Airlines Flight 370, missing since 2014, was probably steered
off course deliberately and flown to the southern Indian Ocean,
according to the Malaysian government’s safety
report into the disaster.
vanished on March 8, 2014, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur
with 239 people on board. Investigators have never been able to
explain why the jet abandoned its route shortly into the flight,
traversed Malaysia and then cruised south over the Indian Ocean.
difficult to attribute the change in course to any system
failure, according to the report released Monday. “It is more
likely that such maneuvers are due to the systems being
manipulated,” the report said.
mapped the Boeing 777’s course only after picking through hourly
data hookups with a satellite. Extensive sonar searches of
remote waters off Australia’s west coast failed to locate the
449-page report offered little to solve modern aviation’s
biggest mystery -- and stopped short of apportioning specific
blame. There’s nothing to suggest the plane was evading radar,
or evidence of behavioral changes in the crew, it said.
Significant parts of the aircraft’s power system, including the
autopilot function, were probably working throughout the flight,
the report said.
are unable to determine with any certainty the reasons that the
aircraft diverted from its filed planned route,” Kok Soo Chon,
chief inspector of the MH370 investigation team, told reporters
in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur. “The possibility of
intervention by a third party cannot be excluded.”
the help of cockpit data recorders, search teams could only
guess what happened in the flight’s final moments. Analysis by
the Australian government suggestedMH370
ran out of fuel before plummeting -- at as much as 25,000 feet a
minute -- into the water. Other investigators speculated that
a person was at the controls until the very end, gliding the
plane into the ocean beyond the furthest limit of any search
report didn’t support either theory explicitly, but struggled to
come up with a mechanical explanation for the aircraft’s
change in flight path likely resulted from manual inputs,” it
said. Similarly, the plane’s loss of communications before
veering off track was more likely due to systems “being manually
turned off or power interrupted to them” than a malfunction, it
few pieces of wreckage from MH370 did wash up in Africa but no
bodies have ever been recovered. A fresh underwater search this
year by U.S. exploration company Ocean Infinity ended without
jet’s disappearance produced a slew of safety recommendations
aimed at preventing a repeat of
aircraft must broadcast their locations every minute when
they’re in trouble, but only from January 2021. A gradual
tightening of requirements starts in November, when airlines
must track planes every 15 minutes under regulations adopted by
the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization.
cargo included 221 kilograms (487 pounds) of lithium batteries
and 4.6 tons of fresh mangosteen fruit, according to its
manifest. After extensive tests, Monday’s report ruled out smoke
or fire caused by those goods mixing in the plane’s hold as a
cause of the tragedy.
report documented shortcomings among Kuala Lumpur air traffic
controllers: they were too slow to initiate emergency procedures
and there was no evidence to suggest they were continuously
monitoring radar displays, it said. The report recommended
better training to handle emergencies.
With assistance by Adrian Leung, and Yudith Ho