Researchers claim new data shows ‘comprehensive picture of the final hours of flight MH370’
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One of aviation’s greatest modern mysteries is of course, flight MH370.
38 minutes after it took off from Kuala Lumpur airport for Beijing, the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared on 8 March, 2014.
There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board and none of them have ever been found.
Captain Zaharie Shah responded to a Malaysian air traffic controller at 5:20pm, saying: “…contact Ho Chi Minh […] good night.” And then the plane lights went off as it diverted west from the intended northbound flight path over the South China Sea.
It’s believed the plane ran out of fuel around 7.5 hours late before crashing into the ocean.
And now, according to aviation experts, research and ‘new evidence’ may finally uncover the resting place of the plane - or at least a ‘comprehensive picture’ of the flight’s final hours.
Richard Godfrey, Dr Hannes Coetzee, and Professor Simon Maskell released new research on Wednesday (30 August) in a whopping 229-page report.
They used radio technology known as a weak signal propagation reporter (WSPR) to help detect and track the flight path of the MH370 plane.
The researchers explain that when an aircraft flies through an WSPR link, it disturbs the signals - records of which are stored in a global database.
Their study used 125 of these disturbances in order to track the plane’s path for over six hours after one of its last radio contacts.
“Together with (the data), a comprehensive picture of the final hours of flight MH370 can be collated,” the researchers said.
“Flight MH370 was diverted into the Indian Ocean where it crashed of fuel exhaustion (...) at some point after the last signal after midnight.
“At the time of writing, MH370 still has not been found despite extensive surface and underwater searches.
“About 10 million commercial passengers fly every day and the safety of the airline industry relies on finding the cause of every accident.”
Combining their new information with satellite data from Boeing and Inmarsat and drift analysis data, the researchers reckon they’ve triangulated the crash site.
“This technology has been developed over the past three years and the results represent credible new evidence," their report reads.
Despite some criticism, the report has been peer-reviewed.
Geoffrey Thomas, editor of Airlines Ratings, has explained even if the plane is found, it probably will never be recovered but that the report could solve the mystery.
He told the Today show: “A scientist from the University of Liverpool and the ocean company who did the search in 2018 will use it as a basis for a new search.
“There is a very high level of confidence. It has been four years in the making, being reviewed over and over again.
“They are certain that they have located where this aircraft is."