Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

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

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

Malaysia's new government, which took power in May, has pledged total transparency and says the final report by the official safety investigation team - a 19-member body which includes worldwide investigators - will be released unedited.

The report highlighted shortcomings in the Malaysian government's response that exacerbated the mystery.

Despite other attempts to locate debris using satellite imagery and the mapping of ocean drifts, the 1,046-day search was called off on January 17, 2017.

Kok said it was up to police to investigate.

When pressed about what other information the team hoped to be able to find in the future, he said they needed to be able to provide some closure to the incident - that gripped the world's attention for months in 2014 and about which families are still hoping for news - and therefore published the report with the evidence on hand. "The plane wreckage has not been found".

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.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed says he would consider resuming the search if new clues came to light.

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"By then, the Radar Controller should have commenced full overdue action (not later than 30 minutes after the declaration of an Uncertainty Phase)", said the report, citing further the radar controller should have notified the local ARCC that an Alert Phase existed.

"Good Night, Malaysian Three Seven Zero" was the last recording of the MH370 by pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah as the plane left the Malaysian airspace and later turned off course.

Flight 370 stopped communicating with controllers in the early hours of March 8, 2014.

The Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control lost contact with the doomed flight at 1:19am Malaysia time.

The report concluded that several turns that took the plane off its path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and southwards on its long journey to the southern Indian Ocean were likely made manually, not by the autopilot.

Bizarrely, there were no reports of bad weather or distress calls.

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

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But the search has ended and there are no plans to resume it, given the significant cost.

In four years of searching, the only confirmed traces of the Boeing 777 aircraft have been three wing fragments washed up on Indian Ocean coasts: in Madagascar, Réunion Island, and Tanzania. 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.

According to this theory, captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately chose to plunge the plane into an area of the ocean up to 25,000 feet deep, where it would be nearly impossible to find.

Others have suggested the captain was in a suicidal state and disabled communication before steering the plane into the ocean.

Investigators previously found that the plane turned west off its predetermined route, heading back over Malaysia.

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