Able Seaman Marine Technician Matthew Oxley stands aboard the Australian Navy ship the HMAS Success looking for debris in the southern Indian Ocean during the search for the missing aircraft. REUTERS/Australian Defence Force/Handout via Reuters
The last words spoken by one of the pilots of the missing
Malaysian Airlines airliner to the control tower were "Good
night Malaysian three seven zero", Malaysia's civil aviation
authority said, changing the previous account of the last
message as a more casual "All right, good night."
The correction of the official account of the last words was
made as Malaysian authorities face heavy criticism for their
handling of the disappearance, particularly from families of
the Chinese passengers on board Flight MH370 who have accused
Malaysia of mismanaging the search and holding back
"We would like to confirm that the last conversation in the
transcript between the air traffic controller and the cockpit
is at 0119 (Malaysian Time) and is "Good night Malaysian
three seven zero," the Department of Civil Aviation said in a
statement on Monday.
Malaysia's ambassador to China told Chinese families in
Beijing as early as March 12, four days after the flight went
missing, that the last words had been "All right, good
"Good night Malaysian three seven zero" would be a more
formal, standard sign-off from the cockpit of the Boeing 777,
which was just leaving Malaysia-controlled air space on its
route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Minutes later its communications were cut off and it turned
back across Malaysia and headed toward the Indian Ocean. More
than three weeks later, a huge international search effort is
going on in the southern Indian Ocean off western Australia,
but has so far failed to turn up any wreckage.
The statement from the civil aviation authority came after
acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was questioned
at a news conference on Monday over the last words from the
cockpit and fended off demands to release the official
The statement said authorities were still conducting
"forensic investigation" to determine whether the last words
from the cockpit were by the pilot or the co-pilot.
Previously, Malaysia Airlines has said that the words were
believed to have come from the co-pilot.
The civil aviation department said the investigating team had
been instructed to release the full transcript at the next
briefing with the next of kin.
Malaysia says the plane, which disappeared less than an hour
into its flight, was likely to have been diverted
deliberately far off course. Investigators have determined no
apparent motive or other red flags among the 227 passengers
or the 12 crew. About two-thirds of the passengers were