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Questions remain after Malaysian Prime Minister statement on Flight 370

Questions remain after Malaysian Prime Minister statement on Flight 370

The Malaysian Prime Minister announced in a news conference Monday that new analysis showed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean, which answered some questions about the missing plane but left many others still unanswered.

From CNN:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday, citing a new analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators.

A relative of a missing passenger briefed by the airline in Beijing said, “They have told us all lives are lost.”

While the announcement appeared to end hopes of finding survivors more than two weeks after the flight vanished, it left many key questions unanswered, including what went wrong aboard the Beijing-bound airliner and the location of its wreckage in the deep, wild waters of the Indian Ocean.

The Prime Minister cited deeper analysis from the UK Air Accident investigation branch (AAIB) and British satellite company Inmarsat concluding that “MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.”

“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” the Prime Minister said in the press conference. “It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Australian officials also said Monday that objects had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean by an Australian plane but it was not known if these were from flight MH370, according to BBC News.  An Australian navy supply ship had reportedly been sent to look for them. Aircraft from other countries, including China, the United States and Japan, had also been searching in the same general area Monday, according to CNN.

More from CBS News:

On Monday, ships rushed to the location of floating objects spotted by Australian and Chinese planes in the southern Indian Ocean close to where multiple satellites have detected possible remains of the lost airliner.

One ship was carrying equipment to detect the plane’s vital black box, but it remained uncertain whether the vessels were approaching a successful end to the search or another frustrating dead end.

U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Monday stopped short of saying the U.S. had independent confirmation of the status of the missing airliner. He noted the conclusion of Malaysian authorities that the Boeing 777 had plunged into the Indian Ocean and said the U.S., which has been assisting the search effort, was focused on that southern corridor of the ocean.

At the time of this writing however, no confirmed related wreckage had yet been located.

In a media statement posted to its website, Malaysia airlines reiterated information from the Malaysian Prime Minister’s statement and said it would continue to support the investigation.

It is with deep sadness that Malaysia Airlines earlier this evening had to confirm to the families of those on board Flight MH370 that it must now be assumed the flight had been lost. As the Prime Minister said, respect for the families is essential at this difficult time. And it is in that spirit that we informed the majority of the families in advance of the Prime Minister’s statement in person and by telephone. SMSs were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families. Those families have been at the heart of every action the company has taken since the flight disappeared on 8th March and they will continue to be so. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery area and until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation.

While Monday’s announcements offered some information that may be helpful in narrowing the search field, they seemed to offer little answers to much of the other speculation about various other details in the mystery surrounding Flight MH370.

[Featured image: CNN video]


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Juba Doobai! | March 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm

This just doesn’t make sense. There’s some sort of wreckage in the water, but is it the wreckage of Flight 370? Given the Malaysian government’s doctoring of photos, one must wonder what else they’re messing with.Are we being lulled into disregarding the prospect of a bomb-loaded 370 in our future?

This statement would be more credible if it were made by a Western country with proof that the wreckage was from 370.

    I do not assume that the Malaysian government is less trustworthy than the US government.

      Paul in reply to Rick. | March 25, 2014 at 1:05 am

      well ok, but the us government is a lying whore.

      JOHN B in reply to Rick. | March 26, 2014 at 8:02 am

      A good example of the trustworthiness of US airplane crash reports is the one about the plane crash in the 1990’s that killed Ron Brown in Italy as he was flying home to testify in Congress regarding Clinton-era scandals.

      The report basically said that it was just another crash, ho hum – it happens every day.

    Rosalie in reply to Juba Doobai!. | March 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I was wondering the same thing. Are they positive about this?

    I see no reason to conclude that there was a bomb. I see no reason now to conclude that the plane actually landed anywhere.

    There are other explanations for what might have happened, and until the wreckage is located we do not have answers. Even after the wreckage is found it will be a while before we know what happened on that flight.

jumping the gun maybe?
still have not seen anything actually confirming its wreckage from the a/c

Howard Roark | March 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Do NOT pay attention to conclusions from politicians regarding an aviation accident investigation…especially from a government such as Malaysia that has already demonstrated its utter incompetence.

