A preliminary report on the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 was released Thursday and shows there were four hours between the plane going missing and the time the official search began.
There are inevitably communication delays on international flights and that’s normal, said CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest
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But in looking at MH370’s disappearance, it seems the plane was likely still flying during that four hours when few or no actions were taken.
MH370's last communication — "Good night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero" — occurred as the flight left Malaysian control and transferred to Vietnam. The flight should've checked in with Ho Chi Minh City, but it didn't, and the Malaysian Transportation Ministry report
shows it was 17 minutes before its whereabouts were questioned.
The report also implores the International Civil Aviation Organization to look into using real-time tracking for commercial aircraft.
“While commercial air transport aircraft spend considerable amounts of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no requirement for real time tracking of these aircraft,” the report says. “There have now been two occasions during the last five years where large commercial air transport aircraft have gone missing and their last position was not accurately known.”
There still has been no wreckage found of the flight, which disappeared on March 8. An unmanned sub continues to search an area of the southern Indian Ocean where pings like those of a black box were detected.
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