Member log in

Flight MH370: Sir Peter Jackson's jet joins search

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pledged continuing support for the Flight MH370 search despite no new signs of the missing airliner.

The Perth-based search is still focused on the Southern Indian Ocean and now includes more than 1100 people on 10 aircraft and 10 ships.

Radio New Zealand has reported Sir Peter Jackson’s top-of-the-line Gulfstream G650 jet is helping in the search under a charter arrangement between Australian authorities and Execujet, of Wellington.

The long-range (7000 nautical miles) luxury jet can carry eight passengers and a crew of four. It is being used being used as a communications relay for military aircraft searching for the missing Boeing 777-200 airliner, the Radio NZ report says.

Last word from cockpit
Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities have released a new account of the final words spoken by one of the pilots, while in the US a judge has dismissed the start of a legal action against manufacturer Boeing.

The last words heard by air traffic control in Kuala Lumpur were "goodnight Malaysian three seven zero" – not "all right, goodnight," as previously reported.

The latest version is considered the more formal, standard sign-off, which occurred as the aircraft was leaving Malaysia-controlled air space on its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

Minutes later, its communications were cut off and it turned back across Malaysia and headed towards the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia says the plane, which disappeared less than an hour into its flight, was likely to have been diverted deliberately far off course. Investigators have determined no apparent motive or other red flags among the 227 passengers or the 12 crew. About two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese nationals.

Legal action dismissed
In Chicago, Cook County Judge Kathy Flanagan has dismissed a law firm’s attempt to obtain evidence of possible design and manufacturing defects from Boeing and Malaysian Airline System in connection with the disappearance of flight MH370.

She has also threatened to impose sanctions against Ribbeck Law Chartered, citing previous instances where the Chicago firm had "improperly brought" petitions, such as last year's Asiana Airlines plane crash in San Francisco.

"Despite these orders, the same law firm has proceeded, yet again, with the filing of the instant petition, knowing full well that there is no basis to do so," Ms Flanagan said. "Should this law firm choose to do so, the court will impose sanctions on its own motion."