Monday, March 24, 2014

Pellet holds the clue

Now France says it has satellite images of objects that could be from missing flight MH370 as photo taken by a New Zealand search team emerges and police seize plane crew's bank data

  • Malaysia Airlines 370 went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board
  • Images 'taken close to where Australia and China took photos of debris'
  • Air and sea searches since last Thursday in remote area of Indian Ocean
  • Australia PM Tony Abbott: 'We've now had number of very credible leads'

France today provided Malaysia with satellite images of objects that could be from a passenger jet that went missing more than two weeks ago.
It is the latest word of such images that officials are hoping will help solve one of the world's great aviation mysteries, after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing with 239 people on board.
The pictures are thought to have been taken close to areas of the Indian Ocean where Australia and China provided satellite photographs of objects that could be debris from MH370. 
And an image of solid matter floating in the southern Indian Ocean was released, as seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for the flight.
Meanwhile, it was claimed that police have seized the personal financial records of all 12 crew members of the flight MH370 - including bank statements, mortgage documents and credit card bills.
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Mystery: Solid matter is pictured floating in the southern Indian Ocean, seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft yesterday, searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
Mystery: Solid matter is pictured floating in the southern Indian Ocean, seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft yesterday, searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
Emotions: A relative of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines, MH370, expresses her frustration at the lack of information, to journalists in Beijing
Emotions: A relative of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines, MH370, expresses her frustration at the lack of information, to journalists in Beijing
Working: Leading Seaman Luke Horsburgh stands watch during his duty as Quartermaster on the bridge of the Australian Navy ship HMAS Success after it arrived in the search area for missing MH370
Working: Leading Seaman Luke Horsburgh stands watch during his duty as Quartermaster on the bridge of the Australian Navy ship HMAS Success after it arrived in the search area for missing MH370
Ramped up search: Chinese relatives (centre) of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave after a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing
Ramped up search: Chinese relatives (centre) of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave after a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing
Binoculars: A Chinese Antarctic exploration team member aboard Chinese icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) searches for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean
Binoculars: A Chinese Antarctic exploration team member aboard Chinese icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) searches for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean

Detectives have also got hold of the mobile and landline phone records of the crew, along with details of their computer use and online habits, reported The Sunday Times.
Air and sea searches since last Thursday in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean to determine whether the objects were from the missing jet have been unsuccessful.
 

Malaysia's Ministry of Transport said the images had been sent to Australia, which is coordinating the search about 1,550 miles south-west of Perth.

The images could be another clue in the growing mystery over Flight 370, with the search moving from seas off Vietnam when the plane first went missing to areas now not far from the Antarctica.
There, planes and a ship were scrambling today looking for a pallet and other debris to determine whether the objects were from the missing jet.
Distress: Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are pictured during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing
Distress: Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are pictured during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing
Anxious wait: A relative of a passenger onboard MH370 answers media questions at the Lido Hotel in Beijing
Anxious wait: A relative of a passenger onboard MH370 answers media questions at the Lido Hotel in Beijing
Wingwalker: Aircrew walk on the wing of a Japanese Air Force AP-3C Orion after it landed at RAAF Pearce Base to join the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
Wingwalker: Aircrew walk on the wing of a Japanese Air Force AP-3C Orion after it landed at RAAF Pearce Base to join the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
Working together: Disaster relief team leader Masahiko Kobayashi (left) greets Japanese air force Commander Hidetsugu Iwanasa after his AP-3C Orion landed at RAAF Pearce Base in Perth to join the search for MH370
Working together: Disaster relief team leader Masahiko Kobayashi (left) greets Japanese air force Commander Hidetsugu Iwanasa after his AP-3C Orion landed at RAAF Pearce Base in Perth to join the search for MH370
Possible sighting: A photo released by Chinese broadcaster CCTV shows a new satellite image of a large floating object in the Indian Ocean that could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370
Possible sighting: A photo released by Chinese broadcaster CCTV shows a new satellite image of a large floating object in the Indian Ocean that could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370
Diagrams: Mike Barton (right), Rescue Coordination Chief, shows Australian Deputy Prime minister Warren Truss (left), maps of the Indian Ocean search area for the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft
Diagrams: Mike Barton (right), Rescue Coordination Chief, shows Australian Deputy Prime minister Warren Truss (left), maps of the Indian Ocean search area for the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft

