Families of the MH370 disaster have called on the Malaysian Government to keep open its “no find, no fee” offer for the discovery of the wreckage of the missing plane.
High-tech seabed survey group Ocean Infinity conducted the last search on a no-find, no fee basis and stood to pocket up to $US70 million if it found the wreckage.
However, a sweep of almost 120,000 sq, kms of seabed thought most likely to contain the wreckage using sophisticated autonomous underwater vehicles failed to find the missing plane.
“We call upon Malaysia to stay committed to the search for MH370 and to announce that they remain open to proposals from Ocean Infinity or other capable entities on “no find, no fee” terms or any other ideas that improves (sic) on this,’’ family group Voice370 said in a statement issued Monday.
Voice370 also renewed a call on the Malaysian government to release all available data on the accident to independent experts, particularly in relations to military radar, for “a thorough peer review and analysis”.
Military and civilian primary radar was able to track Boeing 777 immediately after communication ceased in 2014 and is it performed a series of turns over the Malaysian peninsula. Contact was lost before the plane turned towards the Southern Indian Ocean and was lost with 239 passengers and crew on board.
“We believe that after 4.5 years since MH370 disappeared, there is no reason to continue to withhold data when its probative value far outweighs any prejudicial effect,’’ the group said
The families expressed their dismay at the way the report was framed and criticised subsequent actions by the plane’s manufacturer, Boeing.
The lengthy Annex 13 report stirred controversy by suggesting a third party could have could have unlawfully interfered with the plane after take-off to shut down communications and make a series of turns across the Malaysian Penninsula.
The report confirmed that the plane was flown manually when it made the maneuvers, something pilots and other experts have been saying consistently. But the most likely candidate has been seen as one of the pilots, probably Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
Investigators failed to provide any evidence of a third party other than to say none of its checks showed anything amiss with Captain Zaharie and his first officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid.
Boeing argued after the report was made public that it supported its argument to dismiss dozens of lawsuits brought in the US on behalf of families of the passengers.
US website law.com said the planemaker’s lawyers argued that the investigators “could posit no plausible defect or system failure that would have the aircraft operating as it did” and that they concluded key portions of the event could only have resulted from human input.
Voice370 acknowledged in a statement the work of the MH370 Annex 13 team in dealing with an unprecedented aviation incident without wreckage of flight recorders.
“The MH370 families are, however, dismayed that the report was so poorly framed that it became open to opportunistic interpretations,’’ the statement said, adding that it neither favored nor ruled out in-flight system malfunction, on-board catastrophic events or human intervention.
“Boeing, for example, that has been silent for 4.5 years wasted no time in absolving themselves of the blame in spite of the fact that the report specially mentions that lack of evidence precluded the investigation from definitely eliminating any possibility.
“Furthermore, the French authority mentions repeatedly in their report that their investigations on the flaperon had been hampered by an absence of data from Boeing.’’