Search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 resumes in remote southern Indian Ocean

Mar 21 2014, 09:28 IST
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A Royal Australian Air Force Flight engineer keeps watch for any debris as he flies over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. (Reuters) A Royal Australian Air Force Flight engineer keeps watch for any debris as he flies over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. (Reuters)
SummaryNo certainty whether objects found by Australian satellites are from MH370 but best lead yet.

metres (79 feet) long.

"Clearly, there's a lot of resources being put into that particular area. It's broadly consistent with the flight plans that were talked about ever since the satellites and their work has been added to the information bank," Truss told ABC radio.

"That work will continue, trying to get more pictures, stronger resolution so that we can be more confident about where the items are, how far they have moved and therefore what efforts should be put into the search effort."

DIRE WEATHER

Strong winds, cloud and rain had made searching on Thursday difficult, said Kevin Short, an air vice marshal in New Zealand's Defence Forces, which sent a P-3K2 Orion to search the area.

"The crew never found any object of significance," he told Radio New Zealand. "Visibility wasn't very good, which makes it harder to search the surface of the water," he said.

A nearby desolate group of French-administered sub-Antarctic islands including St. Paul and Amsterdam and Kerguelen had been asked to look for debris, but none had been spotted, said Sebastien Mourot, chief of staff for the French prefect of La Reunion.

There have been many false leads and no confirmed wreckage found from Flight MH370 since it vanished off Malaysia's east coast, less than an hour after taking off.

There has also been criticism of the search operation and investigation, as more than two dozen countries scramble to overcome logistical and diplomatic hurdles to solve the mystery.

Investigators piecing together patchy data from military radar and satellites believe that, minutes after its identifying transponder was switched off as it crossed the Gulf of Thailand, the plane turned sharply west, re-crossing the Malay Peninsula and following an established route towards India.

What happened next is unclear, but faint electronic "pings" picked up by one commercial satellite suggest the aircraft flew on for at least six hours.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation said that information gleaned from the pings had been passed to investigators within a few days, but it took Malaysia more than a week to narrow the search area to two large arcs - one reaching south to near where the potential debris was spotted, and a second crossing to the north into China and central Asia.

The four-day delay in identifying satellite images that may show debris was due to the vast amount of data that needed to be analysed by various agencies, Australian authorities and the U.S. company that collected

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