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Investigators say MH370 search plan based on altitude data not reliable

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 - 12:34pm IST | Agency: ANI

Investigators say that the missing Malaysia flight MH370 may not have suffered serious damages and that the altitude data that prompted earlier searches was unreliable. They further concluded that the flight was in controlled flight before it ran out of fuel over the southern Indian Ocean.

According to Stuff.co.nz, the main evidence for the conclusion lies in a re-examination of Malaysian radar data from the flight and a more detailed analysis of electronic "handshakes" that the aircraft exchanged with an Inmarsat satellite over the Equator, senior officials involved in the investigation said. 

In the wake of the investigators' conclusion on the fate of MH370, the authorities had come up with the decision to move the search area hundreds of kilometers to the southwest. The report said that the Malaysian military radar tracked the Boeing 777-200 with 239 people aboard as it performed a U-turn over the Gulf of Thailand on March 8, flew across Peninsular Malaysia and the Strait of Malacca and disappeared at the north end of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Initial reports suggest that the MH370 crossed its certified maximum altitude of 13,100 metres and soared to 13,700 metres before going down while flying over the mountains of Peninsular Malaysia and then going back to 7000 metres or more over the Strait of Malacca.

However, Angus Houston, the retired head of the Australian military who is now coordinating the search said that the primary radar data pertaining to altitude is regarded as unreliable, adding there was nothing reliable about the height.

The Malaysia Airlines flight, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, went missing on March 8.

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