MH370 search: US intelligence suggests plane was deliberately taken off course – live
Latest news as preliminary assessment by US intelligence agencies indicates it was likely someone in the cockpit deliberately caused aircraft’s unplanned movements
Australian authorities on Friday said the discovery of plane wreckage, even if found to be from MH370, would not narrow down the location of the main debris field or solve the mystery of why the jet crashed.
The wreckage, which is two-metres (six-feet) long, was found on a beach on the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean and is expected to be analysed in France on Saturday.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said while the part “could be a very important piece of evidence” if it was linked to MH370, using reverse modelling to determine more precisely where the debris may have drifted from was “almost impossible”.
“After 16 months, the vagaries of the currents, reverse modelling is almost impossible,” Truss told reporters in Sydney.
“And so I don’t think it contributes a great deal in as far as our knowledge of where the aircraft is located at the present time.”
One group of independent observers has said that the damage to the component — a right wing flaperon — should give authorities a good indication that the piece came off while the plane was still in the air.
The group, led by American Mobile Satellite Corp. co-founder Mike Exner, points to the small amount of damage to the front of the flaperon and the ragged horizontal tear across the back.
Authorities hunting for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said Friday they were “increasingly confident” that wreckage found on an Indian Ocean island was from the ill-fated jet, raising hopes of solving one of aviation’s great mysteries.
The six-foot long piece of wreckage is to be sent to France for analysis, with hopes high that it could turn out to be the first tangible proof the plane went down in the Indian Ocean.
Experts are voicing caution over suggestions that the discovery of one missing plane part could solve the mystery of what happened to the Boeing 777. According to the Sydney Morning Herald a study of the flotsam arising out of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami showed that the location where it was discovered yielded little information about where it had entered the water in the first place.
A man fishes by the shore as a French police helicopter continues the search for more MH370 wreckage
The Australians are increasingly confident that the wreckage of MH370 has been found. Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, told AFP:
We are still working with our French and Malaysian colleagues to analyse all the information, so we don’t have certainty yet, but we hope that within the next little while we’ll be able to get to that level of confidence. We’re hoping within the next 24 hours.
A little bit more is emerging about the US intelligence assessment which has suggested MH370 was deliberately steered off course. It appears suspicions have been aroused by the planes’s multiple course changes. The conclusion is based on satellite and othe evidence. The assessment — made months ago and concerning what most likely happened to the plane — which disappeared in March 2014, also said that the Boeing 777 was also potentially deliberately downed, the source said.
But there is still a note of caution, no explanation is being advanced who was responsible or why.
We’ve been focusing on the minutia of the recent discovery, but here’s a quick reminder of what we know about flight MH370.
• The flight departed Kuala Lumpur the morning of 8 March 2014. Contact was lost with the flight less than one hour after takeoff.
• There were 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, including 152 Chinese, 50 Malaysians, 6 Australians, and people of various other nationalities.
• A massive search took place covering over 100,000 sq miles, focusing on the southern Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia
• A piece of debris believed to be a flaperon from MH370 washed up on Reunion Island, near Madagascar.
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