MH370's Black Box Battery Expired a Year Before Crash

584-page report says everything else was normal
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2015 7:00 AM CDT
MH370's Black Box Battery Expired a Year Before Crash
Relatives of passengers of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing on March 8, 2014, in Beijing, Sunday, March 8, 2015. The T-shirt reads: "Tell me the truth, where is MH370?"   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared a year ago today, and investigators have put out an exhaustive, 584-page report to mark that anniversary describing what the AP calls "the complete normality of the flight." The biggest takeaway seems to be that the battery to the locator beacon to one of the plane's black boxes had expired a year before the disappearance; that would have complicated searchers' efforts had they even been close to the wreckage. "Once beyond the expiry date, the (battery's) effectiveness decreases so it may operate, for a reduced time period until it finally discharges," the report said. While it could have functioned past its December 2012 expiration, "it is not guaranteed that it will work or that it would meet the 30-day minimum requirement." But the battery in the cockpit voice recorder was functioning, per the report.

"The sole objective of the investigation is the prevention of future accidents or incidents, and not for the purpose to apportion blame or liability," the report said. It detailed the personal lives of crew, per the Wall Street Journal, saying "there were no behavioral signs of social isolation, change in habits or interest, self-neglect, drug or alcohol abuse of the captain, first officer and the cabin crew." Financial profiles of the crew, the plane's maintenance and communications systems, and weather patterns were all detailed as normal. Family members of the missing marked the anniversary with services and vows to keep looking. "It is important to highlight to the public that we still don't have any answers and that we must pursue the search," says the daughter of a passenger. (More Flight 370 stories.)

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