It’s been nearly a year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing but there’s still not a single sign of the Boeing 777.
A recent report from the Australia Transportation Safety Bureau, which is leading the search for the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean, likely didn’t do much to encourage the families of the 239 people who were on board the plane.
The agency said that as of Feb. 25, almost 9,300 square miles of the Indian Ocean had been searched—or 40 percent of the priority area—yet there are still no clues as to what happened on March 8, 2014. Not a single piece of debris has been found. The search area is located hundreds of miles west of Perth in Western Australia.
“Assuming no other significant delays with vessels, equipment or from the weather, the current underwater search area may be largely completed around May 2015,” said the Safety Bureau.
The official who is overseeing the search for Flight 370 believes that the plane will be located within the next three months.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau Commissioner Martin Dolan, speaking exclusively with Australia’s News Ltd., noted, “We don’t have a certainty only a confidence that we’ll find the missing aircraft.”
“I don’t wake up every day thinking ‘This will be the day’ but I do wake up every day hoping this will be it, and expecting that sometime between now and May that will be the day,” he said. “It’s been both baffling and from our point of view unprecedented—not only the mystery of it, but also on the scale of what we’re doing to find the aircraft.”
Drift modeling experts are currently re-examining why there’s been a complete absence of debris, he said.
Because the surface search was delayed in the southern Indian Ocean, the plane’s debris, which includes things like life jackets, would have sunk or drifted past the search field. However, according to early computer-generated models, the debris was supposed to have washed up on the shores of Sumatra in Indonesia months ago.
Dolan noted it “would’ve been good to have found surface wreckage,” but said the lack of debris isn’t that surprising. “We continue to work with experts to look at the modelling for where any potential floating wreckage might have drifted to,” he said. “We’re in the middle of reviewing that, given how many days we are into this.”
“We don’t know how much debris there would’ve been on the surface in the first place …. and it’s possible any floating wreckage might’ve sunk,” Dolan concluded.