Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 24 March 2014, that new analysis of satellite data suggested that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 "terminated" in the southern Indian Ocean. He also saidthe type of analysis used to investigate the mystery of the jetliner's disappearance hasnever been used before. The statement sparked intense speculation on the part of international media.
Is UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) credible?
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is part of the Department for Transport and is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the UK and its overseas territories. It was established in 1915. The branch has 79 employees divided into 6 teams. All investigators are experienced aviation experts, engineers, or licensed pilots.
AAIB has investigated many air crashes. The most notable case was the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. In previous investigations conducted by AAIB, there is no precedent for declaring that an air crash has occurred without finding definite wreckage or the black boxes, making the case of flight MH370 very unusual. [Full Text]
What engine data confirm the 'termination' of the plane?
Citing satellite data analysis by the British company Inmarsat, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had met its end thousands of miles away in the southern Indian Ocean. Responding to this, veteran pilot and Hong Kong Consulting CEO Chen Jianguo points out that the clearest direct evidence to confirm the crash of an aircraft is the wreckage, or a distress call made by the pilot.
In addition, in accordance with the range of the plane and any landing areas within the programmed route, it can be inferred whether the plane crashed or not. Malaysian Airlines has announced some items of evidence, but nothing that forms a complete chain of evidence. [Full Text]
What might be the nature of the 'type of analysis neverbefore used in an investigation of this sort'?
According to current analysis, the investigation method that the Malaysian Premiermentioned in his statment is probably the ping instruction. The Inmarsat maritimesatellite was the only satellite that could receive the "ping" from MH370 after its livetransmission system was shut off. The "ping" is an automatic communication betweensatellites and transponders. After its live transmission system was shut off, MH370 sent atleast six "pings" to the satellite, so the investigators traced two possible flight courses: oneto the north and one to the south.
After further analysis on the data package sent by the "ping", the result showed that theSouth Indian Ocean was the final location. According to Tim Farrar, American satelliteanalyst and chief specialist of TMF Associates, in this investigation with its lack of anyother evidence, the "ping" has played a major role. [Full Text]