Pressure on Malaysia, Boeing to fund fresh search for MH370
Pressure is mounting on the Malaysian government to renew the hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, and on the aircraft’s manufacturer, Boeing, to fund a new search.
The giant US plane-maker’s European rival, Airbus, has told The Weekend Australian it contributed €12 million in cash plus technical and logistical support towards the successful two-year undersea search for one of its aircraft, the A330 flown as Air France flight 447, which went down in the Atlantic in June 2009.
Airbus has implied Boeing has a similar duty to help solve the mystery of MH370, the Boeing 777 that disappeared on March 8, 2014, with the loss of 239 lives.
As the fifth anniversary of the loss of MH370 approaches, next of kin have called on Malaysia to launch a new undersea search.
“This year has to be the year that something happens,” Danica Weeks, who lost her husband Paul on MH370, told The Weekend Australian. “I need some action with the Malaysian government.”
Ms Weeks said Boeing should help fund a renewed search.
MH370 vanished from air traffic controllers’ screens 40 minutes into a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, when its pilots ceased radio contact and its secondary radar transponder was turned off.
Military primary radar and automatic satellite “handshakes” later revealed the plane had turned back, darted around the Malaysia-Thailand airspace border, and flown up the Straits of Malacca before turning south to the southern Indian Ocean.
Two undersea searches, one led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and another by the private British-owned, Houstonbased marine survey company Ocean Infinity, have failed to find the aircraft.
In July, the Malaysian-led safety investigation report into the disappearance of MH370 said it was not possible to determine what happened to the plane without the recovery of the wreckage and the black box flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
Air France 447 disappeared on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009, but its resting place was not discovered until May 2011.
The recovery of the black boxes revealed the aircraft had stalled after ice crystals developed in the plane’s Pitot tubes, which measure airspeed, causing the autopilot to disengage. The pilots reacted incorrectly, putting the plane into a stall from which it never recovered.
Boeing spokesman David Sidman said the US company had supported the Malaysian MH370 investigation “by providing technical expertise and assistance”.
“Should credible new information emerge that results in government authorities resuming the search, Boeing stands ready to provide technical support as requested by the government investigating authorities,” he said.