Critical days were lost in the search for MH370 because Malaysian authorities initially rejected evidence from the British satellite company that the Boeing 777 with 239 aboard was in the Southern Indian Ocean.
British sources have told AirlineRatings.com that within 24 hours of the disappearance of MH370 on March 8, Inmarsat advised the relevant Malaysian authorities of their findings but were rebuffed. “They didn’t want to know,” said the source.
Inmarsat then approached the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) with its data and it immediately recognized the significance.
The British satellite company was contracted to provide a data link to the Malaysian Airlines fleet and continued to get a signal every hour from MH370 till 8.19am Perth time.
Those signals were picked up from its satellite 38,000km above the Indian Ocean and were relayed via a ground station in Perth.
The Malaysian authorities were forced to take the findings seriously when the AAIB teamed with Inmarsat to represent the data around March 14 – five days after the Boeing 777 disappeared.
It also took days before the Malaysian military radar tracking data was made available. That data showed that MH370 had changed course and flown across Malaysia toward the Andaman Sea but the search continued in the South China Sea east of the country.
On March 16 the search was moved to the Southern Indian Ocean with the first aerial searches being conducted from Perth on March 18 – 10 days after the MH370 disappeared. Oceanographers agree that any chance of spotting a major debris field was lost.
After ten days much of the debris that would have initially floated would have become waterlogged and sunk or been broken up in the heavy seas.
And those seas and the prevailing currents would have spread the debris field far and wide.
There has been much debate about the Inmarsat satellite data which is the basis of the search in the Southern Indian Ocean. However, the world’s most respected air crash investigation units the US National Transportation Safety Board, the AAIB, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the French BEA, as well as Boeing and Rolls Royce agree on the validity of the data.
However, not everyone is convinced with a vocal critic being Sir Tim Clark President of Emirates the world’s largest international airline.
In a recent exclusive interview Mr Clark told AirlineRatings.com that he believes there is an international cover-up. He warned that there has not been “full transparency of everything that everybody knows.”
Source: Airline Ratings
Date: Dec 15, 2014