Malaysia Airlines MH 370 One Year Anniversary

Malaysia Flight 370

A year ago today, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370  vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China with 239 passengers and crew on board.

The plane’s disappearance remains the biggest unsolved mystery in commercial aviation history.  Not a single piece of MH 370 has been found in a wide, remote area of the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia, where the plane may have gone down.

Malaysian government officials formally declared what happened to MH 370 an accident with no survivors on January 29, 2015.

On Sunday, frustrated relatives of the missing passengers and crew still want answers.

The Malaysian Prime Minister is hopeful MH370 will be found.

“Together with our international partners, we have followed the little evident that exists. Malaysia remains committed to the search and hopeful that MH 370 will be found,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Sunday.

Ships, planes from 26 countries and underwater vehicles equipped with sonar, cameras and multi-beams have searched for MH370. Pings were detected on April 5 and April 8, 2014 during frantic search for the plane’s black boxes before the batteries went out. All leads and debris found have been a dead end.

Independent satellite, radar and performance data from international experts indicates the plane may have went into the sea close to a long but narrow arc in the southern Indian Ocean. Since March 2014, the search by air, ships and underwater vehicles has focused on this arc.

Since October 2014, Australian and Malaysian underwater vessels have continued to search the 60,000 square kilometer priority search area. “Assuming no significant delays with vessels, equipment or as a result of the weather, the priority search area may be largely completed around May 2015,” according to http://www.jacc.gov.au/search

Malaysian authorities also released an detailed report on Sunday. the first anniversary of MH 370’s disappearance.  According to the Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur and Press Association, the 584-page report by an independent investigation group, said the battery of an underwater locator beacon had expired more than a year before the plane vanished last March. The expired battery on the locator beacon was not known right away, making it harder to find MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean. According to maintenance reports, the battery went out in December 2012, the report said.

The battery on the locator beacon of the cockpit voice recorder was working, the report said.

The report also cleared the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, his first officer and the cabin crew of any changes in their physical and mental state. The report said there were “no behavioural signs of social isolation, changes in habits or interest, self-neglect, drug or alcohol abuse” by them.

The report also said a shipment of 221 kg of lithium ion batteries on board MH370 were not dangerous.  The batteries went through security screening, customs inspections and clearance at Penang Airport the day before. The battery shipment was loaded onto  MH370 at Kuala Lumpur airport with no further security screening.

—Carol Lim

Source: The Guardian, USA Today, http://www.jacc.gov.au/search/index.aspx

 

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