RADAR HITS OF ‘SIGNIFICANT SIZE’ IN INDIAN OCEAN: FLIGHT CREW
The US Navy P-8 Poseidon pictured at Perth International Airport on its way to search location
Malaysia Chronical Reports – 3 more aircraft zoom to Indian Ocean as world waits with bated breath possible MH370 wreakage.
KUALA LUMPUR – Three more aircraft have been deployed to the area in the southern Indian Ocean where objects suspected to related to the search for a missing Malaysian airliner have been sighted, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The assets include a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft.
“The Poseidon aircraft is expected to arrive at 3 pm. The second RAAF Orion is expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce at 6 pm. The New Zealand Orion is due to depart at 8 pm,” AMSA Emergency Response Division general manager John Young said in a statement today.
He said an RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft had been tasked by AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) to drop datum marker buoys, which are used to provide information about water movement to assist in drift modelling.
The buoys will also provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted.
Earlier today, the RCC Australia received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370.
Young said the images were captured by satellite and the assessment of the images was provided by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation as a possible indication of debris south of the search area that has been the focus of the search operation.
“The imagery is in the vicinity of the search area defined and searched in the past two days. Four aircraft have been reoriented to the area 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth as a result of this information,” he said.
He added that that a merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday was expected to arrive in the area about 6 pm.
He said the Royal Australian Navy Ship HMAS Success was also en route to the area but was some days away from the area. The vessel was well-equipped to recover any object located and proven to be from MH370, he added.
The search for the missing Beijing-bound plane and its 239 passengers and crew entered 13th day today.
The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, disappeared about an hour after leaving the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8. It was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.
The area of the search has been extended to cover a large tract west of Malaysia, including the Indian Ocean, when it was learned that the plane had veered off course after someone deliberately switched off the communication system on board and, according to the Inmarsat satellite, the plane had flown for seven hours after that.
The search is now focused on two corridors, namely the northern corridor which stretches from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and the southern corridor which stretches from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. — BERNAMA
Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) general manager John Young speaks during a press conference on the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Canberra, Australia, 20 March 2014. Australian planes have been diverted to the area where ‘possibly related’ objects have been seen from satellite imagery. An Australian Orion maritime surveillance aircraft had been dispatched and was expected to arrive on the site within hours. ‘HMAS Success is on the way and equipped to retrieve any object from MH330’, Young told reporters in Canberra. Australia has sent HMAS Success to examine and possibly retrieve debris found 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth in the southern search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. EPA/DANIEL MUNOZ
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ABC Australia reports –
Australian Defence assets en route to site
A merchant ship that responded to a broadcast from the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) on Monday was expected to arrive in the area about 6pm AEDT.
The HMAS Success is also en route, but AMSA says the Durance class ship will not reach the search zone for “some days”.
Mr Young says the Success is “well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370”.
One of the RAAF aircraft, a C-130 Hercules, will drop marker buoys in the area to assist the RCC in providing information about water movement for drift modelling.
“They will provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted,” Mr Young said.
Flight MH370 has been missing since it disappeared en route to Beijing from Malaysia on March 8.
So far the investigation has focused on the possibility that the plane was deliberately diverted from its flight path.
The plane is thought to have travelled in either of two directions: north west into Asia or south west into the Indian Ocean.