The pallet was spotted by a search plane yesterday, but has not been closely examined. Wooden pallets are commonly used in shipping, but can also be used in cargo containers carried on planes.
'Today is really a visual search again, and visual searches take some time. They can be difficult'
John Young, Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Mike Barton, chief of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's rescue coordination centre, told reporters in Canberra that the wooden pallet was spotted by a search aircraft yesterday.
He added that it was surrounded by several other objects, including what appeared to be strapping belts of different colours.
A New Zealand P3 Orion military plane was then sent to find it but failed, he said.
Squadron leader Brett McKenzie takes notes of other search aircraft on the windshield of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean
Squadron leader Brett McKenzie takes notes of other search aircraft on the windshield of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says 'three significant developments' have offered 'increasing hope' of finding MH370, as the search continues in the southern Indian Ocean
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says 'three significant developments' have offered 'increasing hope' of finding MH370, as the search continues in the southern Indian Ocean
A new hope: Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein holds up the note on which he was passed the information about the Chinese satellite sighting in the southern Indian Ocean
A new hope: Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein holds up the note on which he was passed the information about the Chinese satellite sighting in the southern Indian Ocean
Hand-written: A close up of the note passed to Mr Hussein. It is understood that the '30m' figure is incorrect
Hand-written: A close up of the note passed to Mr Hussein. It is understood that the '30m' figure is incorrect
Radar specialists are pictured aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean
Radar specialists are pictured aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean

‘So, we've gone back to that area again today to try and re-find it,’ Mr Barton said. An Australian navy ship was also involved in the search. 
'We have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope - no more than hope, no more than hope - that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft'
Tony Abbott, Australian Prime Minister
‘We went to some of the expert airlines and the use of wooden pallets is quite common in the industry,’ Mr Barton said. 
‘They're usually packed into another container which is loaded in the belly of the aircraft. ... 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.’
In Australia, eight search planes departed from a military base near Perth to scour an area about 1,550 miles away in an extremely isolated part of the southern Indian Ocean.
A graphic from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), shows the approximate position of the objects seen floating in a Chinese satellite image in the southern Indian Ocean, and the area where a civilian plane reported sighting possible debrisA graphic from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), shows the approximate position of the objects seen floating in a Chinese satellite image in the southern Indian Ocean, and the area where a civilian plane reported sighting possible debris
Reporting: Journalists wait for Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 outside the hall, during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing
Reporting: Journalists wait for Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 outside the hall, during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing

Satellite images, the most recent released by China yesterday, have showed large objects floating in the area that experts want to check to see if they came from the jet.

SEARCH TEAM IN 'HIGH SPIRITS'

The captain of an Australian Air Force Orion touched down back in Perth tonight with no sightings of the MH370 wreckage,  but 'in high spirits still' about finding the missing aircraft.
Speaking at RAAF Base Pearce just before 8pm local time, Flight Lieutenant Russ Adams said his crew used the latest satellite imagery and co-ordinates of images in their search.
The Orion conducted today's search in poor weather conditions which 'deteriorated since our last sortie... cloud down to the surface [and] at times we were enclosed in cloud'.
Lt Adams praised his crew for working over the Indian Ocean 'as a team' over ' a long day'.
'I can't be more proud of the girls and boys,’ he said. ‘The pilot and co-pilot performed extremely well. We were down at 300ft. The guys definitely shone.'
Lt Adams said there was reason for optimism. 'We might do ten sorties, but when you do that eleventh sortie and you find... islands with people alive on it.'
Air and sea searches since Thursday have not produced any results.
John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response division, said today's search was mainly relying on human eyes.
‘Today is really a visual search again, and visual searches take some time. They can be difficult,’ he said.
Mr Barton said while the weather was not as good at the start of the day with sea fog and low cloud, it was due to clear up later.
Despite the frustrating lack of answers, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was upbeat.
‘Obviously we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope - no more than hope, no more than hope - that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft,’ he told reporters in Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it had refined the search based on the latest clue from the Chinese satellite showing an object that appeared to be 72ft by 43ft. 
Flight Lieutenant Jason Nichols on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion, takes notes as they search for debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 earlier today in the southern Indian Ocean
Flight Lieutenant Jason Nichols on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion, takes notes as they search for debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 earlier today in the southern Indian Ocean
RAAF Flight officer Rayan Gharazeddine looks out from an Orion as he scans for signs of debris or wreckage
RAAF Flight officer Rayan Gharazeddine looks out from an Orion as he scans for signs of debris or wreckage
A Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force personnel looks out of their Lockheed P-3C Orion aircrafts before leaving for Australia to help with the search operations for MH370
A Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force personnel looks out of their Lockheed P-3C Orion aircrafts before leaving for Australia to help with the search operations for MH370

