Mystery of MH370 'may never be solved'

2014-03-25 10:14
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Even if searchers are able to miraculously pluck Malaysia Airlines flight 370's "black box" from the depths of the vast Indian Ocean, experts say it may not solve one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

Planes, ships and state-of-the-art tracking equipment are hunting for any trace of the passenger jet, which Malaysia said crashed in the forbidding waters after veering far from its intended course.

They face a huge challenge locating the Boeing 777's "black box", which holds vital clues to determining what caused the plane to vanish after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing on 8 March.

But experts believe the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder may not yield answers on the riddle of how and why the plane diverted an hour into the flight, and embarked on a baffling journey to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

The data recorder details the aircraft's path and other mechanical information for the flight's duration, and "should provide a wealth of information", US-based aviation consultancy firm Leeham Co said in a commentary.

But the cockpit voice recorder - which could reveal what decisions were made by those at the helm and why - retains only the last two hours of conversations before the plane's demise.

That means potentially crucial exchanges surrounding the initial diversion, which took place halfway between Malaysia and Vietnam, will be lost.

Exact location

"Clearly, it won't reveal anything that happened over the Gulf of Thailand - this will have been overwritten by the end of MH370," it said.

Leeham added that it also remains to be seen whether the cockpit recorder will contain anything pertinent about the plane's final two hours, when it is believed to have either ditched or run out of fuel.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that Flight MH370 had gone down in the Indian Ocean with its 239 passengers and crew, citing new satellite data analysis.

But its exact location and the circumstances of its diversion remain a mystery. No distress signal was ever received.

Three scenarios have gained particular traction: hijacking, pilot sabotage, or a sudden mid-air crisis that incapacitated flight crew and left the plane to fly on auto-pilot for several hours until it ran out of fuel.

Malaysia has said it believes the plane was deliberately diverted by someone on board.

But with the travelling public and aviation industry hanging on every twist in the drama, no firm evidence has emerged from a Malaysian investigation to support any of the theories circulating.

British aviation expert Chris Yates said that even if the black boxes are found, "it seems unlikely that we will get that answer" of why the plane ended up thousands of kilometres off course.

"We still have no idea as to the mental state of the pilot and co-pilot, we have no idea if somebody managed to get into the cockpit to seize the aircraft, and we've certainly had no admissions of responsibility since this whole episode started," he told BBC television.

"It is a mystery like no other"

Debris has been sighted far off Australia's west coast but an international search effort has been unable to retrieve any for confirmation, and wreckage could have drifted hundreds of kilometres from where the plane crashed.

"As investigators, we deal with physical evidence and right now we don't have any physical evidence to work with," Anthony Brickhouse, a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, told AFP.

The batteries powering the locator signal of the black boxes will run out in less than two weeks.

A US device capable of detecting that signal even on the ocean floor was being sent to the scene, but weather and treacherous sea conditions have hampered the effort to pinpoint the black box location.

Paul Yap, an aviation lecturer at Singapore's Temasek Polytechnic, said that if the black box is not found, "chances are we are never going to find out what really happened".

"With the new satellite data, I think we can say it is a chessboard," he said of the wide search area.

"The question now is to find which grid on that chessboard to focus on, where the black boxes are."
Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  malaysia  |  malaysia airlines flight hm370  |  air crashes  |  aviation  |  air travel
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
33 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.