MH370News:2017/Day 1097

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Day 1097: Wednesday 8 March 2017

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News Summary

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on Saturday, 8 March 2014. Three years have elapsed.

The The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team released the third INTERIM STATEMENT SAFETY INVESTIGATION FOR MH370 (9M-MRO).

In Australia, the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester proposed a Memorial be built in Perth, Western Australia.

Media Statements

MH370—Third Anniversary

Media Release


08 March 2017

Today marks the third anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 239 passengers and crew from 14 different countries.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester today spoke at a National Memorial Service held for the families and friends of the seven passengers on board MH370 who called Australia home.

“Those on board MH370 will not be forgotten and our thoughts remain with their family and friends,” Mr Chester said.

“It has been an honour today to be joined by the loved ones who have suffered a great loss.

“The disappearance of MH370 is one of the great mysteries of our time and led to the largest search in aviation history.

“The Australian Government is proud to have taken a strong leadership role and led both the surface search in the southern Indian Ocean and the subsequent underwater search for the missing aircraft.”

Mr Chester also confirmed the Australian and Western Australian governments were working together to establish and install a permanent memorial in Perth honouring all on board MH370.

“I believe a permanent memorial would be an important way to honour everyone on board MH370 and a place of quiet reflection for family members and friends. My goal is to have it installed as soon as possible.”


MH370 National Memorial Service



08 March 2017

St John's Cathedral, Brisbane

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, can I acknowledge Sir Angus Houston, and Dean of Brisbane, Reverend Dr Peter Catt.

But most importantly I want to welcome you—the family and friends of those on board MH370.

Thank you for allowing me to represent the Australian Government.

I am honoured to play a small role in today's memorial, which brings together the family and friends of those on board MH370 who called Australia home, and representatives of the many people and organisations that were involved in the search for your loved ones.

Today we remember: Robert and Catherine Lawton; Rodney and Mary Burrows; Paul Weeks; and Yuan Li and Naijun Gu.

The third anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 finds us still without answers to the many questions you have.

While none of us can possibly understand the grief and suffering you have endured throughout those three years: I want to assure you that many people within our government have worked tirelessly on your behalf.

I have said on many occasions: the search for MH370 has been both historic and heroic.

It has been at the edge of technology and science and also tested human endurance in one of the most inhospitable regions in the world.

Just as you are desperate for answers, our team has tried to solve this mystery to provide some comfort to families and friends of all onboard.

Every family has suffered a great loss and we are honoured today to be joined by the Burrows, Lawton and Weeks families. Thank you for joining us.

My simple message today to all of the families of MH370 is that you have not been forgotten.

You have not been forgotten.

You and your loved ones remain in our thoughts and prayers.

We have used our best endeavours to try and bring the uncertainty to an end.

And while to date we have been unsuccessful, we remain hopeful that at some stage in the future, there will be a breakthrough, the aircraft will be found, and we will be able to answer more of your questions.

Can I thank Malaysia and China for their cooperation and friendship in this sad and difficult task.

I acknowledge that we are joined today by the High Commissioner of Malaysia, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China and the High Commissioner of New Zealand who also lost their citizens on MH370.

We grieve with you for the loss of your people and we thank you for the compassion that you have shown to us for the loss of our people.

I contacted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning and he extends his warm personal regards and a heartfelt thank you to families, friends and everyone directly involved in the search effort.

He has spoken to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib and reflected on the terrible loss, made worse by the unsolved mystery.

Prime Minister Turnbull sends his love and prayers to this gathering today.

When this event occurred, the Australian Government joined many other countries in immediately assisting Malaysia and responding to the event.

We have all worked together to try and find the aircraft, but more importantly all 239 passengers and crew from 14 different countries who were on board the flight.

The Australian Government took a strong leadership role and led both the surface search in the southern Indian Ocean and the subsequent underwater search.

25 other countries have assisted with the search, including New Zealand, China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States and numerous organisations and agencies from around the world.

It has involved the largest underwater search ever carried out, and in an area that had never been mapped before.

The search crew members I have spoken to have described severe sea conditions which have tested the limits of their equipment and endurance.

Sir Angus Houston will speak later this morning about the efforts of those involved in the search, however I would like to add my own simple: thank you.

On behalf of the Australian Government: Thank you to everyone who has played a role in this search effort.

I can only imagine the sadness and frustration that, despite the heroic efforts by countless experts and operational crews, our search and rescue teams have not been able to locate the aircraft at this stage.

Regrettably, today we are remembering those on board without being able to say we know where they are.

