MH370 search to restart under ‘no find, no fee’ arrangement with Ocean Infinity

9M-MRO Boeing 777-2H6ER (MSN 28420/404) of Malaysia Airlines, taking off from Paris-Charles De Gaulle on 26 December 2011. This is the aircraft which disappeared on 8 March 2014 as flight MH370. Photo © Laurent Errera (Creative Commons license)
9M-MRO Boeing 777-2H6ER (MSN 28420/404) of Malaysia Airlines, taking off from Paris-Charles De Gaulle on 26 December 2011.
This is the aircraft which disappeared on 8 March 2014 as flight MH370. Photo © Laurent Errera (Creative Commons license)

20 October 2017 © David Eyre

The Malaysian Government will resume the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, after agreeing to a “no find, no fee” arrangement with Ocean Infinity, a US-based seabed exploration company.

Australia will provide technical assistance, at the request of the Malaysian government.

MH370 mystery disappearance

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER registered 9M-MRO, disappeared on 8 March 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China with 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard.

It has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history, and the biggest and most expensive serach in history, estimated to cost $200 million, with authorities unsuccessfully searching 120,000 square kilometres of the ocean floor after a fruitless air and surface search by ships and aircraft.

The initial search was led by the Malaysian Government, focused on the Gulf of Thailand, where MH370’s transponder last transmitted. However, the Malaysian military tracked the aircraft passing west, back over Malaysia, and then south, so another search area was added over the northern part of the Indian Ocean.

Following analysis of ACARS satellite data, it was found that MH370 continued to fly for over six hours after contact was lost. The available data indicated the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean, so the search efforts focused there.

An extensive search and rescue effort was undertaken by military and civilian aircraft and ships from several countries, but no debris was located.

In Western Australia, the search aircraft operated during March and April 2014, from RAAF Base Learmonth near Exmouth as well as RAAF Base Pearce (north of Perth) and Perth Airport.

See photos and information about the aircraft involved in the search for MH370 in 2014

On 31 March 2014, following an extensive sea and air search, the Malaysian Government accepted the Australian government’s offer to take the lead in the search and recovery operation in the southern Indian Ocean in support of the Malaysian accident investigation.On behalf of Australia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is leading search operations for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

Personnel and eight of the multinational aircraft involved in the Australian air search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at RAAF Base Pearce - Tue 29 April 2014. Photo: CPL Nicci Freeman, © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence - 20140429raaf8227810_0084.
Personnel and eight of the multinational aircraft involved in the Australian air search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at RAAF Base Pearce – Tue 29 April 2014.
Aircraft in the photo are (left to right):
5037 Lockheed (Kawasaki) P-3C-II½ Orion of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force, 3 Kokutai. (RESCUE 932)
NZ4204 Lockheed P-3K2 Orion of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 5 Squadron. (RESCUE 795)
168429/LF-429 Boeing P-8A Poseidon (737-8FV) of the US Navy, VP-16 ‘War Eagles’ (RESCUE 74/75)
21045 Ilyushin IL-76MD of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (China), 13th Transport Division, 39th Air Regiment. (RESCUE 802)
M30-09 Lockheed C-130H-MP Hercules of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, 20 Skuadron. (RESCUE 281)
A30-003 Boeing E-7A Wedgetail (737-7ES) of the Royal Australian Air Force, 2 Squadron. (RESCUE 108)
A9-664(?) Lockheed AP-3C Orion of the Royal Australian Air Force, 11 Squadron. (RESCUE 102/103/104/105)
950905 Lockheed P-3C-III+ Orion of Republic of Korea Navy, 613 Navy Squadron (RESCUE 86).
Photo: CPL Nicci Freeman, © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence – 20140429raaf8227810_0084.

Search suspended

At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the current search area.

On 20 December 2016, the ATSB suggested a new, smaller search area of 25,000 square kilometres.

The Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments issued a joint statement on 17 January 2017, that the search was suspended.

ATSB final report

In August 2017, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau reported that new evidence had narrowed the search area down to an area half the size of Melbourne, centred on a position at 35.6°S, 92.8°E.

 

French military satellite images of floating objects – some man made – in the southern Indian Ocean taken a couple of weeks after the disappearance of MH370 are thought to indicate the crash site. These images were disregarded by the Malaysian authorities (the ATSB was not involved at that time).

At least 20 parts from the aircraft have washed up on the shores of Madagascar and Reunion Island off the African coast and extensive drift modelling has been undertaken to try to confirm the crash location.

On 3 October 2017, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) published its final 440-page report into the search for MH370.

 

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

2 thoughts on “MH370 search to restart under ‘no find, no fee’ arrangement with Ocean Infinity

  • October 26, 2017 at 10:04 pm
    Permalink

    Hi David,
    I have read through the Australian Transport Safety Bureau brief of the missing MH370. This is a very serious process of finding the Boeing 777 aircraft that disappeared in March 2014. Do you know whether it can be downloaded online?

    Reply
    • October 27, 2017 at 10:34 pm
      Permalink

      There is a link at the bottom of the article where you can download the PDF of the report.

      Reply

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