After the crew of IL-76, a Chinese search plane, spotted “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean last week, questions arose as to whether these “relatively big” pieces were part of missing Malaysian Flight 370.
The aircraft, which took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8, never arrived at its destination, Beijing Capital International Airport. It lost contact with air traffic control less than an hour after takeoff.
Even after several ships and aircraft, including the P-8 Poseidon, the most advanced search aircraft in the world, investigated the area where the IL-76 spotted the two large objects (and smaller white ones), the objects have not been found.
In response to an email, an AMSA spokeswoman said, “A US Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft was tasked to investigate reported object sightings by the Chinese aircraft made at 33,000 ft.
“The objects were spotted by the Chinese aircraft as it was heading back to Perth. Drift modelling was undertaken on the sighting. The P-8 was unable to relocate the reported objects.”
Earlier today, some smaller debris has been spotted off the coast of Australia; however, those objects have also not been confirmed as being part of Flight 370.
Also today, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak reported that, after analysis of satellite information from British company Inmarsat, they now know that the last position of Flight 370 was over the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia.
“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” he said. “It is therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
As stated by Malyasia Airlines, all 239 people on board are presumed dead.
“We have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt … that none of those aboard survived.”
Currently the Chinese icebreaker, Snow Dragon, is en route to that location (95.1113 degrees east longitude and 42.5453 south altitude) as well as ten aircraft joining from Perth, the capital of Western Australia.
“AMSA is using all satellite imagery and information available in its search area development,” AMSA said in a statement.
Should the statements made by Razak and Malaysia Airlines hold true, this will be the deadliest incident in history involving a Boeing 777.
Image via Wikimedia Commons