October 2014 - The new underwater search involves ships dragging sonar devices called towfish through the water about 100m above the seabed to hunt for wreckage. The towfish are equipped with jet fuel sensors and can transmit data to those on board the vessels.

2015

January - Senior Boeing 777 captain Simon Hardy suggests the missing aircraft’s final resting place is in the Indian Ocean just outside the far south-western edge of the core search area.

January 28th - Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) officially declares the incident “an accident”. The DCA says it had concluded the aircraft exhausted its fuel “over a defined area of the southern Indian Ocean”. The DCA adds that efforts to find the plane will continue.

March 7th - Malaysia’s transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, says data will be re-examined and a new plan formulated if the plane is not found by the end of May.

PA