MH370 search extended into August

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, coordinating the multinational search for flight MH370, the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, had planned to complete the mission this month.

But winter weather has slowed down the sea-bed search for the main aircraft wreckage.

The ATSB says: “It is now anticipated it may take until around August to complete the 120,000 square kilometres, but this will be influenced by weather conditions over the coming months, which may worsen. More than 105,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far. In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities, including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation.”

The ATSB statement continues: “Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the PRC in April last year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. 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.”

The investigators have now examined half a dozen pieces of floating wreckage that washed up on beaches, mostly on the shores of islands in the western Indian Ocean or off south-eastern Africa. The have all been determined either to be definitely or almost certainly from the missing Malaysia 777. They include a flaperon, a wing flap section a flap track fairing, a part from a horizontal stabiliser, a piece of engine cowling, and a section of laminate material from the cabin trim of the aircraft.

So the aircraft is in the Indian Ocean, but if it is not found in the area where the sparse data the authorities have at their disposal suggest it should be, they have decided that the search will stop there.

2 thoughts on “MH370 search extended into August

  1. Do you know if ATSB has now searched the original and/or the amended area suggested by Capt Hardy?


    • Apparently Fugro was scheduled to begin searching the area in the specified priority zone, which also coincided Captain Hardy’s coordinates, at the beginning of December 2015. The scan of this area was to be completed in about 3-4 weeks, as per the ATSB. They obviously didn’t find the wreckage within the coordinates he suggested.

      For the last number of months, there have been a few ‘experts’ independent from the ATSB have suggested that the real search area should be 500 miles to the north of the current search area. They claim this to be the case after running their own reverse engineered drift modelling simulations of the debris found on various African coastlines, along with western Indian Ocean islands.

      I’m having a difficult time trying to understand how the ‘real’ suggested zone being 500 miles to the north fits with the Immarsat satellite handshakes. The ATSB based their search zone from the last handshake received by the satellite from the plane in the few minutes between the engines flaming out and the backup power unit powering up and allowing another satellite handshake to be initiated. If it happened where they say it did, then how could the plane be resting 500 miles to the north of the last confirmed handshake? The plane couldn’t have then been turned around to go back north and glide to their ‘real’ suggested search zone after the engines flamed out.

      Am I missing something here?


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