We've Been Searching for MH370 in Wrong Place: Report
Experts believe plane lies north of the search area
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2016 7:53 AM CST
An observer on a Japan Coast Guard Gulfstream aircraft searches for MH370 in 2014.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)

(Newser) – The only boat left searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 isn't likely to find it, experts say. A new report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says "there is a high degree of confidence" that the plane that disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014, isn't in the Pennsylvania-sized search area that's been combed over two years, reports the BBC. Instead, experts believe MH370 lies to the north, within a 10,000-square-mile patch of the Indian Ocean that's about 20% of the size of the current search area, based on new flight simulations, an analysis of satellite communications, and debris drift patterns. The report adds there's only a 5% chance the plane was missed over the 42,500 square miles searched so far, reports CNN.

Experts and investigators are "in agreement in the need to search an additional area" and "concluded that, if this area were to be searched, prospective areas for locating the aircraft wreckage, based on all the analysis to date, would be exhausted," the report states, per the Guardian. However, the governments of Australia, Malaysia, and China previously agreed to suspend the $145 million search effort in the new year "unless credible evidence is available that identifies the specific location of the aircraft." Australia's transport minister notes it does "not give a specific location of the missing aircraft." The report has been presented to the governments "for their consideration," an ATSB rep says.

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