Search Mission for Missing Flight MH370 Shifts to North (Australia)

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said that the search for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been shifted to an area north following advice from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

An international air crash investigation team in Malaysia provided updated advice to the ATSB, which has examined the information and determined an area 1100 kilometres to the north east of the existing search area is now the most credible lead as to where debris may be located. The new search area is approximately 319, 000 square kilometres, about 1850 kilometres west of Perth.

The Australian Geospatial – Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is re – tasking satellites to capture images of the new area. Weather conditions are better in the revised area and ten aircraft have been tasked for today’s search. They include two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a Japanese Coast Guard Gulfstream 5 jet, a Japanese P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea C130 Hercules, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese People’s Liberation Arm y Air Force Ilyushin IL – 76  a United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft, and one civil Australian jet acting as a communications relay.

Four of the ten aircraft are overhead the search area, with a further six planes to fly over the area today. A further RAAF P3 Orion has been placed on standby at RAAF Base Pearce in WA to investigate any reported sightings. Six ships are relocating to the new search area including HMAS Success and five Chinese ships. Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) patrol ship, Haixun 01 , is in the search area.

HMAS Success is expected to arrive in the search area late tomorrow night. A US towed pinger locator and Bluefin – 21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle have arrived in Perth to assist with location and recovery of the black box. The depth of the water in the search area is between 2000 and 4000 metres.

Australian Government, March 28, 2014

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