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.

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.


Malaysian jet's likely flight path gets 2nd look

05 May 2014, 12:03

Sydney - An international panel of experts will re-examine all data gathered in the nearly two-month hunt for the missing Malaysia jet to ensure search crews who have been scouring a desolate patch of ocean for the plane have been looking in the right place, officials said on Monday.

Senior officials from Malaysia, Australia and China met in the Australian capital to hash out the details of the next steps in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which will centre around an expanded patch of seafloor in a remote area of the Indian Ocean off Western Australia.

The area became the focus of the hunt after a team of analysts calculated the plane's likeliest flight path based on satellite and radar data.

Starting Wednesday, that data will be re-analysed and combined with all information gathered thus far in the search, which hasn't turned up a single piece of debris despite crews scouring more than 4.6 million square kilometres of ocean.

"We've got to this stage of the process where it's very sensible to go back and have a look at all of the data that has been gathered, all of the analysis that has been done and make sure there's no flaws in it, the assumptions are right, the analysis is right and the deductions and conclusions are right," Angus Houston, head of the search operation, told reporters in Canberra.

Investigators have been stymied by a lack of hard data since the plane vanished on 8 March during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A week-long search for surface debris was called off last week after officials determined any wreckage that may have been floating has likely sunk.

"Unfortunately, all of that effort has found nothing," Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss said. "We've been confident on the basis of the information provided that the search area was the right one, but in practice, that confidence has not been converted into us discovering any trace of the aircraft."

Specialised equipment

Houston has warned the underwater search is likely to drag on for up to a year.

Houston and Truss met with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang in Canberra on Monday to map out the next steps of the underwater search, which will focus on a 60 000km² patch of seafloor.

 Officials are contacting governments and private contractors to find out whether they have specialised equipment that can dive deeper than the Bluefin 21, an unmanned sub that has spent weeks scouring the seafloor in an area where sounds consistent with a plane's black box were detected in early April.

The Bluefin has been limited by the fact that it can dive only to depths of 4.5km - and parts of the search zone are likely deeper than that. Adding to the difficulties is the fact no one really knows exactly how deep the water in the search area is.

"I don't know that anyone knows for sure, because it's never been mapped," Truss said, adding that detailed mapping of the seafloor will be a key focus of the next phase of the search.

In addition to deeper diving capabilities, the new equipment will be able to send information back to crews in real time. The Bluefin's data can be downloaded only once it returns to the surface after each of its 16-hour dives.

It will likely take another two months before any new equipment is in the water, Truss said. The Bluefin will continue to be used in the meantime, though its search is currently on hold while the Ocean Shield, which has the sub on board, is taking on supplies at a base in Western Australia.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...