As people around the world continue to ponder what became of the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 which disappeared five years ago and hasn’t been heard of ever since, a certain piece of data suggests that the aircraft was almost literally flying in circles after it dropped out of contact, the Daily Express reports.
According to Wise, "just as the motion of a speeding train makes the tone of its whistle go up or down, the relative motion of the satellite and the aeroplane shifts the frequency of the radio signals transmitted between them", and the BFO values suggest that the plane likely wasn’t travelling in a straight line.
"The BFO data suggests that the plane either flew in a curving trajectory or spent some time between 18:28 and 19:41 UTC flying around in circles", he said.
However, this information comes into conflict with the Burst Timing Offset — a measure of the time taken for a transmission round trip which can be used to calculate the distance between the satellite and the plane – which indicates that the aircraft was flying in a straight line.
"Long and short, it was very hard to come up with any routes that matches BTO and BFO data and made any sort of sense in terms of how planes are actually flown", Wise remarked. "At the end of the day you always had to shrug and choose which data to ignore."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished above the South China Sea while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur in March 2014, after making a leftward detour and flying toward the Indian Ocean; large-scale search operations launched after the plane’s disappearance have yielded no results.
While the airliner’s disappearance spawned numerous theories about what happened to it and where its final resting place may be, the ultimate fate of the doomed plane still remains unknown at this time.