MH370: Missing plane mystery remains unsolved as investigators publish final report

Air And Sea Search For MH370 Continues Off Australian Coast

Authorities now have a much better understanding of where missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is located but still do not know why it crashed, a new report has revealed.

When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 lifted up from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8, 2014, one of the strangest puzzles in modern aviation history began. Every track is still missing from machine, as final report of an worldwide Search Commission shows.

In a 440-page report out today ATSB investigators meticulously detail the search efforts carried out by three governments (Malaysian, Chinese, and Australian) over almost three years - a massive outlay of resources that was ultimately all but fruitless.

A re-analysis of satellite images from 2014 has pinpointed an area of less than 25,000sq/km that has the highest likelihood of housing MH370. The underwater search started with a bathymetry survey, which continued as required throughout the underwater search and mapped a total of 710,000 sq km of Indian Ocean seafloor, the largest ever single hydrographic survey.

Of 661 areas of interest identified as locations for the crash, 82 were thoroughly investigated. The ATSB notes that the Boeing 777 stopped transmitting data after "the first 38 minutes of the flight". Its transponders, which automatically transmit position, went dark.

More than 20 pieces of possible debris have been found on the African coast, Australia's western coast, and islands in the Indian Ocean.

"The underwater search has eliminated most of the high probability areas yielded by reconstructing the aircraft's flight path and the debris drift studies conducted in the past 12 months have identified the most likely area with increasing precision", the report said.

In its final report, ATSB said: "it is nearly inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with ten million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on-board".

In releasing the ATSB's final report on Tuesday, bureau Chief Commissioner Greg Hood offered his condolences to the family and friends of those 239 passengers and crew who were lost with the flight, an incident he described as "a great tragedy".

"We...deeply regret that we have not been able to locate the aircraft, nor those 239 souls on board that remain missing".

ATSB's report also suggests that aircraft and aircraft equipment manufacturers should develop improved automated satellite tracking methods for planes in response to the incident.

The full report can be seen here.

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