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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 3rd Oct 2017, 13:08
  #11821 (permalink)  
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Full text of ATSB Exec Summary

The Operational Search for MH370
Executive summary

On 8 March 2014, a Boeing 777 aircraft operated as Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) was lost during a flight from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing in the People’s Republic of China carrying 12 crew and 227 passengers. The search for the missing aircraft commenced on 8 March 2014 and continued for 1,046 days until 17 January 2017 when it was suspended in accordance with a decision made by a tripartite of Governments, being Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

The initial surface search and the subsequent underwater search for the missing aircraft have been the largest searches of their type in aviation history. The 52 days of the surface search involving aircraft and surface vessels covered an area of several million square kilometres. A sub surface search for the aircraft’s underwater locator beacons was also conducted during the surface search.

The underwater search started with a bathymetry survey which continued as required throughout the underwater search and has mapped a total of 710,000 square kilometres of Indian Ocean seafloor, the largest ever single hydrographic survey. The high resolution sonar search covered an area in excess of 120,000 square kilometres, also the largest ever search or survey of its kind. Despite the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of people involved in the search from around the world, the aircraft has not been located.

Regardless of the cause of the loss of MH370, there were no transmissions received from the aircraft after the first 38 minutes of the flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the aircraft’s position including the transponder and the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system failed to transmit the aircraft’s position after this time period. Subsequent analysis of radar and satellite communication data revealed the aircraft had actually continued to fly for a further seven hours. Its last position was positively fixed at the northern tip of Sumatra by the surveillance systems operating that night, six hours before it ended the flight in the southern Indian Ocean.

The challenge which faced those tasked with the search was to trace the whereabouts of the aircraft using only the very limited data that was available. This data consisted of aircraft performance information and satellite communication metadata initially, and then later during the underwater search, long-term drift studies to trace the origin of MH370 debris which had been adrift for more than a year, and in some cases, more than two years. The types of data, and the scientific methods used for its analysis, were never intended to be used to track an aircraft or pin point its final location.

On 28 April 2014, the surface search for MH370 coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) was concluded and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) assumed responsibility for conducting the underwater search for the aircraft. The underwater search area was initially defined at 60,000 square kilometres, and was increased in April 2015 when the Tripartite Governments (Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China) agreed to expand the search area to 120,000 square kilometres. The primary objective of the underwater search was to establish whether or not the debris field of the missing aircraft was in the area of seafloor defined by expert analysis of the aircraft’s flight path and other information. If a debris field was located, the search needed to confirm the debris was MH370 by optical imaging, and then map the debris field to enable planning for a subsequent recovery operation.

Once underwater search operations commenced in October 2014, the MH370 debris field could potentially have been located at any time. A recovery operation would need to have commenced as soon as possible after the debris field was located and the Tripartite governments had agreed on the next steps. The ATSB's role was therefore to also put in place the arrangements and plans necessary for a rapid recovery operation to occur at short notice.

The underwater search applied scientific principles to defining the most probable area to be searched through modelling the aircraft’s flight path and behaviour at the end of the flight. The flight path modelling was based on unique and sophisticated analysis of the metadata associated with the periodic automated satellite communications to and from the aircraft in the final six hours of the flight. The end-of-flight behaviour of the aircraft, when MH370 was considered to have exhausted its fuel, has been analysed and simulated.

In 2015 and 2016, debris from MH370 was found on the shores of Indian Ocean islands and the east African coastline. The debris yielded significant new insights into how and where the aircraft ended its flight. It was established from the debris that the aircraft was not configured for a ditching at the end-of-flight. By studying the drift of the debris and combining these results with the analysis of the satellite communication data and the results of the surface and underwater searches, a specific area of the Indian Ocean was identified which was more likely to be where the aircraft ended the flight.

