Posted by : Des Ross Sunday, 8 March 2015



The Malaysian authorities have just released an Interim Report on the loss of MH370, one year after its disappearance. The interim report can be downloaded from the website here.

However, it tells us very little that is not already known and does not offer any solutions to the mystery. Things that stand out in the report are:

• Confusion between KL and HCM air traffic control centres which lasted for much too long. It was only sorted out when Singapore came into the action.

 • Slow reaction to the problem when HCM took 20 minutes to start asking about MH370. International protocols demand that this should have happened TWO minutes after the expected transfer time from KL to HCM airspace.

 • Reading the transcript of coordination calls between both ATC centres shows lack of understanding between both units. Language problems may have been part of this. However, all controllers and pilots are required to pass tests in English language so that they all have a common language. 
Without passing this test, they cannot legally hold an ATC or pilot licence.

 • Transcripts between Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur air traffic controllers reveal the following item:
2123:18 UTC [0523:18 MYT] KL ATCC Aaaa… never mind laa I wake up my supervisor and ask him to check again to go to the room and check what the last contact all this thing lah.
It would appear that 4 hours after MH370 disappeared, the supervisor in KL air traffic control was so relaxed about it all that he was sleeping.

 • This is the sort of search and rescue situation that should be the subject of periodic exercises to drill all parties in the correct procedures for such action. It appears that this has never happened as none of the personnel appeared to understand what was required of them.

 • A STAND OUT ITEM IS … WHY WAS THERE NO COORDINATION WITH THE MILITARY TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE USING THEIR SURVEILLANCE RADAR?? BUT ALSO, WHY DID THE MILITARY NOT CONTACT KL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TO ASK ABOUT THE UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT THEY WERE TRACKING? HOW DID THEY KNOW IT WAS NOT A THREAT TO MALAYSIAN SECURITY?

• The report that the battery on the Pinger Locator transmitter was expired is serious. It indicates a break down in the MAH maintenance control system and brings into question whether there may be other omissions also. Is it a symptom of lax maintenance procedures at MAS??

 • Overall, the report is simply an INTERIM REPORT which gives rise to more questions than it answers. It also seems to provide a basis for legal action against the Malaysian authorities and the airline by family of passengers and crew who have been lost on MH370.

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