PERTH, Australia – Australia’s crash investigator has revealed that data indicates that MH370 could have been descending at up to 20,000ft (6700m) a minute in the moments just before it smashed into the sea with 239 passengers and crew.
In his first interview after taking over as Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Greg Hood told AirlineRatings.com in Perth, Western Australia, that the automated satellite communication with the Boeing 777 in its final minutes showed that its descent increased dramatically from about 5,400ft (1200m) a minute to up to 20,000ft (6700m) a minute.
The big increase suggests that no one was in control of the aircraft, he said.
The exclusive interview comes after some media outlets have cited a two-year-old FBI report into a flight simulator program on MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s home computer to claim that he glided the Boeing 777 in a controlled water landing and that the ATSB is looking in the wrong place.
Mr Hood also said that the FBI report was not new. “We have known about the FBI report for two years and it was widely reported in the media at the time. It is nothing new.”
But Mr Hood was emphatic to AirlineRatings.com that the FBI report only “potentially shows planning and possibly intent, but it does not tell us where the aircraft is.”
MH370 disappeared in mysterious circumstances on March 8, 2014, after communications from the jetliner were cut during what was supposed to be a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
However Mr Hood is still confident of finding MH370 in the coming months.