MH370 final report: Missing aircraft behaviour reveals it was under manual control

03/08/2018

The last contacts with MH370, as detailed by the Malaysian report.Source:Supplied

THE Malaysian Government has released its final report into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It says all the evidence points to an incontrovertible conclusion — that it was under manual control, and that it was deliberately flown out into the Indian Ocean.

The Malaysian government’s chief investigator into the disappearance of the Boeing 777 has been addressing a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 people, including six Australians, disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. It is one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

MH370 Chief Investigator Kok Soo Chon speaks during a media briefing in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

FLIGHT CREW

“We cannot establish if the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilot,” he said.

“We can also not exclude the possibility that there’s unlawful interference by a third party. And based on the military record, there was no evidence of a rapid change in the altitude and the speed to indicate that MH-370 was deliberately evading radar.”

Suspicion naturally fell upon the flight crew, he said.

“We examined the pilot (Zaharia) … He has no conflict issues with friends or family and had shown no signs of social isolation, self-neglect, no abuse of alcohol or drugs, no change of habit or interest, no stress or anxiety was detected in his audio recordings and no signs of significant behavioural changes as observed in the CCTV footage. We examined his competency. He was a very competent pilot, almost flawless in the records, ability to handle work stress very well.”

Copies of the MH370 safety investigations report are seen on the floor during a media briefing in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

SEARCH AND DEBRIS

“We went on to examine the wreckage and impact,” Investigator Kok said. “As to date, there are 27 pieces of debris that had been collected or that we know of.”

Only three, however, are certain to be from MH370 because of registration numbers. The remainder are believed to be highly likely from the Boeing 777.

He said the clues pointed the aircraft being in normal flight mode when it hit the water.

“When we examined the wreckage, the debris, we found that the right flaperon was in the neutral position, whereas the outward flap was in the retracted position.”

The position of the flaperon helps explain investigators’ theory that nobody was conscious when the plane crashed.

Captain Shah was unconscious, and researchers assumed MH370 dived, ran out of fuel, and landed in the ocean close to its final satellite position.

If someone was flying the plane, they could have glided the plane. But given the flaperon was not deployed, they concluded nobody was in control.

“Damage examination indicates that the right outboard flap was most likely in the retracted position and the right flaperon was probably at, or close to, the neutral position, at the time they separated from the wing,” the report said.

The chief investigator said: “All this gives us the indication and belief that the aircraft at that time was not configured to land”.

A file photo dated 29 July 2015 showing officers carrying a flaperon from an aircraft apparently washed ashore in Saint-Andre de la Reunion, eastern La Reunion island, France. Picture: EPASource:AAP

FAMILY REACTIONS

Sarah Nor, the mother of Norliakmar Hamid, a passenger on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries after she attended a briefing on the final investigation report. Picture: APSource:AP

Family members had been hoping that the official investigation team’s report could provide them with some closure, over four years after the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people went missing.

But grieving relatives said the technical document appeared to contain little new beyond a lengthy description of the plane’s disappearance and search efforts, and that officials were unable to answer their questions. Some angry relatives walked out of the briefing.

“It is so disappointing,” said Intan Maizura Othman, whose husband was a flight steward on MH370, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished in March 2014.

“I am frustrated. There is nothing new in the report.

“Those who gave the briefing from the ministry of transport were not able to give answers as they were not (the ones) who wrote the report.” She said that the meeting between relatives and officials descended into a “shouting match” as family members’ frustration boiled over.

“Many asked questions,” said G. Subramaniam, who lost a son on the flight, but added that “unsatisfactory responses left many angry”.

Chief Inspector Kok was asked how come it took so long to release the report. He laughed, saying:: “This is a very difficult question so far, it is maybe the most difficult.”

He said there were many reasons for the delayed publication. As new information came in they had to keep changing the report, “It’s a dynamic document,” he said.

“We cannot release our document, no matter how ready we are, when the search is still going on.”

He said “sweat, tears and also joy” had gone into it.

“It won’t be satisfactory to everybody.”

All information from News Corp Australia Network