Ridiculed by some sections of the media, Australia’s crash investigator and its international partners have done an outstanding job in calculating the most likely location of MH370 as a new search begins.
Labelled as bungling Canberra bureaucrats by some media, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is, in fact, one of world’s most highly respected air crash agencies and the new search team is going to where it says MH370 is most likely located.
And it has not been searching for MH370 alone.
When an aircraft has an accident, international law requires that many parties are involved – namely the maker of the plane, its engines and the respective countries’ crash investigators.
In this case, it involved Boeing, which builds the 777; Rolls- Royce which makes the engines on the Malaysia Airlines models; the US National Transportation Safety Board and air accidents investigation bodies from the UK, Malaysia, and China.
China is involved because MH370 was a code-share flight with China Southern which is why there were 153 Chinese aboard.
Assisting has been the Thales Group of France, makers of the satellite that tracked MH 370; Inmarsat, the satellite the operator; the CSIRO; Geoscience Australia and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group.
Continual unjustified criticism of the ATSB in such a high profile case does enormous damage not only to that agency but Australia’s standing in the world – particularly in aviation.
According to one of the world’s most respected crash investigators with the NTSB and now noted aviation commentator Gregory Feith, Australia’s performance in the leading the search has been great.
“The Malaysians were out of their depth with MH370 and were lucky Australia took over,” Mr Feith told AirlineRatings.com last year.
And the continual criticism of the ATSB has been agony for the relatives who have been on the most torturous roller coaster ride.
Of course, the muddling by the Malaysian Government since this tragedy started 1,415 days ago has been fuelled the tsunami of conspiracy theories.
But finding MH370 in the next few weeks will not stop the doubters.
Even the recovery of the black boxes may not give total closure.
It is likely that MH370 will always be aviation’s Mary Celeste.