Search for MH370 shifts to the south
June 26, 2014, Perth, Aus. - The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will shift further south in the Indian Ocean, Australian authorities said on Thursday, ushering in yet another new phase of the long, costly and so far fruitless search.
June 26, 2014 By Thomson Reuters
The Boeing 777, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on
March 8 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.
Investigators say what little evidence they have to work with
suggests the plane was deliberately diverted thousands of kilometres
from its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian
The search was narrowed in April after a series of acoustic pings
thought to be from the plane's black box recorders were heard along a
final arc where analysis of satellite data put its last location.
But a month later, officials conceded the wreckage was not in that
concentrated area, some 1,600 kilometres off the northwest coast of
Australia, and the search area would have to be expanded.
"The new priority area is still focused on the seventh arc, where the
aircraft last communicated with satellite. We are now shifting our
attention to an area further south along the arc," Australian Deputy
Prime Minister Warren Truss said.
Truss said the new priority search area was determined after a review
of satellite data and early radar information as the plane suddenly
diverted across the Malaysian peninsular and headed south into one of
the remotest areas of the planet.
"It is highly, highly likely that the aircraft was on autopilot
otherwise it could not have followed the orderly path that has been
identified through the satellite sightings," Truss told reporters in
Two vessels, one Chinese and one from Dutch engineering company Fugro
are currently mapping the seafloor along the arc, where depths exceed
5,000 metres in parts.
The next phase of the search mission is expected to start in August
and take a year, covering some 60,000 square kilometres of ocean at a
cost of $56 million or more. The search is already the most expensive in