MH370 disappearance: what happened to missing Malaysian Airline flight as experts find new key evidence

New evidence was found in the possession of a Madagascan fisherman which gave clues to the mysterious circumstances in which the flight disappeared in 2014

A new clue has been discovered in one of the biggest aviation mysteries ever. It’s thought a piece of debris from the flight points to the possibility the pilot deliberately downed Malaysian Airlines flight 370. The landing gear door of the plane was found by a Madagascan fisherman.

The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of flight MH370 have remained a mystery since the aircraft failed to make it to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur in 2014. The flight last communicated with air traffic control about 38 minutes into the journey, with military radar tracking the flight for another hour before it dropped off the radar range 230 miles off of Penang Island in Peninsular Malaysia.

While debris from the aircraft has been found before, the latest discovery is believed to be one of the biggest clues to what happened to flight MH370 so far. The landing gear door has been analysed by British engineer Richard Godfrey and American wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson.

The flight was carrying 227 passengers and 12 members of crew at takeoff. All 239 people on board are presumed to have died after the flight disappeared.

A new Netflix documentary has opened up on the situation over the mysterious disappearance of the flight but what has the new evidence suggested, and what have experts said? Here’s everything you need to know.

What has new evidence from MH370 shown?

The landing gear door was found by a Madagascan fisherman on 17 November. However, this fact was only just revealed by Gibson and Godrey.

Researchers believe that this vital piece of information could be a clue to the possibility that the pilot deliberately downed the plane. This is because the landing gear door is usually not used if a crash landing happens on water.

The flight is presumed to have crashed over the Indian Ocean after satellite images showed a possible crash in the vast water.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is believed to have crashed over the Indian Ocean after it disappeared from radar in 2014. (Credit: Getty Images)
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is believed to have crashed over the Indian Ocean after it disappeared from radar in 2014. (Credit: Getty Images)
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is believed to have crashed over the Indian Ocean after it disappeared from radar in 2014. (Credit: Getty Images)

The landing door gear releases the wheels of an aeroplane. If a plane is forced to land on water, the landing gear is normally not released to limit the possibility of the aircraft breaking-up on impact or from sinking quickly.

An example of this would be the Hudson River landing in 2009. Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger was forced to perform an emergency landing in the New York river - with the landing gears retracted - after the aircraft hit a flock of birds shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport, saving all 155 people onboard.

What have experts said about the new evidence from MH370?

In their report, Godfrey and Gibson wrote: “The combination of the high speed impact designed to break up the aircraft and the extended landing gear designed to sink the aircraft as fast as possible both show a clear intent to hide the evidence of the crash.”

They also concluded that the landing gear door had been sliced by a Boeing 777 engine compressor blade ring upon crashing. Gibson and Godfrey said: “Whatever the cause of the slicing damage, the fact that the damage was from the interior side to the exterior side of the debris item leads to the conclusion that the landing gear was highly likely extended on impact, which in turn supports the conclusion that there was an active pilot until the end of the flight.”

The pilot in command was Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, with Fariq Abdul Hamid as his co-pilot. Amid a police investigation, it was found that Shah had simulated a Boeing 777 flight over the Indian Ocean from his home computer weeks before the MH370 disappearance, with the flight bearing a resemblance to the fateful flight.

So far, 19 pieces of debris have been found from the wreckage, including the landing gear door. They have mostly been found off the coast of Madagascar, indicating that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.