New analysis of last radar data about the MH370 flight captured above the South China Sea has pointed to a new area where the aircraft probably crashed.
After having a closer look at the final radar records from the critical hours when the aircraft veered off its original course to Beijing, an international team of investigators located in Malaysia has determined the cruising speed of the doomed Boeing 777-200ER was higher than originally estimated, meaning the aircraft would have run out of fuel earlier.
The last radar spots of what appeared to be the missing aircraft were made when the plane was above the Strait of Malacca.
This new lead shifts the focus of the search operations into a new area. It’s good news for the rescue teams as the new zone of interest is closer to Australian coast, meaning aircraft will be able to get there faster and stay longer performing the actual search. Also, the area is out of the region with extremely rough weather that has been hampering the search efforts from the beginning.
The search efforts are now focused on an area of about 198,000 square miles some 1,150 miles west of Perth, 684 miles north east from the original area. The ocean in this region is between 2,000m and 4,000m deep.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief commissioner Martin Dolan said the information was the "most credible lead" to where any wreckage may be located, saying: "This is our best estimate of the area in which the aircraft is likely to have crashed into the ocean."
Five Chinese ships are on their way to the new site, and Australia's HMAS Success is expected to arrive there late tomorrow night, local time.
The potential flight path may be refined further as further analysis yields new information, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said.
View a series of infographics about the search for missing flight MH370