Tuesday 20 February 2018

Scientists claim they know where MH370 hit the ocean

A woman weeps during a candlelight vigil for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in central Kuala Lumpur yesterday
A woman weeps during a candlelight vigil for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in central Kuala Lumpur yesterday
Flight Lt. Jayson Nichols shields his face from the sun as he looks out the cockpit of a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft during a search operation of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean yesterday

Jonathan Pearlman Kuala Lumpur

Scientists believe they know where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed into the ocean and that the cabin sank in one piece.

The research by the University of Western Australia, using meteorological and ocean current data alongside the analysis from data "pings", has determined the point of impact and the movements of debris in the weeks following the crash.

A fresh satellite sighting of 300 floating objects ranging in size from seven to 49ft about 1,680 miles from Perth in the southern Indian Ocean was reported by Thailand yesterday, tallying with previous sightings by French and Chinese satellites. Thai satellite images show objects about 120 miles from a debris field of 122 objects captured by a French satellite on Sunday.

Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, the scientist who oversaw the research at the university's oceans institute, said a failure to spot buoyant objects that originated inside the plane indicated that the cabin probably remained intact as it sank into the sea.

This would improve the chances that the black box survived without significant damage in the depths below the crash site.


"I think the way the plane crashed, a lot of the debris has been kept intact inside the plane," he said. "If the plane broke up, we should see a lot more debris floating around. We should have seen smaller bits of life jacket and seats, things which are going to float."

Prof Pattiaratchi said the debris had been confined to an area that could be surveyed easily by aircraft.

"They should find it – it will probably be pieces of the wing," he said. "The sightings are totally consistent. The debris is trapped in that region about 400 kilometres (249 miles) from the potential crash site.

"Depending on the weather, we know where the debris is going till the end of the month."

The multinational air and sea search has failed to spot or retrieve any confirmed wreckage from the Boeing 777, leaving some of the families of the 239 passengers and crew who were on board still clinging to hope that some may have survived.

A search by 11 aircraft was cut short yesterday because of thunderstorms and strong winds but seven ships continued to scour the area. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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