7 NOVEMBER 2016
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A new update by Australian investigators on the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has suggested nobody was at the controls when it plunged into the Indian Ocean and that it made a rapid descent, possibly after running out of fuel.
Analysis of satellite communications indicated the aircraft was in “a high and increasing rate of descent”, a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said. A study of a right outboard wing flap found in Tanzania showed the flaps were likely to have been in the retracted position, normal for level flight at cruise altitude. “Flaps do not appear to have been extended for landing or ditching in the ocean,” the report added.
On the apparent lack of control, the ARSB said if someone had been still piloting the Boeing 777 at the end of its flight the aircraft could have glided much farther, tripling in size the possible area where it could have crashed.
More than 20 items of debris have so far been discovered, with seven confirmed as coming from MH370.
The 777 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew. The two-year search for the aircraft has so far failed to find any significant wreckage.
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