No closure from 'final' MH370 report by Malaysia

2018-07-31 08:58:17China Daily Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

The release of the Malaysian government's final report on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has done little to bring closure to the relatives and friends of the 239 crew members and passengers (most of whom were Chinese) that disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing over four years ago.

Despite the detailed report of more than 800 pages, investigators were unable to say with any certainty what caused the disappearance of MH370.

The report said evidence points to an "incontrovertible conclusion"-that it was under manual control, and that it was deliberately flown out into the Indian Ocean. But who was at the controls of the Boeing 777 will never be known, at least until the wreckage is found.

"The team is unable to determine the real cause for disappearance of MH370," Kok Soo Chon, head of the safety investigation team, told reporters on Monday in Kuala Lumpur.

"We are unable to determine with any certainty the reasons that the aircraft diverted from its filed flight plan route," he said.

According to Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of and a leading aviation expert, the report "is not final for the relatives, the aviation industry or the conspiracy theorists".

"It is just the beginning of a new phase of the search into the most bizarre disappearance of modern history," he said.

Thomas, who has been covering aviation for decades, said it was a "great shame that all the Malaysian authorities responsible for the aviation industry in March 2014 were not as thorough when MH370 disappeared".

"Fighters should have been scrambled to follow MH370 as has been done many times around the world-including Australia-when a plane goes 'silent'."

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said in a statement on Monday that the disappearance was "an unprecedented event".

"The Australian government appreciates that, having not located the missing aircraft, it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions about what happened to MH370," he said.

"As such, I am aware this report does not provide the answers the family and friends of the 239 people on board were seeking," the statement said.

Australian Danica Weeks, whose husband Paul was among the 239 people on board the aircraft, told Australia's ABC News she had been given just 48 hours' notice of the report's release.

Weeks waved goodbye to her husband as he boarded the flight from Perth to Beijing via Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.

It has become the biggest aviation mystery involving a Boeing 777. A privately funded search for the missing plane was called off in May.

It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless $200 million search across an area of 120,000 square kilometers last year.

Three wing fragments that washed up on Indian Ocean coasts are so far the only confirmed traces of the Boeing 777 aircraft since it disappeared.'s Thomas said, "The report raises the issue of the captain's flight simulator, but in stark contrast to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report, it backs away from any connection to the events of MH370."

The Malaysian report says that the Royal Malaysian Police Forensic Report concluded "that there were no unusual activities other than game-related flight simulations".

However, the ATSB had earlier said that "six weeks before the flight, the pilot in command had used his simulator to fly a route, initially similar to part of the route flown by MH370 up the Strait of Malacca, with a left-hand turn and track into the southern Indian Ocean".

"The Malaysian report does, however, point the finger at human intervention," Thomas said.

It says the aircraft was under manual control, not autopilot, when it made the various turns and that it could not be established whether the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilots.

The Malaysians also agree with the ATSB that at the end of the flight, the plane was in a dive with no one in control, with the aircraft's flaps retracted rather than a pilot-controlled soft ditching on the ocean as suggested by some.

It also states that the discovery that some debris found was almost certainly from the interior of MH370 indicated a violent impact.


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