Malaysian Airlines: French Satellite Spots Possible DebrisBy: Tina Volpe - March 23, 2014
The French satellite image is the third set of images related to possible debris from the Malaysian flight 370, and giving searchers and officials more hope of answering questions relating to the world’s great aviation mystery.
France issued new satellite images on Sunday which show possible debris from the missing Boeing 777, Malaysian officials said, as searchers are presently combing a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean, trying to locate the debris.
The images given to searchers in Australia “show potential objects” in the same part of the ocean where previous satellite images released by Australia and China showed objects that could be debris from the plane, Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement.
The latest image seems to be another possible clue in the mysterious and futile search for the aircraft that went missing March 8, less than an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing with 239 people on board.
In response to the newly released images from France, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said, “any satellite images or other new information that comes to AMSA is being considered in developing the search plans.”
One of the objects in the French images was estimated to be about the same size as an object captured Tuesday by the Chinese satellite. But officials said the French satellite image was unclear and fuzzy, making it difficult to determine precise dimensions.
Ships have been sent in to try to locate a wooden pallet that appeared to be surrounded by straps of varying lengths and colors. It was spotted Saturday by spotters in a search plane, but no images were captured of it and a military PC Orion military plane dispatched to locate the pallet could not find it.
“So, we’ve gone back to that area again today to try and re-find it,” said Mike Barton, chief of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s rescue coordination center. An Australian navy ship was also involved in the search.
“The use of wooden pallets is quite common in the aircraft industry. They are usually packed into another container which is loaded in the belly of the aircraft but within that container it is quite common to have items on pallets.” Barton said.
“It’s a possible lead but we will need to be very certain that this is a pallet because pallets are used in the shipping industry as well,” Barton said.
The images are reinforcing proof for the massive hunt for these objects, which has been underway since Friday. However, authorities are finding the remoteness of the search area, as well as weather, one of the biggest challenges.
“At 2500 kilometres (1,500 miles) away, they are operating at the limits of their endurance and only having a short period of one to two hours in the search area and back again so that’s only allowing us to get in a [single] search a day, which is again spreading the search over several days,” Barton said.
Image via YouTube