MH370 Timeline - Pre-Flight
Flight MH370 Timeline - Pre-Flight
Each stage in the history of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is covered in the Sections below:-
This Section provides a chronology of the events prior to Departure of MH370 at 1642 MYT on Saturday, 8 March 2014.
Friday, 7 March 2014
The Flight Plan for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was Filed (transmitted over the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN) at 0444 UTC [1244 MYT], on Friday, 7 March 2014 - about 12 hours earlier than the scheduled departure (off-the-block) time from KLIA at 1635 UTC [0035 MYT Saturday, 8 March 2014].
The Satellite Data Unit (SDU) on Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 registered 9M-MRO initiated the first of several Log-On requests to the Inmarsat satellite communications system.
The transmission was relayed via Inmarsat's Pacific Ocean Region I-3 satellite to the Ground Earth Station (GES) near Perth in Western Australia.
ACARS on aircraft registered 9M-MRO established a connection with Malaysia Airlines' service provider SITA using a VHF radio to a (SITA) VHF datalink service at KUL - at or near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). No Flight ID was available to the ACARS at this time.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah signed in for duty.
The First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, signed in (25 minutes later than Captain Shah).
Captain Shah, as the Pilot in Command, assigned the First Officer to be the Pilot Flying.
The Malaysia Airlines Operations Despatch Centre (ODC) released the flight at around 23:15 MYT.
Malaysia Airlines Operations Centre contacted MH370 by sending an ACARS message (over VHF) suggesting that VHF3 be switched (from data) to voice if the SATCOM system was operational (serviceable). Future communications to and from the aircraft by ACARS would then be (automatically) sent via the SATCOM system.
ACARS Established SATCOM.
ACARS used the SATCOM system to indicate that the VHF datalink had been 'lost'.
The SATCOM initiates a normal Log On Renewal as Class 1 (data only capable) via the POR I-3 satellite, using the LGA subsystem, this time with a valid Flight ID.
ACARS Established SATCOM.
The SATCOM initiates a normal Log-On as Class 3 (voice and data capable) via the POR I-3 satellite, using the High Gain Antenna (HGA) subsystem, with a valid Flight ID. This suggests that the ADIRU derived navigation data has become available at this time.
ACARS re-established the datalink between the aircraft 9M-MRO and the service provider (SITA), via the satellite communications system. (The SATCOM had been logged in as Data Only, until 23:57:49 MYT when it changed to Voice and Data).
The SDU was still using the Inmarsat POR-1 satellite and both the Flight ID and the Aircraft Number remained correct.
The SATCOM initiates a Log-On handover as Class 3 (voice and data capable) to the IOR I-3 satellite, using the HGA subsystem, with a valid Flight ID. This suggests that the IOR is now considered to be the best available satellite. This is probably because either the line of sight to the IOR satellite is now clearer than that to the POR satellite, or the antenna gain in the direction of the IOR satellite has become higher than the antenna gain in the direction of the POR satellite.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
ACARS re-established the datalink between the aircraft 9M-MRO and the service provider (SITA), via the satellite communications system. The satellite communications path had been transferred from the Pacific Ocean Region satellite to the Indian Ocean Region.
Malaysia Airlines used ACARS to send a list of the perishable cargo loaded on-board 9M-MRO as a SPECIAL LOAD NOTOC or Notice To Crew. The message was routed via the service provider for ACARS (SITA) then over the satellite communications service provided by Inmarsat. The message was sent direct to the (cockpit) aircraft printer and to be printed out by the (flight) crew. The automated response MAS-S (successful) at 0006:32 MYT indicates that the message was transmitted successfully. Information about this event is summarised in the table below.
The NOTOC stated the special loads of total 4,566 kg of mangosteen fruit were carried on board. Details of the mangosteens were: 1,128 kg at station 41L, 1,152 kg at station 41R, 1,148 kg at station 43L and 1,138 kg at 44L respectively. The message concluded with the declaration “There is no evidence that any damaged or leaking packages containing dangerous goods have been loaded on the aircraft at this station”.
The Final Load Sheet for the aircraft 9M-MRO was sent by Malaysia Airlines using ACARS over the satellite communications system. The loadsheet was sent to the aircraft printer, to be printed out by the crew. An acknowledgement from the flight crew was requested - this was sent at 00:09:28 MYT.
In an ACARS message from the aircraft, Captain Shah responded to the request to acknowledge the Final Loadsheet by writing LS FINAL OK and quoting his licence number 751.
ACARS on the aircraft 9M-MRO re-established a datalink over the satellite communications system - for no apparent reason.
The First Officer, Fariq Hamid, used VHF radio to contact Lumpur Airways Clearance Delivery at Kuala Lumpur Area Control Centre (KL ACC). The FO requested flight level three five zero to Beijing.
Lumpur Delivery responded at 1626:41 MYT "Malaysian Three Zeven Zero is cleared to Beijing via Pibos Alpha Departure six thousand feet squawk two one five seven".
'Two One Five Seven' is the allocated transponder code for flight MH370.
The First Officer used VHF radio to contact Lumpur Ground at 0027:31 MYT and requested a pushback and start clearance.
The request was approved at 0027:37 MYT. MH370 was directed to KLIA runway 32R.
ACARS sent an 'Out-of-the-gate' report via the satellite communications datalink.
A status report for the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) was generated by the Aircraft Condition Monitoring System (ACMS) which is interfaced with ACARS. The APU Report was then sent by ACARS over the satellite communications datalink.
The report stated the total APU cycles and hours were 15,699 cycles and 22,093 hours. APU hours for the previous flight was 4 hours.
At 0032:18 MYT the First Officer used VHF radio to contact Lumpur Ground and request approval to taxi.
Lumpur Ground responded at 0032:33 MYT "...clear taxi to holding point Alfa One One Runway Three Two Right via Standard Route hold short of Bravo".
The FO ended the call at 1636:30 MYT by confirming the frequency to use for Lumpur Tower .
The First Officer contacted Lumpur Tower at 0036:30 MYT.
Lumpur Tower cleared flight MH370 for take-off at 0040:37 MYT.
This Timeline has been created by deconstructing official documents and linking these extracts in a way which simulates a chronological sequence and facilitates access to further detail and explanatory notes for time-related events in the narrative of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.