Wreckage analysis suggests Flight MH370 did not make a controlled descent into the Indian Ocean, says a new report.
The Boeing 777 disappeared while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board in March 2014.
The report from Australian investigators suggests the aircraft’s wing flaps were in a “cruise” position when it hit the ocean surface.
It casts further doubt on the theory supported by some analysts that someone was in control of the plane’s descent.
Among more than 20 items of debris, investigators focused their attention on the recovered right outboard wing flap section.
“The purpose of the examination was to inform the end-of-flight scenarios being considered by the search team,” the report said.
“The right flaperon was probably at, or close to, the neutral position at the time it separated from the wing.”
The release of the report comes as a team of international aviation and communications experts gather in Canberra to discuss the next stage of the search process.
The report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is co-ordinating the search, is based on satellite data, flight simulations and a comprehensive analysis of debris which had drifted from the suspected crash site.
“Findings of the review will be released after the meeting,” Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement.
“Australia, Malaysia, and China continue to work together to find MH370.”
The search effort for MH370 has been combing a 120,000sq km area of seabed using underwater drones and sonar equipment deployed from specialist ships.
It is expected to draw to a close by the end of the year if it does not find credible new evidence.
MH370: Report suggests flight was not preparing for landing}