Malaysia releases Flight 370 report; 17-minute lapse until air control knew plane was missing
A preliminary report on the disappearance Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 says air traffic controllers did not realize the plane was missing until 17 minutes after it disappeared from civilian radar and an official search and rescue operation wasn't launched until four hours later. Malaysia's government made the April 9 report public today along with other information, including audio recordings of conversations between the cockpit and air traffic control, the plane's cargo manifest and its seating plan. One report listing the actions of air traffic controllers shows Vietnamese controllers contacted Kuala Lumpur after they failed to establish verbal contact with the pilots and the plane didn't show up on their radar. That report also shows that Malaysia Airlines at one point thought the plane may have entered Cambodian airspace. Malaysia's defense minister says military radar tracked the jet making a turn-back in a westerly direction across Peninsular Malaysia after playing back radar data the next morning. That prompted a search in the Strait of Malacca, but the minister says action had not been taken earlier because the aircraft was categorized as "friendly."