The ATSB issues an update on the search for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 including new underwater photos of the search area
The Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) has issued this update on the on-going search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370:
At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. All the available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.
The complexities surrounding the search cannot be understated. It involves vast areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information. While it is impossible to determine with certainty where the aircraft may have entered the water, all the available data and analysis indicates a highly probable search area close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.
MH 370 Operational Search Update September 24, 2014
This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH 370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH 370 as quickly as possible.
The bathymetric survey provides a map of the ocean floor to ensure the safe and effective operation of equipment during the underwater search.
Over 106,000 square kilometers of the wide search area have been surveyed (see map below).
The priorities for the search will continue to be reviewed and will change over time.
After resupply in Fremantle, Fugro Equator commenced passage back to the search area on September 19 and arrived on September 24 to recommence survey work in the search area in preparation for the underwater search.
On September 20, the Chinese survey vessel Zhu Kezhen completed her MH 370 search mission and commenced return passage to China.
The Chinese support vessel Haixun 01 continued to be stationed at the Port of Fremantle for repairs.
A series of cold fronts will move through to the south of the area over the next four days. A significant front will approach from the west on Friday. Sea conditions between sea states 2 and 7 are expected over the next three to four days.
Vessels involved in the search are being jointly funded by Malaysia and Australia. Fugro Discovery and Fugro Equator (which is currently being used to survey the search area) are Fugro Survey Pty Ltd vessels, and the GO Phoenix has equipment and experts provided by Phoenix International (Phoenix).
Mobilization of search assets is already under way. GO Phoenix received fit-out work in Jakarta in preparation for the sea and weather conditions it is likely to encounter in the search area. GO Phoenix departed Jakarta on September 23 for the calibration area and is expected to arrive at the allocated underwater search area on October 1. GO Phoenix will search there for around 20 days before sailing to Fremantle to be resupplied.
Fugro Discovery has completed fit-out work in Durban, South Africa and commenced passage to Australia. The vessel is expected to arrive in Fremantle on October 2, whereupon search equipment and a mission crew are expected to be mobilized.
Fugro Equator, the vessel currently being used to survey the search area, is expected to be mobilized as a search vessel when its bathymetric work is complete around the end of October.
The ATSB, in consultation with the contracted search experts, is in the process of finalizing the initial plan for the underwater search, to be followed and referred to by all parties involved in the underwater search. The comprehensive plan for the underwater search will include a sequence of priority areas. The first area to be searched has already been surveyed to ensure an accurate understanding of the sea floor topography.
From early in the search, analysis has consistently indicated a very high probability of finding the aircraft along a defined arc in the southern Indian Ocean (where the aircraft last communicated with a ground station through a satellite). This is where the aircraft is assessed to have run out of fuel.
Since then, complex, ground-breaking technical analysis of limited communications data and aircraft flight information has been developed and refined. This work has concentrated on determining the point on the seventh arc that the aircraft was most likely to have reached. This will enable a prioritized search effort in areas along the seventh arc.
Map: The Seventh Arc in the southern Indian Ocean.
Recent refinement to the analysis has given greater certainty about when the aircraft turned south into the Indian Ocean and has produced a better understanding of the parameters within which the satellite ground station was operating during the last flight of MH 370.
Based on these refinements, the Search Strategy Working Group is finalizing its latest assessment of the highest priority areas for the search, which will most likely extend south of the previous ‘orange’ priority area.
Top Image: ATSB. Three-dimensional model of the sea floor terrain in the search area.
Missing Malaysia Airlines remains the biggest aviation mystery of our time, Bluefin-21 fails to find anything so far
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with all of its 239 passengers and crew members. It remains the biggest aviation mystery of our age. The underwater drone called “Bluefin-21″ has failed to find any remains of the presumed to have crashed airliner.
Here is an update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 from CNN:
“The underwater drone scanning for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 finished its seventh mission Sunday (April 20), having covered about half its intended territory without finding any sign of the missing plane.
