MH370 search 'should extend to remote valley in Kyrgyzstan' where a plume of smoke was reportedly seen at the time the plane would have crashed
- NZ scientist says search should also include the Besh-Tash Valley
- Space scientist and physicist Duncan Steel said the plane most likely ended up much further south than the current search area west of Perth
- But he said consideration should be given to possible 'northern' flight path
A New Zealand scientist has suggested the search for missing MH370 should be extended thousands of miles north to a valley in Kyrgyzstan where a cloud of smoke was seen at about the time the plane could have crashed.
Mr Duncan Steel, a space scientist and physicist who is also visiting Professor of Astrobiology at Britain's University of Buckingham, admitted that the search for the plane in the Indian Ocean appeared to be in the wrong place.
Suggesting that the Boeing 777 jet with 239 passengers and crew on board most likely ended up much further south than the current search area, he also turned his attention to a valley in the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan.
A New Zealand scientist has suggested the search for missing MH370 should be extended to Besh-Tash Valley in Kyrgyzstan (pictured)
In an interview with the South East Asian news agency Bernama today, Mr Steel, who also works with NASA, suggested that some consideration should be given to the 'northern corridor' of the plane's possible flight path until the possibilities could be ruled out.
'For example, someone should go and take a look at the suggested crash site in the Besh-Tash Valley (Kyrgyzstan) which was indicated by a smoke plume just when the aircraft would have been expected to have crashed,' he said.
Mr Steel said his own conclusions matched what has now been established by the authorities - that the sonic pings in the Indian Ocean were not from the MH370 emergency locator beacon.
Based on available information from the released raw data, he said, it was most likely that the aircraft headed south at near 500 knots and ended up much further south than the current search area.
He praised British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat for doing a good job of pulling out the data and analysing it, noting that the company's analysis of its satellite data was good.
'However, that does not mean I am sure they are correct because we have not been given vital information about the composition of the BFOs (Burst Frequency Offsets) and the modelling that Inmarsat performed.
'If we had that information, we could check on what was done to verify it or possibly find errors' he said.
Space scientist Duncan Steel said the search for MH370 appeared to be in the wrong place. Pictured are Malaysia Airline passenger jets are shown parked on the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in March 2014
Meanwhile former Malaysian Airlines chief pilot Captain Nik Ahmad Huzlan Nik Hussain said he had no reason to disbelief the analysis and calculations by Inmarsat and the air Accidents Investigation Branch.
The calculations had been verified by experts familiar with the fields of satellite communications from a technical angle.'
However, there are margins of error caused by utilisation of assumptions, which may result in the widening of the search area,' he said.
The Ocean Shield departed the previous search area in the Indian Ocean on Friday after it was revealed that the acoustic 'pings' whose data the search was based off were unlikely to have been coming from the plane's black-box. The new search for the aircraft is anticipated to begin in August and take up to one year
In Doha, Qatar, the president of the Emirates airline, Tim Clark, told the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association that more analysis was needed to find the missing jet.
'We need to know more about what actually happened to this aeroplane and do a forensic analysis of it.
'I think we will find it and get to the bottom of it.'
A Chinese survey ship has already begun mapping of the new ocean floor, expected to continue for the next three months