New MH370 report says no cause determined

Larry Hoffman
July 30, 2018

French gendarmes and police inspect a large piece of plane debris which was found on the beach in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015.

MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board.

The report also highlighted that the two cargo items of interest, the lithium ion batteries and mangosteens, carried on MH370 were in fact packed and loaded according to standard operating procedures.

Lead investigator Datuk Kok Soo Chon had told a media briefing earlier that the report was not a last report on the search for the missing aircraft as it can not be conclusive without the discovery of victims and aircraft wreckage.

Despite of an extensive multinational search coordinated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that initially scoured 120,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean, and the subsequent search by US-based seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity that combed another 112,000 square km this year, the exact final resting place of MH370 remains elusive.

"We remain ever hopeful that we will be able to find the answers we seek when the credible evidence becomes available".

The report found no signs that the plane was evading radar detection or that it had been taken over by remote control. The report "lacks depth" and may not help prevent such incidents in future, she said, adding the search for the missing plane must continue.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which spent three years coordinating the global search for MH370, released its final 440-page report into the mystery in October concluding that what happened to the Boeing 777 would remain unknown unless the plane were found. Kok said his investigators looked meticulously into the background and found nothing to raise suspicion.

Arriving at the transport ministry this morning, Calvin Shim, whose wife was a stewardess on the flight, was sceptical the report would tell families anything new after more than four years of fruitless searching. The report issued Monday followed a second, private search that failed to find the plane.

Investigators also noted both Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Service Centre (KL ATSC) and Ho Chin Minh Area Control Centre (HCM ACC) lost valuable time when events started unfolding. "The search must go on". But that search was called off after failing to find anything.

The only confirmed traces of the aircraft have been three wing fragments washed up along the Indian Ocean coasts.

Malaysia's new government, which took power in May, has said the hunt could be resumed but only if new evidence comes to light.

The report said that the distress phase should have been declared by the Malaysian ARCC by 2:27am.

Several theories have emerged about how the plane disappeared, with some suggesting the plane was hijacked and others believing someone on board may have deliberately turned off the plane's transponder before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.

The "rogue pilot" theory still arises in public discussions despite Malaysian authorities saying there was no evidence linking Zaharie or his co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, to any wrongdoing. This included blaming the pilot and the first officer, accusing them of bringing down the plane in a suicide mission, and also accusations that the plane had suffered mechanical failure.

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