Malaysia Airlines MH370: Australia Turns To Visual Search

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Debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet might have sunk, and radar has failed to detect any signs of the missing plane. So, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (ASMA)’s emergency response team head John Young said that he has switched to skilled observers to spot debris in the southern Indian ocean.

Malaysia Airlines: searchers facing several hurdles

The region where two large pieces of debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 were spotted is about 1550 miles away from Perth. It is one of the most inaccessible areas in the world. Ships participating in the search are faced with continuous rolling waves of 3 to 30 meters. An Australian aircraft dropped colored buoys in the search area on Friday. The markers would emit signals as they move along the ocean’s surface. That will help searchers figure out how far, and in which direction the debris might have moved.

One of the objects spotted through satellite imagery is 24 meters in size, while another one is smaller. They could be the debris of the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared with 239 passengers and crew members aboard on March 8. The jetliner was on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Changing weather conditions and strong winds would affect the movement of the objects. The suspected objects could already have moved as much as 311 miles away from the location they were spotted through satellite pictures on Monday.

Search for the debris of Malaysia Airlines jetliner to continue on Saturday

According to the University of New South Wales oceanographer Erik van Sebille, the objects are estimated to be moving about 50-100 kilometers per day due to water currents. He said the U.S. space agency NASA’s technology could be used to study the velocity of the objects to narrow down the search area.

John Young said there are five planes in the air today. And each of them has highly trained observers to look for the objects through the aircraft windows. That means the search planes will have to fly closely together. Young said weather was suitable for the search but they haven’t found anything yet. Young said the search will continue on Saturday as well, but in a slightly different target area considering the movement of the objects due to the sea currents.

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