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Malaysia Airlines - Emergency Response Exercise - Straits of Malacca

Malaysia Airlines regularly conducted exercises simulating an aircraft incident, as training to prepare for a real crisis. One of these events was held on 26 February 2014.


Date: 26 February 2014

Location: Training facility in Kelana Jaya

Scenario: Malaysia Airlines flight Kuala Lumpur to Medan (Indonesia)

The aircraft, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737 departed Kuala Lumpur destined for Medan in Indonesia.
While over the Straits of Malacca the aircraft engines failed, the plane crashed and contact was lost.

Participants: An Emergency Response Working Group including representatives of various departments within Malaysia Airlines - engineering, communications, customer services and others.

Malaysia Airlines Training Exercise - 737 Flight Path
Representation of the flight path for Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737, training exercise 26 February 2014, based on Google Maps



Sources

1 New Straits Times

The New Straits Times contacted Malaysia Airlines seeking information about a crash drill which was conducted only weeks before the actual loss of flight MH370. The article was published on 20 March 2014. The following extract includes Malaysia Airline's response:-"

On Feb 26, the airline conducted a mock crash involving a flight to Indonesia at its training facility in Kelana Jaya.

...

"We confirm that the Emergency Response Working Group, comprising the engineering, communications, customer services and others, were called for a drill. The scenario was an incident involving a MAS flight to Medan," said the airline in an emailed reply to the NST.


Source: Crash drill held on Feb 26, New Straits Times, 20 March 2014 http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/crash-drill-held-on-feb-26-1.522065?
Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20140322111224/http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/crash-drill-held-on-feb-26-1.522065



2 StrategicRISK

StrategicRISK is an online journal published by Newsquest Media Group Limited, registered in England & Wales.

Readers are typically risk managers; corporate risk and insurance managers; specialists in risk management.

In 2016 StrategicRISK published an article Exclusive: Lessons from Malaysia Airlines' crisis director based on Malaysia Airlines experience with flight MH370 and the MH17 tragedy and an interview with Fuad Sharuji, Vice President, Operations Control Center of Malaysia Airlines at that time, and the Crisis Director for both MH370 and MH17.

The article also mentions that three weeks prior to the loss of flight MH370, Malaysia Airlines had conducted a major crisis scenario event which involved loss of contact with a Boeing 737 flying over the Straits of Malacca, as shown in the following extract:-

... just three weeks prior to MH370’s disappearance, Sharuji had conducted a full emergency response exercise; and the similarities between the ‘practice’ event and MH370 are not lost on him.

“The [practice] scenario was a 737, departing Kuala Lumpur, which then had an engine failure and crashed in the Straights of Malacca and we lost contact with the aircraft,” he says.

The Malaysia Airlines emergency response team conduct one major crisis scenario event every year and every two years they also involve the airport authorities.

“Even though our [emergency operations centre] is not sophisticated … our emergency response plans are very comprehensive and very detailed,” he says.


Source: Exclusive: Lessons from Malaysia Airlines' crisis director, Strategic Risk, 16 March 2016
https://www.strategicrisk-asiapacific.com/exclusive-lessons-from-malaysia-airlines-crisis-director/1423876.article

Note: A subscription may be required to view articles published by StrategicRISK. However, some snapshots may be accessible on the Internet Archive, such as this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20220926165259/https://www.strategicrisk-asiapacific.com/exclusive-lessons-from-malaysia-airlines-crisis-director/1423876.article