Missing Malaysian jet update: Underwater search for MH370 continues

Canberra / Kuala Lumpur (IANS): As the 14th day of the underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 began Saturday, 95 percent of the underwater search area has been covered, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said in Canberra.

Early into Mission 13 Friday the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Bluefin-21 was recalled due to a software issue that required resetting. The AUV has technically sophisticated equipment and a reset is not uncommon. Phoenix technicians solved the problem overnight and Mission 14 is now underway, the JACC said in a statement.

Saturday marks the 50th day of the search operation for Flight MH370, and until now, no clues have been found about what has happened to the ill-fated aircraft, The Malaysian Star reported.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has planned a visual search area for Saturday totalling approximately 57,311 sq.km.

The centre of the search area lies about 1584 kilometres north west of Perth.

Up to eight military aircraft and 11 ships are involved in Saturday’s search.

“The weather forecast for today is for isolated showers with south easterly winds up to 20 knots, sea swells of two to 2.5 metres and visibility of one kilometre in thunderstorms and three kilometres in rain,” JACC reported.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.

The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.