The mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has only deepened over the past few months, but Australia recently announced that it has not given up on finding the plane just yet.
Last March, Flight 370 had a regularly scheduled flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, the jet suddenly veered off of its course and seemingly vanished into the night. A large search involving several countries failed to find the jet last April, even after the ocean floor was searched where it was believed that the flight’s data recorders were sending out detectable pings. The exhaustive search did not yield one piece of wreckage from Flight 370, and the pings were believed to have come from another source.
The disappearance and lack of evidence left experts and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew from Flight 370 mystified.
Australian officials have decided to expand the search for the plane in the south of where searches were originally conducted. New data has not surfaced, but the data used to pinpoint where to look for the plane has been refined.
Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said, “There was a very complex analysis and there were several different ways of looking at it. Specialists have used several different methodologies and bringing all of that work together to get a consensus view is what we’re finalizing at the moment.”
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is leading the new search at the request of the Malaysian government, but it will be delegating some of its responsibilities to a private company.
Until the end of June, the bureau will be accepting proposals to take on the difficult task of finding Flight 370. The search will start somewhere off the western coast of Australia using powerful sonar equipment to scan the ocean’s depths. It is expected that the search may last a year, and the search could start as early as August.
Dolan said the new search area is not near the storm-prone areas that were already searched. The search for Flight 370 will not be as far southwest of the coastal city of Perth where the first massive search focused its efforts.
Dole also mentioned that the expedition will be limited to a 23,000 square mile search of the ocean floor for the wreckage of Flight 370. Ships are already surveying the uncharted seabed in the search zone before a private company starts its sonar searches for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 plane.
[Map Credit: CNN]