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Mystery solved? Missing airliner took nosedive into ocean, researchers say

computer simulation of passenger jet taking a nosedive into ocean

Image: Texas A&M University at Qatar

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 plunged vertically into the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014, according to computer simulations conducted by an interdisciplinary research team led by a Texas A&M University at Qatar math professor.

If the team is correct, it has solved one of the great mysteries of modern aviation. The plane, which mysteriously vanished with 239 passengers and crew, remains the subject of a massive international search.

A 90-degree nosedive explains the lack of debris or spilled oil in the water near where the plane is presumed to have crashed, the researchers said.

Their findings were published recently as the cover story for Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

Goong Chen, a professor of applied mathematics at Texas A&M’s Qatar campus, led the interdisciplinary team of collaborators from A&M, Penn State, Virginia Tech, MIT and the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI).