02 March, 2015

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Tracing the Mysterious Path to Disappearance

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Tracing the Mysterious Path to Disappearance: Between them, the Independent Group members ran the available data through countless flight scenarios of differing speed and altitude, and in September, issued a report arguing MH370 most likely spiraled into the Indian Ocean 1,500 miles southwest of Perth. At the time, the ATSB had its priority search zone 600 miles north on the arc. On October 8, after refining its own analysis, the ATSB moved south, to almost the exact same spot.

This January, four ships were steaming methodically across 23,000 square miles of ocean, bouncing sonar waves off the bottom, which in some places is more than 14,000 feet beneath the surface. Eventually, maybe, one of those signals will hit a large metallic object—say, a Rolls-Royce Trent 892 turbo-fan engine—and the recovery of MH370 will begin. "We are very confident," Martin Dolan told me, "that if the aircraft is where we've calculated it to be, we'll find it."

The search is expected to be completed by May. And if they don't find it? "Then we'll go to the governments," Dolan said, "and say, 'We've got a problem. A very expensive problem.' "