France Reopens MH370 Investigation, Claims of Malaysian Cover-Up

August 9, 2018 Updated: August 9, 2018

France has reopened the investigation of MH370, after Malaysia was accused of a cover-up after releasing its final report (pdf) on July 30. It gave no explanation for the disappearance of the 242 foot long aircraft and the 239 lost souls aboard.

France is the only country now trying to uncover this mystery. Due to the four French citizens who were on board MH370, France is allowed to conduct their own investigations. Air Transport Gendarmerie, a branch of the national police force, is conducting the investigation. They plan on verifying the transmitted data to understand the route that the aircraft eventually took, Le Parisien reported.

Voice 370, the group of the victims’ families, accused the Malaysian government of withholding data and information. The data on the military radar was said to be of primary importance in tracking the flight route, Loop Samoa reported.

The Cover-Up

What adds to the suspicion of a cover-up is the legislation of Act 765 (2015) (pdf). It allows the administrator of Malaysia Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS) to postpone any legal action (moratorium) for a minimum of 12-months and a maximum of 24-months from the year 2015.

Voice 370 tweeted a document in response to the Malaysian government’s protection of MAS, saying that by postponing legal actions, MAS can successfully transition into their new name Maylasia Airlines Berhad (MAB) and avoid giving compensation by moving all wealth and assets into a new name, making the lawsuit pointless. Voice 370 accused MAS of using Act 765 as a way of shielding themselves from being sued by anyone inside or outside of the country and they criticized the Malaysian government for helping them.

They claimed that selective payments were made to people the MAS or Malaysian government deemed to be relevant, but none of those people were the victims’ families. They concluded that since MAS was able to avoid responsibility, the Malaysian government was going to do what it could to end the investigation.

The French March On

In spite of the final report and what Le Parisien called, the Malaysian government’s ”imprecise” and ”ambiguous” conclusions, the French continue to investigate.

When Flight MH370 diverted from the planned route, both civilian and military radars saw the aircraft turning slightly to the right first and then to the left toward Peninsular Malaysia, followed by another right turn afterward.

The French hypothesized that the voluntary turns the aircraft took may be an indication that when they flew past Kota Bharu International Airport and Penang Island International Airport, they could have been trying to land due to damage. It is also possible that they may have suffered a major power failure that resulted in a loss of communication, Le Parisien reported.

Attempts to contact the aircraft before the disappearance failed, communications were lost 40 minutes after takeoff.

The MH370’s transponder signal also disappeared from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) display, while the transponder signals of other aircraft were still able to be seen.

Radio communication was also lost. “Good Night Malaysian Three Seven Zero” was the last message spoken by the Pilot-In-Command (PIC), but he didn’t relay back the assigned frequency—which goes against the protocol of radio communication. The voice transmission showed no signs of stress, fear, or anxiety.

One finding concluded that the possibility of a malfunctioning communication systems (transponder and radio) cannot be ruled out, but because of the lack of evidence available, there are three possible conclusions. The most likely causes of a loss in communication are: the systems being manually turned off, a power interruption, or the VHF and HF radios intentionally or unintentionally not being used.

Malaysia also couldn’t confirm whether the aircraft was flown by someone other than the pilots. Repeated flight simulations have determined that the turns were likely done manually and not via autopilot.

Xavier Tytelman, a French aviation expert and aeronautical consultant, said that a slow depressurization can go unnoticed by the pilots. Slow depressurization causes a loss a of oxygen, which slowly leads everyone into a coma and finally a crash.

When the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) surface search was done, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) conducted an underwater search that spanned 120,000 square kilometers. After spending approximately $150 million on searching for the main body of MH370 aircraft, nothing was ever found.

The ATSB released their own report (pdf) on the incident, a year before Malaysia released their final report.

“The reasons for the loss of MH370 cannot be established with certainty until the aircraft is found,” stated the report, “It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era … 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.”