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Malaysian Flight MH370 In 'Death Dive' When It Vanished

| by David Bonner

New evidence has come to light regarding one of history's biggest aviation mysteries.

According to a new report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Malaysia Flight MH370, which famously disappeared in March 2014 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 passengers and crew on board, appears to have crashed at increasing speed with no human intervention, reports Sky.com.

As the report notes, a pilot would typically extend the flaps during a controlled ditching. However, based on analysis of debris of the wing flaps, the flaps were not extended in that manner.

"You can draw your own conclusions as to whether that means someone was in control," notes Peter Foley, head of search operations. "You can never be 100%. We are very reluctant to express absolute certainty," he added.

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This contradicts the theory that someone -- either a terrorist or a suicidal pilot -- was in control of the plane at the end of its flight. However, if that were the case, the aircraft could have glided much farther, analysts say.

Gliding, proponents of the theory contend, might explain why the plane has not been found. However, the new report states that satellite communications from the aircraft indicate that the aircraft was in a so-called “death dive,” falling at a "high and increasing rate of descent.”

The latest analysis conforms to the more common theory that there was no pilot or no conscious pilot when the plane disappeared, and that it was on autopilot and went into a death dive when it ran out of fuel.

The report coincides with a three-day summit in Canberra, in which a team of international and Australian experts will re-examine all the evidence and plan for future search missions.  

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So far, more than 20 items of suspected or confirmed debris from the missing plane have been found on Indian Ocean coastlines,  but searches for the main wreckage have turned up nothing.

On Nov. 1, Malaysia Airlines granted attorneys representing victims’ families access to many previously-unreleased company records. The documents include maintenance log books and medical certificates of the crew, reports The Guardian.

Sources: Sky.com, The Guardian / Photo credit: Zamwan/Wikimedia Commons

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