News / Asia

    122 Objects Spotted in Malaysia Jet Search

    This graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on Wednesday March 26, 2014, shows satellite imagery taken on March 23, 2014, with the approximate positions of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean.
    This graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on Wednesday March 26, 2014, shows satellite imagery taken on March 23, 2014, with the approximate positions of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean.
    Ron Corben
    Malaysia says recent satellite images have spotted 122 possible objects related to the search for the wreckage of a missing Malaysia airliner in the southern Indian Ocean. The search resumed Wednesday with 12 aircraft and naval vessels from China, Australia, the United States, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand scouring waters 2,500 kilometers west of Australia. As the search for flight MH370 goes on, aviation analysts say the investigation will likely trigger calls for reform in air security and communications.

    Malaysia's Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters Wednesday the potential debris was located in French satellite photos taken on March 23.

    "Some objects were a meter in length, others were up to 23 meters in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid material. The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometers from Perth," he said.

    While stressing it is not yet confirmed the objects are parts of the missing aircraft, he said the development represents "another new lead" in the investigation.

    A total of seven military and five civilian aircraft from six nations took to the skies over the Southern Indian Ocean Wednesday as weather conditions improved renewing the search for the Malaysian Boeing 777, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board.
     
    Expanded search under way

    Australia's Maritime Safety Authority said vessels from Australia and China, including the polar supply vessel Xue Long, were 2,500 kilometers west of Perth searching some 80,000 square kilometers. Australia's HMAS Success was sweeping a region where an Australian P3 Orion aircraft had sighted possible debris two days ago.
     
    In the Australian Parliament Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, renewed a pledge to Malaysia in the efforts to locate the last position of the aircraft.
     
    "I have pledged to Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia full Australian cooperation in the recovery and investigation operation. The crash zone is about as close to nowhere as its possible to be but it's closer to Australia than to anywhere else," said Abbott.
     
    Abbott moved a motion of condolence to those lost, while families of four Australians onboard the ill-fated flight sat in the visitor's gallery.
     
    "Four Australian families have an ache in their heart. Nothing we say or do can take that ache away. Still the knowledge that this nation through this parliament has paused to acknowledge that loss may be of some comfort in facing this terrible bereavement. May God bless you at this very sad time," said Abbott.
     
    Australia is easing visa and immigration procedures to enable families, especially from China, to travel to Perth, Australia, the center of search and recovery efforts. The local Chinese community in Perth has offered to assist the visitors. Of the 227 passengers on board, some 153 were Chinese.
     
    Oliver Lamb, managing director of Sydney-based Pacific Aviation Consulting, said he remains optimistic search efforts will succeed in locating the missing aircraft.
     
    "There's too much, too much of an industry riding on what happened here. Everybody in whatever country absolutely puts safety first, and I'm almost certain that every effort, every human possible effort to get that black box or black boxes I should say will actually happen," said Lamb.
     
    Reforms likely in air security, communications

    So far, little is known why less than an hour after departing Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, MH370 veered west as its flight transponder stopped transmitting.
     
    Only communication "pings" from the plane's engines provided clues on the aircraft's direction. The Malaysian government, aided by a British satellite tracking company, has narrowed down the aircraft's final position in the southern Indian Ocean, far from land.
     
    Lamb said the aviation industry is set to ensure aircraft can be tracked at all times.
     
    "It seems to me odd in the 21st century that a plane can go missing for so long. The ability to track planes irrespective of what goes on in the cockpit or the like is a step that the industry is going to have to make," said Lamb.
     
    Initial fears of a terrorist take-over of the flight came after it was revealed that at least two passengers were travelling by way of Beijing to Europe under false passports.
     
    Hugh Ritchie, managing director with Aviation Consultants International, said issues from improved passport monitoring to security affecting communications are all set to come under the spotlight as the industry comes to grip with the issues surrounding flight MH370.
     
    "There's a multitude of areas which need to be reviewed; we are talking about aviation security, border controls, integrated safety management systems, charging the 'black box' so it has a greater capacity to be tracked, on board capacity to turn off voice recorders, cockpit data recorders," said Ritchie.
         
    More than 25 countries have backed the search for the missing Malaysian airlines jet backed by some of the most sophisticated satellite and search technology in the world.
     
    • 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.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 26, 2014 12:31 PM
    WHY couldn't they have dropped marking buoys in the ocean where the satellite coordination's showing longitude and latitude, to marked how the current flows, (East, West, North or South), instead of going round and round, in circles? CAN'T they put a ship in the current, (where the buoy is?), and let it drift at about 20 knots, and catch up with the debris in the ocean that was spotted?

    by: ali baba from: new york
    March 26, 2014 11:30 AM
    even they find the debris, the cause of accidents will not be solved. the bottom line, there is a security issue and Malaysian had to inform the public that their pilots are the reason for that tragedy
    In Response

    by: Jay from: Boston, MA
    March 26, 2014 12:08 PM
    No reason to blame pilots, not guilty until proved.

    by: isaac appiah from: Ghana
    March 26, 2014 9:37 AM
    may de gud lord ve mercy on this crew.

    by: Jay from: Boston, MA, USA
    March 26, 2014 9:21 AM
    If 12 aircraft and naval vessels from China, Australia, the United States, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand were sent for so called "debri" investigation, why don't they take any of those items out and send those pictures to public ? Why only useless satellite images they show which shows nothing but small dots or patches in the sea ! I am just wondering what all those arcrafts and naval vessels are doing "really" ... do we even know such efforts are "really" been made !
    In Response

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    March 26, 2014 11:17 PM
    There is a reason for some 'censorship' or delay in releasing every bit of information to the public, at least until they know what it is they are looking at. People can be so morbid sometimes. It is not enough to know that an accident occurred on the road ahead (seeing the rescue vehicles is not enough), people have to slow down to get a glimpse of the wreckage itself, straining their necks in the hopes of seeing bloodstains on the seats, or blood splatter on the cracked windshield.
    First, what the satellites picked up is debris, but from what...? Let us not jump to conclusions just yet on what that debris could be (the media will fill in the details on their own to suit their readers' tastes/interests anyway).
    Instead of saying "hey, I found something- wait, its nothing...oh wait, I found something else...oh, false alarm, has nothing to do with - wait, what is this-? Nope, sorry, nothing here either" etc etc. Let's allow them time to examine what they find, determine if it is what they are looking for, and then make the decision to inform the families on what they found before throwing the meat to the hounds (the media).
    Perhaps, if you insist on releasing raw and unfiltered photos, would it be appropriate to show a piece of wreckage with the ravaged remains of a human being attached, to satisfy your appetite for such things...regardless of the feelings of loved ones yearning for any news of the fate of those lost?
    In Response

    by: Lou from: Atlanta
    March 26, 2014 11:49 AM
    I think they've been finding stuff myself but keeping mum about it.They will let the Malasian gov't make the announcement of whats recovered.
    American talker Michael Savage says some gov't probably shot it down in a "screw-up". But why was it so far off course??? Its nice that the American, Chinese, and now the French reconn satellites have discovered debris. This proves that any one satellite is not showing "signal glitches." I'm waiting for the Russian satellite images.

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