From Mohd Razman Abdullah
PERTH, (April 12 ) — As the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 enters the 36th day, the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield continues more focused sweeps with the towed pinger locator to try and locate further signals related to the aircraft’s black boxes.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said AP-3C Orions continued their acoustic search, working in conjunction with Ocean Shield while the oceanographic ship HMS Echo was also working in the area with Ocean Shield.
“There have been no confirmed acoustic detections over the past 24 hours,” said the Agency in a statement Saturday.
The last two acoustic sound of pulse signals were picked up last Tuesday by Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield While a signal detected by Australian aircraft, AP-3C Orion on Thursday was discounted as it was not related to an aircraft underwater locator beacon.
JACC said a total of nine military aircrafts, one civil aircraft and 14 ships were involved in Saturday’s search for MH370 in the Indian ocean, covering an area of 41,393 sq kilometres.
The centre of the search areas was approximately 2,331 kilometres north west of Perth, it said.
“The weather forecast for today is 10 knot south easterly winds with isolated showers, sea swells up to one metre and visibility of five kilometres in showers,” said the Agency, adding that none of the objects retrieved from the search area were related to MH370.
Last Wednesday, JACC chief coordinator, Air Chief Marshal, Angus Houston (Retired) said the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle would be deployed once signals could no longer be detected.
The authority had estimated the black box’s battery to last ten days longer than its 30-day’s lifespan before it goes offline from transmitting pulse signals.
Since last Friday, the search team had detected six signals, where two were picked up by a Chinese vessel, Haixun 01 on April 4 and 5, and four by the Ocean Shield on April 5 and 8.
The black boxes recorded cockpit data that might provide answers to what happened to the plane.
Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the aircraft, that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian ocean”– BERNAMA