Expert independent investigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 say that data logs in the final report issued in late July are not complete and have been modified.
According to Victor Iannello, who leads the Independent Group investigating the MH370 mystery, fellow members Don Thompson and Richard Godfrey “have found some anomalies in the message logs that were included in factual information released by Malaysia on March 8, 2014, and the Safety Investigation Report released by Malaysia on July 30”.
The IG, which brings together experts from scientific disciplines, has worked extensively with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau on MH370’s disappearance.
The logs from the two reports document the communication between MAS Operations Dispatch Centre and service providers that route messages over Satcom and VHF paths as part of the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.
The ACARS then prints a message in the cockpit.
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“The anomalies suggest the traffic logs appearing in the reports are not complete and what appears in the reports has been modified,” Mr Iannello said.
Specifically, an urgent message from MAS ODC was submitted at 18.03 UTC, then retransmitted multiple times but the last message sent to the aircraft has the wrong time, suggesting either the explanatory text in the final report is wrong or the traffic logs do not contain all the message traffic.
However, Mr Iannello said the facts surrounding the ACARS traffic log “are more suspicious, with the filter parameters used to generate the remaining pages (after page one) of the report changed so that VHF messages, if any occurred, were excluded”.
“The change in filter parameters and the repeated messages are clear evidence that the traffic log in the SIR is actually two reports that were pieced together and presented as a single report,” Mr Iannello said, adding that “in the ACARS traffic log in the SIR, the last line of the text message that was sent by MAS ODC at 18.03.23 appears to have been edited”.
“It is disappointing that more than four years after MH370’s disappearance, we are still asking Malaysia to release withheld data,” he said.
“The military radar data is another example of a dataset that has never been released in full, despite its significance in providing information about how the aircraft was flown after the diversion from the flight plan.
“It is important that Malaysia provide a complete, unmodified log of all ACARS communications on Satcom, VHF and HF paths. This is significant in light of questions surrounding the delayed response of Malaysian authorities after MH370 went missing.”