[Avionics Today March 24, 2014] New satellite data analysis from Inmarsat and the U.K. Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) has led investigators to believe that Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 most likely ended in the southern Indian Ocean, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in a statement.
More than two weeks have passed since MH370 disappeared from civilian radar coverage with no conclusive evidence of the aircraft. Theories based on available information proliferated about what may or may not have happened. However, based on the new analysis, Inmarsat and AAIB concluded that the missing Boeing 777's last known position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, to the west of Perth, Australia.
"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. 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," said Razak.
The aircraft itself still has not been located, so even with the new satellite data analysis from Inmarsat and AAIB, investigators still have no explanation for what happened to the aircraft. Search planes have reported sightings of debris within the area, however none of the objects identified can be linked to MH370.
Australia is now leading the search for the missing aircraft, which now involves 26 countries. Malaysian Airlines has continued to provide updates, and investigators are basing their investigation off of the discovery that MH370's satellite communications system continued to transmit its location for more than six hours after its last detection from Malaysia's military radar coverage.
The incident itself has left the aviation industry wondering how, in 2014, with the current level of advanced technology available for aircraft and Air Traffic Management (ATM), could an aircraft "disappear" from radar. Regardless of updates reported by Malaysia Airlines, AAIB and Inmarsat, investigators will have no explanation for what happened to the missing aircraft until aircraft's flight data recorder is retrieved and analyzed.
"The search for MH370 has taken us halfway around the world. At the moment there are new leads, but nothing conclusive. Our thoughts continue to be with the families who are still waiting for news," the Ministry of Transport for Malaysia said in a statement.