Expert: End in sight for MH370 hunt

Children write messages of hope for passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2014)
Children write messages of hope for passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2014)

The hunt for the wreckage of MH370 is likely to end in the next few months, according to one aviation expert.

But whether that's because the missing 777 is found or the countries involved in the search give up, remains to be seen.

Australia, Malaysia and Chinese authorities are to meet in June to decide whether to keep looking for the Malaysia Airlines plane, which vanished two years ago today on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Since then, a single flaperon which washed up on Reunion Island, near Madagascar, is all that's been found.

But Geoffrey Thomas, editor of, is confident more will surface before that June meeting.

"In this particular case, the last 25 percent of the search as it turns out, as we redefine the search area and redefine the calculations, we're looking in the very highest area of probability," he told the Paul Henry programme this morning.

The difficulty comes from the area's remote location, on the border of the Indian and Southern oceans.

"One of the problems was that we didn't start looking in the area that we're searching right now until at least 10 days after the plane disappeared," said Mr Thomas.

"Any debris field would have been spread, and… the Southern Ocean is a pretty wild place, and this particular location is 1800km southwest of Perth and Western Australia, right in the middle of the Roaring Forties, so it would have been spread all over the place."

In the past couple of weeks, two more suspected plane pieces have washed ashore, including a metre-long chunk of white metal found in Mozambique, on the eastern African coast.

"They're yet to be confirmed -- they're certainly aeronautical in nature, but yet to be confirmed as from a 777 or that particular Malaysian 777," says Mr Thomas.

The cause of the plane's disappearance remains as much a mystery as its resting place. Investigations into the crew and passengers' backgrounds by various national authorities turned up nothing conclusive. A 584-page report into the disappearance, released a year ago, found nothing suspicious in the backgrounds of the pilots and crew.

Mr Thomas says that doesn't rule out terrorism as a possible cause.

"Let's remember -- some people have suggested only a pilot could do this. Well, some untrained terrorists who became pilots overtook some aeroplanes and flew them into buildings in America," he said.

"Any young boy, any young enthusiast who flies a desktop programme called Flight Simulator can reprogramme a flight management computer. It's not something exclusive to pilots at all."