The understanding of where MH370 may be located is better now than it has ever been. The underwater search has eliminated most of the high probability areas yielded by reconstructing the aircraft’s flight path and the debris drift studies conducted in the past 12 months have identified the most likely area with increasing precision. Re-analysis of satellite imagery taken on 23 March 2014 in an area close to the 7th arc has identified a range of objects which may be MH370 debris. This analysis complements the findings of the First Principles Review and identifies an area of less than 25,000 square kilometres which has the highest likelihood of containing MH370.

The ATSB’s role coordinating the underwater search involved the procurement and management of a range of sophisticated and highly technical services. Management of the underwater search was aimed at ensuring high confidence in the acquisition and analysis of the sonar search data so that areas of the seafloor which had been searched could be eliminated. A comprehensive program was implemented to ensure the quality of the sonar coverage. A thorough sonar data review process was used to ensure areas of potential interest were identified and investigated.

During the early stages of the procurement, careful consideration was given to the methods available for conducting a large scale search of the seafloor. Water depths were known to be up to 6,000 m with unknown currents and unknown seafloor topography. Search operations would also have to be conducted in poor weather conditions and in a very remote area far from any land mass. Planning focused on selecting a safe, efficient and effective method to search the seafloor in an operation with an indeterminate timeframe.

The mapping of the seafloor in the search area revealed a challenging terrain for the underwater search which used underwater vehicles operating close to the seafloor. While the deep tow vehicles selected as the primary search method proved to be very effective, the seafloor terrain necessitated the use of a range of search methods including an autonomous underwater vehicle to complete the sonar coverage.

The underwater search area was located up to 2,800 km west of the coast of Western Australia and the prevailing weather conditions in this area for much of the year are challenging. Crews on the search vessels were working for months at a time in conditions which elevated the operational risks. The ATSB ensured that these risks to the safety of the search vessels and their crews were carefully managed.

At the time the underwater search was suspended in January 2017, more than 120,000 square kilometres of seafloor had been searched and eliminated with a high degree of confidence. In all, 661 areas of interest were identified in the sonar imagery of the seafloor. Of these areas, 82 with the most promise were investigated and eliminated as being related to MH370. Four shipwrecks were identified in the area searched.

The intention of this report is to document the search for MH370, in particular, the underwater search including; where the search was conducted (and why), how the search was conducted, the results of the search and the current analysis which defines an area where any future underwater search should be conducted. The report also includes a safety analysis which is focused on the search rather than on discussing the range of factors which may have led to the loss of the aircraft.

The Government of Malaysia is continuing work on their investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss of MH370 aircraft consistent with their obligations as a member State of ICAO. The Malaysian investigation is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of ICAO Annex 13, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation.

The search, recovery and investigation of the loss of Air France flight AF447, in the South Atlantic Ocean in 2009, and the loss of MH370 have led to some important learnings related to locating missing aircraft on flights over deep ocean areas. Requirements and systems for tracking aircraft have been enhanced and will continue to be enhanced. Steps are being taken to advance other aircraft systems including emergency locator transponders and flight recorder locator beacons.

The ATSB acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of the hundreds of dedicated professionals from many organisations in Australia and around the world who have contributed their time and efforts unsparingly in the search for MH370.

The reasons for the loss of MH370 cannot be established with certainty until the aircraft is found. It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board.

The ATSB expresses our deepest sympathies to the families of the passengers and crew on board MH370. We share your profound and prolonged grief, and deeply regret that we have not been able to locate the aircraft, nor those 239 souls on board that remain missing.
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 08:01
  #11822 (permalink)  
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MH 370 search to resume?

The 7 Television Network in Australia is carrying a story, claiming a resumption of the search MH 370 will be announced tomorrow.

Supposedly US operator Ocean Infinity will be involved, with the Malaysian Government agreeing to a no find, no fee deal.
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 09:31
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So they are agreeing on a FF.
Find= Fee!

How big would that be? Any idea?
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 10:30
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Originally Posted by Trackmaster
The 7 Television Network in Australia is carrying a story, claiming a resumption of the search MH 370 will be announced tomorrow
Good afternoon,

In BANGKOK POST today (2017 October 17) too there is this information (with details).

