No sign of missing Malaysia Airlines plane

marinelink.com
Monday, March 10, 2014

Ships from six navies, dozens of military aircraft, sweeps with radar technology that can spot a soccer ball from hundreds of feet in the air - all have failed to find a single confirmed trace of a Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished three days ago.

For the sailors and aircrew, it has been a frustrating operation. One reported sighting of the plane's tail turned out to be a few logs tied together.

On Monday, a Vietnamese jet spotted what it believed was a yellow airline life raft floating in the sea. A helicopter scrambled to investigate pulled a moss-covered cable reel cover from the sea.

The massive search is mainly in a 50-nautical mile radius from the point of last radar contact with the plane, midway between Malaysia's east coast and the southern tip of Vietnam. It's an area of about 27,000 sq km (10,500 sq miles) that includes parts of the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

There was little commercial shipping in the area on Monday when a Reuters photographer boarded a Vietnamese air force Antonov-26, a Soviet-era transporter, on an aerial sweep.

The plane spent two-and-a-half hours circling a 400 sq km (155 sq mile) area at about 6,500 ft (1,980 metres), but found nothing as crew members peered down with binoculars.

"The main challenge that we face during these searches is that we have to search with bare eyes from a high altitude," said Captain Vu Duc Long of Vietnam's 918 Squadron.

"We sent out three planes this morning, two conducting the search and the other being the commanding craft. But as of right now, we haven't found anything."

No confirmed sighting of any debris or part of the plane has been reported since flight MH370 vanished from radar screens early on Saturday morning, about an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Scores of potential sightings have been checked out.

Typically, aircraft report sightings of objects in the water, if possible with photographs, to Malaysian authorities who are coordinating the search. The nearest low-flying aircraft, helicopter or ships are sent to verify the reports.

EXPANDED SEARCH

Malaysia has expanded the search to its west coast after theories that the plane may have turned back toward Kuala Lumpur for some reason. A total of 34 aircraft and 40 ships from 10 nations are involved in the search.

The U.S. 7th Fleet has sent a P-3C Orion surveillance plane from its base in Okinawa, Japan, and the USS Pinckney destroyer that is equipped with two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for search and rescue.

The Orion was used for more than three hours on Sunday, sweeping about 4,000 sq km every hour. It is equipped with the APS-147, an advanced radar system that can identify a soccer ball bobbing in the water from hundreds of feet in the air.

The Seahawks have been used for night searches, using a forward-looking infra-red camera.

"There are lots of challenges," said Commander William Marks, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet.

"First should the central point be the point of last communication or last radar contact? Then you have to account for winds and currents. Every hour, the area gets bigger. It's been three days since the plane was reported missing, it's a very large area."

China has sent four naval ships, a coastguard vessel and a civilian ship to help. Three other Orions have also been deployed - two from Australia and one from New Zealand.

Besides militaries and hi-technology, many others are involved in the search.

"We've ordered border guard forces and all fishing boats to check the area," Pham Thanh Tuoi, chairman of the People's Committee of Vietnam's southern Ca Mau Province, told Reuters by phone. "Everyone is on the alert and searching out at the sea, but we haven't found anything yet."


By Nguyen Huy Kham

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

CAGTC Members Win Big in TIGER VI

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced Friday that 72 projects will receive a total of $600 million from the sixth round of the Transportation

Ingalls Delivers NSC Hamilton to USCG

Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the National Security Cutter Hamilton (WMSL 753) to the U.S. Coast Guard today. The

Commissioner Doyle Addresses NCBFAA

Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Doyle spoke today at the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Government Affairs Conference in Washington, DC.

Navy

Submarine Loss Commemorated 100 Years On

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has commemorated the 100th anniversary of the disappearance of its first submarine, HMAS AE1, with memorial services in Papua New Guinea and across Australia.

Centenary of RAN Submarine Loss Commemorated

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) informs it has commemorated the 100th anniversary of the disappearance of its first submarine, 'HMAS AE1', with memorial services

General Dynamics Wins U.S. Navy Nuclear-Submarine Contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $234 million contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat to provide planning yard work, engineering and technical support for nuclear submarines.

News

CAGTC Members Win Big in TIGER VI

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced Friday that 72 projects will receive a total of $600 million from the sixth round of the Transportation

Seasat Wins Contract from Maersk Supply Services

Seasat A/S, the Danish communications services provider, specialized in delivering reliable broadband, television and voice services for the maritime market announces

Leaky Equipment, Not Fracking, Behind Tainted US Water -Study

The contamination of water supplies near U.S. shale gas fields appears to be the result of leaky cement wells and casings and not the controversial production technique of hydraulic fracturing,

Maritime Safety

MN 100: Tradesmen International

9760 Shepard Rd Macedonia, OH  44056 Telephone: 800 573 0850 E-mail: ed.rojeck@tradesmeninternational.com Website: www.tradesmeninternational.com CEO/President: Joseph O.

700 Migrants Feared Drowned in Mediterranean

More than 700 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East may have drowned in shipwrecks in the Mediterranean over the last week, bringing the death toll this year to almost 3,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Eye on the Navy

Submarine Loss Commemorated 100 Years On

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has commemorated the 100th anniversary of the disappearance of its first submarine, HMAS AE1, with memorial services in Papua New Guinea and across Australia.

General Dynamics Wins U.S. Navy Nuclear-Submarine Contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $234 million contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat to provide planning yard work, engineering and technical support for nuclear submarines.

Two US Navy Jets Crash into The Pacific

The pilot of one of two F/A-18 Hornets that crashed Sept. 12 while operating from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is in fair condition and receiving medical treatment aboard the ship.

People in the News

Commissioner Doyle Addresses NCBFAA

Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Doyle spoke today at the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Government Affairs Conference in Washington, DC.

ZF Marine: New Transmissions, New CEO

Marine propulsion system technology providers ZF Marine says it expanded its portfolio of transmissions for the commercial craft segment when two hybrid-ready systems

USDOT Award Tiger Vl Maritime Grants

American Association of Port Authorities‚Ä® (AAPA) say that after evaluating 797 applications totaling requests for $9 billion for FY 2014 Transportation Investment

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1780 sec (6 req/sec)