Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Raw Satellite Data Released, Families Not Convinced

Nearly three-months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared from the face of the earth, the Malaysian government is releasing raw satellite data on the final path the doomed airliner took on March 8 while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian government has been heavily criticized by family members of the 239 lost passengers on board Flight MH370, for what they say is lack of transparency concerning the search efforts. Contentious encounters took place when officials gave daily briefings during the first days, following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. After months of speculation as to what could have possibly have happened to make the pilots — or someone else — divert the plane, originally supposed to land in Beijing, China, the Malaysian government has released a 45-page report containing raw satellite data on MH370’s final hours.

On Tuesday, partly in response to continuous pressure from family members, the government provided additional information regarding the conclusion that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 met its end in the southern Indian Ocean, off the coast of Perth, Australia, even though not one piece of physical evidence has been unearthed by search crews.

Independent agencies will attempt to recreate the events that led to the disappearance of Flight MH370 and the conclusion that the wreckage lays somewhere in the waters west of Australia, however, at least one expert has said that the data “failed to include needed assumptions, algorithms, and metadata”, while others say there is little new information.

An Australian report suggests the analysis of the final “ping” between the aircraft and the satellite indicated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 ran out of fuel and crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Relatives of the Chinese passengers on board have been some of the most outspoken critics of the Malaysian government. The families have accused Malaysia’s government of not releasing critical information in a timely fashion and even concealing it, which has led to conspiracy theories about the reason for the change in course, however, officials — who struggled to put out information in the early days — say it has been transparent, calling the disappearance of Flight MH370 “an unprecedented situation.”

The international investigative team — led by Malaysia — concluded that “the jet flew south after it was last spotted on Malaysian military radar and ended up in the southern Indian Ocean off western Australia. This conclusion is based on complex calculations derived largely from brief hourly transmissions between the plane and a communications satellite,” according to Yahoo News.

A group representing the passengers’ families posted a statement on Facebook following the release of the raw satellite data:

“Finally, after almost three months, the Inmarsat raw data is released to the public. Hope this is the original raw data and can be used to potentially ‘think out of the box’ to get an alternative positive outcome.”

Even though, the families score this as a small victory in their quest to find answers as to what happened to their loved ones, some are still critical of the Malaysian government.

“We are not experts and we cannot analyze the raw data, but we need to see the deduction process and judge by ourselves if every step was solid,” Steve Wang, whose mother was on the plane, said. “We still need to know where the plane is and what is the truth. We know the likelihood that our beloved ones have survived is slim, but it is not zero.”

Families of passengers of Malaysia Flight MH370 are clearly not taking the word of the government as fact, as the massive search for the missing airliner takes a break while new technology arrives to aid with the efforts to find, something, anything, that will lead to locating the wreckage of the most puzzling airline tragedy of all time.

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