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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scientists believe they know where MH370 crashed

A research team at University of Western Australia believes the cabin is in one piece.
MH370 search being scaled backKUALA LUMPUR: Scientists on Thursday said they believe they know where Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 crashed into the ocean and that the cabin sank in one piece.
The research by the University of Western Australia, using meteorological and ocean-current data alongside the British analysis from data “pings” recorded by UK firm Inmarsat, determined the point of impact and the movements of debris in the weeks following the crash.
A fresh satellite sighting of 300 floating objects ranging in size from seven to 49 feet about 1,680 miles from Perth in the southern Indian Ocean was reported by Thailand yesterday, tallying with previous sightings by French and Chinese satellites. Thai satellite images show objects about 120 miles from a debris field of 122 objects captured by a French satellite on Sunday.
However, developments on Friday saw the search zone for the missing plane shift almost 700 miles north following further analysis of the likely point of impact.
Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, the scientist who oversaw the research, said that a failure to spot buoyant objects that originated inside the plane indicated that the cabin probably remained intact as it sank into the sea. This would improve the chances that the black box survived without significant damage in the depths below the crash site.
“I think the way the plane crashed, a lot of the debris has been kept intact inside the plane,” said Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, from the university’s oceans institute. “If the plane broke up, we should see a lot more debris floating around. We should have seen smaller bits of lifejacket and seats, things which are going to float.”
Prof Pattiaratchi said the debris has been caught in eddies and confined to an area that could easily be surveyed by aircraft.
“They should find it – it will probably be pieces of the wing,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “The sightings are totally consistent.
The debris is trapped in that region about 400 kilometres [249 miles] from the potential crash site. Depending on the weather, we know where the debris is going till the end of the month.”
The multinational air and sea search has failed to spot or retrieve any confirmed wreckage from the Boeing 777, leaving some of the families of the 239 passengers still clinging to hope that some may have survived.
A search by 11 aircraft was cut short at 11.40am yesterday due to thunderstorms and strong winds but seven ships continued to scour the area. Poor weather is set to further hamper searches in the coming days.

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