Response to The Australian and Popular Mechanics recent reporting on MH370
21 September 2016
Defence wishes to correct the record in relation to The Australian article written by Ean Higgins ‘Go North, MH370 guru tells searches’ and Popular Mechanics article ‘Top Mathematician Says MH370 Probably crashed North of the Search Zone’ upon which The Australian sourced its information.
Both The Australian and Popular Mechanics articles suggest this is Dr Gordon’s first media interview about the MH370 search - this is misleading, as Dr Gordon has participated in several media interviews, including with the Australian since the MH370 search began.
The Australian claims there is growing doubt about the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s decision on where to search in relation to the type of descent the plane may or may not have had. This is incorrect. The International Search Group is solid in its analysis of uncontrolled descent.
The Popular Mechanics article writes about a ‘… recent assessment by the ATSB that the plane’s right flap was stowed inside the wing during impact with the sea.’ The work undertaken by the Defence Science and Technology Group did not extend to any assessment on the condition of aircraft parts from the missing MH370. Accordingly, Dr Gordon did not make comment on this assessment of the right wing flap.
The Popular Mechanics article claims that Dr Gordon ‘… is saying that searchers may have been hunting in the wrong area all along.’ This is incorrect. Dr Gordon discussed where a future search could be located.
The Popular Mechanics article refers to a ‘… zero probability that the plane wreckage will turn up in the course of the current search …’. This is incorrect. Dr Gordon has clearly stated that of the 120,000 km2 search area, the final areas being searched cover the next highest probability areas outside of those already searched.
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999