P3 crew unable to locate debris – 2 week wrap up

21 March 2014

The Roomee Times reports –

  •  The search for wreckage from missing Flight 370 was called off at day’s end
  • RAAF P3 crew unable to locate debris. Cloud & rain limited viability. Further aircraft will resume on Friday
  • Norwegian ship to continue search for Malaysia plane despite nightfall
  • Significant ‘pings’ from large objects being returned to US search aircraft
  • Area where was found is 4 hours from closest land, the west coast of Australia
  • “P3 crew unable to locate debris” due to cloud and rain, which limited visibility, AMSA said
  • Bad weather hampering search for objects seen on satellite floating on ocean
  • Experts have warned that the possible debris could have drifted dozens of miles since satellite images were taken on Sunday.

Australia, New Zealand and the US said bad weather had hampered their efforts in the area 2,500km (1,550 miles) south-west of Perth. A statement by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said the four planes had searched the vast area without success.

“The search will continue on Friday,” it said. The captain of the first Australian air force AP-3C Orion plane to return from the search area described the weather conditions as “extremely bad” with rough seas and high winds. David Wright, an ABC News reporter who was on the P-8 Poseidon, said all the sophisticated plane had spotted was “a freighter and two pods of dolphins”.

Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St Petersburg has reached the area in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia where two floating objects, suspected to be debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, were spotted, the ship’s owner said on Thursday.

Norwegian ship reaches area of possible MH370 plane debris in south Indian Ocean

The car carrier was on its way from Madagascar to Melbourne when it got a request from Australian authorities to assist in investigating the objects spotted by satellite four days ago in one of the remotest parts of the globe, around 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth, according to Reuters.

“We’ve got a request from Australian authorities to search the area, and we will assist as long as needed,” said Kristian Olsen, a spokesman at Hoegh Autoliners. The Norwegian shipping association told Reuters the ship was the first one to arrive in the area at 0800 GMT.

Earlier, an Australian navy P-3 plane failed to locate suspicious debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua as 8 ships, 29 aircraft & 6 helicopters involved in search for debri.

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“P3 crew unable to locate debris” due to cloud and rain, which limited visibility, AMSA said through its Twitter account. It said further aircraft will continue search for the flight. Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Thursday that authorities have spotted two objects in the Indian Ocean that are possibly related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Tony Abbott said potential debris from the Boeing 777 had been spotted on satellite imagery in the south Indian Ocean. The debris was spotted on satellite imagery and a total of four aircraft have been sent to investigate the sighting, some 1553 miles off the coast of Perth. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the potential breakthrough to Parliament in Canberra Thursday.

Australia Finds MH370 Debris On Indian Ocean

The imagery, which was progressively captured by satellites passing over the area, has not yet been released to the media. Commercial satellites have now been tasked with collecting higher resolution images. There is no indication of what the objects might be, although an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman said the objects were of a “reasonable size”, with one about 25 metres in length.

“New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean,” Abbott said in the the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra. “The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search.

Australia Finds MH370 Debris On Indian Ocean

Abbott cautioned against drawing premature conclusions. “We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370. “Nevertheless I did want to update the house on this potentially important development.”

The search for the missing plane has been focussed on two specific corridors, one of which extends towards the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean. Military planes from Australia, the US and New Zealand have been scouring the vast area, which was halved in size to 118,000 sq miles (305,000 sq km) on Wednesday.

The announcement from Abbott raises hopes of finding parts of the plane after a huge search that is now in its 13th day. Previous reports of debris found in the sea have not turned out to be related to the passenger jet, which vanished over Southeast Asia earlier this month.

Australia Finds MH370 Debris On Indian Ocean

An Australian C130 Hercules aircraft would drop marker buoys to track currents that could carry any debris elsewhere. “They will provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted,” Young said. Australia has been leading the search in the southern vector, specifically an area 3,000 kilometres south-west of Perth.

AMSA says the search zone covers 600,000 square kilometres of ocean and has been plotted using data based on the last satellite relay signals sent by the plane. “If that piece of the plane is that big maybe it’s the tail section,” David Gallo told CNN. Gallo co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.

Australia Finds MH370 Debris On Indian Ocean

“It’s a big piece of aircraft to have survived something like this,” he said. The tail height of the missing Malaysian Boeing 777-200ER aircraft is 60 feet.  Michael Daniel, a retired United States Federal Aviation Administration official told The Straits Times, “If they have a strong feeling or indication that the debris belongs to the aircraft, one of the first things authorities will do is drop sonar buoys in the water.”

Daniel told more, “If the black box is there, the buoys should be able to pick up the signals. This could take up to 48 hours but it all depends on how near or far the ships and other assets are.”

Australia Finds MH370 Debris On Indian Ocean

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