Four years after its mysterious disappearance the final report into flight MH370 was published today. But families and friends of the passengers aboard the fateful flight looking for some form of resolution have had their hopes dashed.
With the final report delivered today to family members and media outlets, there was hope it would bring light as to what happened on March 8, 2014, when Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people on board disappeared.
The final report concludes the plane was turned around manually in mid-air, while an ‘unlawful interference by a third party’ was a possibility.
Just like the disappearance of the commercial airliner itself, the final report led by Dr Kok Soo Chon, the investigator in charge of the MH370 safety investigation, only offers vague answers and information. However, Dr Soo Chon was able to disprove the number of conspiracy theories surrounding MH370 and its 227 passengers – and 12 cabin crew – according to The Guardian.
One of the theories surrounding the fateful flight suggested the pilot, 53-year-old Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, and his First Officer and co-pilot, 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid, had intentionally brought down the plane as part of a suicide mission was discredited. The report also determined flight MH370 had no evidence of mechanical failure.
Speaking at a press conference today in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Dr Soo Chon’s report assigned no blame for the MH370’s disappearance. However, he noted several protocols were broken by air traffic control in Malaysia and Vietnam, an underlining factor when MH370 went missing for 20 minutes before anyone realised.
It was revealed all four of the commercial airliner’s emergency locator transmitters (ELT) failed. Meaning any attempt to send a standard emergency signal to determine the plane’s location was ultimately ineffective. The report does note ‘ there have been reported difficulties with ELT signals if an aircraft enters the water’, but a reason as to why could not be decided.
The report was able to draw out a few conclusions such as the manoeuvrability of the aircraft. When MH370 diverted from its intended flight path just after 1 AM it was done manually, instead of the autopilot. The report concludes this was done by either the pilot or a ‘third party’, despite the information the report did not speculate as to the motive.
Dr Soo Chon stated:
The turn back could not be attributed to an anomalous system. It has been established that the air turn back was done under manual control, not autopilot … we cannot rule out unlawful interference by a third party.
He added that even though portions of the evidence ‘points irresistibly to unlawful interference, such as the communications ceasing and the manual turn back’, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility.
Flight MH370 was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished in March 2014. It had just entered Malaysian airspace when the Boeing-777 altered its course. The new flight course had its 239 passengers and crew flying for more than six hours, with their satellite and navigation systems switched off, before plummeting into the Indian Ocean.
While the final report offers a better understanding of what happened it still offers nothing conclusive. Nor does it offer a reprieve to the family and friends of those onboard.
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