Expert advances ‘active’ pilot theory after MH370 crash investigation, ATSB orders search data review

Expert advances ‘active’ pilot theory after MH370 crash investigation, ATSB orders search data review

21 Feb    Finance News

A retired aerospace engineer believes he has uncovered the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), the passenger aircraft from Malaysia that disappeared nearly eight years ago, after conducting an unofficial investigation. His findings have led to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to order a review of search data.

The Malaysian Airlines flight shocked the world when it mysteriously “vanished,” along with the 239 people on board (227 passengers and 12 crew), while traveling to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.

The global effort to find the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea before eventually extending to the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea. The four-year search, which eventually became known as the most expensive aviation search in history for its $200 million cost, yielded no wreckage from the doomed flight.

According to retired British aerospace engineer and physicist Richard Godfrey, flight 370 could have fallen into the ocean about 1,200 miles (1,933 kilometers) west of Perth, Australia, and some 13,123 feet (4,000 meters) under the water in an area known as the “seventh arc.”

Godfrey determined the plane’s purported final destination by using Weak Signal Propagation Reporter analysis to monitor radio frequency disturbances the plane created around the world.

He pointed out the irregular patterns the aircraft made throughout its journey, such as the 360-degree turns it made over the ocean.

In an interview with “60 Minutes Australia” on Sunday, Godfrey said, “Everyone has assumed up until now there was a straight path, perhaps even on autopilot. I believe there was an active pilot for the whole flight.”

Godfrey said such aircraft behavior shows pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah appears to have caused the plane to go off course deliberately, supporting a theory about the pilot’s alleged involvement in the crash.

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He revealed that the plane displayed an unusual holding pattern for around 20 minutes, about three hours into the flight. A pilot typically keeps the plane in the holding pattern within specified airspace, which happens when an aircraft is waiting for permission to leave or getting ready before a landing.

“He may have just simply wanted time to make up his mind, where he would go from here,” he told “60 Minutes Australia.” “I hope that if there was any contact with Malaysian authorities that after eight years now they’d be willing to divulge that.”

He then showed 160 points pinned on a map where radio frequency signals over the Indian Ocean were purportedly disturbed by MH370.

In a statement, the ATSB wrote that Godfrey is a credible expert on the subject of MH370 and that it had ordered Geoscience Australia review its search data “to re-validate that no items of interest were detected” in the search area recommended by Godfrey. The Bureau concluded by saying that any further searches would be up to the Malaysian government, however.

“The ATSB acknowledges the importance of locating the aircraft to provide answers and closure to the families of those who lost loved ones,” ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell noted. “The ATSB remains an interested observer in all efforts to find the missing aircraft.”

Featured Image via 60 Minutes Australia (left) CGTN (right)

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