Skip to comments.Ocean floor search for missing Malaysia plane cut short again
Posted on 04/16/2014 2:16:32 AM PDT by blueplum
(Reuters) - The search for a Malaysia Airlines jetliner deep in the Indian Ocean was again cut short on Wednesday when technical problems forced a U.S. Navy underwater drone to surface without finding anything, officials said.
A unspecified technical problem meant the Bluefin resurfaced early on Wednesday and analysis of the sonar data downloaded showed no significant detections, the Australian agency leading the search said.
It has subsequently been relaunched to continue its search.
The drone was forced to end its first deployment early on Monday after it exceeded its 4.5 km (14,750 feet) depth limit in the remote stretch of ocean....
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
They launched it in shallower waters this second time and it’s still too deep for the Bluefin.
There is a reason that the pilot ditched the plane in these deep waters and this is part of it.
yup. I gather from the blue-fin coverage that it locks onto the bottom and then cruises 100 feet above. So that’s why it failed and had to surface the first time - locked on too low and the failsafe kicked in. Not sure what the second problem was but must have been minor since they sent it right back down. I read that the bluefin can only exceed depth twice and it’s done, over, retired, so couldn’t have been anything serious.
The Bluefin was reprogrammed and covered 35 square miles of ocean floor today.
The search is now on.
Interesting tidbit from today’s Reuters:
” the Bluefin-21’s search area had been reduce based on further analysis of the initial black box signals. It said a U.S. Navy warning that the Bluefin-21’s examination may take two months was now incorrect and the drone was focusing on a “reduced and more focused underwater search area” without specifying the size.”
Unless they get lucky this search area will take a year and a half.
Meanwhile back at home:
(CNN) Families of some of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passengers released a list of questions Wednesday that they said authorities have so far not answered.
Many of the 26 questions focus on technical issues involving emergency locator transmitters, or ELTs, and black boxes. With an apparent in-depth understanding of how these work, the families ask about the specific technology on the missing plane....
The families final seven questions involve protocol, including this: What did Malaysia Airlines do when the flight went missing?
The families also ask whether search and rescue teams have final results from searched areas, and whether the Malaysian government could specify the rights of family members to know the facts of cases or the details of an incident.
The questions were posted on the social media site Weibo by a committee in Beijing representing some of the passengers families. Some of the questions are requests that evidence be shared with them, including the flights logbook and air traffic control audio.