MH370 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, on March 8, 2014, when the jet mysteriously disappeared with 239 people on board. Captain Zaharie Shah last communicated with air traffic control at 1:19am while flying over the South China Sea. Moments later, the plane vanished from civilian radar following a routine handover from Malaysian to Vietnamese channels.
Over the past five years, investigators from around the world have probed the Southern Indian Ocean hoping to find the remains of MH370 with little luck.
The only success so far has come from floating debris, including a flaperon discovered on Reunion island.
However, Dr Goong Chen, from Texas A&M University, does not think much more will be discovered.
The maths professor claimed he and his team in Qatar calculated a scenario where the plane nosedived into the Indian Ocean at a 90-degree angle.
A calculation gives another theory
Captain Zaharie Shah has come under fire
Forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.
This means, according to Dr Chen, that the plane may have remained largely intact and sunk into the depths of the ocean.
He said in 2015: “The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until some day when its black box is finally recovered and decoded.
“But forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.”
The researchers used applied mathematics to test five different landing scenarios.
This included a gliding water entry, a skilful manoeuvre performed by Captain Chesley Sullenberger when he landed a US Airways flight on the Hudson River in New York in 2009.
MH370 had 239 people onboard
The calculation would see the jet enter the water vertically
According to researchers’ fluid dynamics simulations, a vertical water entry would have caused the least resistance.
Dr Chen claimed the wings would have snapped off instantly on impact but the rest of MH370 would have remained intact.
All the heavy debris would have then sunk to the bottom of the ocean, meaning it will be virtually impossible to locate in the mass waters of the Indian Ocean.
The idea that the plane suddenly nosedived would suggest a catastrophic disaster occurred on board such as a fire.
Larry Vance, a former Boeing 777 pilot and aviation expert does not support this theory, though.
Dr Goong Chen released the research
The flaperon was discovered at Reunion island
He thinks a controlled ditching is more feasible.
In his 2019 book “MH370: Mystery Solved”, he wrote: “The investigation into the disappearance of MH370 is different because MH370 was not an accident.
“MH370 has only one cause – it was caused by an international criminal act – perpetrated by one individual.
“There is no complex sequence of failures like there would be in an accident scenario.
“MH370 can be explained by one single cause – that being the conduct of the pilot.”
In February 2019, Mr Vance admitted that he could not say for certain whether the pilot, Captain Shah or co-pilot, 1st Officer Fariq Ab Hamid, were the perpetrator.
However, he said the most likely suspect is Captain Shah, who had ordered two extra hours of fuel before the flight.
He added: “The simplicity of the disappearance of MH370 comes down to this: either it was a criminal act, or it was not.
“The evidence confirms it was a criminal act, committed by one individual who, as a pilot in the plane, had a simple means to carry it out.
MH370 went missing in 2014
“There was nothing to prevent an MH370 pilot from commandeering his own plane and then following the exact sequence of events to take the plane to the bottom of the ocean.
“That is what happened and that is a fact.”
It is not the first shock claim Mr Vance has made.
He previously detailed how he believed Mr Shah had made two mistakes during the flight which will help to eventually find the plane.