Tag Archives: southern Indian Ocean

The ATSB issues an update on the search for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 including new underwater photos of the search area

N:gavGEOGRAPHIC14-8592 - MH370 for CNN - M Holland14-8592-1.

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.

Bathymetric survey

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).

ATSB MH 370 Map 1 (LRW)

The priorities for the search will continue to be reviewed and will change over time.

Ship movements

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.

Weather

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.

Underwater search

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).

Ship movements

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.

Planning

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.

Search priorities

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.

ATSB MH 370 Map 2 (LRW)

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.

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Australia to contract out the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 is entering a new phase in the search for the missing Boeing 777-200. So far, no debris has been found from the missing Triple Seven. All 239 passengers and crew members on board Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remain missing.

According to CNN, “Australia, the closest country to the area where the plane is believed to have entered the ocean, has decided to delegate the management and operation of the new phase to a private company.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the search at the request of the Malaysian government, said Wednesday it is accepting proposals for the task until the end of June. The new search is expected to start in August, at the earliest.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile, Y.B. Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport of Malaysia, today issued this statement:

Introductory Statement

It has been 89 days since MH 370 went missing. We have entered a new difficult phase which brings with it new challenges which we will overcome together. Today, I met up with the 4 Ministerial Committees and we discussed on our way forward in the search for MH 370.

Let me begin by stating that the ASEAN Member States have publicly acknowledged in April their solidarity as reflected by the concerted efforts in the search mission of the missing MH370. They also recognised the unwavering support from all Member States in this new phase of this unprecedented search. This was again emphasised at the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw on May 20, 2014.

We also have a firm commitment, formalised by our Tripartite Agreement on the 5th of May 2014, between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

In the Joint Communique between the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Malaysia have also agreed to work closely together in the next phase of the search operation for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. This Joint Communique was signed and agreed upon on the 31st of May by both the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Li Keqiang.

The Defence Ministers of the Five Power Defence Arrangement have also reaffirmed their continued support for the search mission of MH 370.

As we enter the new phase of this search, we are grateful for the continuous support that we have received from the international community.

Next Of Kin Committee

With regards to the next of kin, we will continue to engage with the families of those on board MH 370 by providing them with timely updates on the search operation. This initiative has been led by Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun. We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time.

My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed. We also appreciate all that has been done by the Chinese Government on this matter.

Technical Committee

Preparations are well underway for the next phase of the search operations which includes the refinement of the search area. A team of experts set up and led by the Australian authorities in Canberra are currently conducting the re-analysis together with Inmarsat. This team has given me the assurance that the search area remains in the arc of the Southern Corridor.

Asset Deployment Committee

On the asset deployment front, we have been in discussions with several Malaysian companies to deploy highly specialised underwater systems and platforms including the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles (AUVs), Deep-water towed side scan sonars, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and support vessels to deploy these assets to join in the new phase of this search mission.

On that note, I am pleased to announce that PETRONAS has agreed to deploy assets under the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) approach where Malaysian companies are part of the resources to fund the search operations.

PETRONAS will contribute by providing funds for a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar. A complete system will accompany the asset with a dedicated support vessel complete with crew members.

Boustead is finalising terms for specialised assets and services to be deployed which will include an Oceanographic Survey Vessel with bathymetric survey capabilities, a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar for deep sea search and a ROV for recovery purposes.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defence for the United States of America during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last weekend. I have officially requested for the US to continue its lease for the Bluefin-21 AUV, to provide the Orion Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar and the Curv-21 ROV.

In addition, the Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, has covered 4,088 km2 as part of the bathymetric survey process.

It is important for all the Malaysian entities involved in this effort to be on the same page- working as one team, flying the Malaysian flag to find MH 370.

Communication, Coordination And Media Committee

On that note, the previously announced Communication, Coordination and Media Committee will be liaising with our Australian and Chinese counterparts. Jailani Johari, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Multimedia, will lead this team, consisting of members from all 4 ministerial committees along with the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Deputy Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to Canberra first to acquire the latest updates on the search operation and will then travel to Beijing.

