Independent Investigation Team Presents New Theory On The Disappearance of MH370



Newly purposed speculation on MH370 suggests ditching after hijacking (All credit Captain Blelly’s group at mh370-caption.internet)

Retired Air Site visitors Administration programme supervisor Jean-Luc Marchand and ex A330 Captain Patrick Blelly gave a lecture on the MH370 flight’s refined trajectory on the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

With the disappearance of Malaysian Airways flight MH370 having occurred over 9 years in the past, a brand new speculation as to what occurred on  March 8, 2014 is gaining consideration. An impartial group of investigators have been engaged on discovering the true explanation for the crash for a number of years regardless of the lack of public curiosity.

The joint leaders of the group, former Union de Transports Aériens (UTA – French lengthy haul airline) A330/A340 Captain Patrick Blelly and Jean-Luc Marchand, MSc gave a presentation about their findings on the RAeS headquarters in London on September 7, 2023.

The brand new speculation targeted on the human components in addition to the technical information to finally counsel a brand new affect space west of Australia. The group believes the plane was deliberately ditched at a location a couple of hundred kilometres south of the preliminary zone beforehand surveyed.

Common flight path and anticipated level of affect beforehand advised again in 2016 (Jansen et al., Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci)

An outline of flight MH370

MH370 was a routinely scheduled flight operated by Malaysian Airways connecting Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport to Beijing Capital Worldwide Airport. The Boeing 777-200ER had 227 passengers and 12 crew on board when it departed Kuala Lumpur on Mar. 8, 2014, native time. The flight by no means reached its ultimate vacation spot, and all souls on board had been declared lacking.

Regardless of an intensive ocean flooring search lasting till January 2018, the wreckage was by no means discovered and only some scattered particles confirmed to have belonged to 9M-MRO have been recovered throughout the Indian Ocean. Based mostly on publicly accessible sources the confirmed portion of the flight is as follows.

MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur runway 32R UTC 16:42 climbing to FL180 then FL250 headed on to waypoint IGARI. At UTC 16:50 pilot request FL370 however Lumpur Radar ATC clears FL350. The ultimate ACARS (Plane Communications Addressing and Reporting System) information transmission is made at UTC 17:07.

At this level satellite tv for pc communications is misplaced as properly. At UTC 17:19 the flight handed waypoint IGARI and the plane is handed over from Kuala Lumpur Space Management Centre to Ho Chi Minh Space Management Centre. Nonetheless, the flight by no means contacted the Vietnam management centre.

At UTC 17:21 MH370 disappeared from all civilian ATC radar together with Kuala Lumpur ACC radar and Ho Chi Minh ACC. This can be a results of the ADS-B transponder being turned off to Standby.

Malaysian army radar that doesn’t depend on plane transponder information nonetheless tracks the plane. The army radar tracks the plane instantly veering off its flight path and making a U-turn to the southwest [and it’s still not clear why the military did not respond scrambling interceptors to investigate the potential threat posed by an aircraft that has turned off its transponder and does not reply to the radio calls].

As MH370 reaches the southern finish of Penang, Malaysia First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid’s cellphone is registered with a cell tower at UTC 17:52. Nonetheless, solely a 2G connection is made so no different information transmission is made. Afterwards the plane turns northwest alongside the Strait of Malacca.

A number of ACARS information request is distributed from the bottom to the plane round UTC 18:03 however is rarely acquired.

At UTC 18:22 the final radar contact from the Malaysian radar set up is made 200 nautical miles northwest of Penang. That is the final identified place 10Nm after waypoint MEKAR is the final level the plane was precisely tracked. Afterwards the one methodology of deducing the plane’s place is thru an hourly automated handshake between the plane and the geostationary Inmarsat satellite tv for pc communication community.

From UTC 19:41 to UTC 00:19 (March 8) a complete of seven handshakes are efficiently made. From this, the time distinction between the anticipated time of the plane’s message and the precise arrival of the message can be used to calculate the aircraft’s positions. Nonetheless, it needs to be famous that this solely provides us a circle of the place the plane could possibly be, fairly than its actual location.

Sometimes called Arc 1 ~ 7, these concentric circles centred on the geostationary satellite tv for pc’s place show essential to giving an estimated area the place the plane should have flown by on the later phases of its flight. By estimating the plane’s heading, altitude, and gas weight, the ultimate affect level of MH370 might be calculated. Earlier calculations led to the search space primarily targeted on the trail round Arc 7.

Arc1 ~ Arc 7 provides estimate location of the place MH370 would have flown by at particular instances (credit score: BBC)

New speculation means that flight was hijacked and aircraft was flown for a deadly journey of no return.

The examine carried out by Captain Blelly’s group suggests a sole individual taking up the cockpit and deliberately flying the plane to keep away from detection, and in the end crashing the plane with all its passengers. Proof means that the preplanned hijacking was carried out alone, and thorough preparations had been finished to navigate the southeast Asian airspace elevating minimal suspicion.

