MH370: Day 13- Possible debris found, Ran out of fuel? Foul play followed by a struggle in the cockpit? or suicide pact?

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It is Day 13 and the plane must now be presumed crashed with no survivors.

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So far (1600 CET) aircraft have not sighted the debris spotted by the US satellite.

Norwegian ship reaches site

WSJA Norwegian ship, the St. Petersburg, was the first to reach the site southwest of Australia Thursday where possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane was seen, shipping company Hoegh Autoliners said.

The St. Petersburg, on route from South Africa to Australia, was asked to assist in the search for the missing aircraft as it was sailing close to the area in the Indian Ocean where the objects were found. The ship arrived at the location at 0800 GMT and is now searching a 60-nautical-mile area, 2,260 kilometers southwest of Perth, Australia. The ship is sailing at a pace of 16-17 knots so searching the area will take approximately 4 hours, Hoegh Autolines said.

“The weather clear at the site and visibility is good, but they have not found anything yet,” said Cecilia Moe, representative at Hoegh Autoliners, who’s in close contact with the ship.

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The flight to nowhere

Excellent Washington Post graphic here.

A diagram showing the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean is seen during a briefing by John Young, general manager of the emergency response division of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), in Canberra March 20, 2014. REUTERS GRAPHIC

Reuters Graphic

Reuters

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Ran out of fuel? Foul play followed by a struggle in the cockpit? or suicide pact?

The debris is about at the fuel limit for the aircraft and it could have crashed after running out of fuel. That the plane was flying for so long (7 – 8 hours) on  a trip to nowhere gives some credence to a long flight on autopilot with the pilots incapacitated. It seems unlikely that both pilots were in a suicide pact. Perhaps they were incapacitated after a deliberate – but partial – introduction of a new course. Could one of the pilots have set the whole thing up and then been discovered by the other, leading to a struggle where they “took each other out”. Perhaps the new course had not been fully reprogrammed leaving the auto-pilot on a flight to nowhere with two incapacitated pilots in a locked cockpit?????

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The satellite pictures have been released – gallery

To my untrained eye it just looks like a blob.

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Relatives are hoping that there is still some hope and that the debris is not from the aircraft but from a container or something else lost at sea. If the plane has crashed , whether on land or at sea, there is little hope for any survivors. The only real hope for survivors after 12 days is if they are being held prisoner.

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A Royal Australian Navy Warship is en route to the area but is some days away. The ship is equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370.

The location of the potential wreckage is approximately 7000 kilometres from MH370’s last known location in the skies over Penang, Malaysia. The typical cruising speed of a Boeing 777 aircraft is 905 km/hr. That means the aircraft would have been flying for between seven and eight hours before falling from the sky.

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Sydney Morning Herald/ The Age report that MH 370 could have been located That AMSA press conference has now wrapped up. Here’s a few of the key points to emerge.

  • Commercial satellites have captured images of several large objects in the ocean off Western Australia.
  • The images were analysed this morning and thought to be credible enough to warrant a full-scale search by aircraft and ships for the objects in the belief they may be debris from missing flight MH370.
  • The objects are around 2500km south-west of Perth.
  • The largest of the objects is up to 24 metres long.
  • One RAAF aircraft is already at the location. A further three aircraft have been sent to the area, including a New Zealand Air Force Orion and a US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft.
  • It is not unusual to see debris floating in the ocean. Containers are sometimes adrift after falling overboard, for instance.
  • There is no guarantee the objects are from the missing flight, but this is the best lead search authorities have had so far.
  • It is not known when the objects will be physically located.
  • a RAAF Orion aircraft first arrived on the scene at 1.50pm AEDT;
  • this was followed by a US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft at 3pm;
  • a second RAAF Orion is expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce, north of Perth, at 6pm;
  • a New Zealand Air Force Orion, is due to depart at 8pm.
Area searched.

Debris found in search for MH370 Area searched. Photo: Andrew Meares

  • water in the search area could be several thousand metres deep.
  • objects spotted were “indistinct” but the sightings had been assessed and were credible.
  • the largest object had been assessed as measuring 24 metres, with “another one that’s smaller than that” and a number of other images located in the vicinity of the largest object.
  • the images were close enough to the National Transportation Safety Board’s assessment area to potentially be linked to the 777.
  • an Australian Hercules had been tasked to drop marker buoys to mark the search base.

MH370 location of debris

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