Malaysian jet's likely flight path gets 2nd look

2014-05-05 09:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - An international panel of experts will re-examine all data gathered in the nearly two-month hunt for the missing Malaysia jet to ensure search crews who have been scouring a desolate patch of ocean for the plane have been looking in the right place, officials said on Monday.

Senior officials from Malaysia, Australia and China met in the Australian capital to hash out the details of the next steps in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which will centre around an expanded patch of seafloor in a remote area of the Indian Ocean off Western Australia.

The area became the focus of the hunt after a team of analysts calculated the plane's likeliest flight path based on satellite and radar data.

Starting Wednesday, that data will be re-analysed and combined with all information gathered thus far in the search, which hasn't turned up a single piece of debris despite crews scouring more than 4.6 million square kilometres of ocean.

"We've got to this stage of the process where it's very sensible to go back and have a look at all of the data that has been gathered, all of the analysis that has been done and make sure there's no flaws in it, the assumptions are right, the analysis is right and the deductions and conclusions are right," Angus Houston, head of the search operation, told reporters in Canberra.

Investigators have been stymied by a lack of hard data since the plane vanished on 8 March during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A week-long search for surface debris was called off last week after officials determined any wreckage that may have been floating has likely sunk.

"Unfortunately, all of that effort has found nothing," Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss said. "We've been confident on the basis of the information provided that the search area was the right one, but in practice, that confidence has not been converted into us discovering any trace of the aircraft."

Specialised equipment

Houston has warned the underwater search is likely to drag on for up to a year.

Houston and Truss met with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang in Canberra on Monday to map out the next steps of the underwater search, which will focus on a 60 000km² patch of seafloor.

 Officials are contacting governments and private contractors to find out whether they have specialised equipment that can dive deeper than the Bluefin 21, an unmanned sub that has spent weeks scouring the seafloor in an area where sounds consistent with a plane's black box were detected in early April.

The Bluefin has been limited by the fact that it can dive only to depths of 4.5km - and parts of the search zone are likely deeper than that. Adding to the difficulties is the fact no one really knows exactly how deep the water in the search area is.

"I don't know that anyone knows for sure, because it's never been mapped," Truss said, adding that detailed mapping of the seafloor will be a key focus of the next phase of the search.

In addition to deeper diving capabilities, the new equipment will be able to send information back to crews in real time. The Bluefin's data can be downloaded only once it returns to the surface after each of its 16-hour dives.

It will likely take another two months before any new equipment is in the water, Truss said. The Bluefin will continue to be used in the meantime, though its search is currently on hold while the Ocean Shield, which has the sub on board, is taking on supplies at a base in Western Australia.
- AP
Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  china  |  australia  |  malaysia  |  plane crashes  |  air travel  |  malaysia airlines flight mh370  |  aviation
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.