Nosedive theory may explain lack of debris
MATHEMATICIANS believe that they have discovered why Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished without a trace on March 8 last year.
The ill-fated flight was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard when it disappeared.
The mathematicians at Texas A&M University in Qatar, led by Goong Chen, have put forward a theory to explain why the aircraft disappeared without leaving any debris or an oil slick, as is the usual case with plane crashes.
Dr Chen's team created computer-generated fluid dynamics simulations which show the Boeing 777 nosediving into the Indian Ocean at a 90-degree angle. This angle would mean the fuselage would encounter the least resistance when entering the water.
Dr Chen said: "The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until some day when its black box is finally recovered and decoded... But forensics strongly support that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive."
The research suggests that the plane's wings broke off when it hit the water, sinking along with the fuselage and other heavy debris to the bottom.
The vertical water entry would have meant that the plane entered the water cleanly, keeping the fuselage mostly intact and producing very little debris. The fuselage may well be on the ocean floor belly up.
Led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the search area in the southern Indian Ocean was expanded to 120,000 sq km in April last year.
A joint investigation by Australia and Malaysia, helped by other international experts, has discovered little.
According to Emirates president Tim Clark, the Australian government is said to be preparing to call off the search as funding for the mission is depleted.
He said: "I think it is only a question of time before the search is abandoned.
"Do we have solutions? Do we have explanations? Cause? Reasons? No. It has sent us down a goose chase."
For now, three specialist vessels are combing the search site for signs of the crash.
THE NEW PAPER