MH370 crash zone possibly never searched

Updated: 2014-06-17 14:05


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MH370 crash zone possibly never searched

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SYDNEY -- The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 has not focused on the most likely crash area, according to UK satellite company Inmarsat, BBC reported on Tuesday.

The British company said the original "hot spot" was based on its hourly electronic connections between the jet and one of its spacecraft before it crashed.

Inmarsat says it gave search authorities these coordinates, but the search crews never reached this hot-spot area because they were distracted for two months by "pings" that were later found to be a dead end.

"It was by no means an unrealistic location (where they were searching), but it was further to the northeast than our area of highest probability," Chris Ashton at Inmarsat told BBC's Horizon TV program.

To determine the hot spot, Inmarsat scientists used their data to draw a series of arcs across the Indian Ocean where its systems made contact with the jet.

Through flight modeling, they found one flight path that lined up with all its data.

"We can identify a path that matches exactly with all those frequency measurements and with the timing measurements and lands on the final arc at a particular location, which then gives us a sort of a hotspot area on the final arc where we believe the most likely area is," Ashton said.

The search for MH370 has stopped while ships map the Indian Ocean floor.

MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on March 8 after leaving Kuala Lumpur on a flight to Beijing.