Indeed, this will further strengthen our Tripartite Agreement between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

Concluding Remarks

Let me stress that the search has not stopped and we will keep searching for the plane for as long as it takes. I would like to conclude by stressing that we will continue with the search operations until we have fully covered the search area. We will strive to explore all possible options in finding MH 370

Chinese ship discovers a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean, is this missing flight MH 370?

AMSA MH 370 4.5.14 Search Map

According to CNN, “A Chinese patrol ship looking for signs of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean discovered Saturday a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“That is the standard beacon frequency” for both so-called black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Joint Agency Corrdination Centre of Australia issued this statement today:

Up to 10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Today ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo continue underwater search operations.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 217,000 square kilometres, 1700 kilometres north west of Perth.

Today’s search area will focus on three areas within the same vicinity.

The weather forecast for today’s search is fair, with possible showers in the search area.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

 

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

Malaysia logo-1

1. Introduction

It’s been almost a month since MH370 went missing.

The search operation has been difficult, challenging and complex.

In spite of all this, our determination remains undiminished.

We will continue the search with the same level of vigour and intensity.

We owe this to the families of those on board, and to the wider world.

We will continue to focus, with all our efforts, on finding the aircraft.

2. Investigation into MH370

As per the requirements set out by the ICAO in Annex 13 of the International Standards and Recommended Practices, Malaysia will continue to lead the investigation into MH370.

As per the ICAO standards, Malaysia will also appoint an independent ‘Investigator In Charge’ to lead an investigation team.

The investigation team will include three groups:

– an airworthiness group, to look at issues such as maintenance records, structures and systems;

– an operations group, to examine things such as flight recorders, operations and meteorology;

– and a medical and human factors group, to investigate issues such as psychology, pathology and survival factors.

The investigation team will also include accredited countries.

Malaysia has already asked Australia to be accredited to the investigation team, and they have accepted.

We will also include China, the United States, the United Kingdom and France as accredited representatives to the investigation team, along with other countries that we feel are in a position to help.

3. Formation of committees

In addition to the new investigation team mentioned above, the Government – in order to streamline and strengthen our on-going efforts – has established three ministerial committees.

Firstly, we have established a Next of Kin Committee. Hamzah Zainuddin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, leads this committee.

This committee will oversee all aspects regarding the Next of Kin of those on board MH370, providing families with information on the search operation, and offering support after the search operation has been concluded.

The committee will co-ordinate with relevant foreign governments, and will complement the work already being done for the families by Malaysian Airlines.

The second committee oversees technicalities, specifically, the formation and the appointment of the investigation team. Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, the Deputy Minister of Transport, leads this committee.

The third committee takes over issues related to the deployment of assets for the search operation. Abdul Rahim Bakri, the Deputy Minister of Defence, leads this committee. This committee will work with foreign counterparts involved in the search operation, and liaise closely with the Australian Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre.

4. US-ASEAN Defence Forum

This morning, I returned from the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, which I attended in my capacity as Defence Minister.

At the forum, I updated our ASEAN counterparts, and the United States, on the latest developments in the search for MH370.

I also spoke to officials from other countries involved in the multi-national search operation.

The spirit of co-operation at the meeting, and the support offered, was commendable.

During my bilateral meeting with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary Hagel reiterated his commitment that the United States would continue to support the search operation, and will provide whatever assets are deemed necessary.

I thanked Secretary Hagel for the United States’ unwavering support, which has included both the deployment of naval and air assets, sophisticated underwater search equipment, and assistance from the FBI, the NTSB and the FAA.

At the Forum, I also received strong support from our ASEAN partners in the search for MH370.

I would like to read out the joint statement issued by the ASEAN Ministers, which I believe underscores the tremendous spirit of co-operation within ASEAN, in the face of this difficult search operation:

“We, the Defence Ministers of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations express our deepest sympathies to the family members of the passengers and crew on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

We acknowledge that the member nations of ASEAN have participated in the search operations directly and indirectly since the plane went missing on 8th March 2014.

