Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Malaysia hires United States firm to resume search for missing MH370

Vietnamese military personnel prepare a helicopter for a search and rescue mission for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 off Vietnam's southern coastline MH370: High-tech best chance to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight off WA coast
Andrew Cummings | 13 January, 2018, 01:05

The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will resume after the government agreed to pay a USA exploration company as much as $70 million if it solves modern aviation's biggest mystery.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said a Houston-based private firm, Ocean Infinity, would search for MH370 in that 25,000-sq-km priority area on a "no-cure, no-fee" basis, meaning it will only get paid if it finds the plane.

Ocean Infinity will be paid $25.4 million if the plane is found within 5,000 square kilometres, $38.2 million if it is found within 10,000 sq km and $63.6 million if it is found within an area of 25,000 sq km.

This new move will obviously once more raise the hopes of the family and friends of the 239 people board the Malaysian airliner.

In issuing its final report on the initial search, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in October said it was "almost inconceivable" and "societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era" for a large passenger plane to disappear without the world learning of its fate.

The MH370 debris could furnish clues to events on board before the aircraft crashed.

He said eight autonomous underwater vehicles, which are drones fitted with high-tech cameras, sonars and sensors, will be dispatched to map the seabed at a faster pace.

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"Knowing how the flaperon, and the other parts of MH370 that have been found, respond to wind and waves is just as important as knowing the currents of the Indian Ocean". A total of 20 million USA dollars will be paid if the plane was found within the first 5,000 square km scoured.

Ocean Infinity will take on the economic risk of the renewed search, only receiving payment if the aircraft wreckage is located. Search operations concentrated in the southern Indian Ocean, but the aircraft was not found.

Ocean Infinity has deployed a search vessel, the Seabed Constructor, to a 25,000-square kilometer area directly north of the original search area.

The agreement was signed by the Malaysian government and Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, reported CNN.

He also thanked the Malaysian Government for not giving up hope of finding the missing jetliner and continuously offering support as well as information regarding MH370.

In 2016, Pattiaratchi modelled the possible path of debris based on ocean currents and predictions of where it is believed the plane went down.

Their daughter had planned to celebrate her fifth birthday on March 14, 2014 with her father, but he never returned.

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