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.

READ MORE: MH370: LAST WORDS FROM COCKPIT WERE NOT 'ALL RIGHT, GOOD NIGHT'
SECRET SERVICES INVOLVEMENT IN MH370 INVESTIGATION SPARKS SPECULATION OVER TERRORISM  
SEARCH WILL BE MOST EXPENSIVE EVER, WARNS SALVAGE EXPERT  
BLACK HOLES, ALIENS AND TRIPS TO THE MOON - ONLINE THEORIES

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".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada