MH370 may have 'landed' elsewhere - reports

A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leaves on a stretcher after fainting at Lido Hotel.
A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leaves on a stretcher after fainting at Lido Hotel.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) makes an announcement on the latest development on the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane. "This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites.  It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) makes an announcement on the latest development on the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane. "This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
A man cries after hearing the Malaysian prime minister's announcement.
A man cries after hearing the Malaysian prime minister's announcement.
The man is comforted by another grieving family member.
The man is comforted by another grieving family member.
A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is cared for after fainting at the Lido Hotel.
A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is cared for after fainting at the Lido Hotel.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 shouts at journalists after hearing the news that all hope had been lost of finding survivors of MH370.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 shouts at journalists after hearing the news that all hope had been lost of finding survivors of MH370.
Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 look out from a room as they cry after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing.
Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 look out from a room as they cry after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing.
Medical personnel transport a family member who collapsed after hearing all hope was lost of finding survivors of MH370.
Medical personnel transport a family member who collapsed after hearing all hope was lost of finding survivors of MH370.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 falls down an escalator as he cries after the news that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean and there were no survivors.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 falls down an escalator as he cries after the news that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean and there were no survivors.
A relative of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing.
A relative of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference where Malaysia's PM announced the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference where Malaysia's PM announced the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Selamat Omar (right), father of flight engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat who was on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, sits next to his wife Rosila Abu Samah as he speaks on the  phone at the hotel where he and other relatives of passengers are staying.
Selamat Omar (right), father of flight engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat who was on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, sits next to his wife Rosila Abu Samah as he speaks on the phone at the hotel where he and other relatives of passengers are staying.

Searchers are reported to be considering they are looking for flight MH370 in the wrong place, as the hunt for the missing airliner continues to draw a blank.

"The thought of it landing somewhere else is possible as we have not found a single piece of debris that could be linked to MH370," Malaysia's New Straits Times quoted an official saying.

Members of the International Investigation Team (IIT) based in Kuala Lumpur were thinking of starting from the beginning in the search for the plane.

A piece of unknown debris floats just under the water in this image taken from a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion maritime search aircraft.
A piece of unknown debris floats just under the water in this image taken from a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion maritime search aircraft.
RNZAF co-pilot Squadron Leader Brett McKenzie sits in the cockpit of a P3 Orion during the search for MH370.
RNZAF co-pilot Squadron Leader Brett McKenzie sits in the cockpit of a P3 Orion during the search for MH370.
The NZ Orion crew discuss their mission before flying over the southern Indian Ocean.
The NZ Orion crew discuss their mission before flying over the southern Indian Ocean.
A picture taken of a computer monitor shows a piece of unknown debris floating just under the water.
A picture taken of a computer monitor shows a piece of unknown debris floating just under the water.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The possibility it landed somewhere other than in the current southern Indian Ocean search area was being considered, the Straits Times said.

"We may have to look into this if no positive results come back in the next few days - but at the same time the search mission in the Indian Ocean will go on," an official said.

"The thought of it landing somewhere else is possible as we have not found a single piece of debris that could be linked to MH370.

"However, the possibility of a specific country hiding the plane when more than 20 nations are searching for it seems absurd."

Pinger signals were picked up in the search area this month, with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott telling reporters he was confident the signals were from the aircraft's black box flight recorder.

But unmanned submarine Bluefin-21 has failed to find any traces of the aircraft after scouring 80 per cent of an area targeted after the pings were picked up.

The sounds could have come from sources other than the emergency beacons, the Washington Post quoted Peter Herzig, executive director of the Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Oceanographic Research in Germany, as saying.

With all the planes and ships combing the Indian Ocean for signs of debris, it was unusual to draw a total blank, Herzig said.

Given that the force of an aircraft hitting the ocean was similar to a collision with concrete, at least some debris should have been left floating.

MH370 vanished from civilian radars while headed north over the Gulf of Thailand. It is believed to have doubled back and flown over Peninsular Malaysia and on into some of the world's most remote waters.

While the motive behind that heading remains unknown, MH370 was deliberately steered south on a path ending in the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said.

The search for the plane has entered its 46th day - the longest hunt for a missing passenger plane in modern aviation history.

The Daily Mail has resurrected previous reports that fishermen and villagers in northeast Malaysia had filed official statements with police claiming to have seen, or heard, a low-flying aircraft at the time MH370 lost all contact with ground control.

Their descriptions of a "very loud engine" and headlights like those switched on by an aircraft about to land at night suggested that the aircraft was flying to the west, across jungle, very fast, at a low altitude.

The Malaysian Government has announced death certificates will be issued for the passengers and crew on board the plane. That will allow relatives to receive financial aid and potentially start legal action against Malaysia Airlines.

CNN reported the plane had now been missing long enough for US attorneys to move in. US lawyers had to wait 45 days before approaching families that had lost a loved one in a plane crash.

Having passed that mark, families could file suit in US courts against Boeing Co, with some relatives hoping such moves might bring new information to light.

The New Straits Times reported that it was understood the IIT had not been receiving as much information from countries as it had hoped.

"We have mainly been provided with selective data," a source said.

Because the information potentially involved the national security of the country from which it was requested, only partial raw data had been provided, making it difficult for Malaysian authorities to get the full picture.

"The data involved would be official information, so the (foreign) country cannot simply give it to us on paper or in soft copy - they will select only the ones that can be revealed."

The Malaysians had asked the US Government to view data collected by its secret base, Pine Gap, in the Australian outback.

The request had been denied, sources said, after the US had said that no contact had been made with MH370.

- Stuff, Washington Post

Fairfax Media