Because the group targeted on analysing the data-backed inflight points, they didn’t strongly counsel as to who could have been main the flight. Nonetheless, as beforehand found, the 2 Iranians travelling on MH370 with solid passports had no ties with any terrorists’ organisations. Extra possible, proof factors in the direction of the captain of the flight, Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

Captain Zaharie had flown with Malaysia Airways for 30 years with over 18,000 hours of flight time. As will later be mentioned, among the manoeuvres the plane pulled within the tight airspaces show that solely a well-trained pilot may have been underneath management. Moreover, information of the flight following the same monitor and finally resulting in the South Indian Ocean have already been recovered from the captain’s private Microsoft Flight Sim exhausting drive. Whereas no important signal of misery of the captain’s private life have been found, the group fastidiously means that proof almost definitely factors in the direction of Captain Zaharie’s suicide flight as a speculation.

MH370 meant flight plan (purple) and precise flight path tracked my Malaysian army radar (yellow) suggests handbook U-turn

Initially, at UTC 16:50 the captain requests a climb to FL370, however ATC later clears for FL370. Though minor, this might’ve made a foundation for a greater cruise efficiency and a larger glide size through the later phases of the flight.

At UTC 17:20 the plane overshoots its final meant waypoint IGARI. As might be seen within the image, the flight truly follows the yellow route fairly than the purple route that was filed in its flight plan to Beijing. Had this portion of the flight been flown by autopilot the flight plan tracked by the Malaysian army radar would have resembled the purple route as an alternative. Moreover, because the investigation group’s simulator re-enactment proves, the flight path of the plane previous IGARI couldn’t have been executed by the 777’s autopilot.

The monitor suggests an preliminary financial institution angle of 25° later rising as much as a most 38°. That is above the financial institution angle restrict safety of 30° applied on Boeing’s autopilot management legal guidelines, suggesting a handbook override. It’s also speculated that if a hijacking had been to have occurred it might have been proper earlier than the U flip was made. Based on the group, a extremely believable state of affairs is that the captain waited for the copilot FO Fariq to vacate the cockpit and assume sole management of the plane by locking him out, resembling that of the ill-fated Germanwings flight 9525.

At UTC 17:21 MH370 disappears from all civilian radar on account of each ADS-B and ACARS being shutoff.

Captain Blelly suggests whoever was answerable for the plane had deliberately achieved this by disconnecting all 4 electrical mills and APU. Because of this, the 777 would have been managed with solely key parts provided electrical energy by way of the RAM Air Turbine (RAT) deployed.

With the RAT being the only real supply of electrical energy, solely the Major Flight Show and no 1 navigation programs can be working. Subsequently, from this level onwards the pilot would have needed to manually piloted the plane with no autopilot help. Moreover, the pilot in command would have depressurised the cabin deliberately.

Throughout a lack of cabin stress, the passenger oxygen masks exhaust their provide in roughly 22 minutes whereas a single pilot can final 27 hours on the cockpit oxygen provide. To fly in these austere circumstances for prolonged durations of time is not any straightforward feat. Thus the investigation group believes that the pilot in command have to be an everyday airline pilot, whom are skilled to fly in these circumstances throughout flight simulator classes.

After the most important U flip, the flight continues again in the direction of Malaysian airspace.

At UTC 17:52 the co-pilot’s cell phone makes a 2G reference to the Celcom Location Base Station in Penang Island. It’s advised that the co-pilot, locked out of the cockpit tried to make a cellphone name so as to notify the continued hijacking however failed because of the weak spot of the cellphone’s reference to the bottom cell tower. By extrapolating the Celcom terrestrial antenna’s secondary lobe energy diagram, the tough metrics of the flight when the cellphone connection was made might be deduced to be between 31,560 toes and 36,540 toes with a median floor pace of 506kts.

The Malaysian army radar monitor reveals a comparatively straight-line path after the flip close to Penang between UTC 17:52 till it loses contact at UTC 18:22. Nonetheless, upon nearer inspection of the pictures of the radar monitor, what needs to be a straight flight path is far more irregular. The sample proven by the radar plot results in the conclusion that this a part of the flight couldn’t have been flown underneath autopilot and that the plane was manually flown.

The final identified place of MH370 in accordance with the army radar feed is a roughly straight line persevering with on to waypoint VAMPI and finally disappearing 10Nm previous waypoint MEKAR at UTC 18:22.

The newly proposed flight path and search space for MH370

Recreating the lacking a part of the flight

As talked about above, the final precisely identified place of MH370 was by way of army radar contact roughly 10Nm after waypoint MEKAR at UTC 18:22. From this level onwards, the precise flight path MH370 took has been as much as hypothesis. Nonetheless, considering numerous components comparable to glide slope for greatest cruise vary, pilot’s intention, and the 7 Arcs, a sound speculation might be deduced.

