Malaysian authorities have released the transcript of exchanges between the pilots of the missing flight MH370 and ground control as it emerged the reported final communication from of one of the pilots was incorrect.
The transcript contained a new version of the conversation between air traffic control and the cockpit of the missing flight MH370, with the final transmission being amended to a more formal “good night Malaysian three seven zero.”
In a statement, Malaysia’s transport ministry said their initial account “all right, good night” had changed, but gave no explanation over the discrepancy or why it has taken so long to determine this.
The transcript, issued on Tuesday and shared with families of the passengers and crew, covers about 55 minutes of apparently routine conversation, beginning about quarter of an hour before take-off. It ended at 01.19.
Air Traffic Control: "Malaysian Three Seven Zero contact Ho Chi Minh 120 decimal 9, good night."
MH370: "Good night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero."
"There is no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript," Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in the statement, without giving explanation for the changes in the reported last communication.
"The transcript was initially held as part of the police investigation," he added.
"Previously, Malaysia Airlines had stated initial investigations indicated that the voice which signed off was that of the co-pilot.
"The police are working to confirm this belief, and forensic examination of the actual recording is on-going."
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.
It came as the Australian air force sent an E-7A Wedgetail equipped with advanced radar to start monitoring the search zone today. The Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said 200 aviators are assisting the hunt, which takes place over approximately 120,000 square kilometres.
The Australian ship Ocean Shield left Perth to head for the search zone on Monday, equipped with a US black box detector and an underwater drone. The aircraft’s black box ultrasonic signals last for about 30 days.
Australia will also deploy a modified Boeing 737 to act as a flying air traffic controller over the Indian Ocean to prevent a mid-air collision among the aircraft searching for the jetliner, an official said on Tuesday.
Ten planes and nine ships are taking part in the search for Flight 370, which vanished on 8 March with 239 people bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
Bad weather conditions have created areas of poor visibility the Australian Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) said.
Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister said that despite all these difficulties, those leading the effort remain undaunted and officials are "well, well short" of any point where they would scale back the hunt.
He said the intensity and magnitude of operations "is increasing, not decreasing".
Mr Abbott said: "I'm certainly not putting a time limit on it. ... We can keep searching for quite some time to come.
"We owe it to the families, we owe it to everyone that travels by air. We owe it to the anxious governments of the countries who had people on that aircraft. We owe it to the wider world which has been transfixed by this mystery for three weeks now.
"If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it."
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Additional reporting by AP
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