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Underwater Drone Scans For MH370 Wreckage

Courtesy: US Defense Department
April 18, 2014

The search for MH370 is still under way as a drone has been sent to the depths of the Pacific Ocean to try and locate the black box that over a week ago was releasing pinging noises, characteristic of the black box aboard MH370.  The search has been ongoing since the plane went down on March, but since officials discovered the pinging noises they have faced some setbacks.  At first the depth was too deep for the vehicle that officials had at their disposal.  Now they are using this drone to discover the black box and finally get answers on what happened to MH370. 


A drone submerged Friday to the bottom of the Indian Ocean for its fifth trip in search of the missing Malaysian plane as relatives of the people who were aboard the jetliner when it disappeared from radar nearly six weeks ago pressed for answers.

The relatives have drawn up 26 questions that they want addressed by Malaysian officials who are to meet with them next week in Beijing. Most of the 239 passengers and crew who were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were Chinese.

Among their questions: What’s in the flight’s log book? Can they review the jet’s maintenance records? Can they listen to recordings of the Boeing 777 pilot’s conversations with air traffic controllers just before contact was lost?

Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, has defended his government’s handling of the operation and accused members of the news media of focusing on the Chinese families. He said relatives of passengers and crew from other nations represented have not had problems.

“The most difficult part of any investigation of this nature is having to deal with the families,” he said.

As the questions mounted, the Bluefin-21 was scanning the floor of the southern Indian Ocean. Authorities said the probe had scanned 42 square miles (110 square kilometers) without making any “contacts of interest.”

The first four dives discovered “no debris or aircraft wreckage,” said Phoenix International Holdings, which owns and operates the equipment under a contract with the U.S. Navy.

A single dive takes 24 hours to complete: two hours to submerge to near the ocean floor, 16 hours to map the seabed, two hours to ascend to the surface and four hours to download the images.

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