Joshua Law Kok Hwa, regional senior vice-president of the Malaysia Airlines in China, speaking at the press conference at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing, March 8, 2014.
“There were a lot of interference…static…but I heard mumbling from the other end. […] That was the last time we heard from them, as we lost the connection,” said a BOEING 777 pilot who was flying 30 minutes ahead of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The pilot said his plane, bound for Narita, Japan, was already into Vietnamese airspace when he was asked to establish contact with MH370 using his plane’s emergency frequency, according to AsiaOne News. The captain asked for MH370 to establish its position after authorities couldn’t contact the aircraft.
“The voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie [Ahmad Shah, 53] or Fariq [Abdul Hamid, 27], but I was sure it was the co-pilot,” the BOEING 777 pilot told the New Sunday Times.
The pilot, who asked not to be named, said he thought nothing of the abrupt transmission until he learned that MH370 never landed.
“If the plane was in trouble, we would have heard the pilot making the Mayday distress call. But I am sure that, like me, no one else up there heard it,” he said.
“Following the silence, a repeat request was made by the Vietnamese authorities to try establishing contact with them.”
In a new development, Malaysia’s air force chief, General Rodzali Daud, citing radar data, said that authorities are looking into the “possibility” that the plane had actually attempted to turn back, according to AFP.
“There is a distinct possibility the airplane did a turn-back, deviating from the course,” he said.
“One of the possibilities is that it was returning to Kuala Lumpur.”
The missing plane MH370, which was carrying 239 people, has not yet been confirmed as having crashed but Malaysia Airlines says it is “fearing the worst” and photos purporting to show debris scattered in the sea water where the flight lost contact have just recently surfaced on social media.
Xinhua also reported that Malaysia Airlines is sending direct relatives of passengers onboard the missing flight to fly from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning.
Previously on Shanghaiist: 29 Chinese artists onboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight
[Image via News.cn]