Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Searchers Closing In After New Look At Plane’s Death Spiral

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went into a death spiral over the Indian Ocean, investigators now say, and a new look at those horrific final moments have led searchers combing the sea floor closer to finding wreckage of the missing plane, according to a report released Wednesday by the agency in charge of the massive search effort.

The new report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau echoes a report assembled by an independent team of experts who also concluded that the Flight MH370 went down in a tragic and terrifying spiral as it plummeted out of the sky into the remote stretch of ocean. The independent group warned searchers that based on that spiral, they may be looking for the plane in the wrong place.

Wednesday’s ATSB report appeared to agree, but not completely. While the independent report concluded that a wide spiral could have taken the Malaysia Airlines plane 600 miles south of the current search area, the ATSB said that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 death spiral did indeed lead the plane south, but only to the southernmost section of the “Seventh Arc,” the area that investigators say marked the final, errant path of the March 8 flight, which was supposed to fly a more-or-less straight shot from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.

Instead, for reasons that have been the subject of endless speculation, the plane made a sharp westward turn about an hour into the flight, then flew for hours until, investigators believe, it ran out of fuel and crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.

The new analysis by the ATSB, the agency says, has caused it to change its priorities about where to search for the wreckage of Flight MH370, which they now believe lies in the southern reach of the current search area, more than 1,000 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia.

The Malaysia Airlines plane hit the water “in relatively close proximity” to the area that the ATSB has marked as the current search zone, but the agency indicated that it may have to change the search area to match the newest data.

The wreckage is also thought to contain the remains of the 239 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 passengers and crew, whose discovery would give at lease some sense of closure to the passengers’ families who have been suffering in uncertainty for more than seven months, while being subjected to rumors and conspiracy theories suggesting that the missing plane may not be in the water at all and that it could have landed safely in a hidden location where the passengers have been held hostage, but alive.

Experts who have spent those seven months closely examining data from the flight of Malaysia Airlines MH370 dismiss those theories, believing that they are now narrowing down the area where the watery grave of the missing plane actually lies.

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