Two years after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, answers remain elusive with international investigators yet to arrive at a conclusion over what happened to the jet.
The Boeing 777-200ER plane vanished from radar screens shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, early on March 8, 2014, becoming one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
The international team looking into the aircraft’s disappearance said in a statement released on Tuesday that it was still reviewing key information.
“At this time, the team is continuing to work towards finalising its analysis, findings, conclusions and safety recommendations on eight relevant areas associated with the disappearance of flight MH370 based on relevant information,” lead investigator Kok Soo Choon said on state television.
The team is led by Malaysia and includes investigators from the United States, Britain, China, France and Australia.
Investigators believe the plane, with 239 passengers and crew on board, was flown thousands of kilometres off course before crashing into the ocean off Australia.
Wreckage and impact information were being considered based on the discovery of a wing part, known as a flaperon, in July last year, the team said.
The flaperon, washed up on Reunion off Madagascar, has been the only confirmed piece of wreckage from the aircraft to be found, though Malaysia is investigating two new pieces of debris found in Mozambique and Reunion.
The team said the eight areas being looked into included the plane’s diversion from its flight plan, crew profiles, airworthiness and maintenance of the aircraft, as well as its cargo consignment.
Some 120,000 square kilometres of the sea floor is being scoured at a cost of about $124m.
The team said a full report of its work would only be released in the event that wreckage of the aircraft is found or the search ended, whichever comes first.
A flaperon from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER washed ashore in Saint-Andre de la Reunion on eastern Reunion island [EPA]
Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement that the search was expected to be completed later this year, and he remained hopeful that the aircraft would be found.
“If it is not, then Malaysia, Australia and China will hold a tripartite meeting to determine the way forward,” Reuters news agency reported Razak as said.
Families of those on board say the search must go on beyond a June deadline.
Investigators said in a report released a year ago that there was nothing suspicious in the financial, medical or personal histories of pilots or crew.[Source: Al-Jazeera]