MH370 ‘plunged into ocean at high speed’

The Myanmar Times - - World -

DOOMED flight MH370 plunged into the ocean at high speed – up to 6000 me­tres a minute – a re­port said yes­ter­day, re­in­forc­ing anal­y­sis that the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines jet crashed in the cur­rent search zone.

The Boe­ing 777 dis­ap­peared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Bei­jing with 239 peo­ple on board.

An ex­ten­sive un­der­wa­ter hunt in the south­ern In­dian Ocean has not yet found the crash site, fu­elling spec­u­la­tion it may be out­side the cur­rent search zone, par­tic­u­larly if some­one was still at the con­trols be­fore im­pact.

A manned plane could have been glided down, al­low­ing it to en­ter the wa­ter out­side the 120,000-squarek­ilo­me­tre area be­ing searched, some ex­perts have sug­gested.

But ex­ten­sive test­ing by air­craft man­u­fac­turer Boe­ing and new Aus­tralian de­fence de­part­ment data anal­y­sis both sug­gest that re­gard­less of the pos­si­ble ac­tions of one or both of the pi­lots, the jet dived into the ocean at high speed, The Aus­tralian re­ported.

Once MH370 ran out of fuel and the en­gines flamed, it slowed be­fore plung­ing down to­ward the wa­ter in a se­ries of swoops – drop­ping from 10,000m at a rate of be­tween 3600m a minute and 6000m a minute, Boe­ing said, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The sharp dive was con­firmed by a new data anal­y­sis in­volv­ing sig­nals sent au­to­mat­i­cally be­tween the plane and a satel­lite, the head of the agency lead­ing the MH370 hunt said.

Aus­tralian Trans­port and Safety Bureau chief Greg Hood said this sup­ported the view that MH370 “was likely to have crashed in the 120,000-square-kilo­me­tre area now be­ing searched”, the pa­per said.

The area was de­fined un­der the ATSB’s “most likely” sce­nario that no one was at the con­trols and the plane ran out of fuel.

“The Aus­tralians lead­ing the search do not doubt that the pi­lot may well have been re­spon­si­ble for the jet’s dis­ap­pear­ance but they say crit­ics of the search strat­egy are wrong to as­sume that means they are look­ing in the wrong place,” the re­port added.

Malaysian of­fi­cials said last week one of the pi­lots used a home­made flight sim­u­la­tor to plot a course close to MH370’s pre­sumed fi­nal route, but warned this did not prove he de­lib­er­ately crashed the plane. –

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