Missing airliner MH370 could have managed to make a "soft landing" on the surface of the Indian Ocean before sinking to the depths largely intact, a new theory suggests.
According to local satellite communications expert Zaaim Redha Abdul Rahman MH370 is believed to have sank deep into the ocean in one piece due to the boeing 777 flaperon showing limited damage when it was washed up on Reunion Island.
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"I believe that when the aircraft went out of fuel, it glided downwards and landed on the water with a soft impact...that's why I believe the plane is still largely intact," Rahman told Bernama.
"It (the flaperon) was only slightly damaged and was just encrusted with barnacles," claims Rahman
"Its appearance indicates that it was not violently torn off from the aircraft's main body...it does seem that it got detached pretty nicely at its edges."
The allegations come fresh after Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau rejected claims that search crews discovered debris from the missing aircraft found amongst the ocean's seafloor.
An Australian recovery team claimed to have found two items which were allegedly associated with the missing passenger plane.
These concerns have since been ruled out due to details discovered during an investigation which showed the items were part of an uncharted shipwreck.
France continues to conduct air and sea searches
France continues to conduct air and sea searches off its Indian Ocean territory of Reunion for debris from missing flight MH370, the island's top official said.
A wing part found on the French territory was confirmed by the Malaysian prime minister to be part of the Boeing 777 which went missing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people onboard.
"Coordinated searches will continue until the beginning of next week," the island's top authority said in a statement adding that searches so far had yielded "no significant elements."
He said the searches would be shifted to the periphery of the initial area scoured, especially to the south.
Saint-Andre, the town of 50,000 where the wing part washed up, has had a surreal fortnight as the world's media has suddenly descended in droves.
There has been a total of 45 and a half hours of land searches and 15 hours of maritime and air searches.
The search was launched on August 7 and had to be suspended due to bad weather before resumed.
The Maldives has joined a regional search for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight following reports that islanders in the Indian had spotted unidentified debris.