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

People & Company News

Costa Concordia: Operations to Tow the Wreck Begin

Maneouvres began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people.

Thai Resort Owners Sue State Owned Company for Oil Spill

Business owners on Koh Samet island are suing a state-owned petroleum enterprise for the oil spill that polluted the resort island's beaches last year. More than 50,

Bahrain US$35-M Land Reclamation Contract for GLDD

Provider of dredging services in the United States and a major provider of environmental & remediation services, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (GLDD) says

Navy

VIDEO: HMS Queen Elizabeth Floats Out

A timelapse video of HMS Queen Elizabeth floating out of her dock for the first time is now available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ZjQz9vEKw. The float out of the 65,

Sunken WW II Ship Oil Leak Plugged

Atlantic Coast Marine Group, Inc. successfully responds to World War II era motor tanker leaking massive cargo of oil into the Atlantic Ocean's waters. Beaufort,

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,

News

VIDEO: HMS Queen Elizabeth Floats Out

A timelapse video of HMS Queen Elizabeth floating out of her dock for the first time is now available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ZjQz9vEKw. The float out of the 65,

GE, LR Study Gas Turbines for Commercial Ships

GE Marine and Lloyd’s Register Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Collaborate on Applying Gas Turbines to Power Commercial Ships GE Marine and Lloyd’s Register

Hyundai Heavy Industries Develops HiCASS

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) announced today that it developed Hyundai Intelligent Collision Avoidance Support System (HiCASS) for the first time in

Maritime Safety

Hyundai Heavy Industries Develops HiCASS

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) announced today that it developed Hyundai Intelligent Collision Avoidance Support System (HiCASS) for the first time in

USCG to Assist Jamaica with MRO

Jamaica’s readiness for Mass Rescue Operations (MRO) in its maritime space will be boosted July 22-24, 2014 with the assistance of a subject matter expert from the U.

Costa Concordia: Operations to Tow the Wreck Begin

Maneouvres began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people.

Eye on the Navy

VIDEO: HMS Queen Elizabeth Floats Out

A timelapse video of HMS Queen Elizabeth floating out of her dock for the first time is now available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ZjQz9vEKw. The float out of the 65,

Russia Doubts France Will Cancel Warships Sale

A senior Russian official said on Monday he doubted France would cancel its sale of warships to Russia, despite coming under pressure from other Western leaders

Cameron Questions France's Sale of Warships to Russia

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday questioned France's plan to sell Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, saying fulfilling such an order would be

People in the News

Costa Concordia: Operations to Tow the Wreck Begin

Maneouvres began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people.

SIA to Honor Honeywell's Gordon Hope

The Security Industry Association (SIA) says it has chosen Gordon Hope, general manager of Honeywell's AlarmNet communications network, as the 2014 recipient of the George R.

Sanjam Gupta helps Launch WISTA in Sri Lanka

Within two years of the launch in India in 2012, the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (better known as WISTA), Ms. Sanjam  Sahi  Gupta,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.1681 sec (6 req/sec)