It said the object's position also fell within yesterday's search area but it had not been sighted.
Today's search has been split into two areas within the same proximity covering 22,800 sq miles. These areas have been determined by drift modelling, the AMSA said.
Malaysian Defensee Minister Hishammuddin Hussein put a message on his Twitter account asking those in churches around the country to offer a ‘prayer please’ for the passengers and crew on Fight 370.
More than 300 Malaysian cycling enthusiasts rode their bikes to the Kuala Lumpur airport to remember the people onboard the jet.
Searching: Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss (right) and Dan Gillis, senior search and rescue officer involved in the search, look at monitors at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's centre in Canberra
Searching: Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss (right) and Dan Gillis, senior search and rescue officer involved in the search, look at monitors at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's centre in Canberra
Flying Officer Peter Moore, the aircraft's captain, said a combination of 'less than ideal' weather and sea conditions had closed in on the flight
Flying Officer Peter Moore, the aircraft's captain, said a combination of 'less than ideal' weather and sea conditions had closed in on the flight
Two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s aircraft sit on the tarmac at RAAF Pearce base ready to join the search missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean
Two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s aircraft sit on the tarmac at RAAF Pearce base ready to join the search missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean
Acting Prime Minister of Australia Warren Truss speaks to the media at the RAAF Pearce Base, where he said the search for MH370 would continue 'while there's still hope' and until officials were certain it was 'futile'
Acting Prime Minister of Australia Warren Truss speaks to the media at the RAAF Pearce Base, where he said the search for MH370 would continue 'while there's still hope' and until officials were certain it was 'futile'

The cyclists decorated the bikes with small Malaysian flags and stickers that read ‘Pray for MH370.’
The latest satellite image is another clue in the baffling search for Flight 370, which dropped off air traffic control screens on March 8 over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board.
‘China hopes that these data will be helpful for searching and rescuing efforts,’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement. The missing plane had been bound for Beijing.
After about a week of confusion, Malaysian authorities said pings sent by the Boeing 777-200 for several hours after it disappeared indicated that the plane ended up in one of two huge arcs.
These were a northern corridor stretching from Malaysia to Central Asia, or a southern corridor that stretches toward Antarctica.
Mr Truss walks with RAAF Wing Commander James Parton and RAAF Group Captain Craig Heap: Mr Truss dismissed a suggestion the Australian Government had waited too long to act after revealing the satellite photos
Mr Truss walks with RAAF Wing Commander James Parton and RAAF Group Captain Craig Heap: Mr Truss dismissed a suggestion the Australian Government had waited too long to act after revealing the satellite photos
Difficult time: Relatives of passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are seen coming out of a conference room wearing t-shirts reading 'Pray for MH370 Come Back Home Safely', at a hotel in Beijing
Difficult time: Relatives of passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are seen coming out of a conference room wearing t-shirts reading 'Pray for MH370 Come Back Home Safely', at a hotel in Beijing
A RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft from 92 Wing on the flight line at dusk at RAAF base Pearce in Perth, Western Australia, yesterday, after completing a search sortie for Flight MH370
A RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft from 92 Wing on the flight line at dusk at RAAF base Pearce in Perth, Western Australia, yesterday, after completing a search sortie for Flight MH370
A Royal Australia Air Force AP3C Orion leaves RAAF Pearce Air Base in search of MH370. The flight went missing more than two weeks ago carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing
A Royal Australia Air Force AP3C Orion leaves RAAF Pearce Air Base in search of MH370. The flight went missing more than two weeks ago carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing

The discovery of the initial two objects by a satellite led several countries to send planes and ships to a stretch of the ocean southwest of Australia.
Two military planes from China have arrived in Perth, and the AMSA said they would join the search tomorrow. They join Australian, New Zealand and US. aircraft. Japanese planes are also expected soon.
Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation for what happened to the jet, but have said the evidence so far suggests it was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled.
 They are unsure what happened next. Police are considering the possibilities of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or anyone else on board.

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