Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Malaysia Airlines MH370: New report says flight was deliberately manipulated

Malaysia Airlines MH370: New report says flight was deliberately manipulated

Head investigator Datuk Kok Soo Chon said while its unlikely a deliberate diversion by the pilot or first officer, they can not exclude the possibility of a third party interference.

One of the few concrete conclusions drawn in the report was that the manoeuvre to turn the plane around, taking it off its normal flight path just after 1am, was initiated manually, either by the pilot or a third party, rather than because of autopilot, although it did not speculate on reasons.

"It is too presumptuous of us to say this is the final report", Kok said.

An Australian engineer, Peter McMahon claimed he found what appeared to be a plane wreckage on Google Earth.

The anguish of families of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was prolonged Monday as an official accident report offered no new findings to explain the disappearance.

The recorded changes in the aircraft flight path following waypoint IGARI, heading back across Peninsular Malaysia, turning south of Penang to the north-west and a subsequent turn towards the Southern Indian Ocean were hard to attribute to any specific aircraft system failures.

He said police retrieved over 2,700 co-ordinates from various file segments found in Zaharie's home flight simulator.

The last communication from the plane was from the Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah who signed off with "Good night, Malaysian three seven zero", as the plane left the Malaysian airspace.

With the technology in place at the time of MH370's fateful flight however, "the team is unable to determine the real cause for (its) disappearance".

It did, however, highlight mistakes and protocols and guidelines that were not followed, the families told reporters after a briefing on the report.

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Kok said the investigators examined the history of the pilot and the first officer, and were satisfied with their background and training and mental health, noting that they were well rested and not under financial stress, and showed no evidence of any anxiety or stress.

"We are not of the opinion it could have been an event committed by the pilots", he said, but added they were not ruling out any possibility since the in-air turn back was done manually and the systems in the plane were also manually turned off.

Investigators say they considered more than 60 theories about what could have happened to the plane.

Malaysia had signed a "no find, no fee" deal with Ocean Infinity to resume the hunt for the plane after the official search led by Australia, Malaysia and China was called off early previous year.

"We had over 60 allegations.we removed them one-by-one and saw what remained behind", Kok said.

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.

A slow response by air traffic controllers in Malaysia and Vietnam delayed the launch of search and rescue operations, it said, while the battery in the plane's emergency locator beacon had expired. And a second, private search by USA company Ocean Infinity that finished earlier this year also found no sign of the wreckage.

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.

New Zealander Paul Weeks was one of the passengers on board flight MH370.

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