The new MH370 debris gives additional insight about where and how the aircraft impacted the sea according to a leading expert in the plane’s disappearance.
Victor Iannello a lead in the so-called Independent Group examining the loss of MH370 says that “in light of the past efforts to find the aircraft, there are three main possibilities that remain.”
- Firstly that the aircraft impacted the ocean relatively close to the 7th arc, but at a latitude further north than the area previously searched.
2. That the aircraft impacted the ocean at a latitude previously searched, but farther from the 7th arc than previously assumed.
3. Or the aircraft debris field was in the subsea area previously scanned by sonar but was either missed or misidentified.
Mr Iannello says that “sources close to the previous search effort believe (3) is very unlikely, as there was a thorough review of the sonar data by multiple parties with high levels of experience, and because any “points of interest” were scanned multiple times to ensure the resolution was adequate to make a determination with a high level of confidence.”
The new debris and some of the previously recovered debris also suggest that the aircraft impacted the ocean at high speed.
“That means that (2) is possible only if the aircraft first was in a rapid descent and then the pilot skillfully recovered from the rapid descent and glided some distance away from the 7th arc beyond the width of the subsea search, and then later the aircraft again descended at high speed and impacted the sea (producing the shattered debris). This sequence of dive-glide-dive is considered by many to be a very unlikely sequence of events, although it cannot be completed dismissed.”
“What is left is possibility (1). This suggests future subsea search efforts should proceed along the 7th arc, starting where the last search ended near 25S latitude and continuing farther north.”
Mr. Iannello adds that “the part recovered in Madagascar in August 2018 was the latest in a series of finds that began with the discovery of the flaperon on Reunion Island in July 2015. Because of the wide range of discovery times, and because there is an undefinable delay between when a part arrives on a beach and when it is discovered, it is difficult to use the timing and location of debris discoveries to precisely pinpoint where to search for MH370.”
“Finally, the new debris finds illustrate the critical role of independent investigators in the search for MH370, and one investigator in particular. The local communications campaign to educate residents of Madagascar about debris washing ashore was spearheaded by Blaine Gibson with the help of some of the MH370 families. Blaine has also done a commendable job of developing a local network to help recover the debris after discovery, says Mr Iannello.