Bluefin-21 Completes Its Search for Missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370
By IANS | Published: 29th May 2014 12:00 PM |
CANBERRA: Deep-sea underwater search vehicle Bluefin-21 has completed its last mission to hunt for the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said Thursday.
Bluefin-21 searched the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield.
The Bluefin-21 resumed its search last week after an eight-day hiatus as it was taken for repairs May 14 for a reported hardware issue.
As a result of the data collected from the last mission, the JACC has confirmed that no signs of aircraft debris have been found by the underwater vehicle since it joined the search effort.
Bluefin-21 has scoured over 850 sq km of the ocean floor looking for signs of the missing aircraft.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has stated that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of the MH370.
The ADV Ocean Shield has also left the search area and is expected to report to its permanent base Saturday.
The current search for the missing jet invloves three stages: defining a search zone of up to 60,000 sq.km along the arc in the southern Indian Ocean, conducting a bathymetric survey to map the sea floor and acquiring special services for a more comprehensive search of the sea floor in the defined search area.
The satellite monitoring group still continues with the analyses of radar and satellite data and aircraft performance data to determine where the aircraft most likely entered the water. The findings of the review will be made public in due course.
The Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen already began conducting the bathymetric surveyof the the areas provided by the ATSB.
Its operations are being supported by the Chinese ship Haixun 01 and Malaysian vessel Bunga Mas 6.
A contracted survey vessel will join the Zhu Kezhen in June.
The bathymetric survey is expected to take about three months.
The Malaysian government and the British satellite firm Inmarsat Tuesday released the technical data of the missing jet. The 47-page document compiles the satellite data of flight M370 from 16.06.43 GMT to 23.15.01 of March 7, the moment of last contact. The experts have considered this piece of information as crucial to determine that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.