Se­nate to grill Aussie trans­port safety bureau over failed MH370 search

The Borneo Post - - HOME -

CAN­BERRA: The Aus­tralian govern­ment’s trans­port safety in­ves­ti­ga­tor will be sub­ject to par­lia­men­tary scru­tiny over its han­dling of the US$ 150 mil­lion hunt for miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines flight MH370, re­ports Xinhua news agency.

MH370 dis­ap­peared on March 8, 2014 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bei­jing with 239 peo­ple on board.

Radar and satel­lite track­ing in­di­cated it went down in the south­ern In­dian Ocean. An Aus­tralian Se­nate es­ti­mates hear­ing next Tues­day will be held as pres­sure grows for a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the han­dling of the two-year search by the Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau (ATSB).

The bureau is ac­cused of ig­nor­ing ev­i­dence that de­bunked its the­ory of how MH370 went down, with some air­line pi­lots de­mand­ing a gov­ern­men­tap­pointed Royal Com­mis­sion.

Cen­ter Al­liance Se­na­tor Rex Patrick told the Aus­tralian news­pa­per on Wed­nes­day that he would be ask­ing ques­tions of the ATSB about the MH370 search.

In any cir­cum­stance where A$ 200 mil­lion ( US$ 150 mil­lion) of tax­payer money has been spent and cred­i­ble sources raise ques­tions as to the ap­proach or ef­fi­cacy, some form of inquiry is wor­thy, Patrick said.

The probe of the bureau’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion fol­lows a foren­sic anal­y­sis of MH370 wreck­age by Cana­dian air- crash in­ves­ti­ga­tor Larry Vance.

Vance claims in his book that dam­age to the right flap and flap­eron of MH370 found on is­lands off Africa in­di­cated a pi­lot ditched the air­craft in a con­trolled man­ner.

He dis­misses the ATSB’s the­ory of a high-im­pact, pi­lot­less steep dive.

MH370’s lo­ca­tion might well de­pend on which sce­nario is cor­rect, with Vance and sev­eral vet­eran pi­lots adamant it was flown out­side the 120,000 sq km search zone de­signed by the ATSB.

The bureau as­sumed the pi­lots were in­ca­pac­i­tated at the end of the flight. Pi­lots have called for a fresh search south of the south­ern bor­der of the ATSB’s orig­i­nal target zone.

They claim Cap­tain Za­harie Ah­mad Shah could have flown the Boe­ing 777 fur­ther than would have oc­curred on au­topi­lot.

Vance said the ATSB’s fail­ure to prop­erly re- eval­u­ate its search strat­egy af­ter the flap­eron was found in July 2015.

Mike Keane, the for­mer chief pi­lot of Bri­tain’s largest air­line easy­Jet, said this week that if the ATSB had know­ingly ig­nored ev­i­dence, its search strat­egy was flawed and the bureau would be com­plicit in cov­er­ing up the mass mur­der of peo­ple on board. — Ber­nama

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