MH370 hunt moves to where British pilot believes it crashed

November 23, 2015 2:00 pm

The deep sea hunt for a missing Malaysian airliner has shifted to a
remote part of the Indian Ocean where a pilot has calculated
that the Boeing 777 made a controlled ditching last year with 239 people
aboard, officials said Monday.
The patch of deep ocean southwest
of Australia that Capt. Simon Hardy has determined is the most likely
resting place of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will be searched through
December, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is coordinating
the search on Malaysia’s behalf, said in a statement.
Australian authorities are not being guided by the experienced Boeing
777 pilot’s analysis. Martin Dolan, the bureau’s chief commissioner,
said the search was moving farther south within a
120,000-square-kilometer (46,000-square-mile) priority area because the
southern hemisphere spring had made the extreme conditions in the
southern ocean calmer.

 The only confirmed wreckage of Flight 370 to be recovered was a wing
flap found on a remote Indian Ocean island in July. Photo / iStock

“We’re aware that we’re in the area that Capt. Hardy
specifies, but we’re in that area because it was next in our search
sequence, and we’ve been moving progressively south because the weather
is improving,” Dolan said.
Hardy’s theory of where Flight 370
went after it inexplicably flew far off course during a flight from
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8, 2014, has been widely
published in recent months. He used mathematical analysis and a flight
simulator to plot the course he believed the airliner took when it
vanished in one of aviation’s most baffling mysteries.
“I am
fairly confident that the wreckage will be found within the next four to
eight weeks,” Hardy told The Australian newspaper.
directing the search have discussed Hardy’s theory with him. Hardy could
not be immediately contacted for comment on Monday.
“There are
many theories from members of the public and various independent experts
and all are considered,” the bureau said in its statement, which
described Hardy’s analysis as credible.
But searchers do not
accept a key aspect of Hardy’s conclusion: that whoever was flying the
plane made a controlled landing at sea, which allowed it to sink largely
The only confirmed wreckage of Flight 370 to be recovered was a wing flap found on a remote Indian Ocean island in July.
said authorities still believe that the final satellite transmission
from one of the jet’s engines indicated that it was out of fuel, meaning
the plane would have plummeted into the ocean out of control and
Australia and Malaysia have split the cost of the
search of the vast expanse of seabed that began in October last year
based on satellite analysis of the jet’s flight for more than six hours
after it went off course. The search, taking place more than 1,800
kilometers (1,100 miles) off the Australian coast, has so far covered
70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles).
Chinese Premier
Li Keqiang pledged an additional $14.5 million over the weekend to fund
the continuing search. China lost 153 citizens in the disaster.

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