25Oktober2020

Agenda Daily

MH370: Search should resume after bad weather passes

The search mission for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 should only resume after poor weather conditions in the search area of the southern Indian Ocean have ended, say experts.

Local aviation analysts told Bernama the search should not take place during bad weather as it could affect the sonar signal which was used to identify images of objects or the aircraft.

Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) test pilot Prof Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian said although the images provided by the sonar signals were only predictions, it was still prone to ‘white noise’.

A joint search committee coordinated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on Wednesday announced that the MH370 search mission would be extended for another two months due to bad weather, and probably continue until next year.

The search involving an area of 120,000sq km was expected to be completed by the middle of this year, before being extended to December due to bad weather, with only about 10,000 sq km of the area left to go.

Another expert who is also a researcher at a local airline, Ahmad Maulan Bardai said it was best to suspend the search during bad weather conditions as the possibility of finding the aircraft’s position would be very small.

“This suspension would give some space to all those involved to analyse the results of the search location, on whether to continue in the current location or go to a new one.

“At this stage, scientifically, the most logical place to search is still in current location. However, the opportunity to consider a new location near the site of the discovery of fragments would be possible with the suspension.

“What needs to be examined is the authenticity of the debris found earlier, on whether it belongs to the aircraft,” he said.

Both experts were also asked whether there was a need to focus on areas near Mauritius as more debris was found there than in the Indian Ocean.

Mohd Harridon said the mission should continue at the current site, and also in waters off East Africa.

He explained that the search must be maintained in the southern Indian Ocean as Inmarsat data showed that the main wreckage of the aircraft was there, while the smaller fragments of debris would have reached the waters off East Africa using the ‘drift theory’.

“We need to unify the two theories to obtain the smaller fragments as well as the main wreckage of the plane as it will provide a holistic picture of the tragedy.

“For example, the fracture patterns on the small fragments could provide information on the strength of the impact when the aircraft hit the ocean waters,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Maulan was of the opinion that for the search location to be moved to the islands of Mauritius, each fragment must have a high probability that it came from the aircraft.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew on board disappeared from the radar shortly after taking off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) enroute to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

The plane has yet to be found despite massive search operations conducted in the southern Indian Ocean where it was believed to have ended its flight path after deviating from its original route.

On July 22, Malaysia, China and Australia announced that the search mission for aircraft would be suspended after the 120,000 sq km area was covered.-21/10/2016

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