An Australian-led team of researchers has found that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 used a flight stick used in the crash of MH370 to track its own flight track.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was carrying 239 people when it crashed into the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014.
The team, led by the University of Sydney, analysed the wreckage of MH 370 and used a remote-controlled X-ray aircraft to determine the precise location of the flight control system, the aircraft’s flight trackers and the airframe that powered the cockpit voice recorder, among other factors.
The team also used software to determine where the flight-control system would have gone if the aircraft had gone back.
Aircrafts are usually equipped with flight control systems that allow pilots to control the plane remotely.
The researchers were able to determine that the flight tracker’s tracking software was able to pinpoint the exact location of MH-370’s flight-data recorder, which is the only way to reconstruct the final moments of the jetliner’s final hours before it vanished.
“The technology has the potential to improve search efforts and enable new investigations into the disappearance of MH914 and MH370,” Dr Ben Wyatt, one of the authors of the paper, told The Wall St Journal.
The new analysis, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the aircraft was using the Flight Stick, which consists of a metal and glass device that contains the flight data recorder, to track the flight path of MH 777.
The flight-trackers use radio signals to determine which direction the aircraft is travelling.
In the past, the devices were used in search-and-rescue operations, and the plane was last tracked down in March last year.
But experts have questioned whether the new analysis is sufficient to help identify the plane’s exact location.
Malay Airlines has repeatedly insisted that the plane went back in the exact same direction that it went before it went down, but experts have said that would have taken the aircraft into the Southern Indian Ocean, which has a depth of around 3,000 metres.
In March this year, the Malaysian Transport Minister said the plane had gone into the South China Sea, and a US official has said the government is planning to fly a military aircraft in that direction.
The Malaysian government said on Wednesday that it would not confirm that the investigation is over.
Malayan Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said on Tuesday that the government had completed the search for MH370, but said it would be difficult to prove its exact location, since the plane has been extensively surveyed.
Malaysian authorities said the aircrafts flight data recorders were found in a remote area of the Southern Ocean.