KUALA LUMPUR — (TYDN) The Malaysian flight that lost contact with air traffic controllers March 8, setting off a global search for the Boeing jetliner, was discovered Monday stalled on the tarmac here, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.
All 227 passengers were dead, with their seatbelts fastened. The 12 crew members survived from a diet of soda, alcohol, pretzels and peanuts, sources said.
The global search for the plane that the world believed went missing from Kauala Lumpur International Airport ended after the pilot, angry and tired of awaiting clearance for takeoff, climbed from the cockpit. Security officials immediately whisked the pilot into custody, fearing he was a terrorist who had meandered onto the runway. But after 10 hours of interrogation, the authorities realized the plane idling on the tarmac for months was, indeed, Flight MH370.
“That this airliner did not crash confirms that Malaysia Airlines maintains the safest fleet in the world,” Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. “All the naysayers suggested the plane was diverted for mechanical issues or crashed. I’m awaiting their apologies.”
Officials at Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation, which oversees air traffic controllers, said they never noticed the Boeing 777-200ER idling on the tarmac for three months.
A preliminary investigation conducted by flight regulators, obtained by TheYellowDailyNews, shows that the pilot lost contact with traffic controllers minutes before the flight was supposed to take off for Beijing. The report said flight controllers initially followed protocol and called the pilot’s mobile phone. But the phone was out of power, and air traffic controllers assumed the plane took off.
“Had the pilot maintained his mobile phone in a working condition, this tragedy could have been avoided,” the report concluded.
Meanwhile, witnesses watched as medical personnel pulled one body out after the other. One medical official involved in the salvage, who spoke to TheYellowDailYNews on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said most of the victims’ bladders and bowels had burst. Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation, like its American counterpart, the Federal Aviation Administration, forbids passengers from unbuckling their belts when planes are stalled or traversing the tarmac.
The plane's discovery has prompted flight regulators from across the globe to review their seatbelt policies. An FAA official, who spoke to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to address the media, said the agency was considering lifting the outright unbuckling ban and allowing passengers to unbuckle once their flight idles on the tarmac for at least 24 hours.
“We hope that other governments will follow American’s lead on this,” the FAA official said.
Relatives of the dead passengers suspected for months the airliner was stranded on the tarmac.
“I’ve seen it out there day in and day out,” one relative, who declined to give his name out of fear of retribution, told TheYellowDailyNews. “The airline kept telling me, ‘Sir, we’ll be with you in a moment.’”
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