Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Peter Jackson's personal jet joins search

Company that operates his jet has accepted a charter offer, spokesperson confirms

Sir Peter Jackson's personal jet is assisting in the search for the Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

A spokesperson for the director of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy said the plane had been chartered and is being operated out of Perth after Sir Peter personally approved its use in the hunt for the Boeing 777.

Flight MH370 disappeared on 8 march with 239 people on board while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The spokesperson would not comment on whether Sir Peter, who has amassed a reported personal fortune of more than $510 million, had received a payment for the Gulfstream G650 jet.

The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre declined to comment, other than to say a civilian jet is being used as a communications relay for military aircraft searching for the airliner, Radio New Zealand has reported.

Britain's Ministry of Defence said the Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS Tireless had joined the search for the missing plane's flight recorder. British Survey ship HMS Echo is also due to join the search effort Wednesday.

Meanwhile, authorities in Malaysia said it is focusing its criminal investigation on the cabin crew and pilots of the missing plane, after clearing all 227 passengers of any involvement, the country's police chief reportedly said on Wednesday.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the passengers had been cleared of possible involvement in hijacking, sabotage or having personal or psychological problems that could have been connected to the flight's disappearance.

But Mr Bakar cautioned the investigation could "go on and on" and "at the end [...] we may not even know the real cause".

Search teams in the southern Indian Ocean are in a race against time to locate the plane's black box recorder, which has an expected battery life of around 30 days and may well contain the key to understanding the plane's mysterious disappearance.

On Tuesday, Malaysian authorities released the transcript of exchanges between the pilots of the MH370 flight and ground control as it emerged the reported final communication from of one of the pilots was incorrect.

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Investigators are still trying to establish whether the pilot or co-pilot spoke the words, a government statement added, as criticism continued to mount over Malaysia's handling of the search.

The transcript contained a new version of the conversation between air traffic control and the cockpit of the missing flight, with the final transmission being amended to a more formal “good night Malaysian three seven zero" from the casual "all right, good night".

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