And while this is a sad occasion, we are here today to celebrate the lives of your family and friends.

We are here today to remember and honour the memory of:

  • Robert and Catherine Lawton and Rodney and Mary Burrows—good friends exploring together the wonders of another culture;
  • Paul Weeks on his way to Mongolia for work; and
  • Yuan Li and Naijun Gu who were travelling to see family and be reunited with their daughters.

I never had the pleasure of meeting any of them: but I have spoken to several family members and learnt a little about their lives.

They were loved, they were respected and today we join together to celebrate and remember them.

In that spirit of remembrance: and on this important day, I would like to share some information that I hope will be well received.

I can confirm that the Australian and Western Australian governments are working together to establish and install a permanent memorial in Perth honouring your loved ones and all on board MH370.

I believe this permanent memorial is an important way to honour the Australian citizens and residents, your family and friends, on board MH370, as well as all those on board from locations around the world.

My goal is have the memorial installed as soon as possible.

Ladies and gentleman: I am honoured to have been able to join you this morning.

I hope to talk with as many of you as I can at the morning tea following the service.

Thank you.



Channel 9 Today



08 March 2017

Subjects: Third anniversary—MH370 national memorial service

Karl Stefanovic: Exactly three years on and the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 remains a mystery. Today, the families of the seven Australians on that flight will be attending a service to remember their loved ones.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester is at the church in Brisbane where the service is taking place. Minister, good morning to you. Still a really tough time for families.

Darren Chester: Yes, good morning Karl. You're right, it's three years to the day and this will be an important service. It will be a chance for the families and friends to gather together, to pay their respects, to remember those who have been lost on MH370. We need to keep in mind there were seven people who called Australia home amongst the 239 passengers and crew. So it will be a sad day. But I've also spoken to some of the family members in the last couple of months and they've indicated it will be a bit of a celebration too of the lives of their loved ones.

Karl Stefanovic: What's the most common thing they say amongst each other?

Darren Chester: Well the family members that I've spoken to are frustrated and disappointed with the lack of answers after three years. They were very hopeful that we would be able to find the wreckage and be able provide them with some more answers to the questions that they obviously have. We have been successful, I guess, in locating three pieces of debris that have been confirmed as coming from MH370. Another four pieces almost certainly have come from MH370, but don't have that identifying serial number on them. But, I mean, it is a challenging time for the family members, they've had three years of not knowing the final answers, not knowing the resting place of their loved ones and it's a challenging time for them. But I think the memorial service today will be a good event in that regard, allowing people to get together and reflect on their loved ones and share some memories, but it doesn't change the fact that there's still a lot of questions left to be answered.

Karl Stefanovic: The victims' families have launched a campaign to fund a private search for the aircraft. Is that something the Government will be supporting?

Darren Chester: Well supporting in the sense, Karl, that we'll certainly provide the information that we've already gathered over the 120,000 square kilometre search area. So that information will be available to anyone who decides to conduct a further search. We've got to keep in mind, Karl, this is a very challenging area to search. We're talking about a section of ocean which is 2600 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia, we're talking about ocean depths in excess of 4 kilometres, up to 6 kilometres deep. It takes very specialised equipment to undertake that type of search effort. So I'm not going to stand here today and tell people they shouldn't be conducting further searches or supporting a private fundraising effort, but it would be a very challenging search for the private sector to take on by itself.

Karl Stefanovic: Yeah and let's hope everyone can wrap their arms around that family today. It will be very difficult and then hopefully, as you said, also a celebration for them today. Our thoughts are with them.

Thank you very much for your time today, appreciate it.

Darren Chester: Thank you for your time, Karl.





The Malaysian ICAO
Annex 13 Safety
Investigation Team for MH370



  1. This 3rd Interim Statement[1] has been prepared under Chapter 6, paragraph 6 of ICAO[2] Annex 13 to provide information on the progress of the investigation on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, registered as 9M-MRO pending the completion of the Final Report as required under ICAO Annex 13.

  3. The Beijing-bound international scheduled passenger flight, with a total of 239 persons (227 passengers and 12 crew) on board, departed KL International Airport (KLIA) at 1642 UTC on 07 March 2014 [0042 MYT on 08 March 2014].Less than 40 minutes after take-off, communications with the aircraft was lost after passing waypoint[3] IGARI.

