Experts question Malaysia Airlines slow response

2014-03-08 12:55:33 GMT2014-03-08 20:55:33(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
Officials of Malaysia Airlines speak to the media in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia, March 8, 2014. A Malaysian passenger plane carrying 239 people, including 227 passengers and 12 crew members, has lost contact witAh air traffic control after leaving Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said Saturday. (Xinhua)Officials of Malaysia Airlines speak to the media in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia, March 8, 2014. A Malaysian passenger plane carrying 239 people, including 227 passengers and 12 crew members, has lost contact witAh air traffic control after leaving Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said Saturday. (Xinhua)

Experts have questioned the late responding of the Malaysia Airlines more than 16 hours after contact was lost with its missing aircraft.

In line with international custom, an airline should publish information 30 seconds after losing contact with any flight, according to Zhang Qihuai, associate chairman of the Aerial Law Study Institution of Beijing Legal Study Association.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left the Malaysian capital at 12:41 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Saturday, and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day. It was carrying 227 passengers, 154 of them Chinese.

Contact was lost with the plane at around 2:40 a.m. (Beijing Time) but it wasn't until 7:30 a.m. that Malaysia Airlines announced the plane as missing, according to Zhang.

Meanwhile, planes release alert signals in accidents and their black boxes will send radar signals asking for help. But it is curious this time that no progress was made after such a long time, the expert said.

"It is a rare case," said a senior administration officer from the industry, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He explained that a plane is equipped with several sets of communication devices, which function simultaneously. Even if all of them fail to work, the plane can be located through radar code.

"Only under extreme conditions will a flight be out of contact," he said, adding that it is unlikely such a scenario would occur even if the plane was hijacked or went through a natural disaster.

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