Search for flight MH370 could end within a week - report

2014-04-19 11:59
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

Sydney - Australian officials supervising the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said on Saturday that an underwater search for the black box recorder based on "pings" possibly from the device could be completed in five to seven days.

A US Navy deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for signs of the plane, which disappeared from radars on 8 March with 239 people on board and is believed to have crashed in the area.

After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a circular area with a radius of 10km around the location in which one of four pings believed to have come from the black box recorders was detected on 8 April, officials said.

"Provided the weather is favourable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days," the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre told Reuters in an e-mail.

Officials did not indicate whether they were confident that this search area would yield any new information about the flight, nor did they state what steps they would take in the event that the underwater search were to prove fruitless.

The comment came in response to a request for clarification from the agency, after it said in a statement on Thursday that previous media reports suggesting the underwater search could take as long as several months were inaccurate.

Search planes and ships from a half dozen countries have tried in vain to catch any glimpse of the wreckage after nearly two months of daily sorties, making this the most expensive such operation in aviation history.

Drone goes deeper than ever before

After almost two weeks without a signal, and long past the black box battery's 30-day life expectancy, authorities are increasingly reliant on the $4m US Bluefin-21 drone, which on Saturday was expected to dive to unprecedented depths.

Because visual searches of the ocean surface have yielded no concrete evidence, the drone and its ability to search deep beneath the ocean surface with "side scan" sonar has become the focal point of the search 2 000km west of the Australian city of Perth.

The search has thus far centred on a city-sized area where a series of "pings" led authorities to believe the plane's black box may be located. The current refined search area is based on one such transmission.

After the drone's searches were frustrated by an automatic safety mechanism which returns it to the surface when it exceeds a depth of 4.5km, authorities have adjusted the mechanism and have sent it as deep as 4 695m, a record.

But hopes that it might soon guide searchers to wreckage are dwindling with no sign of the plane after six deployments spanning 133km².

Footage from the drone's sixth mission was still being analysed, the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre said on Saturday.

Malaysian acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said in a Twitter post that the government's Deployment of Assets Committee was considering using more autonomous underwater vehicles, a possible sign of growing confidence in the vessels. He did not elaborate.

On Monday, the search co-ordinator, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the air and surface search for debris would likely end by midweek as the operation shifted its focus to the ocean floor.

But the air and surface searches have continued daily, and on Saturday the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre said up to 11 military aircraft and 12 ships would help with the day's search covering about 50 200km² across three areas.

Read more on:    australia  |  malaysia  |  malaysia airlines flight mh370
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
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order 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

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...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.