Wednesday, November 02, 2016

MH370 plunged rapidly, wing flap not out for landing: Report

Sydney: A report into missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 by the Australian safety investigator leading the search supports its view that the aircraft descended rapidly after running out of fuel with no human intervention, the agency said on Wednesday.

Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 passengers and crew onboard in one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report released on Wednesday said analysis of wing flap debris showed the aircraft was not configured for a landing. It also said satellite communications from the aircraft were consistent with it being in a "high and increasing rate of descent" when it vanished, colloquially known as a death dive.

The 28-page report contains new end-of-flight and drift simulations that suggests experts believe the current search area is the most likely to contain the crash site. It coincides with the start of a three-day meeting of international experts to develop potential plans to continue the search.

ATSB search director Peter Foley told media on Wednesday that analysis of a wing flap had "enhanced certainty" at what had happened. "It was probably in a non-extended position which means the aircraft wasn't configured for a landing or a ditching," said Foley, referring to the practice of extending wing flaps to allow an aircraft to travel safely at slower speeds in preparation for a landing. "You can draw your own conclusions as to whether that means someone was in control or not."
02/11/16 Reuters/DNA