Wednesday, October 04, 2017

MH370 final report: will missing plane ever be found?

The official report into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has delivered a damning assessment of the search effort, saying it is “almost inconceivable” that the aircraft has not been found

The hunt for the missing plane - which disappeared with 239 people on board in March 2014, less than an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing - became the largest and most expensive surface and underwater searches in aviation history, eventually covering more than 46,000 sq miles. The multinational operation, which cost more than $160m, and involved ships and aircraft from countries including India, China, the US and Australia, was indefinitely suspended in January, after 1,046 days.
 In its final report, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which coordinated the underwater search on behalf of the Malaysian government, said the understanding of MH370’s location “is better now than it has ever been” and reiterated earlier estimates that the most likely location of the downed plane was a 9,700 sq-mile area to the north of the earlier search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

However, it also said: “It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board.”

ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood admitted as much when he said: “It remains a great tragedy and we wish that we could have brought complete closure to the bereaved. I hope, however, that they can take some solace in the fact that we did all we could do to find answers.”
04/10/17 The Week
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