Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: The Search For Satellite DebrisBy: Tina Volpe - March 20, 2014
The mystery of what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight 370 remains unsolved, and it is now day 13. Today, the only glimpse of a possible answer to this unending puzzle is two pieces of debris in the Indian Ocean, approximately 1500 miles southwest of Australia.
A massive international search has been underway for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, shortly after it disappeared from radar less than an hour into its flight. There were 239 people on the Boeing 777. The jet lost contact during its departure from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Malaysian officials, U.S. intelligence agencies, FBI, and authorities from 26 other nations, as well as experts from around the world are still trying to piece together fragments of information, with hope it will lead them to answers of what happened to the jetliner.
The theories have been many, with expert speculation in the media, including a never-ending array of conspiracy theories, in which the world has tried to solve right along with the experts – and then there are the families in wait.
In what officials are calling the “best lead” since the disappearance of flight MH370, a satellite detected two objects floating off the coast of Australia.
The search took place today, but deteriorating weather in Perth, Australia, on Friday is making the search for possible pieces of the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean extremely difficult.
Many were hoping for answers after the search today, however, with winter approaching, the south Indian Ocean is rough and the skies are cloudy, both added challenges for the Australian pilots.
Even a freighter with searchlights began early Friday, scanning the rough seas near where the satellite images were spotted.
“One of the objects on the satellite image was almost 80 feet long and the other was 15 feet. There could be other objects in the area, a four-hour flight from southwestern Australia”, said John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s emergency response division.
A U.S. Navy aircraft was scheduled to join the search, but like the other planes, it will have enough fuel for only a few hours before returning to Perth.
“It is a very long journey to the site and unfortunately, aircraft can only have one or two hours over the search area before they need to return to the mainland for fuel,” Warren Truss, who is currently Australia’s acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is overseas, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. He said that weather conditions in the area were poor and may get worse.
“And so clearly this is a very, very difficult and challenging search. Weather conditions are not particularly good and risk that they may deteriorate,” Truss said.
President Obama said finding out what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is a top priority for the U.S.
“We have put every resource that we have available at the disposal of the search process,” Obama said in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW. He said the nation’s thoughts and prayers were with the grieving families. Three Americans were aboard the flight.
Those involved can only hope that this search comes to an end soon, and that the mystery of flight 370 is solved, at last.
Image via YouTube