From the South China Sea, the Andaman Sea to the Indian Ocean – ASEAN has continued to assist in every way possible, true to the spirit of regional cooperation and friendship without any hesitation in sharing of information, assets and expertise.

We believe that Malaysia has done its level best in its response to this unprecedented predicament given the sheer scale of the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation which is the biggest and most complex we have ever seen.

We reaffirm our commitment for greater cooperation between each member nationespecially in the field of disaster management under the framework of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. This incident stressed upon us the importance of information and resource sharing as we strive to be in the utmost state of readiness in mitigating potential calamities and risks.

ASEAN’s unity will remain solid and is totally committed to assisting Malaysia in coordinating this massive SAR to locate MH370. We are resolute in finding a closure to this tragic chapter in aviation history. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families in these difficult times.”

5. Concluding remarks

Before I end, let me touch on some unfounded allegations made against Malaysia.

These allegations include the extraordinary assertion that Malaysian authorities were somehow complicit in what happened to MH370.

I should like to state, for the record, that these allegations are completely untrue.

As I have said before, the search for MH370 should be above politics.

And so I call on all Malaysians to unite; to stand by our armed forces as they work in difficult conditions, with their foreign counterparts, thousands of miles from home; and to support all those who are working tirelessly in the search for MH370.

Lastly, as I mentioned on Wednesday, while I was at the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, I spoke by telephone to the British Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond, regarding the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Tireless.

I hereby confirm that the submarine is now in the search area and helping in the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Thai satellite spots debris area of around 300 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean, bad weather hampers the search

AMSA Map 3.27.14 (AMSA)(LR)

A Thai satellite image has discovered a new debris field in the southern Indian Ocean containing around 300 floating objects. In addition, a Japanese satellite has captured about 10 flaring objects, all in the approximate area that French satellite images highlighted with yesterday’s report. However rough seas, high winds and icing have grounded the aircraft searching the area. However ships in the area continue to search for any debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is directing the search in the Indian Ocean from Perth issued this statement today:

[Date]

Today’s search and recovery operation in the Australian Search and Rescue Region for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is now underway.

Search activities today will involve a total of 11 aircraft and five ships.

Today’s search is split into two areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 78,000 square kilometres.

Two Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orions, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, a Japanese Gulfstream jet, a US Navy P-8 Poseidon and a Japanese P-3 Orion will fly sorties throughout the day.

The first aircraft to leave Perth for the search area was the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft around 8am. The two RAAF AP-3C Orions are scheduled to depart before midday.

Five civil aircraft are scheduled to depart between 9.30am and 11am. A total of 34 SES volunteers will again be air observers on board the civil aircraft.

A Japan Coast Guard ultra-long range jet will depart at around 2pm.

A US Navy P8 Poseidon is scheduled to depart around 4pm.

A Japanese P3 Orion is scheduled to depart around 5pm.

HMAS Success remains in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth and was joined by four Chinese ships – Xue Long, Kunlunshan, Haikou and Qiandaohu – in the search area.

Weather in the search area is expected to deteriorate later today.

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Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

1. Chinese Special Envoy

a. Yesterday, His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China, met with the Prime Minister and Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, the Acting Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defence.

b. Following the meeting with Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, His Excellency Zhang Yesui also received a comprehensive technical briefing by the international working group, led by the AAIB. Inmarsat’s findings – which led to the conclusion that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean – were explained during the meeting.

c. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) of the CAAC were present at yesterday’s technical briefing. The CAAC and AAID have been, and will continue to be, members of the international working group.

d. Today His Excellency Zhang Yesui also met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are currently in KL.

e. Malaysia is committed to working closely with the Government of China and to sharing all information related to MH370 in full.

2. Family briefing in Beijing

a. Yesterday, the Malaysian high-level team met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are based in Beijing, for the fourth time. Over the duration of the three hour meeting, the relatives received a technical briefing and an update on the search operation. The high-level team also answered questions. Today, the high-level team met relatives again, at 3:25pm Malaysia time. The meeting is still underway.

b. Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive. Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the Government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general.

