Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Between 8.11AM and 9.15AM March 8
The new details were the result of never-before-used technology that has helped traced the Boeing 777's final moments on a deadly flight path.
MH370's last complete communication was captured on an Inmarsat satellite that was covering two massive southern and northern corridors at 8:11am. Sometime between 8:19am and 9:15am, all communication was lost.
Investigating authorities have concluded that MH370 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean during that 56 minutes because it would have been out of fuel.
Debris from MH370 is expected to wash up along the WA coast over the next few months as search crews race against the impending winter weather to locate the Boeing 777. The herculean task of locating MH370 will be the most complex international effort in aviation history and it may be years before the wreckage is found.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this morning the search for the missing airliner was not open-ended but Australia would not lightly abandon efforts to locate the wreckage. Australia is throwing everything it can at the search, which is expected to resume on Wednesday after a 24-hour delay due to bad weather in the southern Indian Ocean.
Four RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft will be involved and another Australian navy vessel will soon join Success, Mr Abbott said. As well, equipment to recover the aircraft’s black box flight recorder is on the way from the United States.
Abbott said there was a lot of debris in the area and Australia would keep searching until there was no hope of finding anything.
“We are just going to keep on looking because we owe it to people to do everything we can to resolve this riddle. It is not absolutely open-ended but it is not something we will lightly abandon.”
“We owe it to the families. We owe it to an anxious world to do everything we can to finally locate some wreckage and to do whatever we can to solve the riddle of this extraordinarily ill-fated flight,” he said.
It took almost two years to find Air France 447 and that was in calmer mid-Atlantic waters, after debris was found six days after the crash in 2009. According to the lead investigator of the AF447 crash Alain Bouillard, searchers face a “colossal task” that is “far, far harder”. than the two-year search for the Air France plane.
Bouillard also said the location of MH370 was “one of the most hostile environments in the world”.
The location of the MH370 is at the convergence of three currents — the South Indian Ocean Current, which becomes the West Australian Current, the Leeuwin Current and the Antarctica Circumpolar Current.
Those underlying currents work below the sea swells that move in a broad easterly or north-easterly direction depending on the frontal activity.
Oceanographer Dr Erik Van Sebille told Channel 7’s Sunrise the currents are extremely strong at up to 2cm a second and would get worse. “And they are only going to get worse. The current varies every day and has vortices and debris can move 100km a day (in any direction).”
With the new satellite data from Inmarsat, along with increasing amounts of drift data, searchers will try to zero in on MH370’s initial impact area.
An Australian warship is expected to be tasked with deploying US locator equipment. Yesterday a 5m long 800kg Bluefin drone and a Towed Pinger Locator arrived in Perth on a special G550 jet from the US.
MH370’s black boxes are key to solving the mystery of why the plane veered so far off course.
In theory, the black boxes containing flight data and cockpit voice recordings will continue emitting tracking signals for about another two weeks, with an average audible range of 2km to 3km.