Data analysis continues as MH370 locator battery fails

With only one day remaining day before the black box locator signal dies, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 aircraft is understood to have entered the water.

The search operation for the missing aircraft has entered its 29th day with 10 military aircraft, three civilian jets and 11 ships covering an area of about 217,000 sq km, 1,700 km northwest of Perth. The aircraft’s black box which can operate immersed to a depth of up to 20,000 ft is however designed to emit an underwater locator beacon for only 30 days.

The current search area was determined by the multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance conducted by an expert international panel.

An air crash investigation team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia are now supporting the search effort for the aircraft.

The search was initially launched in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the aircraft had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

British satellite business Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) applied an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, concluding that Flight 370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

The aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar approximately an hour later while over the South China Sea.

Malaysia announced on March 24, 17 days after the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, that Flight 370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) was launched on April 1 in Perth to coordinate the search for the missing aircraft which now includes Australian defence vessel ADV Ocean Shield and the Royal Navy hydrographic ship HMS Echo, both equipped with submarine search equipment.

Britain is also sending HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine with sonar detection equipment, and a Malaysian frigate was due to arrive in the search area today.

Read More: Search for MH370 heads under water

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