3. Operational update

a. The planned area of search today was 16,298 square nautical miles in the West sector, and 6,506 square nautical miles in the East sector.

b. The area identified by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday – where the 122 potential objects were sighted – was also due to be searched today.

c. Today, nine planes travelled to the search area – five in the East sector and four in the West sector. In the East sector, searches by air were conducted by:

– two Australian civilian aircraft.

– one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

– one New Zealand civil aircraft.

– one Japanese Gulfstream.

In the West sector, searches by air were conducted by:

-two Australian P-3 Orions.

-two Australian civil aircraft.

d. Today six ships were deployed in the search area – one in the East sector and five in

the West sector.

In the East sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-one Chinese ship (the Xue Long).

In the West sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-four Chinese ships (the Kunlunshan, Haikou, Qiandaohui, and Zhonghaishaohua).

-one Australian ship (the HMAS Success).

e. One Chinese ship (the Hai Xun) is expected to arrive in the search area tonight.

f. Today the weather deteriorated in the search area and search operations were suspended at 11:40am.

4. Malaysian team going to Perth

a. Malaysia is in the process of sending a team, comprised of the DCA, MAS, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, to Perth. This team will work closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre to assist with the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

 

Has missing flight MH 370 finally been located? French satellite shows a new large debris field of 122 shiny objects

AMSA Indian Ocean Search Map 3.26.14

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls may have finally been located (subject to on-site ship confirmation).

According to CNN, “Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from France that were taken on March 23. The images showed 122 potential objects in one area of the Indian Ocean. Some of the objects were as much as 23 meters in length. Some appeared bright, possibly indicating solid material. They were located about 2,500 kilometers from Perth. “This is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” said Acting Minister of Transportation Hishammuddin Bin Hussein on Wednesday.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued this update for today (March 26):

Today’s search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is now underway.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

A total of seven military and five civil aircraft will be involved in today’s search activities. One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China departed Perth around 8am for the search area.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft NZ P-3K2 departed for the search area around 9.10am.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart Perth around 11am. A US Navy P8 Poseidon is due to depart around 2pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is due to depart Perth around 3pm.
A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart for the search area around 4pm.

A Republic of Korea P3 Orion is due to depart around 5pm.

Two civil aircraft have now departed Perth for the search area. The remaining three civil aircraft will depart for the search area between 10am and midday.

A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will be air observers on board the five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success and China’s polar supply ship Xue Long are now in the search area.

 

Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:

Malaysia logo-1

Introductory statement:
The search for MH370 continues. Our efforts are now focused in the southern Indian Ocean, where a multi-national team, led by Australia, is combing the waters trying to find debris from the flight.
Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast. As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.

1. New satellite images:
Australia, China and France have already released satellite images, showing objects that may be related to MH370.
Yesterday, on 25 March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France. The images were taken on 23 March.
MRSA analysed the images and – in one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometres – were able to identify 122 potential objects.
Some objects were a metre in length; others were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.
The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometres from Perth. We will issue handouts relating to this new information, after this press conference.
MRSA’s findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth yesterday. It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.
We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.
2. Operational update:
Australia is leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, based out of Perth. Malaysia continues to play a co-ordinating role. All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of co-operation; that has not changed. Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West.

Today the weather has improved, and twelve planes will travel to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West.
In the East sector, searches will be conducted by:

– one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft.

– one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

– one New Zealand P3 Orion.
In the West sector, searches will be conducted by:

– one US P8 Poseidon.
– one Korean P3 Orion.

– one Japanese P3 Orion.

