MH370 disappearance still a mystery, says official probe report

A woman writes messages on a banner for missing flight MH370

A major new report on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has dismissed one of the most pervasive - and horrific - theories for why the plane went missing: that a suicidal pilot may have crashed the jet on objective.

The findings, released yesterday by the Malaysian government, stated that the Beijing-bound aircraft's sudden change of course 37 minutes after it took off from Kuala Lumpur was "difficult to attribute" to a system failure.

In what could be its final word on the matter, the government of Malaysia said Monday it's been unable to reach a definitive conclusion about what happened to a jetliner full of people that vanished four years ago. The report noted that air traffic controllers who were monitoring the flight didn't follow procedures and failed to watch radar displays as required. No one survived the flight, which was carrying passengers of 14 nationalities... The government will also conduct a "thorough investigation" and punish those found guilty of any misconduct, he said.

Malaysia's newly elected prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Malaysia would consider resuming the search only if new clues come to light.

The report said that it is hard to attribute the change in direction to a system failure, and it is "more likely that such maneuvers are due to the systems being manipulated".

The largely technical 400-page report also said "the team does not exclude the possibility of intervention by a third party".

"We are not of the opinion that it could be an event committed by the pilot", Kok told a media briefing.

Scattered pieces of debris have washed ashore on beaches in Africa and Indian Ocean islands, indicating a remote stretch of the ocean where the plane probably crashed.

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A search carried out by Malaysia, Australia, and China, covered 710,000 square kilometers.

Family members of those on board the plane said after a briefing by the investigation team that they were frustrated because there were many gaps in the probe and questions left unanswered.

According to a liveblog of proceedings by The Guardian, Kok: "There were two psychiatrists in my team and they were responsible for examining the audio recordings of the pilot and they concluded there was no anxiety and no stress in the recording, it was just normal, and they also recorded the footage from CCTV. they didn't find any significant behavioral changes".

Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother was on board, said on Facebook: "Ladies and gentlemen, after 4.5 years of investigation the conclusion.is: 1".

Kok added that while some of the evidence strongly suggested "unlawful interference" - such as proving that the plane's turn-back was a deliberate action - he also recalled that no terrorist group had claimed responsibility for MH370's disappearance.

The "rogue pilot" theory still arises in public discussions despite Malaysian authorities saying there was no evidence linking Zaharie or his co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, to any wrongdoing.

Police didn't find any data that showed a similar route flown by Flight 370 and concluded that there were "no unusual activities other than game-related flight simulations", Kok said. Boeing has such technology to foil plane hijacking but hasn't used it on any commercial planes, he added.

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