Video: 122 objects discovered in Flight 370 search area

posted at 8:01 am on March 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The declaration that Flight 370 has been lost with no survivors got more supporting evidence overnight. Pictures taken Sunday from a French satellite show 122 objects in the water 2555 kilometers (1588 miles) southwest of Perth in the south Indian Ocean, where investigators now believe the airplane eventually crashed. Malaysia’s government announced the findings in a press conference a short while ago:

Satellite images taken on Sunday show 122 “potential objects” in the search for debris from missing flight MH370, Malaysian investigators said Wednesday.

Analysis of the images, which were supplied by France-based aeronautical firm Airbus Defence, revealed objects in the southern Indian Ocean around 1,588 miles from Perth, Australia – close to where other objects were previously seen.
The objects were between one meter (3 feet) and 23 meters (72 feet) in length and were seen across an area of ocean approximately 154 square miles wide, acting transport minister Hishamuddin Hussein told reporters.

“Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials,” he added.

Even though the search has changed from a rescue to a recovery operation, time still matters. In order to unravel the mystery of Flight 370, investigators need the so-called “black boxes” — the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorders. They come equipped with beacons to help locate them after crashes, but the beacon batteries are designed to last a month … and the flight has been missing for almost three weeks already:

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 23,000 feet deep in some parts. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

Today’s focus involves a 30,000-square-mile swath of ocean more than 1,200 miles off the coast of Australia.

The batteries do not have any role in safeguarding the data, so even if the beacon batteries run out, the recorders should still yield their information. But if the investigators and the search teams can’t pinpoint their location soon, they may never be recovered. The Air France crash happened relatively close to shore in an area that was nowhere near as deep as the search area for Malaysia Air 370, and as ABC notes, it still took years to find and retrieve those recorders.

ABC had an update prior to this press conference on weather-related delays that don’t help, either. Also, the airline is now offering the families a $5,000 settlement for each passenger lost. Somehow, I doubt that will be the final figure:


ABC US News | ABC Business News


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What ever happened to the debris that the Chinese saw on satellite images south of Vietnam, or the debris that was seen in a different area last week, etc.. etc… If you look long, and hard enough you’re going to find debris in the ocean… and none of that debris is from crashed airliners. They ought to be looking in the Pacific … lots of debris there! … oh and before anybody says what about the pings… The airliner could be anywhere on a 7,000 mile arc (not just at the end of it).

RedManBlueState on March 26, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Lawyers: Somebody’s gonna pay US. It’s our job to figure out who.

bofh on March 26, 2014 at 8:30 AM


FIFY

PolAgnostic on March 26, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Even my fellow Army Aviators. “Hawk (not my real name) they’re going to use the CVR to check up on us, not fair!”

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Very understandable. All sides could come to an agreement as to what to do with transmitted data. Though with the amount of data transmitted every day, it could be an NSA sized data collating job.

Knee jerk, emotional reactions like yours ruin real efforts to improve survivability standards.

blink on March 26, 2014 at 11:22 AM

But they are fun distractions from what will be a long and boring search process. Not everybody was interested in Ballard’s expeditions. I was one of the geeks who did follow it. And read the book…several times.

This will probably be the last thread on the subject here until there is confirmation that the plane went down somewhere around the current search area. Got to get the licks in now.

cozmo on March 26, 2014 at 11:43 AM

blink on March 26, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Its almost as if somebody is forced to bring this same thing up every time.

cozmo on March 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM

blink on March 26, 2014 at 11:50 AM

You had to go there…

favorite:

All that’s missing is the cap and wings.

cozmo on March 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

nextgen_repub on March 26, 2014 at 11:23 AM

You find it ridiculous that pilots have the ability to cut power to electrical buses in their own aircraft??? You’d rather let an electrical fire continue to receive power?

blink on March 26, 2014 at 11:45 AM

blink has a good point here. Part of the discussion since the beginning of this has been pilots ability to remove return power to key components. Absolutely necessary in some systems to follow emergency procedure steps or to return malfunctioning steps. A fire isn’t even necessary for cb manipulation.

I will not pretend I understand the engineers motivations for picking data paths, but the famous Flight Management System discussion that the pilots have keypad entry access to because … they have to, also has an emergency procedure to restore it to normal operations if it malfunctions. In our aircraft the data path is through an ethernet switching hub. If I lost an FMS in one manner, I have to disable the ESH to attempt to restore it. I have essentially turned something off through a Circuit Breaker that doesn’t have an on/off switch for it. No nefarious motivations, I just don’t like landing at the wrong airport. :-)

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM

dang

return malfunctioning components

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 11:56 AM

I will not pretend I understand the engineers motivations for picking data paths…

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Engineers, especially electrical engineers have their own special thought processes.

cozmo on March 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Son of MH370 Passenger Disputes Crash Conclusion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x0fMAAyY4g&t=172

Pork-Chop on March 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM

The Air France crash happened relatively close to shore in an area that was nowhere near as deep as the search area for Malaysia Air 370, and as ABC notes, it still took years to find and retrieve those recorders.

It’s also believed those black boxes failed and did not provide location pings.

NotCoach on March 26, 2014 at 12:36 PM

You’re right that there are clearly some experts on the subject here. I am certainly not one of them, but it is very good to hear what hawkdriver and dmacleo have to say.

