The flight departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 8 March at 00:41 local time (16:41 GMT , 7 March) and was scheduled to land at Beijing Capital International Airport at 06:30 local time (22:30 GMT , 7 March). It ascended to its assigned cruise altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 m) and was travelling at 471 knots (542 mph; 872 km/h) true airspeed when it ceased all communications and the transponder signal was lost. The aircraft’s last known position on 8 March at 01:30 local time (17:30 GMT , 7 March) was waypoint IGARI, at which the aircraft was due to alter its course slightly eastward., corresponding to the navigational
The New Straits Times reported on 9 March that the captain of another aircraft had attempted to reach the pilots of MH370 “just after 1:30 am” to relay Vietnamese Air Traffic Control’s request for MH370 to contact it. The captain said he was able to establish contact with plane but just heard “mumbling” and static.
On 15th March 2014 (six days after the disappearance) the Malaysian PM came out with this official statement
In the first phase of the search operation, we searched near MH370’s last known position, in the South China Sea. At the same time, it was brought to our attention by the Royal Malaysian Air Force that, based on their primary radar, an aircraft – the identity of which could not be confirmed – made a turn back. The primary radar data showed the aircraft proceeding on a flight path which took it to an area north of the Straits of Malacca.
Given this credible data, which was subsequently corroborated with the relevant international authorities, we expanded the area of search to include the Straits of Malacca and, later, to the Andaman Sea.
Early this morning I was briefed by the investigation team – which includes the FAA, NTSB, the AAIB, the Malaysian authorities and the Acting Minister of Transport – on new information that sheds further light on what happened to MH370.
Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East coast of peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards,near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.
From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar showed that an aircraft which was believed – but not confirmed – to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over peninsular Malaysia before turning northwest. Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.
Today, based on raw satellite data that was obtained from the satellite data service provider, we can confirm that the aircraft shown in the primary radar data was flight MH370. After much forensic work and deliberation, the FAA, NTSB, AAIB and the Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.
According to the new data, the LAST CONFIRMED COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PLANE AND THE SATELLITE WAS AT 8:11AM MALAYSIAN TIME ON SATURDAY 8TH MARCH.The investigations team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after this last point of contact. This will help us to refine the search.
Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite.However, based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian ocean. The investigation team is working to further refine the information.