|The initial MH370 News Conferences were a mess, until we suggested to the Malaysian Government professional PR help was needed. They flew in a team from the UK. However on year on, news management has gone back to zero.|
In accordance with international aviation law the Malaysian authorities have released a report into the search for the missing aircraft on flight MH370. Sadly it has only been published in English, and not in Chinese, so many of the relatives of those who seemingly perished on board, are still unable to read it.
The head of the Malaysian search team Kok Soo Chon claimed that one of the batteries which powered the underwater pinger locater in the flight data recorder had 'expired' and was a good year out of date. It had not been swapped out (or changed) as required by the manufacturers.
So a distinct possibly much of the underwater locater beacon search involving many nations and substantial resources was in fact a complete wasted effort. So it is highly possible if the aircraft did ditch in the sea and the search grid has been completed, it may never be found. This latest report is important possibly for all the wrong reasons as it highlights the areas it does not cover.
What have the Malaysian authorities been doing over the last year apart from the sea and air search? Very little is the claim of many of the Chinese families still mourning loved ones who perished on board. Little appears to have been done in forensic terms investigating alternative scenarios for the aircrafts demise. There is for example, no items of debris or other indicators of a crash, investigators would normally expect.
Did the aircraft make a soft landing on one of the many hundreds of old disused Vietnamese wartime airstrips, or on one of the many islands in the region. Was the Inmarsat satellite trace in fact emitted by another aircraft, or a freak skip transmission with the signal being bounced off the ionosphere and indicating a false position? What was the role of military aircraft in the region? Little has been released.
A party of Chinese computing experts were said to be on the passenger manifest. Potentially dangerous Lithium batteries destined for Motorola were being carried as bulk cargo, but the latest report says no special checks were carried out.
This all appoints to an airline management not tottaly in control of its many and varied safety and operational responsibilities. The report has added a raft of new questions, answered very few and is bound to caused anger and dismay in many circles.
For the survivors it is the worst of all worlds especially as there are now suggestions the search effort currently carried out by four survey ships, will be scaled back as early as May on ground of expense.
Key sections of the 3-page report (thin on substantive information in our view) issued earlier today:
5. This Interim Statement is issued on progress of investigation up to 7th March 2015 and is based on the factual information gathered in accordance with sections 1.1 to 1.19 in Appendix of Annex 13. Details of the factual information is available on the Ministry of Transport website: www.mot.gov.my.
6. The Investigation Team had since gathered factual information on MH370 (9M-MRO) which included, among others, the following:-
6.1 Recorded Air Traffic Control (ATC) radio and radar tape recordings and made transcripts of radiotelephony communications between aircraft and Air Traffic Controllers and between Air Traffic Controllers of ATC Centres viz. Ho Chi Minh and Singapore; and between Air Traffic Controllers and MAS Operations Centre at KLIA;
6.2 Took custody and reviewed aircraft maintenance records, including maintenance check packages, technical logs, airworthiness directives, modifications and repairs, mandatory occurrence reports, weight and balance reports, maintenance schedule, airworthiness certification and related documents;
6.3 Carried out simulator sessions to re-construct the aircraft flight profile and system operation;
6.4 Interviewed more than 120 persons from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), MAS, next-of-kin of crew, refueler, flight caterer, aircraft cleaners, cargo operators and loaders, freight-forwarders, suppliers and consignees;
6.5 Visited cargo operators, freight-forwarders and consignees of lithium ion batteries and mangosteen fruit, local (Subang, Penang and Muar) and overseas (Beijing and Tianjin in China) for data collection and interviews; and
6.6 Visited Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre, Subang and Air Traffic Services Office, KLIA, Air Nav Indonesia, Medan (Indonesia), Southern Region Air Traffic Services Company, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), DCA, Bangkok (Thailand), and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (Singapore) for data collection and interviews.
7. In this regard, the Investigation Team emphasises that the factual information that has been gathered to date and published on the Ministry of Transport website is of an interim nature and new information that may become available may alter this information before the publication of the Final Report. The Investigation Team clarifies that the factual information gathered contains facts which have been determined up to the current date only and that this
information is made available at this time solely to inform the aviation industry and the public of the general circumstances of the accident of MH370 and must necessarily be regarded as tentative and subject to alteration or correction if additional evidence becomes available.
8. The Investigation Team is now conducting analysis of the factual information and is considering the following areas:
8.1 Airworthiness & Maintenance and Aircraft Systems;
8.2 ATC operations from 1719 to 2232 UTC on 7th March 2014 [0119 to 0632 MYT on 8th March 2014];
8.3 Cargo consignment;
8.4 Crew Profile;
8.5 Diversion from Filed Flight Plan route;
8.6 Organisational and Management Information of DCA and MAS; and
8.7 Satellite Communications (SATCOM).
9. Along with these activities, the Investigation Team has also prepared Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Checklists for investigation in accordance with Doc. 9756 AN965 in preparation for the recovery of the aircraft, once it is located by the search team.
10. In the months ahead, the Investigation Team will need to analyse to draw conclusions and safety recommendations based on the factual information that have been gathered. In addition to the analysis and the conclusion phase of the investigation, steps taken will also include further validation of the factual information on emergence of new evidence.
11. The Investigation Team expects that further factual information will be available from the wreckage and flight recorders if the aircraft is found.
The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370
JULIAN BRAY ++44(0)1733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Operations Expert, Travel / Cruise Industry, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast COOBE ISDN ++44 (0)1733 345020 (DUAL CODEC) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Cell: 07944 217476 or iPhone 0743 530 3145 #VENDOR 10476453 http://feeds.feedburner.com/BraysDuckhouseBlog