CANBERRA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- It is increasingly likely that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was in an uncontrolled descent when it went missing in March 2014, an Australian report said.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report, released on Wednesday, said that the aircraft's wings were in a "cruise" position when the plane crash landed in the Southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people on board.
Debris analysis of a right outboard wing flap section, which washed up near Tanzania in September, revealed that the plane was "in a high and increasing rate of descent".
Greg Hood, the Chief Commissioner of the ATSB, said that the status of the flap section indicated the plane was not configured for landing.
"You can never be 100 percent (sure) and we are very reluctant to express absolute certainty, but that's the most likely scenario," Hood told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday.
"You can draw your own conclusions as to whether that means someone was in control or not."
The release of the report came as international aviation experts met in Canberra on Wednesday for the beginning of a three-day conference to review the next stage of the search process.
"Findings of the review will be released after the meeting," Darren Chester, Australia's Minister for Transport, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Australia, Malaysia and China continue to work together to find MH370."
Chester confirmed that the search for the missing plane, which was meant to conclude at the end of 2016, would now extend into 2017 due to challenging conditions in the Southern Indian Ocean.
"Keep in mind we're talking about a search area which is located 2,600 kilometers off the coast of Western Australia (WA)," Chester said.
"We're talking of a search area, in many cases, up to six kilometers deep in terms of the water and the sea conditions which have been extreme on many, many occasions."
The current search area spans 120,000 square kilometres and all but 10,000 square kilometers of that region has been searched.