– two Australian P3 Orions, and one civilian aircraft.
Two ships will also join the search operations.
Yesterday ‘HMAS Success’ was redeployed to the south of the search area due to bad weather. Today the ship has returned and will support the search operation in the West sector. Meanwhile, the Chinese ship ‘Xue Long’ has today been deployed to the East sector.
A Japanese Coast Guard gulfstream aircraft left Subang this morning for Perth, to join the search operation.
As I mentioned yesterday, the search operations in the northern corridor, and in the northern part of the southern corridor, have been called off. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change.
Before I continue, I would like to convey our appreciation to the Australian authorities, and in particular to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for making such an extraordinary contribution to the search operation.

 

3. Chinese Special Envoy
Today, the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China. I also met with His Excellency this afternoon.
During our conversation His Excellency conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible, and to deploy any assets that may be required.
Malaysia has provided his His Excellency and his delegation with a full update on the latest information from Inmarsat.
His Excellency and his delegation also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.

4. International Working Group
As I mentioned yesterday, based on the new information provided by Inmarsat, we have established an international working group. The agencies involved in this working group include: Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The role of the working group is to help try and refine the Inmarsat data and, if possible, more accurately determine the final position of MH370.

5. Further information
I should like to note that the CEO of Malindo Airlines, Chandran Rama Murthy, has joined me on stage today, and will be able to answer any questions that you might have.

As I announced yesterday, MAS is now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences. MAS will hold another press conference tomorrow.
Concluding remarks
New satellite images continue to provide clues in the search for MH370. And with improved weather conditions, aircraft are now able to investigate objects of interest.
I would like to thank once again our international partners for their continued support and assistance. The search for MH370, and the investigation into what happened on board the flight, is now a truly international effort.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Chinese Il-76 spots “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today

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A Chinese Ilyushin Il-76 search aircraft has spotted “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today (March 24) according to Reuters, quoting a Xinhua news agency report. The crew spotted two “relatively big” floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometers, Xinhua reported. The object could be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) and its passengers.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

In addition and Australian aircraft has also spotted additional debris.

According to CNN, “military radar tracking shows that the aircraft changed altitude after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, a source close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN. The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the source.”

This would suggest a possible massive decompression or fire on board and the crew was trying to get back to land and a lower altitude.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Some missing airliners are never found. In June 1960, Northwest Airlines flight 2501 vanished over Lake Michigan. It has never been found:

The loss of flight MH 370 has been a struggle for the state-owned flag carrier. The presumed crash will also have a financial toll for the carrier. The airline has been struggling to be profitable. Bloomberg Businessweek discusses the financial health of the airline.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Forbes: Boeing 777 controls cannot be hacked: Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Finally Malaysia Airlines has issued this short statement and a video from its CEO Ahmad Jauhari:

As the search and rescue mission of flight MH 370 continues to prove to be an uphill battle, Malaysia Airlines has not wavered in our efforts to offer compassion and support. Throughout this entire period Malaysia Airlines has provided complete cooperation to the SAR team. However, our priority has always been the well being of the family members of our passengers and the crew on board.

Video:

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

French satellite spots potential debris from missing flight MH 370

According to Reuters, “new French satellite images show possible debris from a missing Malaysian airliner deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia said Sunday (March 23), adding to growing signs that the plane may have gone down in remote seas off Australia.”

According to the Malaysian authorities:

“This morning, Malaysia received new satellite images from the French authorities showing potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor,” the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement. “Malaysia immediately relayed these images to the Australian rescue co-ordination center.”

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Therefore the remote southern Indian Ocean area (around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia) is the most likely resting place for missing Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) (above) with its missing passengers and crew members.

However no confirmed debris has been found from the missing Boeing 777 9M-MRO. The southern Indian Ocean is one of the most remote spots in the world. If you wanted to get lost or disappear, this would be the area.

Here is the press briefing statement yesterday (March 22) of  Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport:

Introductory statement

Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.

1. Operational update

In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar.

With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search.

HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

2. Australian search area

Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest.

Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today.

Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas.

A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

3. Family briefings

The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes.

I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened.

We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them.

We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

4. Transcript

The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed.

As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

5. Cargo manifest

On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course.

Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance.

As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.

6. Concluding remarks

Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.

Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis.

I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government.

I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370.

As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show