The official report released today on the MH370 by the Malaysian authorities said the change in flight path resulted, most likely, from manual inputs.
But it said the possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded either. Thus a possible hijack remains part of the answer.
However, it also said 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.
“It should be recognised that there is a significant lack of evidence available to the Team to determine with any certainty the reasons that the aircraft diverted from its filed flight plan route.
“However, the change in flight path likely resulted from manual
“The lack of evidence includes the exact location and disposition of the main aircraft wreckage and the evidence that it could provide, the information recorded on the Flight Data Recorder, Cockpit Voice Recorder and other recording devices on the aircraft and the absence of any aircraft voice or data transmissions that could indicate why the aircraft flew to the Southern Indian Ocean,” the report said.
It said without the benefit of the examination of the aircraft wreckage and recorded flight data information, “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.
“The disappearance of MH370 and the search effort are unprecedented in commercial aviation history. Improvements must be undertaken to ensure that this type of event is identified as soon as possible, and mechanisms are in place to track an aircraft that
is not following its filed flight plan for any reason,” said the report.
It concluded that the investigation ‘Team’ is unable to determine the real cause for the disappearance of MH370.
Kok Soo Chon, the lead investigator, told a press conference:
- The aircraft, instead of going straight to Beijing, “made a right turn then a left turn and went in a south-westerly direction”.
- The turn-back “was not because of anomalies in the mechanical systems… we can confirm the turn-back… was made under manual control”.
- He said: “We cannot establish if the aircraft was flown by anyone other than the pilot, but we cannot exclude the possibility of unlawful interference by a third party.”
- But there is “no evidence” to support the theory the plane was taken over remotely by hackers.
- The captain was a “very competent pilot” with an “almost flawless safety record” and there were no known defects with the plane.
- The co-pilot’s flight simulator was seized from his home but investigators concluded there was nothing suspicious on it.
- There was no psychological evidence to suggest any of the crew deliberately crashed the plane.
- Despite the full wreckage never being found, damage examination indicates the plane was “not configured to land”, suggesting no-one was in control of the jet during its final moments.
- Three pieces of wreckage believed to be from MH370 have been found from as far north as Tanzania and as far south as South Africa.
- The report ends: “In conclusion, the team is unable to determine the real cause for the disappearance of MH370.”
Here is the official report: http://mh370.mot.gov.my/MH370SafetyInvestigationReport.pdf