The Malaysian government released its first comprehensive report on the MH370 flight, which mysteriously disappeared a year ago today.
The report revealed that the battery of the underwater locator beacon for the plane's data recorder had expired more than a year before the plane vanished on March 8, 2014. Apart from this one peculiarity, the report doesn’t shed light on any other glitch that may have led to a crash, detailing instead the normality of the plane.
The battery's expiration date may have reduced the searchers’ chances to locate the aircraft in the Indian Ocean where it is supposed to have vanished, even if they were in its vicinity. This battery, along with the one on the locator beacon, records and stores all cockpit conversations and flight data leading up to the end of the flight.
The battery's expiration and its role in the plane's disappearance cannot be overstated, as its primary operation was to record information.
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“The sole objective of the investigation is the prevention of future accidents or incidents, and not for the purpose to apportion blame or liability,” said the report.
The aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014, after air traffic control lost communication with the flight. The aircraft was spotted one last time on the radar at 01:21:04, as it flew over the Gulf of Thailand. Nine seconds later, at 01:21:13, MH370 disappeared from the radar screen. A multinational search effort began in the waters of the Gulf of Thailand, and was later extended to the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea.
Despite massive human and monetary efforts, there's little clue about where the plane actual is – much less why it went down.
"The lack of answers and definitive proof – such as aircraft wreckage – has made this more difficult to bear," Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak said in a statement.