On Saturday 8th March 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared. The aircraft has not been found and the reasons for its' disappearance are not known.
The Boeing 777 had a crew of 12 and carried 227 passengers. The families of those 239 people struggle to cope with their loss and have endured an emotional roller coaster since the first news release stating that "Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight MH370 has lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am, today (8 March 2014)."
Like most news that followed, even that was incorrect: air traffic controllers lost contact with flight MH370 at around 1:21am MYT.
Of all the Reports and documents related to the loss of MH370 these two are the most recent:
- The 'Not Final' Report by The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370
- This Report was released first to next-of-kin who could get to the closed session in Malaysia on 30th July 2018. The Report was released to the Media and public later that same day.
To summarise it, this long-awaited report stated that:-
In conclusion, the Team is unable to determine the real cause for the disappearance of MH370.
- The Operational Search for MH370 by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
- This well-written report with lots of diagrams and photos was released in October 2017. It explains why it is believed the aircraft is somewhere in the south Indian Ocean and details the search efforts managed by the ATSB.
To summarise it, this report makes an apology:
The ATSB expresses our deepest sympathies to the families of the passengers and crew on board MH370. We share your profound and prolonged grief, and deeply regret that we have not been able to locate the aircraft, nor those 239 souls on board that remain missing.
My Website: www.MH370wiki.net
In January 2014 I set up a virtual server to collect news feeds via RSS so I could remotely access news items while I was travelling. I specifically targeted topic areas such as South-east Asia, the South China Sea, and terrorism, among other interests; and immediately captured the news about flight MH370.
But after MH370 went missing I noticed that news coverage in Malaysia and other South-east Asian countries, collected by the RSS feeds, was different from news reported in Australia. While the basic reporting was similar, the non-Australian media often mentioned details that never made it to our newspapers. More recently in Australia there has been a significant bias towards blaming the Captain as if he were responsible for both suicide and mass murder, without proof of any kind.
I decided to collate the information collected from RSS feeds and other sources and started a website about MH370 called www.mh370wiki.net.
Progress has been slow and I apologise for that. Like most people I did not have a technical knowledge of aircraft systems or avionics. However, I did have a background in communications and easily understood the satellite communications concepts of 'pings' and terms like BFO and BTO. That was an advantage. And a prior career in mechanical engineering, so I could read and understand other technical information such as that presented in the Factual Information.
The visible part of the mh370wiki website is like the tip of an iceberg - there is more information yet to be collated and published.
I do not claim to have an answer to either of the two fundamental questions: where is MH370? or why was the flight diverted?, but I have been analysing the data that is available. To me, it is like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. But instead of saying we don't know what the full picture is, there is enough detail to make an educated guess despite what is missing.
My observation is that too much focus has been on finding the wreckage and too little on presenting an analysis based on the known facts.
I hope to redress that imbalance.
You may not have noticed, but over time information about MH370 from original sources has gradually disappeared from the Internet. Here are four examples, and there are more.
- Media Statements by Malaysia Airlines disappeared when the company was restructured and their website was updated. The front page used to have links to both MH370 and MH17 but both have gone, and news items related to both aircraft have been removed.
- Media Statements which used to be on the Department of Civil Aviation (Malaysia) website have been removed. The department is now called the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). Along with the name change was a facelift to the website and links to media statements and the earliest reports were removed. Admittedly, the official website for MH370 held most of the material, but not all. One of the few remaining items is the MH370 Preliminary Report Serial 03/2014.
- Media Statements or announcements by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak have been removed form the website of the Prime Minister's Office, following a change of government. Even worse, it is as though he never existed and was never a PM - the website has a slide-show of former Malaysian Prime Ministers and Najib is not even mentioned.
- Since the loss of MH370 the Boeing website has been updated. The company website is more modern than previous, and an update was justified, but in the process links to technical information about the Boeing 777 and other aircraft was removed. Documents like Flight Manuals always required a customer login, and that is unchanged. But there were other articles which provided general technical information useful to anyone trying to better understand the features and systems on the aircraft.
- The Malaysian Insider was a good source of news. Instead of repeating what everyone else wrote, or just quoting the official news agency Bernama, they actually did a good job of investigative reporting. Unfortunately they investigated possible corruption by the Prime Minister involving the 1MDB fund and suffered some consequences. Access to the website was blocked on 25th February 2016 following instruction to telcos by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). The Malaysian Insider was subsequently closed by its' owners for 'commercial reasons'. Although the Government block was not related to reporting on MH370, a consequence is that the library of articles previously researched and published by The Malaysian Insider are no longer accessible. The MCMC blocked several other websites and blogs at around the same time.
Fortunately, I saved data from my news reader so I still have copies of articles lost to the wider public. Media Statements are preserved in the mh370wiki website, for example.