Malaysian Transport Ministry releases MH370 investigation report

    Malaysia‘s Ministry of Transport released (30-Jul-2018) the ‘MH370 Safety Investigation Report’ regarding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on 08-Mar-2014. Minister of Transport Loke Siew Fook stated: “The Ministry of Transport will review the safety recommendations and will take appropriate improvement measures to prevent similar future air accidents. At the same time, we will also conduct thorough investigation and take action against any misconduct committed based on the findings under the existing provisions of the law”. He added: “The aspiration to locate MH370 has not been abandoned and we remain ever hopeful that we will be able to find the answers we seek when the credible evidence becomes available”. Findings in the report include:

    • The aircraft diverted from the filed flight plan route and its transponder signal disappeared from the air traffic control (ATC) controller radar display. The turn back of the aircraft was likely made while under manual control. There is no evidence to indicate that the aircraft was evading radar. It could not be established whether the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilots. The reason for the disappearance of the transponder information could not be established;
    • Although it cannot be conclusively ruled out that an aircraft or system malfunction was a cause, based on the limited evidence available it is more likely that the loss of communication prior to the diversion was due to the systems being manually turned off or a power interruption;
    • The recorded changes in the aircraft flight path, heading back across Peninsular Malaysia, turning south of Penang to the northwest and a subsequent turn towards the Southern Indian Ocean are difficult to attribute to any specific aircraft system failures. It is more likely that such manoeuvres were due to the systems being manipulated;
    • Kuala Lumpur area control centre (ACC) controllers did not comply fully with established ATC procedures. Air traffic controllers did not initiate, in a timely manner, standard emergency phases. There is no record to suggest that Kuala Lumpur air traffic controllers took any action to alert the Royal Malaysian Air Force. There is no evidence to suggest that Kuala Lumpur air traffic controllers kept continuous watch on the radar display;
    • The aircraft was airborne for more than seven hours, suggesting that the autopilot was probably functioning, at least in the basic modes, for the aircraft to be flown for such a long duration. The inter-dependency of operation of the various aircraft systems suggests that significant parts of the aircraft electrical power system were likely to be functioning throughout the flight;
    • The investigation was unable to determine 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;
    • Debris was found washed ashore near and onto the south eastern coast of Africa. To date, 27 items of debris were considered significant for examination. The right flaperon, part of the right outboard flap and a section of the left outboard flap were confirmed to be from MH370. Seven other items are considered to be almost certainly from MH370. There is insufficient information to determine if the aircraft broke up in the air or during impact with the ocean. [more – original PR]