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Startling Secret Malaysia Kept About MH370

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No one is more pleased than I with the early praise my new book, The Crash Detectives is receiving. But what is more heartening is that some previously unreported details about the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, are finally making headlines. In The Crash Detectives, I write that prior to the Boeing 777 flying into oblivion with 239 people on board, the airline knew it was not in compliance with Malaysian law or its own regulations concerning its ability to track airplanes.

This startling bit of information comes from audit reports conducted by the airline in April and June 2013, nearly a full year before the loss of MH370.  The auditors from the Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs department found that flight following and flight watching could “not be acheived…at intervals stated” in the flight dispatch manual. By law, the airplanes should not have been dispatched.

Executives of the airline were informed of the audit’s findings in August 2013. Following the disappearance of the airplane, Hishammuddin Hussein, the then-acting Minister of Transport was also informed.

 

9M-MRO, an 11-year old Boeing 777, on approach to Los Angeles International Airport three months before it disappeared.
9M-MRO, was an 11-year old Boeing 777. Photo courtesy Jay Davis

To be clear, the airline’s inability to know where its airplanes were at intervals more frequent than every half hour, would not have prevented whatever went wrong on MH370. (My book also includes a likely scenario for what happened on the flight deck.) What the audit does show is a disregard for staying on top of its long-haul planes.

Airlines pay for the satellite time used to transmit information from airliners. More frequent transmission equals more expense. Whether this was a factor in the decision by Malaysia Airlines I can’t say. No one from the airline or the Department of Civil Aviation in Malaysia would respond to my questions.

When asked by reporters now writing about this stunning development, I explain that before continuing to assist in a multi-million dollar search for the airplane, contributing nations ought to be asking a few big questions of Malaysia. Not just “what did you know and when did you know it?”, but also ”What other secrets are you keeping about this monumental mystery?”

 

This article was written by Christine Negroni from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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