MH370 may have turned south earlier than thought

Canberra - The search area for a missing Malaysian plane in the southern Indian Ocean has been refined based on the latest analysis, while the investigation into how the plane came to crash cannot proceed until the wreckage and black boxes are recovered, officials said on Thursday.

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said analysis of a failed attempted satellite phone call from Malaysia Airlines to Flight 370, which disappeared on 8 March, "suggests to us that the aircraft might have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected".

The overall search area still remained unchanged, he said. He did not elaborate on how that analysis was achieved.

Cost agreement

Truss and Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday on co-operation in the search for the missing Boeing 777 as it progresses to the expensive next phase. The agreement shares the ongoing costs between the two countries.

The airliner disappeared with 239 people aboard after flying far of course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Liow said investigators had advised that success of the undersea search for wreckage and the aircraft's back boxes with cockpit voice recordings and flight data was crucial to solving the mystery of the disaster.

"The investigation cannot continue without the search result," Liow said.

"We need to find the plane, we need to find the black box in the plane so that we can have a conclusion in the investigation," he added.

Malaysia, as the country where the Boeing 777 was flagged, has overall responsibility for the crash investigation. But Australia has search and rescue responsibility for the area of the Indian Ocean where the plane is thought to have crashed 1 800km off Australia's west coast.

Three vessels

A Dutch contractor Fugro Survey Pty. Ltd. will conduct the underwater search for the Boeing 777 starting in September. Three vessels towing underwater vehicles equipped with side-scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders and video equipment to search for the plane, Truss said.

The search could take up to a year to scour 60 000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean seabed and cost $48m (A$52m).

Before the underwater search starts, two survey ships are mapping the entire search area.

Chinese Vice-Minister of Transport He Jianzhong, who also attended the Canberra meeting, said the ministers had all agreed that the search will not be interrupted or given up. Most of the lost passengers, 153, were Chinese.

Johann Nuusman 2014-08-28 07:43:09 AM
Stop waisting time and money .. Send a delegation to DIEGO GARCIA..
Ba Tadiwa 2014-08-28 09:10:35 AM
Boka Haram has it. Thats where the 200 girls are staying!!!
Bonita Felix 2014-08-28 09:37:20 AM
I think they should use all the sattelite photos of that day and time to see if their was any explosions.Especially those that were in the vicinity or maybe they did that already.
Valerie Widmann 2014-08-28 09:49:34 AM
Ain't never going to find this plane. Sad for the families of the victims!
Jeremy Richard Schaffner 2014-08-28 10:39:17 AM
Nearly 6 months now, and still not one bit of wreckage or flotsam, yes?
Johan Van Der Vyver 2014-08-28 10:56:38 AM
This plane will never be found!
Kennedy Bunga 2014-08-28 12:09:53 PM
There are many planes in history that were never found after going missing.
Kennedy Bunga 2014-08-28 12:10:48 PM
Is it possible that it could have escaped gravity and went into space