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Monday, March 24, 2014

Missing flight MH370 'fell to 12,000ft after cabin emergency': New clues as officials suggest plane veered left because of unexpected crisis -- By Emma Glanfield, DailyMail.co.uk

Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, right, talks with John Rice, left, senior search and rescue officer and mission coordinator for the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft 
 Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, right, talks with John Rice, left, senior search and rescue officer and mission coordinator for the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft


  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 dropped in altitude after 'intentional left turn'
  • Boeing 777-200 went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board
  • Aviation analyst Mary Schiavo deems new information 'highly significant'
  • Air and sea searches since last Thursday in remote area of Indian Ocean
  • Search expanded after France reveals satellite images of 'possible debris'
  • Fears search could be hampered as rain and tropical cyclone forecast
  •  Australian Deputy PM claims search team is 'clutching' at information

  • The missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 dropped to as low as 12,000ft in what could have been a cabin emergency before it disappeared from the radar, it has emerged.

    As the exhaustive search continues in the Indian Ocean for the missing Boeing 777-200, an official revealed the doomed passenger jet made a sharp turn over the South China Sea which ‘seemed to be intentional’.

    The plane's last confirmed position, picked up by Malaysian military radar, was at 2.15am Malaysia time (1815 GMT March 7) about 200 nautical miles north-west of Malaysia's Penang island, roughly an hour after it diverted from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

    Radar tracking shows the aircraft changed altitude after making the ‘intentional’ sharp left turn as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, a source close to the investigation said.

    The anonymous official, who is not authorised to speak to the media, told CNN that flying at 12,000 feet in the heavily trafficked air corridor would’ve kept the missing jet out of sight of other aircraft.

    Mary Schiavo, an aviation analyst and former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, told the international broadcaster the new information was ‘highly significant’.

    She said: ‘It explains so many pieces that didn't fit together before.

    ‘Now, if we have a scenario where something happened, the plane made a dramatic turn and dropped from 35,000 feet to 12,000 feet, this scenario would fit what a pilot would do in the event of a catastrophic on-board event, such as a rapid decompression, a fire, an explosion.

    ‘That's what you would have to do, descend, get down and turn around and try to get back to an airport that could accommodate an ailing plane.’

    It raises questions over what might have happened in the plane’s cockpit to cause such a drop in altitude.

    However, it is not yet clear how long it took the plane to descend to 12,000 feet, which officials will now be desperate to uncover.

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