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Shanghai Daily,上海日报

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MH370 probe team: Missing jet may have landed somewhere else

Members of the International Investigation Team (IIT) who have been putting their heads together since day one to find Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are now looking at the likelihood of starting from scratch in hopes of finally solving this unprecedented aviation mystery, Malaysia-based newspaper the New Straits Times reported.

Sources within the team that is based in Kuala Lumpur told the New Straits Times that among areas they were revisiting was the possibility that the Boeing jetliner had landed somewhere else, instead of ending up in the southern Indian Ocean, the report said.

“We may have to regroup soon to look into this possibility if no positive results come back in the next few days ... but at the same time, the search mission in the Indian Ocean must go on, according to the report.

“The thought of it landing somewhere else is not impossible, as we have not found a single debris that could be linked to MH370.

“However, the possibility of a specific country hiding the plane when more than 20 nations are searching for it, seems absurd,” the sources said, adding that one possibility was that the flight had crashed landed in a remote location.

The sources admitted that it was difficult to determine if the plane had really ended in the Indian Ocean, though calculations carried out pointed to the direction.

They pointed out that the Malaysian-led investigation team, together with experts from Inmarsat and the United Kingdom's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, had to rely on a communications satellite (Inmarsat), which did not provide any definite details, including the plane's direction, altitude and speed.

"A communications satellite is meant for communication... the name is self-explanatory. The reason investigators were forced to adopt a new algorithm to calculate the last known location of MH370 was because there was no global positioning system following the aircraft as the transponder went off 45 minutes into the flight," one of the sources said.

The IIT, he added, was also looking at adding more assets to be deployed to the existing search area in the Indian Ocean, as well as widening the search area as they feared that the search team had been "looking for the plane in the wrong place".

"We can't focus on one place too long as the ocean is very big although the search team has been following the leads received and analyzed.

"It is by luck if we find the wreckage using the Bluefin-21... there is no physical evidence and we are totally depending on scientific calculations since day one, including the pings."

The search for MH370 is now into its 45th day.

 


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