MH370: Mysterious Power Outage, a Sabotage to Avoid Military Radar

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By Athena Yenko | July 1, 2014 8:25 AM EST

A mysterious power outage, which happened within 90 minutes from the time that MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur, is believed to have been done deliberately by someone in an attempt to hide from military radar.

REUTERS/Malaysian Transport Mi
A map shows the possible path of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as released to Reuters by the Malaysian Transport Ministry May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Malaysian Transport Ministry/Handout via Reuters

According to the 64-page report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that was released on June 26, MH370 made a surprising "logon" request to a satellite less than 90 minutes after it took off from Kuala Lumpur.

"A logon request in the middle of a flight is not common. An analysis was performed which determined that the characteristics and timing of the logon requests were best matched as resulting from power interruption," the ATSB report stated.

According to the report, this seventh satellite "handshake" is important because it was the last communications that MH370 had with the satellite.

The "logon" request or "handshake" emerged to have been caused by a power outage that ATSB said was probably caused by fuel exhaustion.

"The signal was a logon request from the aircraft. This is consistent with the satellite communication equipment on the aircraft powering up following a power interruption. The interruption in electrical supply is highly likely to have been caused by fuel exhaustion," ATSB said.

ATSB said it is confident that the seventh handshake represents the area where the aircraft ran out of fuel before entering the ocean.

However, aviation experts were one in saying that the power interruption hinted that someone in the cockpit was trying to curtail the use of the aircrafts' system in an attempt to avoid military radar.

"A person could be messing around in the cockpit which would lead to a power interruption," he said. "It could be a deliberate act to switch off both engines for some time. By messing about within the cockpit you could switch off the power temporarily and switch it on again when you need the other systems to fly the aeroplane," David Gleave, an aviation safety expert from Loughborough University, told The Telegraph.

"There are credible mechanical failures that could cause it. But you would not then fly along for hundreds of miles and disappear in the Indian Ocean," Gleave added.

"It does appear there was a power failure on those two occasions. It is another little mystery. We cannot explain it. We don't know why. We just know it did it," Chris McLaughlin, from Inmarsat said.

Peter Marosszeky, from the University of New South Wales explained that someone must have intended the power interruption because for power to be interrupted without an entire power failure, someone had only removed power from selected systems on the plane.

"It would have to be a deliberate act of turning power off on certain systems on the aeroplane. The aircraft has so many backup systems. Any form of power interruption is always backed up by another system. The person doing it would have to know what they are doing. It would have to be a deliberate act to hijack or sabotage the aircraft."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Malaysian Transport Mi / )
A map shows the possible path of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as released to Reuters by the Malaysian Transport Ministry May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Malaysian Transport Ministry/Handout via Reuters
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