Mike Exner and Don Thompson of the Independent Group have released their analysis of the latest debris item found in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. They presented their findings at a press conference organised by the MH370 Next-Of-Kin on 7th March 2021. The debris item is definitely a part of an inboard spoiler from a Boeing 777 and is almost certainly from MH370 as the only aircraft of this type to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.
Mike and Don challenge analysts not just to consider each debris item separately, but to also consider groups of debris items. Out of 34 debris items found and reported so far, 7 items are from the right wing and the new analysis points out that 4 items are control surfaces from adjacent locations along the right wing. The key finding of the new analysis is “the forces leading to the detachment of these structures initiated in the core torsion box of the wing and not from forces due to external contact applied at the trailing edge of the control surfaces”. These control surfaces appear to have separated from the aircraft in an uncontrolled descent before impact. The question is raised, whether the right wing separated from the aircraft before impact.
The implications of the extensive damage to the right wing control surfaces and the possibility of separation of the right wing before impact would preclude a glide scenario. Mike and Don conclude in their presentation, that they have a high degree of confidence the MH370 underwater debris is probably only 10 nm or 20 nm from the 7th Arc and possibly in more than one location.
The analysis can be downloaded here
In light of the new analysis by Mike Exner and Don Thompson, I support their recommendation that the right wing control surfaces are examined by the official investigation (including Boeing) as a group of debris items and that the cause for the detachment of these structures be determined.
With the Flaperon held in France under court jurisdiction, the Outboard Flap segment and the Wing Upper Fixed assembly panel held in Malaysia and the Inboard Spoiler segment still with the AAIB in South Africa, an analysis of all four adjacent wing debris items is easier said than done.
Either Malaysia as the lead investigator has take possession of all MH370 right wing debris items or delegate an independent authority to take possession and analyse the items.
The media pressure is mounting in Australia for a new search:
Sky News Australia
Peter Foley, who led the Australian government’s multimillion-dollar hunt for the Malaysian Airlines jet, told The Times that he agreed with new research produced by oceanographers and flight experts suggesting that the wreckage might lie at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, 1,200 miles off Australia.
I agree with the sentiment.
We need to know if it is possible to decide on violent dive vs. less violent crash. Ideally perhaps the orig joint investigation team (NTSB etc). Also missing in my view is looking at the crash from criminal intent (FBI style) view, which I attempted to give some element of that in my recent sim data analysis paper. Perhaps that is better done behind closed doors, but is possible missing link. In short, we need a concerted comprehensive effort or else in my view I do not have much hope to find the aircraft.
Malaysia would have to ask for such a JIT-style task force, which possibly the current government might be receptive, but would need China/OZ backing. The other prob is while I see current Malaysian PM as supportive, he is on weak footing with Anwar as his detractor.
I agree. Malaysia should release both the raw military radar data and the full FBI report from their investigation, including all the Zaharie Shah home simulator data.
As Don pointed out in his presentation yesterday, we know where all the radar installations are and we know the manufacturers specifications. Claiming national security after 7 years is a weak excuse.
Mick Gilbert achieved a partial release under certain conditions in a Freedom Of Information request regarding the Zaharie Shah home simulator data, but we know there is more data which is not yet in the public domain.
Of course when NTSB/FBI does a crash investigation, much of the data is held confidential. That is acceptable, because we know NTSB is looking impartially at all of the details, and will report back to us, most of what we need to know.
In this case, we have a successful Step#1: Hold the various data Confidential; but we are missing Step#2 impartial review and interpretation of the data. and Step#3 reporting back on results and findings.
And the reason is it existential issue for Malaysia. I get it, but I do not like it.
I have followed this from day one.
If the aircraft broke up in its decent then the wreck is going to be over a large area of Ocean floor.
However if aircraft landed intact, as it sank, it would drift. Bit like a submarine that has lost power.
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The average weight of the 33 items of debris found is 4.88 kg. At this rate MH370 which weighed 174 MT when it crashed empty of fuel would be 35,740 pieces.
We have floating debris from every part of the aircraft interior and exterior, nose and tail, wings and engines, cabin seating, cabin dividers and cabin door area.
@everyone MH 370 tragically shattered on impact