Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Statement by TUDM Chief on Berita Harian report on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Panglima Tentera Udara (Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force), General Tan Sri Dato'Sri Rodzali Daud, issued the following statement late last night (11 March 2014). The statement corrects a report in Malaysia's Berita Harian newspaper that ascribed remarks on the air turn back of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 towards the Malacca Strait to PTU.

We reproduce PTU's statement in full.


OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY CHIEF OF ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE ON

BERITA HARIAN NEWS ARTICLE DATED 11th  MARCH 2014 ON SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS IN THE STRAITS OF MALACCA

1. I refer to the Berita Harian news article dated 11th March 2014 on Search and Rescue Operations in the Straits of Malacca which (in Bahasa Malaysia) referred to me as making the following statements: 

The RMAF Chief confirmed that  RMAF Butterworth airbase detected the location signal of the airliner as indicating that it turned back from its original heading to the direction of Kota Bahru, Kelantan, and was believed to have pass through the airspace of the East Coast of and Northern Peninsular Malaysia.
 
The last time the plane was detected by the air control tower was in the vicinity of Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca at 2.40 in the morning before the signal disappeared without any trace, he said.

2. I wish to state that I did not make any such statements as above, what occurred was that the Berita Harian journalist asked me if such an incident occurred as detailed in their story, however I did not give any answer to the question, instead what I said to the journalist was “Please refer to the statement which I have already made on 9 March 2014, during the press conference with the Chief of Defence Force at the Sama-Sama Hotel, Kuala Lumpur International Airport”.
 
3. What I stated during that press conference was,
 
The RMAF has not ruled out the possibility of an air turn back on a reciprocal heading before the aircraft vanished from the radar and this resulted in the Search and Rescue Operations being widen to the vicinity of the waters of Pulau Pinang.

4. I request this misreporting be amended and corrected to prevent further misinterpretations of what is clearly an inaccurate and incorrect report.

5. Currently the RMAF is examining and analyzing all possibilities as regards to the airliner’s flight paths subsequent to its disappearance. However for the time being, it would not be appropriate for the RMAF to issue any official conclusions as to the aircraft’s flight path until a high amount of certainty and verification is achieved. However all ongoing search operations are at the moment being conducted to cover all possible areas where the aircraft could have gone down in order to ensure no possibility is overlooked.

6. In addition, I would like to state to the media that all information and developments will be released via official statements and press conferences as soon as possible and when appropriate. Our current efforts are focused upon on finding the aircraft as soon as possible.

Thank You

GENERAL TAN SRI DATO’SRI RODZALI BIN DAUD RMAF

Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force

Released On:

11 March 14
Kuala Lumpur

1 comment:

Yap EK said...

David,

You are both a defence and a journalist and it amazes me as to how this will GO down in the journals as one of terrible crisis and ops management after the dust settles. The RMAF are up a shit creek without even a toothpick

The RMAF head was asked about a "specific story" and a "specific incident" . He was asked about something which was well within the knowledge and the ability of his organisation, or in particular the Malaysian ADGE and or its long range search radars whether Thales, Selenia RAT and or older models. The instrumented range of such Radars for objects at attitude are in excess of 400km on average. Draw a line from Butterworth of about 400km and you start asking more questions.

He did not categorically DENY that statement as untrue, rather he chose a version of I cannot deny or confirm the rumours , his versions was a LOT less weak i.e we are exploring all possibilities without denying the Pulau Perak Story.

David Learmont of FLIGHT has condemned the lack of information transparency and I agree.

A half arsed denial and stonewalling does not help in search and rescue and or recovery. The families deserve answers and bodies to bury.