- Published on Saturday, 08 March 2014 09:02
Signal Detected Yesterday Not Related To Black Boxes - JACC
PERTH: The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Retired), said an initial assessment of the possible signal detected by a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft yesterday afternoon has been determined as not related to an aircraft underwater locator beacon.
“The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre has analysed the acoustic data and confirmed that the signal reported in the vicinity of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield is unlikely to be related to the aircraft black boxes,” Houston said.
“Further analysis continues to be undertaken by Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre.
“Today Ocean Shield is continuing more focused sweeps with the Towed Pinger Locator to try and locate further signals that may be related to the aircraft's black boxes. It is vital to glean as much information as possible while the batteries on the underwater locator beacons may still be active.
“The AP-3C Orions continue their acoustic search, working in conjunction with Ocean Shield, with three more missions planned for today.
“A decision as to when to deploy the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle will be made on advice from experts on board the Ocean Shield and could be some days away.
“On the information I have available to me, there has been no major breakthrough in the search for MH370. I will provide a further update if, and when, further information becomes available.”
Source: Joint Agency Coordination Centre
RMAF Suggests Gov't To Procure Maritime Patrol Aircraft
ALOR STAR: Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud today suggested to the government to procure maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) for search and rescue operations.
Rodzali said the fixed-wing aircraft designed to operate in long range and extended duration duties would be helpful in search and rescue mission especially in deep ocean.
In the light of the multi-national mission to locate the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 in Indian Ocean, he said RMAF had to focus on the surface search following limited equipment and technologies.
“We hope that the government could provide us with the maritime patrol aircraft in the future.
“I believe our pilots will have no problem to operate the aircraft and equipment,” he said in a press conference after attending the passing-out and presenting flying wings to 26 graduates of Basic flying and Basic Helicopter course at Kepala Batas Air Force College here today.
Rodzali also expressed his hope to see the new generation of RMAF to be well-equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills to prepare for future challenges.
He also stressed on the importance RMAF personnel of acquiring knowledge and skills in participating in a multi-national mission such as the MH370 SAR which involved 26 countries.
The Underwater Challenge, In Numbers
KUALA LUMPUR: The detection of faint acoustic signals from the Indian Ocean over the last few days have given fresh hope to a multinational hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Australia has already confirmed that the first two out of four signals detected have a frequency of 33.331kHz, consistent with a flight data recorder’s patterns.
An unmanned underwater vehicle, the Bluefin-21, may be deployed as early as tomorrow, according to US Navy Commander William J. Marks even as two ships, the Chinese Haixun 01 and Australian Ocean Shield, both fitted with pinger locators seek to pinpoint the location of the electronic pulses.
The robot submersible can be fitted with either a sonar device or a camera.
Should the signals match the black boxes mounted on board MH370, the underwater challenges to recover its wreckage remain daunting, as can be seen in the infographic below.
The Malay Mail Online
IGP: Police Have Recorded Over 200 Statements In MH370 Probe
KUALA LUMPUR : The police have recorded more than 200 statements in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.
Among those who gave the statements were relatives of the passengers and crew of the lost flight, MH370, he said. The Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went missing on March 8 while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Khalid said more people would be questioned by the police in their investigation into the missing plane, a multinational search for which is taking place in the southern Indian Ocean where it is believed to have gone down.
"It is an ongoing investigation. As of yesterday evening, we recorded 205 statements. More statements are to be recorded. There are certain points we have to relook to really make things clear in our investigation," he told reporters after attending an activity in conjunction with the 207th Police Day here.
Khalid also responded to the denial by the Johor Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) that a cargo of mangosteens carried on the missing flight had come from Muar.
"The mangosteens may have not necessarily been cultivated in Johor; the supplier is from Muar. I did not say they were harvested in Muar.
"I said we will investigate up to the stage where the fruits were harvested. I did not say the orchard was in Johor. The mangosteens were gathered in Muar before being brought to the KLIA (KL International Airport)," he said.
Johor Fama had explained that the mangosteens carried on the flight had not originated from Muar because the fruit was not produced by orchards in Johor now as the season would only start in June.
