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Where was the pilot when Malaysia Airlines 370 crashed?

Where was the pilot when Malaysia Airlines 370 crashed?

In a new report on the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, evidence is pointing to the fact that nobody was at the plane’s controls when it smashed into the Indian Ocean.

In a technical report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the theory that that no one was at the controls of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 when it ran out of fuel and dove at high speed into a remote patch of the Indian Ocean off western Australia in 2014 is supported by several factors.

For one thing, if someone was still controlling the Boeing 777 at the end of its flight, the aircraft could have glided much farther, tripling in size the possible area where it could have crashed. Also satellite data indicates that the aircraft was traveling at a “high and increasing rate of descent” at the last moments it was airborne.

The report also said that an analysis of a wing flap that washed ashore in Tanzania indicates the flap was likely not deployed when it broke off the plane. A pilot would typically extend the flaps during a controlled ditching.


The report’s release comes as a team of international and Australian experts begin a three-day summit in Canberra to re-examine all the data associated with the hunt for the plane, which vanished during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

More than 20 items of debris suspected or confirmed to be from the plane have washed ashore on coastlines throughout the Indian Ocean. But a deep-sea sonar search for the main underwater wreckage has found nothing. Crews are expected to complete their sweep of the 120,000-square kilometer (46,000-square mile) search zone by early next year and officials have said there are no plans to extend the hunt unless new evidence emerges that would pinpoint a specific location of the aircraft.

Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said experts involved in this week’s summit will be working on guidance for any potential future search operations.


Experts have been preemptively trying to define a new search area by studying where in the Indian Ocean the first piece of wreckage recovered from the plane — a wing flap known as a flaperon — most likely drifted from after the plane crashed.

Several replica flaperons were set adrift to see whether it is the wind or the currents that primarily affect how they move across the water. The results of that experiment have been factored into a fresh drift analysis of the debris. The preliminary results of that analysis, published in Wednesday’s report, suggest the debris may have originated in the current search area, or to its north. The transport bureau cautioned that the analysis is ongoing and those results are likely to be refined.

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