Hijackers could have tampered with the cockpit of Missing Malaysia Airlines in an effort to avoid radar detection, aviation experts analysing a new Australian government agency report said on Monday.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a report detailing evidence of a power outage occurring on the plane less than 90 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
Investigators said that after the power outage, the Beijing- bound plane’s satellite data unit (SDU) attempted to log-on to a satellite in a process called a “handshake’’.
“A log-on request in the middle of a flight is not common and can occur for only a few reasons.
“An analysis was performed which determined that the characteristics and timing of the log-on requests were best matched as resulting from power interruption to the SDU,’’ the investigators said.
According to aviation expert, Peter Marosszeky from the University of New South Wales, the interruption of electrical power on board the plane could have been the work of hijackers.
“If there was a crew wanting to do something that was rather sinister or there were hijackers on board, they would remove power by opening up the bus-tie breakers and opening up the battery control switch.
“That way, the aircraft virtually loses all power to just about all systems except the engines.
“The engines have their own little computer and they have their own power source by a generator on the gearbox.”
“You can reset the power in some way, this way the aircraft would go dead as far as any satellite contact or any information being transmitted by transponder,’’ he said.
Aviation safety expert from Loughborough University, David Gleave told newsmen that power failure could be the result of tampering to minimise the use of the aircraft’s systems.
“A person could be messing around in the cockpit which would lead to a power interruption
“It could be a deliberate act to switch off both engines for some time and switch it on again when you need the other systems to fly the airplane,’’ Gleave said.
Report says MH370 airplane went missing on March 8, sparking an international search for the wreckage.