'No evidence that underwater locator beacon on MH370 was not functioning'
KUALA LUMPUR, March 23, 2015:
The expired battery of the underwater locator beacon (ULB) of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 is not the reason the aircraft remains undetected.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said even though the battery expired 14 months before the incident, there was no evidence to say the ULB on the aircraft was not functioning.
He said ULBs were installed on the two black boxes in the plane, namely the solid state flight data recorder (SSFDR) and the solid state cockpit voice recorder (SSCVR).
“Only the battery of the SSFDR ULB expired in December 2012, or about 14 months before the plane went missing.
“The battery on the SSCVR ULB was replaced according to schedule and the expiry date was June 2014,” he said when winding up the debate on his ministry on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Dewan Rakyat here today.
Liow said both SSFDR and SSCVR recorders were installed side by side on MH370 and in an accident, if one of the recorders was detected or found, there was a high possibility of finding the other recorder.
On March 8 last year, Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, disappeared from the radar while flying over South China Sea about one hour after departing Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am.
The Boeing 777-200ER jetliner was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.
On the Factual Information Safety Investigation on MH370 prepared by the Safety Investigation Team of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) issued on March 8, Liow said it was strictly factual and did not contain any analysis on the incident.
He said the investigation team was now making an analysis of the incident between 1.21am and 6am on the day of the incident and an analysis on that would be issued in the following report.
On MH17, which was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year, the government is firm on seeking justice for Malaysians who died and to take the parties concerned to justice.
Liow denied that the Malaysia government only acted as an observer in the investigation of the incident as Malaysia was also directly involved with several other countries in the probe led by the Netherlands.
Flight MH17 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.