Australia leads new phase of search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

The Sydney News.Net Sunday 5th October, 2014

SYDNEY, Australia - The search for the missing wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is the largest of its kind in history, while the disappearance of the plane remains the greatest mystery in commercial aviation, but on Sunday a new phase in the search effort began, led by Australia.


The search vessel GO Phoenix, supplied by Malaysia, arrived on site in the Southern Indian Ocean on Sunday to begin a detailed mapping of the ocean floor in the area the wreckage of the plane is believed to be lying.

This marks the beginning of an important new phase in the search for the aircraft, Australian authorities have said. Australia is leading the search for the plane at the request of the Malaysian government.

GO Phoenix will be joined in the coming days by two further survey ships to conduct detailed sonar sweeps in a focused area in which the plane is believed to have gone down.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared at round 1:30 am local time on March 8th, when air traffic controllers in Subang, outside Kuala Lumpur, lost contact with the Boeing 777-200ER. It was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam at the time.

The plane's transponder, which identifies the aircraft and relays details like altitude and speed to controllers, stopped transmitting, and the airliner disappeared, seemingly without a trace.

In the weeks following the disappearance the largest search and rescue mission the world has ever known was launched, with several dozen planes and ships from 14 countries scouring the South China Sea, south of Vietnam and the Malaysian peninsula.

The search was then shifted to the South Indian Ocean after it was determined that the plane diverted south and since then the search has come to focus on an area of ocean 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) off the coast of Western Australia.

The international air search effort was called off in April as the search shifted to an underwater focus, with radio beacon signals in May raising hopes that the search was warming up. The Australian government is now leading efforts to create an accurate survey of the sea floor in the search area in hopes of finding wreckage.

A ship from Dutch surveying company Fugro, continues to map the underwater topography and has to date created a map for 111,000 square kilometers of the wide search area, which has been studied in details for clues or signs of wreckage.

However, according to Stuart Minchin, head of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia, the agency overseeing the mapping process, the existing data for the sea floor in that area is at a very low resolution.

Hence, the new phase in the search, which will see GO Phoenix creating a much higher resolution picture of the sea floor, so that the two Dutch ships, the Fugro Discovery and the Fugro Equator can safely tow sonar devices very close to the ocean floor to try and find the plane's wreckage.

"In the second phase of the search, which involves towing devices close to the sea bed to get a very fine resolution picture of what's down there it's important to have that level of detail so we don't run into objects," says Minchin.

"The current plan envisages that we will progressively cover our priority search areas over the course of about a year," says Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner and CEO of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

Share this article:

Comments

More Sydney News

RSS
  • Man dies in plane crash in Australia

    The Sydney News.Net - Wednesday 8th October, 2014

    One person was killed in a light plane crash in Queensland Wednesday, a media report said. The victim was the only person in the aircraft, which was believed to be a Savannah two-seat plane, ...

  • Pointing not surprised by poisonous atmosphere portrayed in KPs autobiography

    The Sydney News.Net - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Former Australia cricket team captain Ricky Pointing has said that the poisonous atmosphere in the England team portrayed in Kevin Pietersen's controversial autobiography has left no one has been ...

  • World Cup Trophy reaches UAE as part of world tour

    The Sydney News.Net - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    The Cricket World Cup trophy reached the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of its world tour, ahead of the 2015 World Cup, to take place in Australia and New Zealand. The trophy was received at the ...

  • Advent One Deploys Brocade Routing at the Core of Managed Cloud Services Venture

    Marketwired - Wednesday 8th October, 2014

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2014) - Systems Integrator Advent One has deployed high-performance switch/router networking solutions from Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) as the foundation of ...

  • Australia’s Kurtley Beale facing new ‘deeply offensive’ allegations

    The National - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Troubled Wallabies back Kurtley Beale will miss next week's Test against the All Blacks amid fresh allegations over his behaviour, the Australian Rugby Union said on October 9, 2014. AFP / ...

  • David Villa on Melbourne City stint ‘I’d like for fans across Australia to have good memories’

    The National - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Spain striker David Villa in his new Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC) kit during a press conference for the A-League 2014/15 season launch at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. AFP PHOTO / MAL ...

  • Australia Post fees must rise with CPI

    Newcastle Herald - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    THE federal minister responsible for Australia Post has sympathised with the financial hardship plaguing Australia Post licensees but said their plight was part of the broader challenges facing the ...

  • Australia QBE Insurance bank had planned joint takeover of Suncorp sources say

    Business Insurance - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Developments and trends affecting buyers of specialty insurance lines, including D&O, E&O, employment practices liability, cyber risk, marine and transportation, and surplus ...

  • Govt-appointed panel says NSW MPs need ethics training

    ABC - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    NSW New South Wales MPs and political candidates should be put through compulsory training on ethical conduct, a State Government-appointed panel says.The recommendation is contained in an interim ...

  • Police warn online daters to ensure safety after gang rape

    ABC - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Sydney 2000 Social networking app Tinder says it does not perform criminal background checks on its users, but will cooperate with investigations into the gang rape of a woman in Sydney at the ...

  • Queanbeyan City Council withdraws backdated rate bills

    ABC - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    the Queanbeyan City Council issued backdated bills and refunds to ratepayers after an audit found many had been charged at an incorrect rate.About 5 per cent of ratepayers were incorrectly billed, ...

  • Man jailed for murdering girlfriend after argument

    ABC - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Maitland 2320 A New South Wales man who strangled his girlfriend and left her partially naked body on a river bank will spend more than 14 years in jail.George Robert Ballantyne, 31, pleaded guilty ...

  • Royal visit cost Australia $474582

    Sky News - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of Australia and the advance visit for the trip cost Australia's taxpayers just under STG260,000 ($A474,582), according to recent figures.William, ...

  • Nurse tested for suspected Ebola in Australia

    Irish Times - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    An Australian nurse who recently returned from Sierra Leone, has gone under observation in hospital, suspected of possibly having the Ebola virus. Video: ...

  • Ebola crisis Woman in Australia being tested for deadly virus

    The Independent - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Loveday Morris is an award-winning freelance journalist currently based in Beirut and covering the unfolding crisis in Syria. She regularly contributes to the ...

  • Police asked to probe payout

    Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Hidden dealings will not endear him to protesters The Australian Federal Police has been asked to investigate Australian engineering company UGL's secret multimillion-dollar payments to Hong ...

  • Australian wearing oxygen mask on MH17

    Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    The body of an Australian passenger on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was found wearing an oxygen mask, Dutch prosecutors say, raising questions about how much those on board knew about their fate when ...

  • Tax cheats are thieves Hockey

    Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has labelled tax cheats "thieves" and vowed to give the Tax Office whatever laws it needs, despite the government having slashed millions from the agency's budget ...

  • Father son stabbed in street brawl

    Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    A man and his teenage son have been stabbed in an organised brawl outside a shopping centre at Rouse Hill on Thursday night. The father, in his 40s, is in a critical condition in hospital, and his ...

  • Take cover from shoddy advisers

    Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 9th October, 2014

    Teagan Couper was stunned when she heard that one in three customers receive shoddy advice on life insurance policies according to a study by the corporate regulator into the $44 billion life ...

More Sydney News