The company leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 has said that they believe the plane in question may have glided down than plummeted in its final descent.
This could suggest the investigators had been hunting in the wrong area.
Malaysia Airlines MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers on board, disappeared in March 2014. Engineering group Furgo has led the search of the missing airlines.
However, the plane has not been found, which may suggest the aircraft glided rather than dove into the water outside the boundaries of the search zone. As reported by Bloomberg, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said there are no plans to extend the search beyond the allotted 46,330 square miles.
As much as 90 percent of the area has been searched.
“Probably what we’ve discovered from this exercise is that the plane was under active control,” independent contractor Vaughan Clarkson said. “The search area must be basically right, but perhaps it’s not quite big enough.”
Clarkson is a former University of Queensland radar and tracking specialist who helped recreate MH370’s flight path for the Australian government.
As reported by Reuters, when the search zone was designated in 2014, it was assumed there were no inputs from the plane when it came down – there was no conscious pilot to control the plane. Authorities believe the plane spiraled down on autopilot when its fuel was exhausted.
“If you lose all power, the auto-pilot kicks out. If there is nobody at the controls, the aircraft will plummet down,” a captain who has experience flying Boeing 777s, the same as MH370, said.
More funding will be required from the governments of Australia, China and Malaysia if the search is to be extended. With $137 million already spent on the search, it is the most expensive search operation in aviation history.