MAS MA370 mystery continues

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Flight MA 370 is pretty much unprecedented.

12th Mar 2014


MAS MA370 mystery continues

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Flight MA 370 is pretty much unprecedented.

Obviously there are a few similarities with AF 447, the Air France Airbus A330 that crashed into the Atlantic between Brazil and Africa – but also plenty of differences, not least the stormy weather conditions that triggered the set of events that led to AF 447’s demise. Whatever happened to Malaysia Airlines MA 370, it is unlikely to be weather-related as conditions were calm.

Despite the continued uncertainty, one or two things are clear. The Malaysian investigation has lacked co-ordination and transparency. In fact, it has verged on the chaotic at times, with civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman describing the one of the passengers as looking like footballer Mario Balotelli – suggesting he was black – when in fact it turns out he was Iranian.

More seriously, there is still confusion about whether the military tracked the aircraft changing course and crossing the Malay Peninsular to the Straits of Malacca, or even the Andaman Sea. Surely this information could have been given out much earlier, and would have meant that resources could have been much more fruitfully deployed for the search.

That’s if this report’s correct – it wouldn’t be a total surprise to find that this story is erroneous and that the aircraft did end up in the Gulf of Thailand/South China Sea after all.

That said, this is clearly a very unusual and mystifying event. Hopefully lessons will be learnt – including in the area of airport security.

This comes at a very unfortunate time for Malaysia Airlines, which has made a string of losses and was embarking on another restructuring exercise. There were reports that it was looking to order up to 100 aircraft as part of this.

Normally with crashes, the effects on the airline are pretty limited. Something else will come along to hog the headlines. This one shows no sign of moving just yet!
 

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