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MISSING MH370: Plane changed course only after 'all right, good night'
Publication Date : 20-03-2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 deviated from its course by turning westwards only after the co-pilot had said “all right, good night” to Kuala Lumpur air traffic control, Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said.
He said reports of the plane changing its course westwards before the cockpit’s last voice communication with ATC were “not correct”.
He was also asked to confirm whether the plane had passed through two waypoints in a zig-zag manner following its turn back towards the Indian Ocean.
Azharuddin refused to confirm this at yesterday’s press conference, saying “I think we have passed through that stage now. We have gone beyond that.”
CNN reported yesterday that an official familiar with the investigation had said the aircraft’s first turn to the west was almost certainly programmed by somebody in the cockpit.
It suggested that the programmed change had been entered at least 12 minutes before First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid signed off to ATC, saying “all right, good night”.
New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt had said this increased the possibility of foul play.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that according to investigations, the plane had flew on its normal route up until the waypoint IGARI.
“There is no additional waypoint on MH370’s documented flight plan, which depicts normal routing all the way to Beijing,” he said.