The mystery over Malaysian Airways flight MH370 deepened after transcripts of the conversation between the cockpit and ground control were revealed.
The transcript reveals that Malaysian authorities had previously reported the wrong parting words by one of the pilots before the plane disappeared. It was previously believed that one of the pilots signed off by saying, “All right. Good night,” which would be regarded as unusually colloquial, suggesting the pilot may have been planning something out of the ordinary.
Now, the newly published transcript reveals that the real parting words were, “Good night, Malaysia three seven zero,” showing that the pilot said exactly what would be expected.
The final words were spoken as the pilots signed off from contact with Malaysian air traffic control. They were then expected to make contact with Vietnamese air traffic control, but no contact was made.
The Malaysian transport minister said that forensic investigations would determine who spoke the words.
It is not clear why the Malaysian account of the final words was originally different.
There was speculation last week about the mental state of pilot Zaharie Shah, whose wife had just left him, but this transcript reveals nothing unusual in the pilot’s words or actions.
The news comes as retired Australian defence force chief, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, said the search would be the “most challenging ever”. Air Chief Marshall Houston, who has been put in charge of coordinating the search, said that the search was “very complex” and warned: “It’s not something that will necessarily be resolved in the next two weeks, for example.”
He added that they have no data on how high the plane had flown, and that a relatively small change in altitude could alter the plane’s speed and fuel consumption, radically altering the potential crash site.