The missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be found at some point in the next month, according to a respected aviation site, which has published mathematical calculations by an experienced pilot who is said to have identified the exact location where the vanished Boeing 777-200 went down.
After a brief hiatus, last week, the two search ships that have been using advanced technology to comb the floor of the southern Indian Ocean for over a year now sailed back into the remote reaches of the Indian Ocean. The Australian-led search team believes this is the area where Flight MH370 ended its mysterious journey, hitting the water and sinking to the bottom, almost three miles below the surface.
A new documentary on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, from the National Geographic TV series Air Crash Investigation, can be viewed in the video above on this page.
But the searchers need to expand their search area only slightly to find the most likely location of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, according to Captain Simon Hardy, a pilot with 17 years of experience flying major commercial airliners in Asia. Hardy’s findings were published by the aviation site Flightglobal and represent a year’s worth of research by Hardy, according to Flightglobal editor David Learmount.
Britain’s Daily Express newspaper reported on the new calculations by Hardy on Wednesday, stating that according to Hardy’s math, the wreckage of the plane in likely to lie “between the bottom of South Africa and the southern tip of the Australian mainland where Melbourne is and east south east of Île Amsterdam, a French island in the southern Indian Ocean.”
The search vessels have been conducting their excruciating hunt for any trace of the plane over an area known as the “seventh arc,” a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean covering nearly 50,000 square miles — an area larger than the entire state of Pennsylvania.
Except, as one CNN report put it, searching the floor of the ocean is considerably more difficult than searching land.
“Just how hard is it to find a plane at the bottom of the ocean?” CNN asked. “Imagine standing on a mountain top and trying to spot a suitcase on the ground below. Then imagine doing it in complete darkness.”
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So far, the only evidence that the wrecked plane is anywhere in the Indian Ocean has been a single segment of wing known as a “flaperon,” which appeared on a beach on the French-controlled Reunion Island thousands of miles across the ocean from the search area.
According to the Express report, searchers will now include the location pinpointed by Hardy in their search. That could lead to the discovery of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 wreckage roughly 21 months after the plane disappeared during what was supposed to be a routine redeye flight between the capitals of Malaysia and China, Kuala Lumpur, and Beijing.
The coordinates given by Hardy after his extensive calculations are S39 22′ 46″ E087 6′ 20,” which, when entered into Google Maps, produced the location as seen in the below graphic. According to Hardy’s math, this is the exact spot where Flight MH370 ended its bizarre and baffling journey after flying off course for about seven hours.
But why has only a single piece of evidence that the missing plane exists at all ever appeared, despite a multimillion dollar search effort involving the resources of several countries?
According to competing theories by independent researchers, the answer lies in the angle at which the plane entered the water. Math professor Goong Chen of Texas A&M University said in June that his own calculations show the Boeing 777 entering the water at an exactly vertical angle.
By plunging straight down into the ocean, like an Olympic diver who hits the water without barely a splash, the plane’s impact would be minimized, sending FlightMH37 to the ocean floor mostly intact.
But according to another theory, one possibly supported by the French investigators who scrutinized the flaperon from the plane, the Malaysia Airlines pilot ditched the plane with a water landing, then allowed the entire 777 to sink intact to the bottom.
“The impressive fact about Hardy’s mathematics is, despite hundreds of thousands of hits on the article containing his calculations, nobody has been able to blow a hole in them,” Flightglobal editor Learmount said. “By December 3, Fugro Discovery expects to have completed the search of the area containing, according to Hardy’s calculations, the wreck of MH370.”
In other words, after almost two years of mystery, the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 could be known in just a few weeks — if the pilot has done his math homework correctly.
[Photo by Joshua Paul / Associated Press]