A detailed report on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014, released by a safety investigation team Monday, failed to determine the cause behind the mishap and left many questions unanswered due to lack of evidence.
"It should be recognized that due to the significant lack of evidence available to the team, we are unable to determine with any certainties the reasons that the aircraft diverted from its filed flight plan route," Kok Soo Chon, head of the Malaysian International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team, said.
Missing evidence includes the information recorded in the flight data recorder, the cockpit voice recorder, and other recording devices on the aircraft that could indicate why it flew to the southern Indian Ocean, Kok said.
"In conclusion, the team is unable to determine the real cause for the disappearance of MH370," he said.
The 1,000-plus-page report, while reviewing several aspects ranging from airworthiness and maintenance to cargo assignment and wreckage information, said the probe team could not determine why the plane was diverted.
According to the report, examinations into the pilot and first officers found no abnormality, and all background checks on passengers came back clean.
It said "the change in flight path likely resulted from manual inputs."
"The possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded," Kok said.
Calling the disappearance of MH370 and the searches for it "unprecedented in commercial aviation history," the report said improvements must be undertaken to ensure that this type of event is identified as soon as possible.
Also, the international aviation community needs to provide assurance to the traveling public that the location of current-generation commercial aircraft is always known, it recommended.
Though Malaysia's Transport Minister Anthony Loke previously described it as the final and full report, Kok said the report is not final and is only about safety investigation to provide safety recommendations.