News / Asia

Bad Weather Halts Jet Search; New Satellite Shows Objects

  • The Bluefin 21, the Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test in the southern Indian Ocean as part of the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, April 4, 2014.
  • Flight Lieutenant Stephen Graham monitors a TAC station onboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia, April 4, 2014.
  • Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander Hidetsugu Iwamasa speaks to the press in front of one of their P-3C Orion aircraft currently at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth, Australia, April 4, 2014.
  • Relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 pray in a prayer room, Beijing, China, April 4, 2014.
  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak tour RAAF Base Pearce, near Perth, April 3, 2014.
  • Steve Wang a representative from the committee for relatives of Chinese passengers onboard Flight MH370 talks to journalists after a closed door meeting with Malaysian officials via teleconference in Beijing, April 2, 2014.
  • A crew member sits in the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force patrol aircraft as it continues searching in the southern Indian Ocean for Flight MH370, April 1, 2014.
  • Koji Kubota of the Japan Coast Guard keeps watch while flying in the search zone for debris from Flight MH370, April 1, 2014.
  • A Buddhist monk welcomes Chinese relatives of passengers on Flight MH370 as they arrive to pray at a Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, March 31, 2014.
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the international forces currently based in Perth searching for Flight MH370 during his visit to RAAF Base Pearce, March 31, 2014.
Ron Corben
Poor weather conditions have again hampered the search for the missing Malaysian jet as aircraft were forced to suspend operations due to low cloud cover. The setback Thursday came as newly released satellite imagery from Thailand detected hundreds of objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean.

The suspension of operations Thursday highlights the enormous challenge facing the half dozen nations scouring the southern Indian Ocean for missing Malaysian jet MH370, which disappeared March 8.

It was the second occasion this week that the search effort for the flight, with its 239 passengers and crew, had to be suspended due to poor weather.

A Chinese search aircraft, llyushin IL-76, was one of those aircraft forced to return to Perth, Australia, where search operations are being coordinated.  Zang Bing, the captain of the aircraft, said the plane had flown as low as 700 meters, but visibility was affected by cloud cover.

Zhang said the aircraft had arrived at the search area on schedule but faced very bad weather conditions and was ordered by Australia to cut short the search and return to base.

Thai satellite detects new objects
 
In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.
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In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.
In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.
Meanwhile, a Thai satellite detected some 300 suspected objects near the search area for the missing Boeing 777. The objects, reported to be between two and 10 meters in size, were photographed three days ago, roughly 200 kilometers away from a previous sighting by a French satellite.

But so far, none of the spotted items have been conclusively linked to the missing aircraft.

Frustration in China

Of the 227 passengers on board the MH370, 153 were Chinese. In China, frustrations over the search effort have led authorities to pressure Malaysian authorities to release more information.
 
On Thursday in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei again called for more accurate information from Malaysia on the details of the search.
 
He said China would step up efforts in the search for the missing aircraft, adding that he hoped Malaysia would also improve its communications with China, and work with all relevant countries in the search and console passengers' families.

Some aviation analysts are becoming skeptical of efforts to locate debris more than two weeks after the aircraft went down in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.

Hugh Ritchie, chief executive of Aviation Consultants International, said there is growing doubt that the items captured on satellite imagery are linked to the Boeing 777 jet.

"I'm still relatively skeptical," he said. "I'd be very dubious whether these pieces of flotsam and jetsam that is out there are in actual fact from the aircraft. It's 18 odd days since this occurred -  to be still floating put there - most of the things if they were able to float would probably be under the water now anyway, water logged. Air planes of this nature are not built to float."

Searchers are scrambling to locate the main body of the aircraft that contains the “black box” flight and voice recorder, which could contain important clues about the flight’s disappearance. But experts say the device, which sends “pings” when in contact with water, likely only has enough battery to transmit its location for another two weeks.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Christian from: UK
March 27, 2014 5:27 PM
Maybe they need a little bit longer to allow the evidence to sink!

The spotlight should be on the cargo manifest to establish precisely what the aircraft was carrying in its hold!

by: Ken the Patriot from: NC
March 27, 2014 5:04 PM
300 objects detected, but not a single one is identifiable as being from a plane.
I find that odd.

by: Anynonomous from: USA
March 27, 2014 7:01 AM
Wow....a country other than England, France or China has satellite images of debris....19 days later...and who would have thought it'd be Thailand

by: mary from: usa
March 27, 2014 6:51 AM
I'm kind of sick about this satelite findings. How come the rescuers can't find anything even a lifevest? Really?
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
March 27, 2014 9:36 AM
These searchers couldn't find a shoebox in a closet.... REALLY

by: David433785
March 27, 2014 5:19 AM
Malaysian Prime Minister must be brought to justice for covering up the truth and delaying the rescue by providing misleading information.

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