One of aviation’s greatest mysteries, the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, could soon be solved, according to a new report.
MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, on March 8 2014, just after midnight at 00:41 local time and was scheduled to arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport, China, at 6:30 a.m. local time; however, it never arrived.
The plane, 227 passengers and 12 crew on board from 14 different nations, including 153 passengers from China and 38 passengers and 12 crew from Malaysia, have never been located.
MH370 Flight Path with WSPR Technology
But a recent 232-page report may have changed this after researchers found that MH370 could be located about 1,560km or west of Perth and at a depth of up to 4,000m.
Researchers Richard Godfrey, Dr Hannes Coetzee, and Professor Simon Maskell used new amateur radio technology known as weak signal propagation reporter (WSPR) to detect and track the plane’s flight path, leading to the findings.
When an aircraft flies through an amateur radio signal or WSPR link, it disturbs the signals, and these records are stored in a global database.
The study used 125 disturbances to help track the plane’s path for more than six hours after one of its last radio contacts at about 6 p.m.
It comes after an expert in passive radar systems, Dr. Robert Westphal, proposed using WSPR to detect and track MH370 in July 2020. Still, using amateur radio signals as a passive radar system to detect and track aircraft was first proposed in a NATO paper written by the Finnish Air Defence Academy in 2026.
The researchers confirmed in the report that WSPR technology was developed over the last three years, and this means the result of the information and case study in the report presents credible new evidence in the search for MH370.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas said the report’s results were concluded because the technology enabled the researchers to “go back in time” to March 8, 2014, from the last known position of MH370.
“Through some very complex mathematics and science, they were able to recreate the aircraft’s flight path and come to a position…in an area partially searched before,” Mr. Thomas said.
He said the new findings “line up” with satellite tracking of the plane, but this (report) hones the position down to a relatively small area of 130 kilometres (80.77 miles) by 74 kilometres (45.98 miles).
The reported position also aligns with University of Western Australia Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi’s research finding that MH370’s majority remaining debris is on Africa’s east coast, as far south as Cape Town.
The Future of Flight MH370
However, when asked if the plane would be resurrected from the ocean, Mr. Thomas said, “It would be challenging to get it off the ocean floor, not impossible, but I think they (the researchers) would respect its location and the fact it is a grave.”
“They (the researchers) will certainly look at it and try to get some clues as to exactly what went on,” he said.
“We are very hopeful we will finally find MH370