Khalid also said that an investigation would be conducted to ascertain whether the food served on board Flight MH370 had been poisoned.
Flight MH370 left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have landed in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors - the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of Boeing 777-200 aircraft, that Flight MH370 "ended in the southern Indian Ocean".
Tony Abbott Confident Signal Is From Black Box
PERTH: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is confident that a signal detected in the search area at the South Indian Ocean is from MH370's black box.
According to a report by ABC News, Abbott said that the search area for the aircraft has been refined.
MORE TO COME.
Defence Minister Denies Malaysia Scrambled Fighter Jets After MH370 Plane Vanished
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia did not deploy any military aircraft to chase down Flight MH370 after the Beijing-bound passenger plane went off civilian radars on March 8, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein posted on Twitter.
The denial was first tweeted by Hishammuddin’s communications team late last night, in response to a news report broadcast on US network CNN that cited an unnamed senior government official saying Royal Malaysian Air Force fighter (RMAF) jets were scrambled at about 8am on March 8, shortly after the Malaysia Airlines jet was reported missing.
“Latest from @CNN claiming that Msian Air Force aircraft scrambled soon after @MAS reported #MH370 missing early 8/3 is a false allegation,” Hishammuddin’s communication team posted on its official Twitter account, @H2OComms) at 10.29pm.
Hishammuddin, who is also acting defence minister and has been the country’s official face in charge of the search, later retweeted the message on his official Twitter account, @HishammuddinH2O.
In a news programme yesterday, CNN cited an unnamed senior government official involved in the search for MH370 saying RMAF had mounted a hunt even before authorities were able to corroborate the Boeing 777-200ER had made a turn back over the Malay Peninsula.
According to the source, RMAF had only informed the Department of Civil Aviation of this deployment three days later, on March 11.
CNN also reported the source relaying that the final message from MH370 to air traffic controllers, “Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero” was uttered by pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, and not co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid as previously said.
According to the source, the verification was made after police played the recording to five other Malaysia Airlines pilots who knew the pilot and co-pilot.
Flight MH370 left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am on March 8, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane over the South China Sea, some 120km off the coast of Kelantan, just as it was to enter Vietnamese air space.
Malaysia Airlines sounded the alarm after the plane failed to arrive at its scheduled destination, triggering a search first in the South China Sea before investigations showed the plane had turned back west and headed out to the Indian Ocean.
Australia is now leading a multination hunt for the plane where satellite data last tracked its signal before it disappeared entirely.
The Malay Mail Online
Air And Sea Hunt For Missing Plane Resumes (Day 35)
PERTH: An air and sea hunt for the missing Malaysian jet resumed Friday in the same swath of the southern Indian Ocean where an underwater sensor made the fifth detection of a signal in recent days, raising hopes that searchers are closing in on what could be a flight recorder.
An Australian air force P-3 Orion, which has been dropping sonar buoys into the water near where four sounds were heard earlier, picked up a "possible signal" on Thursday that may be from a man-made source, said Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search for Flight 370 off Australia's west coast.
The latest acoustic data would be analysed, he said. If confirmed, the signal would further narrow the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which vanished March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.
The Australian ship Ocean Shield, which is towing a US Navy device to detect signal beacons from a plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders, picked up two underwater sounds Tuesday. Two sounds it detected Saturday were determined to be consistent with the pings emitted from the flight recorders, or "black boxes."
The searchers are trying to pinpoint the location of the source of the underwater signals so they can send down a robotic submersible to look for wreckage and the flight recorders from the Malaysian jet.
Houston's coordination center said the area to be searched for floating debris on Friday had been narrowed to 46,713 square kilometres (18,036 square miles) of ocean extending from 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) northwest of Perth. Up to 15 planes and 13 ships would join Friday's search.
Thursday's search of a 57,900 square kilometre (22,300 square mile) area of ocean in a similar location reported no sightings of potential wreckage, the centre said.
The sonar buoys are being dropped by the Australian air force to maximise the sound-detectors operating in the search zone. Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy said each buoy is dangling a hydrophone listening device about 300 metres (1,000 feet) below the surface and transmits its data via radio back to a search plane.