  5. As a Contracting State of ICAO and in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, and under Regulation 126(1)[4] of the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR), on 25 April 2014, Malaysia established an independent international Air Accident Investigation Team, known as ‘The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370’ (the “Team”) to investigate the disappearance of flight MH370. The Team, headed by the Investigator-in-Charge, comprises 19 Malaysians and 7 AccreditedRepresentatives of 7 safety investigation authorities[5] from 7 countries.

  7. On 08 March 2015, the 1st Interim Statement and the Factual Information on the Safety Investigation for MH370 were released[6] to the public on the first anniversary of the disappearance of MH370.

  9. On 08 March 2016, the 2nd Interim Statement was released to the public on the second anniversary of the disappearance of MH370.

  11. To-date, the main wreckage of MH370 has still not been found despite the almost 3-years search in the South Indian Ocean which has been suspended on 17 January 2017. However, a right flaperon was recovered in the French island of Réunion on 29 July 2015 which was later determined to have been a part of the MH370 aircraft. Further tests on the flaperon were conducted by the French Judicial Authority, including floatation test and a study on the barnacles found on the debris.

  13. Following the recovery of the flaperon more than 20 other floating components and debris possibly from MH370, have been found as far north as the eastern coast of Tanzania and far south as the eastern coast of South Africa. This is in addition to several islands and island nations off the east coast of the African continent. Of these, other than the flaperon, a part of the right outboard flap and a section of the left outboard flap were also confirmed to be from MH370. A few other pieces of debris were determined to be almost certain from MH370 which included some cabin interior items. A listing of these items can be found at the websites of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) Malaysia and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia:

  15. Damage examination on the recovered part of the right outboard flap, together with the damage found on the right flaperon has led to the conclusion that the flaps were most likely in the retracted position. Recovery of the cabin interior debris suggests that the aircraft was likely to have broken up. However, there is insufficient information to determine if the aircraft broke up in the air or during impact with the ocean. Details of this examination can be found at the ATSB’s website:


  16. At the time of writing of this Statement, additional parts are still being found along the coasts of south-east Africa. Examination of these items is continuing.

  18. Based on available information, the Team is presently working towards finalising its analysis, findings/conclusions and safety recommendations on eight relevant areas associated with the disappearance of flight MH370. New information that may become available before the completion of the Final Report may alter these analysis, findings/conclusions and safety recommendations.

  20. The eight areas being reviewed by the Team are as follows:
    • a) Diversion from Filed Flight Plan Route;
    • b) Air Traffic Services Operations;
    • c) Flight Crew Profile;
    • d) Airworthiness & Maintenance and Aircraft Systems;
    • e) Satellite Communications;
    • f) Wreckage and Impact Information;
    • g) Organisation and Management Information of the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines; and
    • h) Aircraft Cargo Consignment.

  22. It should be recognised that, with the aircraft wreckage and flight recorders still not found, there is a significant lack of vital evidence available to the Team to determine with any certainty the reasons that the aircraft diverted from its filed flight plan route. However, despite the limitations in available evidence, the investigation has identified several key issues within the civil aviation system that can be improved to enhance safety into the future.

  24. Following the 17 January 2017 MH370 Ministerial Tripartite Communiqué’s decision to suspend the underwater search for the aircraft, a Final Report on the disappearance of MH370 will be made publicly available in the months ahead.



The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370
08 March 2017


  1. If the report cannot be made publicly available within twelve months, the State conducting the investigation shall make an interim statement publicly available on each anniversary of the occurrence, detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues raised.
  2. ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialised agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel. The Convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration and safety, and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. Today, there are 191 Contracting States in ICAO.
  3. Waypoint - A specified geographical location used to define an area navigation route or the flight path of an aircraft employing area navigation. Waypoints are identified as either:
    Fly-by waypoint - A waypoint which requires turn anticipation to allow tangential interception of the next segment of a route or procedure, or
    Fly-over waypoint – A waypoint at which a turn is initiated in order to join the next segment of a route or procedure.
  4. For the purpose of carrying out an investigation into the circumstances and cause of any accident to which these Regulations apply, the Minister shall appoint persons as Inspectors of Air Accidents, one of whom shall be appointed by him as a Chief Inspector of Air Accidents.
  5. Air Accident and Incident Investigation Organisations:
    • Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) of Australia,
    • Civil Aviation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CAAC),
    • Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité d l’aviation civile (BEA) of France,
    • National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) of Indonesia,
    • Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) of Singapore (formerly Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB)),
    • Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of United Kingdom, and
    • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of United States of America.
  6. The 1st Interim Statement and the Factual Information and the 2nd Interim Statement remain available on the websites of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) Malaysia and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia:

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