Students at Hailiang International School in Zhuji, China light candles for the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight, just a few days after the aircraft went missing in 2014 Getty

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was deliberately flown into the sea, an expert air crash investigator has claimed.

Larry Vance said photos of the plane's flaperon found on a beach 2,500 miles from the search area show "definite evidence" it was extended at the time of the crash, suggesting the pilot brought the plane down in the ocean.

"Somebody was flying the airplane at the end of its flight," Mr Vance told Australia's 60 Minutes programme.

"Somebody was flying the airplane into the water. There is no other alternate theory that you can follow."

Mr Vance said the failure to find floating debris could be explained by a slow, controlled landing in the ocean. 

Peter Foley, Australian Transport Safety Bureau's crash investigator, told the programme the damage the flaperon sustained provided evidence for the controlled landing theory. 

"There is a possibility there was someone in control at the end and we are actively looking for evidence to support that," he said.

Australian officials recently confirmed data recovered from the home flight simulator owned by the plane's captain showed the device had been used to plot a course over the southern Indian Ocean, where the missing jet is believed to have crashed.

The Boeing 777 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew after leaving Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing in March, 2014.

Officials from Malaysia, Australia and CHina have announced that the underwater search for MH370 will be suspended once the current search area has been competely scoured. 

Crews have fewer than 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) left to scan of the 120,000-square-kilometer (46,300-square-mile) search area, and should finish their sweep of the region by the end of the year. 

Almost A$180 million (£101 million) has been spent on the search so far, making it the most expensive in aviation history.


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