No survivors on flight MH370

14:44, Mar 24 2014
Inside the search for MH370
Loadmasters Sergeant Adam Roberts (L) and Flight Sergeant John Mancey launching a water-activated buoy from the Hercules C-130J.
Inside the search for MH370
Loadmasters Sergeant Adam Roberts (L) and Flight Sergeant John Mancey launching a water-activated buoy from the Hercules C-130J.
Inside the search for MH370
Loadmasters Sergeant Adam Roberts (L) and Flight Sergeant John Mancey launching a water-activated buoy from the Hercules C-130J.
Perth
The crew of one of two Chinese Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft used in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk away from their plane in Perth.

Relatives of passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been told they must assume the plane was "lost", and ended in the Indian Ocean, by Malaysian authorities.

Flight 370 vanished March 8 with 239 people, including two New Zealanders, aboard while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, setting off a multinational search.

New satellite analysis showed MH370 flew along the southern corridor and its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth, representatives of the UK Air Investigation Branch had told Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The MH370 story in pictures
The saga begins on March 8, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 departs Kuala Lumpur at 12:41am, local time. On board are 227 passengers and 12 crew.
The MH370 story in pictures
Captaining the flight of the Boeing 777-200 is 53-year old Zaharie Ahmad Shah, shown here on the right.
The MH370 story in pictures
At 1:21am the MH370's transponder stops signalling, halting the regular responses it usually gives to radar signals. The plane makes a series of strange but controlled movements, turning west sharply, then climbing above its designed height limit and back down.
The MH370 story in pictures
At 1.30am, on point 4, the plane is spotted for the last time on civilian radar. At 2.15am, on point 5, military radar spots it, although it is not clear at the time that this was MH370. Satellite data suggests the plane could also have angled towards point 6.
The MH370 story in pictures
At 6.32am air traffic control in Kuala Lumpur sends a radio signal on an emergency channel asking MH370 to contact them. The plane is now overdue at Beijing Airport, shown.
The MH370 story in pictures
Relatives of passengers despair, and the search begins.
The MH370 story in pictures
International news media focus on the story immediately.
The MH370 story in pictures
Multiple false leads pop up, like this oil spotted by a Vietnamese search plane.
The MH370 story in pictures
Malaysian government and airline officials have released confusing and contradictory information. Here, Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, left, and Department of Civil Aviation director general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman take questions at a press conference.
The MH370 story in pictures
Concerns are raised when it becomes apparent that two Iranian men, shown here, boarded the plane with stolen passports. Interpol rejects the suggestion of terrorism, however, concluding the men were probably asylum seekers.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
Theories abound. Fellow pilot Chris Goodfellow has suggested that a tyre may have caught fire, causing the pilots to turn towards the closest suitable airport, with the rapid ascent and descent perhaps representing an attempt to extinguish the fire. Critics of this theory have pointed out that the change in path was programmed into the plane's computer 12 minutes before the calm toned "good night" transmission, suggesting the change in course was planned.
The MH370 story in pictures
Given the amount of fuel on board, the plane could have made it as far north as Kazakhstan, on a possible flight path shown in orange.
The MH370 story in pictures
Or somewhere southwest of Australia, on a possible flight path shown in orange.
The MH370 story in pictures
Others have speculated that the pilot or co-pilot may have intentionally crashed the plane. The FBI is trying to restore deleted simulator-flights from Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah's computer – but these could be innocuous. Critics of the crash theory say neither the pilot nor co-pilot had ever expressed any kind of radical sentiment or displayed mental issues, and both possessed adequate flying experience.
The MH370 story in pictures
The ever-present worry of terrorism remains. No groups have claimed responsibility for the incident, and a political motivation is unclear - but that doesn't rule it out.
MH370
On March 20, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told his parliament that objects had been spotted in waters hundreds of kilometres off the western Australian coast. Further searches, by Australian, New Zealand and US planes, were needed to find out if they were part of the missing plane.
Perth
The crew of one of two Chinese Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft used in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk away from their plane in Perth.
MH370 search
Thirty-eight days after the plane went missing, an Australian navy ship is guided into position by a Royal New Zealand Airforce P-3K2 Orion aircraft. Officials say they will deploy an underwater robot to aid in the hunt.
MH370
Announcing that an underwater drone will be deployed imminently, Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre chief Angus Houston says an oil slick has been detected in the search area for the missing plane.

"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sights," Najib said.

"It is, therefore, with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to this new data flight MH370 ended in the Southern Indian Ocean."

Families have been booked on chartered flights to Perth. 

