Cat out of the bag: MH370 was carrying lithium-ion batteries

After saying four days ago that MH370 was carrying three to four tonnes of mangosteens, the Malaysia Airlines CEO today finally admitted that the plane was carrying lithium-ion batteries, which may be flammable. But he maintained the goods were packed in line with standard safety rules recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. (Why was this information not disclosed earlier?) (more…)

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Crisis of credibility in Malaysian plane search

This is an article I wrote a couple of days ago for Asia Times Online:

It has been a sight that Malaysians are unaccustomed to – senior ministers and officials shifting uncomfortably and bristling in delivering curt responses to journalists trying to extract more information about the still unresolved March 8 disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner destined for China.

Graphic: Sydney Morning Herald

The search areas for Friday, 21 March 2014 and earlier this week – Graphic: Sydney Morning Herald

(more…)

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Australian satellite image shows debris in waters off Perth

Could this be a breakthrough? A number of objects have been spotted 2500km south-west of Perth; the largest one is 24m long.

The distance from Perth to Penang is 4461 km or 2772 miles. Flying time from Penang to Perth would be about five and a half hours assuming an average commercial airline speed of 500mph and depending on wind speeds. Then there is the added distance to reach the south-west of Perth. So if this was the plane, it could have been in the area after 8.00am, but it may not have had enough fuel to reach that area. (more…)

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Update on MH370

Sad, distressing scenes before the press briefing in KL today. A couple of distraught Chinese relatives demanding more information and trying to speak to journalists were carried away by police.

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