It’s the moment the families of those lost have been waiting for. The final report on the disappearance of flight MH370.
Not to mention the rest of the travel community, and anyone interested in the cause of one of the world’s greatest airline mysteries. Which, you know, is just about everyone.
Malaysian authorities released their final safety report last night, concluding that they had not been able to determine the cause of the plane’s disappearance.
However, what they were able to determine was that the plane was manually turned around mid-air, cancelling out speculation that it had been under control of autopilot. The report also concluded that “unlawful interference by a third party” could not be ruled out.
The conclusions of the report were read out at a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, by the investigator in charge of the safety investigation, Dr Kok Soo Chon.
Kok ruled out suggestions the pilot and first officer were completing a suicide mission, and the possibility of a technical fault.
He also made note of several protocols that were broken by Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control that allowed the plane to go missing for 20 minutes before alerting authorities.
“The air traffic controllers did not initiate the various emergency phases required of them, thereby delaying the activation of the search and rescue operations,” Kok said, according to the Guardian.
All four of the planes emergency locator transmitters were also reported to have malfunctioned, preventing them from giving off distress signals to help search parties locate the plane.
At the start of the press conference, Kok reportedly emphasised that this would not be the ‘last report’ as it has become known as, but later said this was only because they had not found any of the wreckage or victims.
“The answer can only be conclusive if the wreckage is found,” Kok said, according to the ABC.
“As far as our team is concerned, our work is done, we have released the report.”
The ABC reports that the families of those onboard the missing flight were disappointed by the lack of new information and wept after leaving the briefing.
“To me, it is a helpless day as doors are shut,” Jennifer Chong, whose husband was on board the flight told the Guardian.
Grace Subathari Nathan, whose mother, Anne Daisy, was onboard also told the Guardian that the search was not yet over for the families of those on board.
“It’s not over until MH370 is found,” she said.
“Therefore there can be no final report until MH370 is found and this can be prevented. The search must go on.”
MH370 went missing 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The flight changed course shortly after leaving Malaysian airspace, flying for more than six hours with its navigation systems turned off before plunging into the Indian Ocean.
The plane’s disappearance has since turned into one of the largest underwater search operations in history, turning up no results besides three wing fragments.
Features inage source: Reuters.