The underwater search zone is currently a 1,300-square-kilometre (500-square-mile) patch of the ocean floor — about the size of the city of Los Angeles — and narrowing the area as much as possible is crucial before the submersible is sent to create a sonar map of a potential debris field on the seabed.
The Bluefin 21 submersible takes six times longer to cover the same area as the ping locator being towed by the Ocean Shield and would take six weeks to two months to canvass the current underwater search zone. That's why the acoustic equipment is still being used to get a more precise location, US Navy Capt. Mark Matthews said.
Houston has expressed optimism about the sounds detected earlier in the week, saying Wednesday that he was hopeful crews would find the aircraft — or what's left of it — in the "not-too-distant future."
Crews searching the surface are moving in tighter patterns, now that the zone has been narrowed to about a quarter the size it was a few days ago, Houston said.
Separately, a Malaysian government official said Thursday that investigators have concluded the pilot spoke the last words to air traffic control, "Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero," and that his voice had no signs of duress. A re-examination of the last communication from the cockpit was initiated after authorities last week reversed their initial statement that the co-pilot was speaking different words.
The senior government official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media. The conclusion was first reported by CNN.
Investigators believe the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean based on a flight path calculated from its contacts with a satellite and analysis of its speed and fuel capacity, but the content of the flight recorders is essential to solving the mystery of why the plane veered so far off-course.
The search for the recorders is increasingly urgent because their locator beacons have batteries that last about a month and may fail soon.
An Australian government briefing document circulated among international agencies involved in the search said the acoustic pingers likely would continue to transmit at decreasing strength for up to 10 more days, depending on conditions.
Once there is no hope left of hearing more sounds, the Bluefin sub will be deployed.
Complicating matters, however, is the depth of the seabed in the search area. The sounds detected earlier are emanating from 4,500 meters (14,763 feet) below the surface, which is the deepest the Bluefin can dive.
"It'll be pretty close to its operating limit. It's got a safety margin of error and if they think it's warranted, then they push it a little bit," said Stefan Williams, a professor of marine robotics at Sydney University.
The search coordination center said it was considering options in case a deeper- diving sub is needed. But Williams suspects if that happens, the search will be delayed while an underwater vehicle rated to 6,000 metres (19,700 feet) is dismantled and shipped from Europe, the US or Japan.
Williams said colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts had autonomous and remotely operated vehicles that dive to 11 kilometres (36,100 feet), although they might not be equipped for such a search.
Underwater vessels rated to 6,500 metres (21,300 feet) could search the seabed of more than 90 per cent of the world's oceans, Williams said.
"There's not that much of it deeper than 6 1/2 kilometres," he said.
Williams said it was unlikely that the wreck had fallen into the narrow Diamantina trench, which is about 5,800 metres (19,000 feet) deep, since sounds emanating from that depth would probably not have been detected by the ping locator.
Two Search Areas Determined For Today - JACC
Today the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has planned two search areas in close proximity totalling about 46,713 square kilometres. The centre of the search areas lies approximately 2,312 kilometres north west of Perth.
According to the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), up to 12 military aircraft, three civil aircraft and 13 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The weather forecast for today is 10 - 15 knot southerly winds with isolated showers, seas swells of 1 to 1.5 metres and visibility of five kilometres in showers.
Yesterday there were no sightings reported by search aircraft or objects recovered by ships.
Signal Detected By RAAF Aircraft Not From Black Box
PERTH: The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret’d), said an initial assessment of the possible signal detected by a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft yesterday afternoon has been determined as not related to an aircraft underwater locator beacon.
“The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre has analysed the acoustic data and confirmed that the signal reported in the vicinity of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield is unlikely to be related to the aircraft black boxes,” Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret’d), said.
Further analysis continues to be undertaken by Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre.
Today Ocean Shield is continuing more focused sweeps with the Towed Pinger Locator to try and locate further signals that may be related to the aircraft’s black boxes. It is vital to glean as much information as possible while the batteries on the underwater locator beacons may still be active.
The AP-3C Orions continue their acoustic search, working in conjunction with Ocean Shield, with three more missions planned for today.
A decision as to when to deploy the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle will be made on advice from experts on board the Ocean Shield and could be some days away.