Investigators Conclude MH370 Disappearance Still a Mystery
The Malaysian International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Investigation Team for MH370 has concluded that it is unable to determine the real cause for the aircraft’s disappearance four years ago.
In the Safety Investigation Report released by ICAO today, the report stated the investigation was unable to identify any plausible aircraft or systems failure mode without examining the aircraft wreckage and recorded flight data information that would lead to the deactivation of observed systems, diversion from the filed flight plan route, and the subsequent flight path taken by Flight MH370.
“However the same lack of evidence precluded the investigation from definitely eliminating those possibilities.
“The possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded either,” it said.
The report was prepared in consultation with representatives from seven international air crash investigation organisations from Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Lead investigator Kok Soo Chon insisted that this was not the last report on the search for the missing aircraft.
“Firstly, to allay some fears, this is not a final report ... this is just a report.
“How could we call our report the final report when no victims have been found and without the bulk of the wreckage?” he said during a media briefing on the report at the Transport Ministry today.
Asked if the next-of-kin would ever get conclusive answers, Kok said the answer can only be conclusive if the wreckage is found.
“As far as our team is concerned, our work is done, we have released the report,” he said.
Kok said the report concluded with MH370 deviating from its path and that flight simulator trials established that the aircraft’s turn back was likely made while it was under manual control.
“The aircraft was well-maintained and had no malfunction or defect that could have contributed to the disappearance.
“We also concluded that the Air Traffic Controllers of both Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh did not initiate various emergency phases as required then, thereby delaying Search and Rescue operation,” he said.
He also clarified the large number of lithium battery cargo on board, saying the cargo had been packed and loaded according to standard operating procedures with no irregularities found.
Asked to explain whether the investigation team would rule out the pilot’s responsibility in the flight’s disappearance, Kok said they did not rule out the possibility but it was highly unlikely the pilot and first officer might have deliberately crashed the plane as the investigation team were satisfied with the background analysis performed.
“I am not ruling out anything, but there were two psychiatrists in my team and they were responsible for examining the audio recordings of the pilot and they concluded there was no anxiety and no stress in the recording, it was just normal ... they didn’t find any significant behavioural changes.
“However, there was some evidence that points irresistibly to unlawful interference, such as the communications ceasing and the manual turnback of the plane not due to anomalies in the mechanical system,” he said.
In the 449-page-long report, a total of 19 safety recommendations were made by the team with Malaysia Airlines Berhad receiving eight recommendations followed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia with seven recommendations.
Among the safety recommendations are reviewing the duty roster system for Air Traffic Services Centre with the objective of improving working conditions, refresher training for air traffic controllers, introducing new security measures for cargo-scanning at all airports, and ensuring the medical condition of flight crew is reported to relevant bodies.
On May 29, Malaysia called off a three-month search by US firm Ocean Infinity that spanned 112,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean and ended with no significant findings.
It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless US$200 million (RM813 million)-search across an area of 120,000 square kilometres last year.
To date, only three (the flaperon, a part of the right outboard flap and a section of the left outboard flap) out of 27 debris found have been confirmed to be from MH370 with wreckages found as far north as the eastern coast of Tanzania and as far south as the eastern coast of South Africa.
However, the report suggested insufficient information to determine if the aircraft broke up mid-air or during impact with the ocean.
(Article from Malaymail--30 July 2018)
(Article from Malaymail--30 July 2018)