A Boeing 777 pilot found "interference" when he was asked by Vietnamese air control to contact flight MH370 before the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER vanished from the air.
The captain, who was flying 30 minutes ahead of MH370, told the New Sunday Times that his Narita-bound plane was in Vietnamese airspace when he was asked to use his plane's emergency frequency to contact MH370 as air traffic control had lost contact.
"We managed to establish contact with MH370 just after 1.30am and asked them if they have transferred into Vietnamese airspace.
"The voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie (Ahmad Shah, 53) or Fariq (Abdul Hamid, 27), but I was sure it was the co-pilot.
"There were a lot of interference... static... but I heard mumbling from the other end.
"That was the last time we heard from them, as we lost the connection," he was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times.
The pilot had requested his name not to be published.
He said those on the same frequency at the time would have heard the exchange.
This, he said, would include vessels on the waters below.
He said he thought nothing of it, as the occurrence (of losing contact) was normal, until it was established that MH370 never landed.
"If the plane was in trouble, we would have heard the pilot making the Mayday distress call. But I am sure that, like me, no one else up there heard it.
"Following the silence, a repeat request was made by the Vietnamese authorities to try establishing contact with them," the weekly quoted him as saying. – March 9, 2014.