Malaysia Hires US Firm to Search for Missing Flight MH370
Malaysia has hired a Houston-based search company took look for the wreckage of Malaysia Air Flight 370, which disappeared mysteriously March 8, 2014.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777 carrying 227 and 12 crew from the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to Beijing disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean. The flight disappeared from radar shortly after leaving Malaysia. Data analysis shows the plane flew about another six hours before crashing into the sea.
The flight initially headed northeast, towards Beijing, then made an unexpected turn southwest and then northwest, before making its last satellite contact northwest of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, according to Australian science bureau Geoscience Australia.
The plane was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet at last contact. This made the potential crash zone enormous.
Australia, with its greater resources took over the search from the Malaysian government on March 31, 2014, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
The search was divided into a 52-day surface search covering several million square miles of ocean, and an underwater search covering 274,000 square miles, according to CBS News. According to ATSB the search area was one of the largest—if not the largest—in recorded history.
The search for the missing plane was officially abandoned on Jan. 17, 2017—1,046 days after it began—with no information having been gained about what happened to the missing jet.
Now a private company, Ocean Infinity, based in Houston, Texas, has offered to take up the search, and Malaysia has agreed.
Ocean Infinity has offered to search free-of-charge unless it finds artifacts from the crash, which Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai called, “No find, no fee,” according to The Malaysian Insight.
“It is our duty to look for answers and the plane, and as of today the government has decided to go ahead with the search,” he told The Malaysian Insighter.
Malaysia’s government informed relatives of MH370 passengers of the new search effort in a message which said, in part, that the “MH370 response team wishes to note that the government of Malaysia has engaged Ocean Infinity to undertake further search operation for MH370,” according to AFP.
Ocean Infinity has leased the Norwegian research ship Seabed Construction, which is equipped with several autonomous underwater vessels (UAVs), essentially robot-controlled underwater drones which will scour a new region of the ocean bottom.
New Potential Search Zone
Photographs from French military satellites two weeks after Flight MH370’s disappearance showed some 70 objects floating north of where the flight was suspected to have crashed.
Analysis of these photos by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) which is Australia’s official science agency, and Geoscience Australia indicated that 12 of the objects might be man-made.
CSIRO released a report in April 2017 indicating that the most likely crash site was in an area of just under 10,000 square miles, to the north of the original undersea search area of over 46,000 square miles, according to News.com.au.
A piece of a Boeing 777 wing, called a “flaperon,” washed ashore on Africa’s La Reunion Island in July 2015.
CSIRO scientist Dr. David Griffin conducted a test using another Boeing 777 flaperon, and after studying drift patterns, said the wing washing up on la Reunion confirmed the latest theory.
“It indicates that the most likely location of MH370 is in the new search area,” Griffin told News.com.au.
“We cannot be absolutely certain, but that is where all the evidence we have points us, and this new work leaves us more confident in our findings,” he continued.
“Knowing how the flaperon, and the other parts of MH370 that have been found, respond to wind and waves is just as important as knowing the currents of the Indian Ocean.”
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