MH370 search: winter may make it un-viable

The Australian Transport Safety Board reports that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is increasingly likely to be compromised by bad weather as the southern hemisphere winter advances.

The latest ATSB report says: “Poor weather conditions prompted the crew of Fugro Discovery to recover the deep-tow vehicle and go to weather avoidance on 8 May. The vessel is expected to depart for Fremantle later today.

Fugro Equator departed Fremantle for the search area on 6 May but poor weather has slowed transit to the search area. The vessel is anticipated to arrive on 11 May but weather conditions in the coming days are expected to preclude search operations.

Dong Hai Jiu 101 completed testing of the SLH‑ProSAS‑60 deep tow system and departed for the search area on 10 May.”

The sea conditions report speaks of 12m high waves and 50kt winds, but the Board says searches will resume whenever the weather permits.

This does not sound promising because the search is nearing its end, as the ATSB explains: “It is anticipated this will be completed around the middle of the year. In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, Governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area.”

But if they do find the wreckage within the remaining search area, Malaysia, China and Australia are committed to recovering it all.

One thought on “MH370 search: winter may make it un-viable

  1. What a terrible tragedy for the families of the passengers and crew aboard MH370. I don’t know what would be worse, trying to come to terms of a loved one’s death or the prospect of having to live the rest of your life not knowing what happened. I think it’s pretty much a given by everyone involved that it most likely won’t be found in the remaining area to be searched. Not finding it after all this time has made many people lose faith in finding it before the end of the mission. There were so many leads as to the likely location of the main wreckage, from Inmatsat to the ATSB’s ‘experts’, and Captain Simon Hardy’s data where is stated he knew the exact point of impact. All of these area sonar sweeps have found nothing of the lost airliner and quite frankly added more turmoil to the family members each time a lead has come up empty. There are many other ‘experts’ who ‘know’ the true resting place of the wreckage outside the search zone, however they’re all very likely to be wrong too. After all, these are extremely intelligent people working for and with the ATSB and their best guess so far hasn’t borne fruit.

    I hope that the search team haven’t missed the wreckage in their sonar sweeps. Imagine too if the wreckage is merely a few kilometers outside of the search area and will remain not being found because there won’t be an expansion of the defined search area.

    I pray for these family members. There’s the saying that “time heals all wounds” but not in this case. Part of their lives have been utterly destroyed and in the end, by not knowing, moving forward is going to be extremely difficult for them.

    There’s also the uncertainty behind the accident itself. What if it wasn’t pilot suicide or a catastrophic event (i.e.: burning lithium ion batteries) which turned the plane into the so-called ghost plane? What if there was a defect in the Boeing 777 design? Can we really afford not to know, no matter what the cause? Can the world governments who allow the 777 to fly in their airspace not jointly fund the expansion of the search area until it’s found, no matter how long it takes? It would definitely cost, but not knowing may just cost more in the long run.

    — fingers crossed that it will be found in the remaining area to be searched. The entire world needs it.


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