The premiere’s statement did not include a release of data from Immarsat. If and when Immarsat releases the data wait for technical experts to review and reach informed conclusions.

    Immarsat has released the data and the statement by the Malaysian government reflects their report. After much investigation, and using modelling methods, Immarsat concluded that the flight went down in the Indian Ocean.

    To date no wreckage has been found, but they have found flotsam. Until the ships reach that flotsam and have it discounted as part of the wreckage, we just have to wait and see.

      Howard Roark in reply to Aussie. | March 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Where are you seeing data from Immarsat? It is not in any of the linked articles sited/quoted here at Legal Insurrection.

      I will trust Immarsat if their data says what the Malaysian Premiere said. But in my searching the additional Immarsat data has not been made public.

      But I stand by my initial advice- do not trust CONCLUSIONS announced by politicians related to aviation accident investigations. The history of aviation safety is built on the data and the exclusion of political pressures in reviewing the data. The Malaysian govt has been extraordinarily unprofessional, incompetent in their press statements to the public. That incompetence is a shame because the safety reputation of Malaysian Airlines System is top-notch as is the design of the B777.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Aussie. | March 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      “There’s stuff floating in the water!”

      There is actually so much sh*t floating in the ocean that there are islands where the current has herded it together that are the size of Texas, just sitting there.

      I’d hate to think that we’re spending all this hard-earned tax money chasing Dairy Queen cups, Aquafina water bottles and Walmart sacks.

      Recall that when Air France crashed in the Atlantic a few years back, we saw floating seats, life vests, bodies, luggage, insulation and honey-comb composite. Not hardly “consumer garbage”.

It is more likely than not that the Malaysian statement about the end of this flight is correct. However, nothing can be considered certain until or unless they find the wreckage, and until the flight data recorders are found and analyzed we will not know why it happened.

    Beware of NTSB analyses.
    A few years ago the NTSB, the air carrier, and the airline manufacturer were attempting to prove that an incident was caused by my client’s product. The NTSB produced a transcript of the CVR. However, the one word in the transcript that would have proved my client’s innocence was [unintelligible], according to the NTSB. That was BS. It was not unintelligible. Rather, it disproved the pre-determined and favored theory of causation, which is what the supposed “NTSB investigation” was really all about. It took many years, but the NTSB finally backed off and gave up.
    The NTSB is made up of political appointees, and it is part of the federal government. ‘Nuff said?

      G Joubert in reply to Rick. | March 25, 2014 at 3:19 am

      I’ve had my doubts about the NTSB since TWA Flight 100 in 1996, just a few months before the 1996 elections, when Clinton went for reelection against Bob Dole. A little Benghazi-like when you think about it.

      tarheelkate in reply to Rick. | March 25, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Would the NTSB be involved in this one? It was a Malaysian plane, en route to China, with only three Americans on board. I can see that Boeing will want to be involved because of all the speculation about rapid decompression.

This is an excellent article. Thank you for accurate comment on this disaster.

Initially I thought that it might be a hijacking and that there might be a chance that it went to either a distant part in China or got as far as Somalia. However, other information meant that those possible scenarios were most likely wrong.

What went wrong? Until the wreckage is in fact found, we do not know but we can speculate. I am guessing it was some kind of mechanical failure and that it was something so catastrophic that the captian of the aircraft, with all of his skill did not manage to land the aircraft in time. There is an article in Der Speigel that explains this better than I can. One probably scenario is that the transponder bracket broke and that caused a slow decompression. Another possibility is a fire in the cockpit. However, we have to wait until the wreckage is found and the investigation completed before we have actual answers.

BannedbytheGuardian | March 24, 2014 at 11:40 pm

What we do know is that Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lietenant Russell Adams has now a very large international admiration club.

