Missing MH370: What happened on March 8 still haunts personnel on duty

Missing MH370: What happened on March 8 still haunts personnel on duty

PETALING JAYA - A sense of responsibility for the missing MH370 has taken a toll on Air Traffic Controllers on duty the morning the plane disappeared on March 8.

There were 40 personnel on duty during the shift, including the Radar Controller, Flight Planner and Flight Data officers, who were directing the aircraft before handing over responsibility to their Vietnamese counterparts.

A senior Department of Civil Aviation officer told The Star some of those on duty can't help but dwell on what happened to the plane.

"They have come to talk to me and kept asking why, why why, this had happened," said the officer. "Despite assuring them they had carried out their duties, some can't let go of the incident."

He said all emergency protocol was followed immediately after MH370 disappeared off the radar.

During such emergencies there are three phases which must be followed.

The initial Alert phased in this case required the air traffic controllers or ATCs to contact their counterparts in Vietnam.

Subsequently Changi (Singapore) is contacted to determine if they had MH370 on their radar or if they were in communication with the missing aircraft.

"This had to been done within three minutes of the emergency."

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