An Australian government agency in charge of the ongoing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has reportedly retracted a published theory that the aircraft crashed into the sea after a “death dive”.
Earlier this week, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said it was unlikely that the plane’s captain glided the plane into the sea, and instead said engine failure due to lack of fuel had sparked a sudden “death dive” into the southern Indian Ocean, Xinhua news agency reported.
ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood told The Australian daily that the agency had come to a consensus with a number of other agencies about the theory, including aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the US National Transport Safety Board and the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation.
At the time, he said analysis of satellite data by Defence Department scientists concluded the plane made a sudden and rapid descent at more than 10 times the usual descent rate.
But on Friday, independent investigators noticed the ATSB had withdrawn the claim from its website without explanation.
Richard Godfrey from an independent group of MH370 expert observers told News Corp that he noticed the “consensus” claim had been deleted after it was picked up by computer tracker.
Godfrey said the deletion of the consensus theory could mean that not all experts on the strategy group agree with the “death dive” consensus.
“Another possibility is that it was assumed there was a consensus, but then some party complained and the published report had to be changed,” he said.
MH370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared on March 8, 2014.