Here are some extracts :

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said proposals were received from US-based seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity, Dutch firm Fugro and an unidentified Malaysian company.

"We won’t be deciding anything now on whether we are embarking on a new search or not," Mr Liow told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Kuala Lumpur. We have to discuss with the companies. It will take some time as it's some detailed discussions," he said. Mr Liow was commenting on media reports from Australia that said Malaysia could resume the search as early as this week.

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Old 3rd Jan 2018, 14:50
  #11825 (permalink)  
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MH370 search restarted.

A Norwegian research vessel, the Seabed Constructor, equipped with eight autonomous submarines has departed from Durban today for the search area, 1800km west of Perth.

“With multiple autonomous vehicle working simultaneously utilizing innovative technology, we are able to survey huge swathes of the seabed, quickly and with outstanding accuracy,’’ the company’s website says.
Let's hope for a good outcome.

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Old 31st Jan 2018, 21:46
  #11826 (permalink)  
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MH370 search restarts


The Seabed Constructor is reported on site and has started the search for MH370.
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Old 1st Feb 2018, 16:02
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MH370 Not found where expected.

The news outlet "The Australian" is reporting in its Business/Aviation section that the MH370 has not been found where it was expected.

The hunt for MH370 has covered the area scientists predicted it would be, without finding the aircraft.
There were actually two regions that Ocean Infinity was to search. This seems to suggest that the search in first region (with the $20M bounty) has been completed.

The full article is behind a pay wall.

Last edited by .Scott; 1st Feb 2018 at 16:13.
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Old 5th Feb 2018, 12:58
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MH370 search.

Apparently, Malaysia plans on issuing weekly updates on the progress of the MH370 search by Ocean Infinity.

It's first report was Jan 30, for the period Jan 21 - 28. So I expect we should see the next one tomorrow.

Here is the site:

Official Site for #MH370 - MH370 Underwater Search 2018 - 30 January 2018

The chart below shows the progress. The chart itself includes the legend for most of the color coding. But there are two exceptions:

1) The section in orange is half of the "Site 1, Area 1" search area. It is designated the "Phase 1" search area - and it is orange because, as of Jan 28, it had been completed (with no MH370 finds).

2) No legend or explanation is provided in the report for the red box. It is the other half of "Site 1 Area 1". My guess is that it was the next area to be searched.

There is additional information in this report:
Be patient with this news report. It starts out reporting about the search ships AIS, but it gets better.
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 13:06
  #11829 (permalink)  
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MH370 Search Progress

As expected, Malaysia issued an update on the MH370 search this morning (Feb 6).
The report is for the week ending February 4.

MH370 not found. All 8 AUVs are being used. Weather has been good.

It shows that almost all of Site 1, Area 1 has been completed (the southern most of the three yellow sections). This represent 7500 sqKm out of the 33030 sq Km in site 1 and the 81353 sq Km in total. That's a bit more than 9% of the total.

The search vehicle has left for port (Freemantle) and so no progress against the search area is expected this coming week.

It is scheduled to depart Freemantle for the search zone on February 12th. So I expect the search to resume around the 16th.

Here is the site:

Official Site for MH370 Underwater Search Reports
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 15:08
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At first I thought huh? they've been on-site only two weeks and already they've gone away on a nearly two week round trip to Fremantle for resupply and crew change? But the seas down there can be pretty wild and although they say "favorable weather is forecasted" I guess the weather may not be reliable enough for the survey ship to stay on location with a tender bringing crew and supplies.
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 15:57
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Also, I believe they sailed from South Africa, so they've been at sea for some time.

With a 'no find, no fee' deal, I'm sure they've worked out the best schedule to search the largest possible area.
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Old 6th Feb 2018, 16:59
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I belive they should include the area with shallow water near the presumed black box pings that were heard on 5 & 6 of April 2014. Also, the barnacles age and species on the flaperon would indicate a possible location.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 15:39
  #11833 (permalink)  
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Thread bumped for renewed interest.
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