“It's without precedent. How can a modern jet airliner just disappear?”Since 7:24 on the morning of March 8th, when the governing body of Malaysia Airlines released a statement announcing it had lost contact with a Boeing 777 bound for Beijing, the world – aviation experts, computer scientists, and the public alike – has been asking the same question. Flying conditions were almost perfect: minimal wind and cloud forecast along the six-hour flightpath, and in the cockpit, a 30-year veteran of the airline with more than 18,000 hours of flying experience and an unblemished record of service. But with fingers being pointed at Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, and suspicions surrounding the emergency response yet unappeased, this incisive report goes straight to the source. In their first television interview, the family of the arraigned pilot speak candidly about the fallout of the tragedy, and in an exclusive one-on-one interview, the country's embattled Defence Minister offers his view on the mysterious disappearance. With never-before-heard testimony, this doc offers a rare insight into a matter clouded by speculation. “If I did shoot it down, you'd be the first to say, 'How can you shoot down a commercial airline?' I'd be in a worse position, probably.”
"It's without precedent. How can a modern jet airliner just disappear?"
The truth is Flight MH370 didn't just disappear...
Next on Four Corners reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna forensically charts what happened in the minutes and hours after the Boeing 777 aircraft stopped communicating with authorities on the ground. The program raises many crucial questions about what went wrong with the emergency response and reveals new information about the sequence of events that night.
Travelling to Malaysia, Meldrum-Hanna speaks to the family of the pilot and prime suspect, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, in their first television interview.
On the 8th March 2014 at 7:24am (Malaysia time), Malaysia Airlines released a statement revealing it had lost contact with a Boeing jet airliner, Flight MH370. But at the time this announcement was made, MH370 was actually still flying. The world didn't know that MH370 had slipped through the watch of multiple authorities on the ground.
The question is: with so many people on board, how could this happen?
In a one-on-one interview, Four Corners asks Malaysia's Defence Minister, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, to explain who is responsible for the loss of MH370 and the challenges involved in this unprecedented tragedy. The interview is revealing.
If the Malaysian Government is unwilling to accept responsibility for what happened, the program speaks to others who want officials to be held accountable. Asked about the mistakes made during the search, one former Malaysian Defence Force officer is clear what the country's current military leaders should do:
"I think they should leave the service for other people to serve the country."
LOST: MH370, reported by Caro Meldrum-Hanna and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 19th May at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 20th May at 11.00am and 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.