MEKAR and the overall space of MH370’s final tracked flight path is a decent airspace between the South-East Indian Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) – FIR Chennai, Indonesian airspace – FIR Jakarta, and Thai airspace – FIR Bangkok. Therefore, to keep away from suspicion and exhibiting minimal hostile intent in a contested space, the one logical answer for the pilot would have been to fly southwest into Indonesian airspace. From this level onwards, the speculation might be validated by the 7 Arcs offered by the plane’s communication with the Inmarsat satellite tv for pc.

The investigation group’s speculation suggests the flight initially turned north in the direction of waypoint NILAM after which entered FIR Jakarta by waypoint POVUS. Throughout the transit between these two waypoints, full electrical energy was restored round UTC 18:23. With a 2-minute startup time of the SATCOM, MH370 makes its first contact with the Inmarsat satellite tv for pc, passing by Arc 1 at UTC 18:25.

Resulting from this, the plane begins to make automated handshakes with the Inmarsat satellite tv for pc each hour, giving a complete of seven circles the place the plane should have flown by. From the primary arc onwards, the pilot is believed to take care of heading 178° utilizing FAA/ICAO procedures for holding airspeeds at 14,001ft and above of 265kts/M0.706 at 30,000ft till crossing Arc 6. That is the route that might have taken the plane so far as doable with the remaining gas on board.

By utilizing the preliminary flight circumstances passing Arc 1, a comparatively straight path down south to Arc 6 might be recreated. Based mostly on flight simulator re-enactments and numerous validating sources comparable to Boeing printed 777-200ER efficiency information, the group is assured that the plane handed Arc 6 by coordinates 92°57’00.05″E 33°45’00.53″S at M 0.706 UTC 00:11. The ultimate ditching level calculation is made utilizing the crossing level of Arc 6.

The ultimate level of ditching might be estimated utilizing the flight circumstances of MH370 passing Arc 6

The ultimate stage of flight began previous Arc 6 when the correct engine flamed out on account of gas hunger. The final hourly handshake takes place at Arc 7 which was attributable to the left engine manually turned off and a change {of electrical} energy supply to APU reboots the system. It’s thought that the pilot could have deliberately turned off the remaining engine so as to depart gas for the APU to maintain all management surfaces operational for a well-controlled gliding descent with full flaps: in accordance with this concept, this might have allowed for a low pace ditching of the 777, leading to a fairly intact airframe and small variety of particles. That is additionally consistent with the problem to find the stays of MH370. As for the rationale for the light descent within the ultimate a part of the flight, we will’t however speculate: possibly the pilot wished to increase his final minute? Or, maybe, on the very finish, he had modified his thoughts and tried to avoid wasting the plane and his life? We’ll in all probability by no means know.

Two doable managed ditching eventualities calculated utilizing the flight profile between Arc 6 and Arc 7

Subsequently, a flight profile for the ultimate phases of MH370 was calculated utilizing the 2 places of the plane calculated at Arc 6 and Arc 7. By assuming each the perfect and worst case state of affairs, the utmost and minimal distance the plane travelled after passing Arc 7 might be discovered. Based on the group, the minimal ditching zone is regarded as -35.518° S  93.025° E and the utmost ditching zone -35.875° S  93.039° E. The group suggests the earlier search efforts have missed the wreckage by only some hundred kilometres south.

Newly proposed search zone may lastly reveal most important wreckage of MH370.

New efforts to search out the wreckage of MH370

The disappearance of MH370 is nearing its ten-year mark and most of the people’s curiosity within the case is dwindling. With all establishments concerned within the accident having no actual profit to find the wreckage, it’s a actually unlucky case for the households of these concerned within the accident that no latest efforts have been made. Nonetheless, with Captain Patrick Blelly and Jean-Luc Marchand’s group suggesting a extremely believable search space there’s a glimmer of hope.

Ocean Infinity has additionally expressed curiosity in main a brand new search effort. With the mature of submersible and underwater drone know-how since 2014, there’s a likelihood that given the newfound effort, the wreckage of MH370 could lastly be found. With a a lot smaller search space proposed than earlier than, this speculation of MH370’s hijacking could give the bereaved one ultimate peace of thoughts.

The Writer thanks Captain Patrick Blelly and Jean-Luc Marchand of their work and presentation on the Royal Aeronautical Society. A extra detailed report might be discovered on their web site

Wonwoo is a pupil journalist and contributor to The Aviationist primarily based in London, United Kingdom. At present finding out MEng in Aeronautical Engineering with a eager curiosity in OSINT, aircraft recognizing and plane design. He’s a former Sergeant of the Republic of Korea Military, having served as an artillery Fireplace Path Centre Car Radio Operator.


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