by Donald Wood
Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Thu February 18, 2016
Photo illustration by Barry Kaufman
Investigators combing the Indian Ocean for the wreckage Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are coming to the end of their search, and officials will now revisit the possibility that a rogue pilot or passenger intentionally crashed the plane.
According to Bernard Lagan of The London Times, authorities in Australia leading the search for the missing plane have only 10 weeks remaining until it is expected to be called off following a year-long recovery project.
The belief from some experts analyzing the incident is that if they do not find the aircraft in the current search area, there is a possibility that the pilot had control of the plane until it eventually crashed into the Indian Ocean.
READ MORE: US Team To Join Final Leg of MH370 Search
The current search area is 60,000 square kilometers (around 37,282 square miles), and was targeted as the possible crash point if the pilots of the aircraft had died or were incapacitated and the plane had flown on autopilot until it ran out of fuel.
If the search crews do not find any evidence of the aircraft over the coming weeks, authorities will be forced to consider the possibility that the plane was deliberately guided into the ocean by its pilot or someone who took control of the aircraft.
In addition to the possibility to the pilot crashing the plane, the theory also includes the theory that it was taken over by a non-pilot and then intentionally crashed, but investigators believe they have the plane's final trajectory thanks to satellite and radar data.
READ MORE: French Prosecutors Confirm Debris Is From MH370
Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner Martin Dolan told The Times:
"We're not at the point yet, but sooner or later we will be - and we will have to explain to governments what the alternative is. In a few months time, if we haven't found it (the plane), then we'll have to be contemplating that one of the much less likely scenarios ends up being more prominent. Which is that there were control inputs into that aircraft at the end of its flight."
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