There are some great comments over at The Daily Mail …..mostly two worded ….ooohh aah , mhmm.mmmm , Brad DiCaprio , oh my , very nice , & the occasional 3 worder – looks brains & uniform. It is a modern equal opportunity club over there ,age / sex is no barrier to appreciation .

Then someone would butt in & admonish them – what about the victims?

Surely it has jumped the shark now .

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | March 25, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Well, the “news” in Oz makes the UK tabloids look like The Sunday Times by comparison. Let’s just hope that a cricket test doesn’t get in the way, effectively shutting down all of the rest of the front page news.

NC Mountain Girl | March 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

MAS’s response will be a textbook case on how not to handle a disaster. It should be noted, however, that their task was not made any easier by the large number of countries involved, none of whom want to say very much about their own military capabilities in tracking errant objects.

TrooperJohnSmith | March 25, 2014 at 9:48 am

The Malaysian government essentially says this:

“Yeah, the aircraft was voluntarily taken off its intended path of flight, the transponder was deactivated, it was intentionally navigated on a course we cannot determine and flew for another 5+ hours. After that, it crashed in the Indian Ocean somehow and we’ve found some stuff floating that might be from our airplane. Based on that, we determine the plane crashed, killing all souls on board. This investigation is closed. We’re having sunset memorial on the beach in Oz. Dress is casual, dinner is catered. You can have your choice of Chinese or Thai.”

Why would a pilot fly nearly 8 hours before diving into the ocean? Did allah mark particular coordinates for him? Is that where the pilot spotted 70 virgin mermaids?
Why would this flight last longer than a flight to Beijing? Malaysian officials showed true muslim compassion by tweeting passenger relatives, ” Guess what? They’re all dead. Have a good day.”

These are the reported facts so far.

The aircraft took off and traveled on a NNE heading for several minutes. It then changed course to a NW heading and began a descent. The transponder was turned off and no further voice communication with the aircraft occurred. The aircraft dropped off the traffic control radar, but there was a military radar contact of an object traveling E over the Indian ocean N of Malaysia, which may have been the aircraft. The rest of the telemetry from the aircraft was turned off and no more was heard from the aircraft. A commercial satellite company, using experimental algorithms to interpret what they believe is data from the aircraft, first reported that the aircraft was traveling on a NW heading across the Indian Ocean and they then changed that to a SSW course terminating in an area 1200km SW of Perth Australia. Some floating objects were sighted by satellite and possibly by patrolling aircraft in the general area.

From this, it has now been decided that the plane ditched in that area.

There are somethings that simply do not add up. First of all, there seems to be absolutely no motive to hijack and fly this aircraft, in the manner in which it was flown, to the location where it is reportedly lying. If the object was to crash the aircraft, any place would have been good. There was no need to fly for 5 – 6 hours to accomplish this. The proposed flight track would have required several course corrections over the course of approximately 2 hours. This tends to preclude a theory that the flight crew was disabled or unable to control the course of the aircraft. It seems strange that the report, by residents of the Maldives, of a low flying airliner bearing a paint scheme similar to the flight in question, has simply disappeared from the minds of investigators. Especially considering the fact that the Maldives, which are quite close to the southern tip of India and several thousands of miles north of the suspected crash site, are directly along the NW route first identified by Inmarsat as most likely and, if the reports are accurate would place the aircraft far to the west of a course needed to put into the suspected crash area. Finally, no wreckage identifiable as being from MH380, or any other aircraft for that matter, has been found. And, there are quite a few places, on land, where this plane could have landed with minimal chance of detection.

In other words, based upon published reports, no one really has any idea where this aircraft is, at the moment.

Have we ever seen the cargo manifest from this flight? Was there any particularly sensitive or valuable cargo that might have been the target of criminals or terrorists (if one wishes to make that distinction)?

How much U.S. taxpayer money has been spent on this CNN feature presentation? Why have we spent so much money, when the U.S. interests are minimal?

Answer: It is a better story for obama than the rest of what is going on in the world.