‘Alright, good night’, were the last words heard from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 – moments before air traffic controllers lost all contact with the Boeing 777, which then seemingly vanished.
The calmness of the exchange between Malaysian air traffic controllers and the cockpit just before 1.20 am is in stark contrast to the air of intensifying confusion and increasingly contradictory statements coming from Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
More than four days after the jet disappeared on a routine flight to Beijing, the nation’s authorities admitted they simply do not know which direction the plane and its 239 passengers were heading when it disappeared and they have no idea where exactly to look.
Indeed, on Wednesday morning Malaysia’s air force chief denied saying military radar tracked a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner over the Strait of Malacca – an hour’s flight from the plane’s last contact with air traffic control and far from its flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
‘I wish to state that I did not make any such statements,’ Rodzali said in a statement on Wednesday.
The air force chief said he had merely repeated that military radar tracking suggested the plane might have turned back.