Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .




AEROSPACE
Families face worst nightmare of mid-air ordeal on MH370
by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) March 16, 2014


New revelations about a missing Malaysia Airlines plane have left anguished relatives contemplating the prospect that those on board endured a terrifying high-altitude hijack ordeal that may have lasted nearly eight hours.

But while the disclosures led to increased speculation of a terror plot or pilot suicide, for some they offered a glimmer of hope -- that flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, may somehow have landed safely and that their loved ones may still be alive.

For relatives of Bob and Cathy Lawton, a missing Australian couple, the possibility of a terrifying drawn-out fate at thousands of feet reflected their deepest fears.

"That's one of the worst things I could have hoped for," Bob's brother David Lawton told News Limited newspapers.

"Even if they are alive, what did they have to put up with?"

Prime Minister Najib Razak declined to use the word hijack when he briefed the press Saturday, but said new data suggested a "deliberate action" to divert the plane.

The Boeing 777's communications appear to have been switched off manually before the jet veered westward and flew for hours.

What happened during that time remains a mystery. But one report of the plane fluctuating from low to high altitude fuelled fears the passengers may have been well aware they were in terrible danger.

The New York Times said the jet had reached 45,000 feet -- above its approved altitude limit -- before it "descended unevenly to 23,000 feet".

It cited Malaysian military radar signals, but the data has not been confirmed by the authorities.

"At 45,000 feet, it may result in pressurisation problems," said Gerry Soejatman, a Jakarta-based independent aviation analyst.

"But we don't know how the fluctuation went, whether it was gentle or violent and sharp. If it was gentle, only a few sensitive passengers would notice."

- China's fury -

For relatives in China, which had 153 citizens on the flight, the investigators' breakthrough just brought more distress and frustration.

"We are experiencing an ordeal. We are still waiting for (more information)," said one tearful man emerging from a meeting between Malaysia Airlines and relatives in Beijing on Sunday morning.

"We are extremely anxious. A long time has passed and they don't disclose (more) information," he said.

Another branded the meeting "a joke".

"Until they say what really and truly happened, what good is it?" he said.

Malaysian authorities have been severely criticised for failing to share information or for issuing contradictory statements.

China's media made fresh criticism Sunday, saying Malaysia had "squandered" precious time and resources by releasing the dramatic information on the plane's fate a full week after it vanished.

"It is undeniable that the disclosure of such vital information is painfully belated," a scathing editorial by the state-run Xinhua news agency said, noting the "excruciating" seven days it entailed for relatives of the missing.

- Clinging to hope -

Yet for some the new evidence brought relief -- and a reason for hope.

"Our family is relieved that there's an official statement from the Malaysian government, delivered by the Malaysian prime minister, that there's a possibility that the aircraft might have been hijacked," said Indonesian Santi, 42, who goes by one name.

Her brother Sugianto Lo was on the flight with his wife Vinny Chynthya.

"There have been too many speculations about the missing plane so this official statement has helped to quash some of them.

"At least it gives us hope that our loved ones are still safe. We really hope that the various governments will help to look for the plane," she said.

While the theory that the plane landed somewhere and has remained hidden is seen as highly improbable by experts, most do not discount it as impossible.

The multi-nation hunt is now focused on two vast areas, stretching from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean, with 25 countries searching for the plane.

Malaysian Subramaniam Gurusamy, 60, whose 34-year-old son Puspanathan Gurusamy was on board, refused to believe the worst.

"I am praying every day for divine help. I will not lose hope. I want to hear my son cry out 'Father!" he said.

Selamat Umar, 60, also from Malaysia, placed his faith in his 29-year-old son Khairul Amrison's ability to survive whatever he confronted.

He said the new evidence was "a good sign which shows the plane can be detected and the passengers are safe -- if not all, then some".

"It may be a hijack, but why have there been no demands?" he said.

Although so many questions remain, he is clinging to the belief that his son may one day come home.

"We are definitely worried about his safety but confident that those on the plane will do what they can to survive," said Selamat.

"My son is a Muslim who fasts every Ramadan, so I am sure he has strength."

burs-lm/sm

.


Related Links
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





AEROSPACE
Plane mystery deepens Malaysia Airlines' financial woes
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) March 16, 2014
The mystery surrounding the fate of a possibly hijacked Malaysia Airlines plane raises the spectre of costly lawsuits and a damaging drop in bookings for a national carrier already haemorrhaging cash in the face of intense competition. Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that investigators believe the jet, with 239 passengers and crew on board, had been deliberately diverted from its co ... read more


AEROSPACE
Getting rid of bad vibrations

A brake for spinning molecules

Researchers Describe Oxygen's Different Shapes

MUSE Envisions Mining "Big Code" to Improve Software Reliability and Construction

AEROSPACE
NGG Starts Integration Of High-Speed Downlink Antennas EHF Comms Payload

Catching signals from a speeding satellite

Raytheon receives contract modification on JPSS Common Ground System

ASC Signal Completes First Phase of Horizon Teleports Installation and Receives Additional Antenna Order

AEROSPACE
ASTRA 5B delivered for integration on Ariane 5 launcher

Launcher assembly begins for Ariane 5 Flight VA218

ILS And ISS Reshetnev Announce Proton Dual Launch Agreement

Arianespace in spotlight at Satellite 2014: expects another record-breaking year

AEROSPACE
ESA to certify first Galileo position fixes worldwide

Russia plans to launch new Glonass satellite on March 24

McMurdo Announces Global Availability of Maritime Fleet Management Software

Fifth Boeing GPS IIF Spacecraft Sends Initial Signals from Space

AEROSPACE
Central Asian states report no sightings of Malaysian jet

Families face worst nightmare of mid-air ordeal on MH370

Malaysia doubles scale of plane search, pilots probed

MH370's pilots: An engineering buff, and a 'good boy'

AEROSPACE
Toshiba sues South Korean rival for corporate spying

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material

Bending the Light with a Tiny Chip

LED lamps: less energy, more light

AEROSPACE
Ground Validation: Contributing to Earth Observations from Space

European Parliament adopts earth observation programme Copernicus

China satellite finds 'suspected crash site' in Malaysia jet hunt

Sub-meter satellite-derived bathymetry now commercially available

AEROSPACE
Polluted Paris prepares for partial car ban

Paris makes public transport free to tackle severe pollution

Cold nights, warm days trigger pollution alerts across France

Japan's Panasonic to give China expats 'pollution pay'




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.