Avlaw Aviation Consulting Founding Director Ron Bartsch was on 2GB this week discussing the tragic MH370 disaster and the recent Malaysian Government MH370 report.
The disappearance of MH370 on 8 March 2014 is still one of the world’s greatest modern mysteries. Speaking on Money News with Ross Greenwood, Ron said that it is “quite amazing and unprecedented that at this day and age, we can just have a civil airliner disappearing and four years later, and a 1500 page report, and still no conclusive … ideas as to what went wrong”.
As the familiar narrative goes, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 carrying 239 people departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. Less than an hour later, it disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar and was then tracked on military radar. It deviated from its flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula, until it was last seen northwest of Penang Island. Huge international search efforts ensued by governments and private contractors. The last private search conducted by Ocean Infinity was called off in June 2018 with no success.
A 1500 paged report by the Malaysian Government was released on 30 June 2018. The evidence pointed to the conclusion that the aircraft was deliberately flown out into the Indian Ocean. But no direct answers were given.
The Malaysian Government MH370 report found that information from the aircraft’s transponder, the receiver used to identify and distinguish between aircraft, disappeared. There was no reason why. It was turned off much of the time when MH370 altered course, suggesting there was interference by the pilots or perhaps even third parties.
Ron condemns the Chinese air traffic controllers in the disaster because they failed to follow international protocol. They failed to raise the alert phase as soon as they realised the aircraft had not reported on the scheduled course at the appropriate time. If they had, a distress phase would have been declared and the tragedy may not have occurred. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder would have revealed exactly what happened.
If the plane was under the control of Australian and New Zealand air traffic controllers, Ron was confident that agreed international protocols would have been properly followed. The plane, Ron sadly says, will probably never be found. He believes drones should have been sent over the ocean which would have provided a greater chance at finding the aircraft.
Regrettably, there is still no hope or finality for the families of the 239 people, including the six Australians, that lost their lives that day. There is no closure, and that is “one of the most damning aspects of” the whole tragedy, Ron says.
You can listen to Ron’s interview on Money News here.