MH370 Mystery Remains Unsolved Four Years On
Malaysia on Monday released its report into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March 2014, with no definitive conclusion reached about what happened to the Boeing 777.
MH370 was on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people - 227 passengers and 12 crew - on board when it deviated from its planned route about 40 minutes after take off, and shortly after a handover from Malaysian Air Traffic Control to Vietnam ATC.
The 777’s transponder signal stopped working about that time but a review of radar and satellite communications indicated that the aircraft flew back across the Malaysian Peninsula and on to the southern Indian Ocean where it disappeared.
The report states the change in flight path “likely resulted from manual inputs,” but without access to the aircraft’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders “the investigation was unable to identify any plausible aircraft or systems failure mode that would lead to the observed systems deactivation, diversion from the filed flight plan route and the subsequent flight path taken by the aircraft.
“However, the same lack of evidence precluded the investigation from definitely eliminating that possibility. The possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded either.”
There have been two major searches for the wreckage of MH370, the first a joint effort by Australia, China and Malaysia was called off in January 2017 after searching 120,000 square km (46,300 sq. miles) of the southern Indian Ocean.
The second, a three month search by US company Ocean Infinity on behalf of the Malaysian government ended in May this year after another 112,000 square km (43,200 sq. miles) of the ocean floor was covered.
Several pieces of debris were found washed up on the shores of South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania in Africa, and on the Islands of Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion. Investigators confirmed that some of the debris was either from MH370 or highly likely to have come from the aircraft.
The international investigation team, led by Malaysia included representatives from Australia, Britain, China, France, Indonesia, Singapore and the United States.