Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Stricken plane was 'thrown around like a fighter jet in attempt to dodge radar'

Investigators now convinced that plane was 'flown very low at a very high speed' in bid to avoid radar detection, source claims

The missing Malaysia Airlines flight was “thrown around like a fighter jet” in a bid to dodge radar detection after it disappeared, Malaysian military investigators reportedly now believe.

An unnamed source cited by The Sunday Times added that officials are now convinced that the plane was “flown very low at a very high speed”.

The source concluded: “And it was being flown to avoid radar.”

Black box has fallen silent, admits Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

It is also possible that the flight surged to 45,000 feet - 10,000 above its normal cruising altitude of 35,000 feet - after disappearing, before dropping to as low as 5000 feet, reports by investigators have suggested.

The low altitude would fit in with a report by Malaysia’s New Straits Times newspaper that co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid tried to make a mid-flight phone call shortly before the plane disappeared.

In order for the phone signal to reach the reported telecommunications tower near the Malaysian city of Penang, the plane would needed to have been flying under 7000 feet.

The newspaper report said the signal ended abruptly before contact was established.

The report has however been refuted by Malaysian Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who argued that if this were true, he would have been made aware of the phone call much earlier, but was not.

The latest theory comes as it is believed that the batteries on the all-important plane black boxes may have now died. The last of four strong locator signals, believed to be emitted by the boxes from 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) below the surface, were heard on the 8 April.

The batteries of the black boxes, which record flight data including conversations from the cockpit, only last a month, meaning the window has now passed.

The pings already captured have however allowed the search area to be narrowed down to a 500-square-mile patch of the seabed - around the size of Los Angeles.

Once investigators are confident no more sounds will be heard, and the search area can be narrowed no further, a robotic submersible will be sent down to slowly scour for wreckage, a process which could take up to two months.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Buyer / Ecommerce Buyer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - CAD Software Solutions Sales

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police