MH370: A "Goodbye" message that can solve the mystery

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Malaysian Airline
Kuala Lumpur, March 17: The pilot of MH370, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah's last word to the air traffic control was "All right, Good bye"; a phrase that has been puzzling investigators ever since it went missing with 239 passengers. Assuming that the pilots may have been involved in the "hijacking", the goodbye message could be considered as indicative of something disastrous.

But, it could reveal a lot more than just the idea of threat. The timing of the message is now being analysed and experts are trying to figure out whether the message came after the transponders were switched off or before that.

Even while 25 countries are scrambling for evidences of a plane crash in the Indian Ocean and the surrounding areas, following the original and the diverted flight route, Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed that the diversion was deliberate.

Transponder shut, pilot says 'Goodbye'

Shockingly, experts have revealed that the transponder of the airplane was shut before the message was sent across to the control tower, raising suspicion against the captain and his co-pilot even more.

Moreover, the ACARS or the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System too was disabled, but whether it was shut off after of before the message is still unclear. Had the deviation been not deliberate, there would have been indications inside the control panel of the cockpit warning the pilot of a malfunctioning ACARS. But Shah's last message did not raise any alarm.

Reconstructing flight

The plane took off at 12:41 a.m and obtained a cruise altitude at 1:01 a.m. Just 6 minutes later, at 1:07 am, the plane sent its last ACARS message saying nothing is amiss. An independent radar tracked the plane at 1:08 am over the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, reports

Unspecified sources suggest that the last contact that the pilot made was between 1:08 am and 1:21 am when the plane stopped responding. In fact, Najib confirmed that the plane stopped responding just when it reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.


There could be two possibilities. One, somebody had taken over the cockpit and had forced the pilots to shut off the systems. Secondly, both the pilots or one of them may have planned it. Ruling out the possibility of both the pilots working together in deviating the airplane, defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein said that they had not insisted on taking the flight together.

Pilots face increased scrutiny

Malaysian security officials have searched the captain and the co-pilot's houses and have found flight simulators in the former's house. While, his neighbours and friends do not support the terror angle in Shah's life, investigators are still analyzing that possibility through the flight simulator, despite the fact that they are found in any pilot's household in Malaysia.

[Also read: Was MH370 hacked?]

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