An independent investigator will be appointed to lead a team that will try to determine what happened to flight MH370, Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday.
He said the team would include three groups. An "airworthiness group" would examine "maintenance records, structures and systems"; an "operations group" would examine "flight recorders and meteorology"; and a "medical and human factors group" would examine "psychology, pathology and survival factors".
The team will have experts from several nations, including Australia, China, the United States, Britain and France.
A multinational team is already trying to find floating debris and detect faint sound signals from the plane's data recorders that could lead them to the plane's location.
Hishammuddin said there were no new satellite images or data that could provide new leads for searchers. The focus now was fully on the ocean search, he said.
He said the cost of the search was immaterial compared to providing solace for the families of those on board by establishing what happened.
"I can only speak for Malaysia, and Malaysia will not stop looking for MH370," he said.
The Malaysian government has also set up ministerial committees to oversee issues relating to the next of kin of the 239 passengers and crew, the appointment of the investigation team, and the search operation.
The Next of Kin Committee, led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hamzah Zainuddin, will provide families with updates about the search and offer them support.
A second committee, led by Deputy Minister of Transport Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, will oversee the formation and the appointment of the investigation team.
A third committee, led by Abdul Rahim Bakri, the deputy defence minister, will oversee the search operation.
Reuters, Agence France-Presse
AirAsia apology for inflight magazine's 'lost plane' blunder
Southeast Asia's top budget carrier AirAsia yesterday withdrew its latest inflight magazine and apologised for an offending article boasting that its well-trained pilots would never lose a plane.
AirAsia executive chairman Kamarudin Meranun expressed "deep regret and remorse", saying the latest issue of travel 3sixty magazine was printed before the Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared on March 8.
Kamarudin said the article was a monthly aviation column prepared well in advance by a retired pilot, who had worked for both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. "Words cannot describe how I personally feel about this incident," Kamarudin said. "It truly saddens me that this article was released at such an inopportune moment."
The article sparked anger on social media after an AirAsia passenger posted a photograph of the text on Twitter late on Friday. The last paragraph read: "Pilot training in AirAsia is continuous and very thorough. Rest assured that your captain is well prepared to ensure your plane will never get lost."