Monday, March 5, 2018

Search for missing Malaysia MH370 plane to end in June 2018

Four years after the MH370 flight disappeared, Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, says that the search for the missing Boeing 777 carrying 239 people on board will end in June, 2018. The plane disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.

The Malaysian government signed a “no find, no fee” contract with a Texas based exploration company Ocean Infinity to find the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft within 90 days. However, the hunt for the missing plane is set to spread out over a few months, until mid-June, Rahman told the press during the fourth annual remembrance of the missing flight in Kuala Lumpur event.

The Seabed Constructor vessel searching the ocean floor has to refuel in Australian shores and bad weather may also be a factor, according to Rahman.

The contract with Ocean Infinity was signed on January 10, 2018, and the search for MH370 began on January 21, 2018 – approximately one year later after official government search for the wreckage ended without finding the crash site.

If successful, Ocean Infinity - that is focusing on 25,000km2 area - will be paid based on the size of the ocean floor searched.

Malaysia says it will pay Ocean Infinity $20 million for 5,000km2 of a successful search, $30 million for 15,000km2, $50 million for 25,000km2 and $70 million if the plane or flight recorders are found beyond the identified area, CTV News report.

According to Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, there is a 85% chance of finding debris in the search area that being covered by the U.S. company.

As of February 25, 2018, the area covered by Ocean Infinity was 8,200km2, based on the company’s official report. No significant findings were identified so far.

The disappearance of MH370 has become the greatest mystery in modern aviation, prompting one of the biggest and most expensive search missions in history.

According to the official report by Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) the transmissions were lost 38 minutes into the flight, but the plane continued flying for another seven hours making it extremely difficult to determine the site of the crash.

According to aviation journalist Christine Negroni, Malaysia Airlines’ long-haul fleet only transmitted ground-to-aircraft location information once every half hour around the time of the tragedy, The Telegraph reported.

In contrast, Malaysia Airlines planes now transmit its information every five minutes and international requirements state that by January 2021 all new planes will have to broadcast their location every minute if the aircraft is in distress.

(AeroTime News)

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