The Curious loss of MH370

A previous post concerned a Western Australian Court ruling regarding a passenger on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

In March 2014 Danica Weeks drove her husband Paul to Perth International Airport where he boarded a flight to Kuala Lumpur. They were married in November 2007 and had two sons. Paul was an engineer who was travelling to a new job in Mongolia.

Paul boarded the flight to Kuala Lumpur. He had a ticket for onward legs to Beijing on Malaysia Airlines MH370 and thence to Ulaanbaatar by Mongolian Airlines. Paul sent an email to Danica from Kuala Lumpur confirming the onward trip.

Paul Boarded Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to Beijing, the flight disappeared, and there has been no trace since of any person on board that aircraft.

Danica sought leave to swear to the death of Paul in order to apply for letters of administration. It has been reported that Paul did not have a valid Will

In this situation there is no direct evidence of Paul’s death therefore Danica cannot swear an oath to the death of the deceased. However Paul’s death may be presumed to have taken place. This presumption may arise:

“….from his having been on board a ship, which, from its non-arrival in port within a reasonable time, from the absence of tidings of any of those on board, and from other circumstances, is supposed to have been lost at sea; and similarly in the case of a missing or totally destroyed aeroplane.”

Danica swore an affidavit deposing that she and Paul were married. It attached the email from her husband confirming the onward flight. It further deposed that she identified a photo of her husband taken from CCTV footage at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport screening point adjacent to the boarding lounge for MH370.

The Court was satisfied that Paul boarded MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport around midnight on 7-8 March 2014.

Although on strict analysis much of the material in the affidavit might be considered to be hearsay the disappearance of MH370 is so notorious the Court believes it has disappeared and there is now no hope of survivors. All those aboard must be presumed to be dead.

The disappearance of MH 370 has been described as “one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation history”As of October 2017, only twenty pieces of debris believed to be from MH370 had been recovered from beaches in the western Indian Ocean.

Early this week an investigative report, prepared by a 19-member international team was released. After considering every conspiracy theory, rumour and piece of gossip on social media investigators into the disappearance of MH370 concluded the cause of the disappearance could not be determined until the wreckage and the plane’s black boxes were found.

The pilot and first officer were well-rested and not under apparent financial, emotional or psychological stresshowever some evidence that “points irresistibly to unlawful interference, such as the communications ceasing and the manual turn back” and said several times that “unlawful interference” could not be ruled out.

The investigation concluded that the plane’s disappearance wasn’t due to a mechanical or computer malfunction. A system malfunction alone couldn’t account for sudden shifts in the direction of the plane.

“The change in flight path probably resulted from manual inputs … No matter what we do, we cannot exclude the possibility of a third person or third party or unlawful interference.”

He added that they were not ruling out any possibility.

Danica Weeks said an offer to fly her to the briefing gave her too little notice for a mother-of-two with a full-time job and pets.

“Unfortunately I’m not there today. A few of us, international families, have been unable to make it in that time frame so I’m very angry about that,”

 

 

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