Australian investigators say missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was in 'a high and increasing rate of descent' when it vanished. Paul Chapman reports.
The fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 remains a mystery despite an extensive search. But a new report by the Australian safety investigator leading the hunt appears to throw new light on its final moments. The report says further analysis of satellite communications from the plane suggests it descended rapidly after running out of fuel with no human intervention. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PETER FOLEY, PROGRAMME DIRECTOR OF THE OPERATIONAL SEARCH FOR MH370, SAYING: "Taken together with the analysis of those last two berth frequency offsets which indicate a high and increasing rate of descent, it means that we're looking for an aircraft that's actually quite close to the seventh arc." The report also says studies of wing flap debris show the aircraft wasn't configured for landing or ditching. At least one aviation expert says such information is of limited benefit because it means only that the pilot was not alert, not awake or not planning a safe landing. The question of whether anyone was in control of the plane when it came down is crucial. If the aircraft glided the debris field could be outside the 120, 000 square-kilometre search zone which has now been almost exhausted. Flight MH370 vanished in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board