MJBrutus on March 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM

far from an expert, just worked for years in parts dept then records dept (after disc injuries) for an airline.
I worked closely with a chief inspector for region and learned a lot from him, and due to that relationship I often got tasked with extra stuff.
people do not realize what seems like a simple change usually involves multiple companies and government agencies.
hell even removing ashtrays from saab340 required an act of god after all smoking banned, it ended up we used blanking plates as if the ashtray actually removed the seat was illegal to sell.
when an item is certified (this is the key word all airline people deal with) to work with something any changes change its certification.
ever seen a cert for a bolt used on tires? 10-15 pages showing tensile strength and etc and has to accompany the mtx records when a tire/wheel assembly is changed.
2 hours of work on an aircraft for passenger server (FAR135 carrier) usually means 150-200 pieces of paper. and hard copies (vs electronic) are required.
when power is out and you have no hard copies of procedures you cannot work on aircraft.
there is a lot too it. and I miss it.

dmacleo on March 26, 2014 at 1:18 PM

The Air France crash happened relatively close to shore in an area that was nowhere near as deep as the search area for Malaysia Air 370, and as ABC notes, it still took years to find and retrieve those recorders.

It’s also believed those black boxes failed and did not provide location pings.

NotCoach on March 26, 2014 at 12:36 PM

The flight data recorder failed; when they finally recovered it they found that the chassis had remained intact, but that the crash-survivable “memory unit” had separated from the chassis, probably on impact. They later found that memory unit, and also found the cockpit voice recorder, which had not been damaged.

Del Dolemonte on March 26, 2014 at 1:23 PM

The flight data recorder failed; when they finally recovered it they found that the chassis had remained intact, but that the crash-survivable “memory unit” had separated from the chassis, probably on impact. They later found that memory unit, and also found the cockpit voice recorder, which had not been damaged.

Del Dolemonte on March 26, 2014 at 1:23 PM

From what I read they also never got a ping from them even though they actually did search the area the plane went down in fairly soon after the crash.

NotCoach on March 26, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I can tell you that electrical engineers love to pretend they’re the pilot/operator when discussing system designs and user interfaces. Obviously, this is necessary to a large extent, but some of them are cocky enough to think that they don’t actually need the operator’s advice.

blink on March 26, 2014 at 1:22 PM

I can see that. I program user interfaces myself for production cells, and I have to think like an operator. Unfortunately most of that thinking centers around how the operator might screw up so I can idiot proof the system.

NotCoach on March 26, 2014 at 1:31 PM

dmacleo on March 26, 2014 at 1:18 PM

My only experience that is anything akin to that comes from years back (1980′s) when I worked with satellites. I was in the USAF on the team that managed the GPS acquisition.

MJBrutus on March 26, 2014 at 2:11 PM

In this day and age, there is no excuse for commercial airliners to drop off the grid for weeks at a time. I am sorry, but that is inexcusable and we as consumers should not put up with it.

MJBrutus on March 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM

And here I thought you were only an idiot when it came to politics.

Stop flying if you don’t like it, whiner.

Meremortal on March 26, 2014 at 3:42 PM

If something is pinging on the bottom, seems we ought to send one of our attack submarines to the area to listen for it. If they can find an enemy sub trying to stay quiet, seems like they should be able to pinpoint the location of something pinging away.

Yeah. I know it’s deep and there are thermal layers.

Tom Clancy would have Sonarman Ron Jones on it, though.

trigon on March 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Even my fellow Army Aviators. “Hawk (not my real name) they’re going to use the CVR to check up on us, not fair!”

One, it’s not accessed without an appropriate incident to evaluate. And B, what are you saying in the cockpit you don’t want anyone to know about?

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

lol, There was plenty of number 10 talk in our Hueys. Wonder what the pilots talked about when they cut us off in the back? Probably just important officer business.

arnold ziffel on March 26, 2014 at 6:24 PM

The plane can’t possibly be at the southern end of the south arc, or the northern end of the north arc.

Inmarsat said the plane got further away from the IO sat with each ping.

faraway on March 26, 2014 at 7:39 PM

The plane can’t possibly be at the southern end of the south arc, or the northern end of the north arc.

Inmarsat said the plane got further away from the IO sat with each ping.

faraway on March 26, 2014 at 7:39 PM

At this point, if the news reports any truth about the incident, it will be completely by accident.

The Rogue Tomato on March 26, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Probably just important officer business.

arnold ziffel on March 26, 2014 at 6:24 PM

They were talking about what a great Door Gunner you were. :-)

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Lawyers: Somebody’s gonna pay US. It’s our job to figure out who.

bofh on March 26, 2014 at 8:30 AM

FIFY

PolAgnostic on March 26, 2014 at 11:37 AM

If they can figure a way to get it tried in the US civil courts system, you can be sure a lot of lawyers will be buying new Ferraris.

The victims families won’t ever see much payout though.

s1im on March 26, 2014 at 9:31 PM

They were talking about what a great Door Gunner you were. :-)

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 8:58 PM

nope, they were laughing at me, not with me. That’s okay. One time, being the dip I was, I popped a smoke grenade over the city just to watch it trail down. Didn’t think the pilots would hear the noise. They did, said, “did you hear that?” me: “nope, everything is fine back here.”

arnold ziffel on March 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I wonder how much debris from the Japanese tsunami is still floating around? Literally 100s of thousands of tons of the stuff.

Dasher on March 27, 2014 at 12:08 AM

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