MH370: When to stop looking?

The search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 just can’t catch a break

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane could take years, a senior US defence official has warned, as the underwater search off Western Australia failed to find any trace of wreckage or black boxes.

A US navy submersible drone has been scouring the southern Indian Ocean’s seabed within a six-mile radius of the spot where a signal thought to come from a black box was detected, around a month after flight MH370 went missing on 8 March. Twelve crew and 227 passengers were on board.

The Bluefin-21 drone has scoured 95% of that focus area without finding any sign of the Boeing-777. The broader maritime search has also failed to locate any wreckage.

Nothing physical has been found. ?Not a single seat cushion. ?Not a single piece of luggage. ? All we’ve reportedly had were some sounds that “could only have come” from the flight data recorder. ?But that too, a week after its guaranteed 30 day operational span, has gone silent. ?

Up to eight military aircraft and 10 ships were searching on Friday, in an area about 930 miles (1,500km) north-west of Perth. The US official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to comment on the search effort, told Reuters: “We went all in on this small area and didn’t find anything. Now you’ve got to go back to the big area. And now you’re talking years.”

Officials at the search centre in Perth said in a statement: “If no contacts of interest are made, Bluefin 21 will continue to examine the areas adjacent to the [six-mile] radius. “We are currently consulting very closely with our international partners on the best way to continue the search into the future.”

Tony Abbott is looking like a bit of a dork for raising everyone’s hopes.

I wonder what point needs to be reached before New Zealand withdraws its resources it has dedicated to the search?


– The Guardian