Analysis supports MH370 'death dive' theory

Investigators say analysis of MH370 wing flap found washed ashore in Tanzania supports the theory the plane went down in a 'death dive.'

Investigators have confirmed that the wing flap was not deployed at the time of impact, ruling out a controlled crash landing in the ocean as that would have required the flaps to be deployed.

Instead it suggests the missing flight plunged into the ocean at high speed, breaking up on impact.

A large piece of debris from missing flight MH370 discovered on the island of Pemba, off the coast of Tanzania, in June. Image: AAP
A large piece of debris from missing flight MH370 discovered on the island of Pemba, off the coast of Tanzania, in June. Image: AAP

It is now more than two years since the Malaysia Airlines flight vanished with 239 people onboard.

While the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) insists the flap is still being tested, the head of the organisation’s search for MH370, Peter Foley, told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) news agency last month that Australian analysis of the flap in Can­berra suggested it had not been deployed when it hit the water but retracted inside the wing.

A pilot attempting a soft landing would have extended the wing flaps.

A piece of plane debris belonging to missing flight MH370, is displayed during a press conference by Mozambique Civil Aviation Authority. Image: AAP
A piece of plane debris belonging to missing flight MH370, is displayed during a press conference by Mozambique Civil Aviation Authority. Image: AAP

Foley told AAP that analysis of the satellite data — whose ­accuracy has been challenged by some experts — showed it was falling at a rapid and increasing rate.

“The rate of descent combined with the position of the flap — if it’s found that it is not deployed [which since has] — will almost certainly rule out either a controlled ditch or glide,” he said.

“If it’s not in a deployed state, it ­validates, if you like, where we’ve been looking.”

Joao de Abreu, president of Mozambique Civil Aviation Authority, shows one of three pieces of plane debris, possibly belonging to missing flight MH370. Image: AAP
Joao de Abreu, president of Mozambique Civil Aviation Authority, shows one of three pieces of plane debris, possibly belonging to missing flight MH370. Image: AAP
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