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Kiwis search for MH370
Crew member Garrick Anderson prepares to throw a GPS tracking buoy into the southern Indian Ocean to mark the position of a solid object in the water.
Kiwis search for MH370
Radar specialists are pictured aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean on March 22.
Kiwis search for MH370
Solid matter is pictured floating in the southern Indian Ocean seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion.
Kiwis search for MH370
Pilot Dave Smith looks out onto the southern Indian Ocean.
Kiwis search for MH370
Squadron leader Brett McKenzie takes notes of other search aircraft on the windshield of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Kiwis search for MH370
A flight engineer aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft starts the engines before taking off to search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean, at RAAF base Pearce near Perth.
Kiwis search for MH370
A pod of dolphins is seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion.
Kiwis search for MH370
Squadron leader Brett McKenzie takes notes of other search aircraft.
Kiwis search fro MH370
A crew member keeps a look out for any evidence of the missing plane.
Kiwis search fro MH370
Crew member Sunil Unka looks out his window for any evidence of the missing plane.
Kiwis search fro MH370
Pilot Dave Smith looks out onto the southern Indian Ocean.
Kiwis search fro MH370
Pilots Brett McKenzie (left) and Dave Smith look out onto the southern Indian Ocean aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Kiwis search fro MH370
The sprawling search area.
Kiwis search fro MH370
Pilot Dave Smith (right) gives a pre-flight briefing before taking off to search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at the RAAF base Pearce near Perth.
Kiwis search fro MH370
Flight engineer Justin Pike (left) and Squadron Leader Brett McKenzie are pictured in the cockpit.
Kiwis search fro MH370
The southern Indian Ocean is pictured at 500 feet above sea level.
Kiwis search fro MH370
Stars are seen in the sky above the southern Indian Ocean as a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft returns to Perth from its 11-hour long flight searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Kiwis search for MH370
Flight engineers confer.
Kiwis search for MH370
A crewman aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searches for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean.
Kiwis search for MH370
Squadron leader Brett McKenzie marks the name of another search aircraft on the windshield.
Kiwis search for MH370
Pilots and engineers sit in the dark cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft as they return at night from the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean on March 22.
Kiwis search for MH370
A kiwi is pictured on the vest of a crew member aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft upon its return to RAAF base Pearce.
Kiwis search for MH370
A Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion aircraft prepares to take-off from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pearce Base to join the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Perth.

Najib said a type of analysis never used before had been able to shed more light on the plane's flight path.

In Beijing, where relatives of the missing had gathered to hear the latest update, screams could be heard as the news was delivered.

In a separate statement, Malaysia Airlines said its "prayers go out to all the loved ones... at this enormously painful time".

Australian flight
SEARCH: The Indian Ocean part of the search operations has been going for four days.

"We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain."

The airline said it hoped the continued search would provide more answers.

OBJECTS FOUND

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Australian parliament on Monday night that a RAAF P-3 Orion aircraft had located two new objects at about 2.45pm local time on Monday.

Abbott said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had advised him the Orion crew had seen a grey or green circular object as well as an orange rectangular object, both of which are separate to the objects spotted by a Chinese aircraft, in the Indian Ocean.

Abbott said he did not know if the objects were from the Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight, but recovery efforts continued.

HMAS Success is on the scene and is trying to recover the objects, while a US navy Poseidon aircraft, as well as a second Australian Orion and a Japanese Orion aircraft were en route to the area.

"We don't know whether any of these objects are from MH370, they could be flotsam, nevertheless we are hopeful we can recover these objects and that will take us a step closer to resolving this tragic mystery,'' he said.

Malaysia’s Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the vessel could reach them within a few hours or by Tuesday morning.

The objects identified by the RAAF P-3 Orion are different to the objects reported by the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 to AMSA earlier today.

Earlier tonight, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had tweeted that a US Navy aircraft did not manage to spot objects first seen by the crew of the Chinese search plane looking for flight MH370.

The Chinese crew had spotted "suspicious objects" floating in the southern Indian Ocean as they headed back to Perth from the search area, according to official news agency Xinhua.

However, a US Navy P8 Poseidon was unable to find it again.

The Chinese crew has reported the co-ordinates to the Australian command centre as well as Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, which is en route to the sea area. Reports indicate the floating objects include "white and rectangular" items.

The Chinese Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 plane took off on Monday morning from RAAF Base Pearce, in the first Chinese air search operation since two of its military aircraft arrived in Perth on Saturday.

At the request of the Australian air force, one Australian pilot was on board the Chinese plane to join the search, Xinhua reported.

The focus of the multinational search has shifted to the southern Indian Ocean after Australia said that satellite imagery identified suspicious debris that might be linked to the missing plane in waters some 2400 km from Perth.

China and France have since released further satellite imagery over the weekend showing suspicious objects in the same region which could be linked to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

The Indian Ocean search is now in its fourth day.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force would re-join the search at first light, flying officer Deborah Haines told Seven Sharp on Monday evening.

They were flying about 10-and-a-half to 11 hours each day, she said.

"We're confident that whatever area we search, if there's something, our aircraft will find it," she said.

"As a crew we just want to do the best we can to get to a conclusion." 

Fairfax NZ & agencies

- Fairfax and AP