The Bluefin-21 drone started its eighth mission soon after the previous one ended Sunday morning, surveying the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean for traces of the Boeing 777.”
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Yesterday Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport issued this briefing:
I would like to begin this with a message.
On behalf of the Malaysian Government and specifically the MH370 SAR team, we would like to extend deepest sympathies and condolences to those on board the tragic incident involving the South Korea ferry that departed from Incheon planned for Jeju. We empathies and can imagine how difficult it can be for the families and the SAR team coping with the situation. All our thoughts and prayers are with them.
I will now continue with MH370.
We have now entered day 43 of the search operation for the MH370. It has been six weeks since we started the operation in which we have continuously refined the search area in the quest to locate the missing aircraft. We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage and with every passing day, the search has become more difficult.
On Thursday, I spoke with Angus Houston and he has briefed me on the images captured from the Bluefin – 21 AUV. I can confirm that the Bluefin – 21 has captured clear and sharp images of the seabed while its search mission in the underwater search area. However, from all 6 missions conducted, no contacts of interest have been found to date. Bluefin – 21 AUV’s seventh missing has been commenced this morning.
From the images, Angus has also confirmed me that the terrain of the seabed is undulating and the Bluefin – 21 is focusing on the immediate search area based on the pings that have been detected. Some media reports have stated that it would take Bluefin -21 anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire underwater search area. This is incorrect. The immediate search area that the Bluefin – 21 is now scouring should be completed within the next week.
As Prime Minister Abbott stated earlier this week, and I quote –
“We will regroup and reconsider the SAR operations, if there are no new updates in the given time” – end quote.
I have to stress that this is not ti stip operations but to also consider other approaches which may include widening the scope of the search and utilizing other assets that could be relevant in the search operation.
The search will always continue. It is just a matter of approach. All efforts will intensified for the next few days with regards to the underwater search.
I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Malaysian government, to again thank Australia on narrowing the search area and doing all they can in the search for MH370.
Updates on Ministerial Committees
As I announced a few weeks ago, three ministerial committees have been established. They have been working tirelessly and I will now update you on their progress.
The next of kin committee, led by Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is working closely with various Governments especially the countries whose nationals were on board MH370. From the meetings with the representative embassies and high commissions, various issues that needed urgent attention were addressed.
Hamzah has also discussed with his counterparts in Beijing and both sides have exchanged views and discussed ways and means to deal with the situation with regards to the families of those on board.
The technical committee, led by Aziz Kaprawi, Deputy Minister of Transport, has developed and drafted the proposed structure and Terms of Reference of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team For MH370 in accordance with the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR 1996) and Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Chicago Convention.
The structure was developed after consulting the experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Brach, United Kingdom (AAIB), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), United States, Australia Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) and Air Accident Investigation Department, China. The proposed team would comprise of local and international experts.
We have also spoken with the ASEAN secretariat on the possibility of appointing some of our counterparts to come on board. This is in accordance with the ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation that was signed in 2008.
The Asset Deployment committee has identified private companies that have the capabilities for deep water salvage and recovery work, and other national assets that can be deployed to support this operation. Local companies such as DEFTECH and Boustead have been tasked to discuss with their international collaborative partners such as SAAB, DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales) and other to identify the relevant assets and instruments required for the search operation.
I have also been in consultations with Jean Paul Troadec given his experience in handling Air France 447 in deploying private commercial assets to assist in their search operations.
As we move on to the next phase of the search, I am humbled that more friends from other nations have been expressed their willingness to assist and support our efforts to locate MH370.
MH 370 Update: Australian ship Ocean Shield using U.S. equipment finds a ping for two hours in the Indian Ocean
According to CNN, “Australia naval ship Ocean Shield hat’s towing a sophisticated U.S. pinger locator through an area about 1,750 kilometers (1,100 miles) northwest of Perth. The first detection lasted for more than two hours; a second lasted for about 13 minutes.”
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Map: AMSA. Areas being searched today.