MH370 was on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board when it veered off course and then flew south across the Indian Ocean.
Despite two large-scale searches of the sea bed off the coast of western Australia, only scattered pieces of debris have been found washed up on several beaches.
Ian Wilson, a British video producer, was convinced he had found the missing jet in a mountainous area on the outskirts of Phnom Penh after finding pictures that appear to show a 70 metre plane – a close match to the 63.7m of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.
And one group has now completed the first helicopter search of the area in the hope of being awarded the £53million finders fee from the Malaysian government, who last month published their final report into the disappearance.
Zorba Parer, an aviation consultant, Nara Kang, a local entrepreneur, and journalist Michael Carr rented a helicopter for a £3,000 trip into the jungle to try and find the plane this week.
The team, who searched 500 feet above the jungle, did not find the plane – but said increased cloud cover or the wrong coordinates could be to blame.
Mr Parer – who used to work for NASA – said: “We found a lot of the jungle had been illegally cleared.
“We tried to find any piece of plane that may have been scattered.
“But we found nothing.
“We couldn’t find a trace of aircraft or any sign of any bodies.
“All we could see in the mountains and national parks were footprints, more footprints and signs of illegal hunting.
“It is regrettable for the relatives.”
Mr Parer and his team are the first to complete an aerial search of the site by helicopter.
They said they considered doing the trek on foot but decided the jungle was too dangerous.
This week, the Chinese government used observation company Space View to focus in on the high-altitude area in an attempt to find the plane.
However, the firm said there was no sign of any plane.
“It is regrettable for the relatives”
“Stakeholders and bystanders plead Space View to shoot at the site. So we found out three images, shot in 2015, 2016 and 2018 from our archive. Sorry, no plane found there,” Space View wrote on Twitter.
But the company also said there was a high cloud cover, which could have prevented them seeing the whole site.
MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur and was heading to Beijing with 239 people on board.
But at 12.14am on March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines lost contact with MH370 close to Phuket island in the Strait of Malacca.
Before that, Malaysian authorities believe the last words heard from the plane, from either the pilot or co-pilot, was “Good night Malaysian three seven zero”.
Satellite “pings” from the aircraft suggest it continued flying for around seven hours when the fuel would have run out.
Experts have calculated the most likely crash site is around 1,000 miles west of Perth, Australia.
Only three confirmed fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-metre wing part known as a flaperon.
Several theories have emerged about how the plane disappeared, with some suggesting it was deliberately crashed into the sea by the pilot.
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