Drift Analysis Shows MH370 Likely Crashed North of Search Area

Gladys Abbott
April 21, 2017

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia en route to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

The new evidence corroborates a drift analysis report from November 2016, wherein an independent analysis of the satellite data concluded that the missing aircraft would not be found in the area where the search was carried out.

Australian government oceanographers had obtained a wing flap of the same model as the original and studied how that part drifted in the ocean, the Australian Transport safety Bureau said in a statement. They then simulated and tested how it would drift, which ultimately "added an extra level of assurance" to the December findings.

The new analysis confirmed findings released in December that the airliner had likely crashed north of the searched area.

For this analysis, scientists modified a genuine flaperon to mirror the damage that had occurred to the one from MH370 when it was found washed up on Réunion Island in July 2015.

The new report's findings support the conclusions of the first report, which indicates that the most likely location of MH370 is in the new search area identified and recommended by the First Principles Review report, and most likely at the southern end of that, near 35 degrees South.

Australia has conducted the search on Malaysia's behalf.

"We can not be absolutely certain, but that is where all the evidence we have points us, and this new work leaves us more confident in our findings", Griffin said in a statement.

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"We wanted to see if the genuine flaperon drifted straight downwind like the replicas, or off at an angle", said the CSIRO's David Griffin in a press release.

'Knowing how the flaperon, and the other parts of MH370 that have been found, respond to wind and waves is just as important as knowing the currents of the Indian Ocean'.

"The arrival of MH370's flaperon at La Reunion in July 2015 now makes flawless sense", said CSIRO scientist David Griffin, adding that how the flaperon responded to wind, waves and ocean currents was crucial.

However Transport Ministers from Malaysia, China and Australia were unmoved and suspended the search until "credible new evidence" was found.

"The CSIRO report has been provided to Malaysia for consideration in its ongoing investigation into the disappearance of MH370", Chester said.

"Malaysia is the lead investigator and any future requests in relation to searching for MH370 would be considered by Australia, at that time", Chester said.

For nearly three years, crews searched more than 46,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean for MH370.

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