nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Robot sub finishes 1st full seabed search for jet

Apr. 17, 2014 4:18 AM EDT
PERTH, Australia (AP) - A robotic submarine completed its first successful scan of the seabed Thursday in the hunt for the missing Malaysian plane, and investigators were analyzing the sub's data while also trying to identify the origins of a nearby oil slick.

The Bluefin 21's first two missions were cut short by technical problems and deep water, but the unmanned sub finally managed to complete a full 16-hour scan of the silt-covered seabed far off Australia's west coast, the search coordination center said on Thursday. While data collected by the sub from its latest mission, which ended overnight, was still being analyzed, nothing of note had yet been discovered, the center said. The sub has now covered 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) of seafloor.

Meanwhile, officials in the western city of Perth were analyzing an oil sample that search crews collected earlier this week about 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) from an area where equipment picked up underwater sounds consistent with an aircraft black box. Angus Houston, who is heading up the search effort, has said the oil does not appear to be from ships in the region, but cautioned against jumping to conclusions about its source.

The analysis could provide further evidence that officials are looking in the right place for Flight 370, which vanished March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Searchers have yet to find any physical proof that the sounds that led them to the ocean floor where the Bluefin has been deployed were from the ill-fated jet.

Bluefin-21 Robo-Sub Plunges Into Missing Jet Search

Twelve planes and 11 ships were scouring a 40,300-square-kilometer (15,600-square-mile) patch of sea for any debris that may be floating on the ocean surface, about 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) northwest of Perth.

Despite weeks of searching, no debris related to the jet has been found and earlier this week, Houston said the surface search would be ending within days. But the search coordination center on Thursday said crews would continue searching the ocean surface into next week.

Malaysia's defense minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, confirmed that the search would continue through the Easter weekend, though acknowledged that officials would have to rethink their strategy at some point if nothing is found.

"There will come a time when we need to regroup and reconsider, but in any event, the search will always continue. It's just a matter of approach," he said at a news conference on Thursday.

Radar and satellite data show the Boeing 777 flew far off-course for an unknown reason and would have run out of fuel in a desolate patch of the Indian Ocean west of Australia.

A ship-towed device detected four underwater signals that are believed to have come from the plane's black boxes shortly before the batteries powering the devices' beacons likely died. The sounds helped narrow the search area to the waters where the Bluefin is now operating.

The U.S. Navy's unmanned sub cut short its first mission on Monday because it exceeded its maximum operating depth of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet). Searchers moved it away from the deepest waters before redeploying the sub to scan the seabed with sonar to map a potential debris field.

In addition to finding the plane itself, investigators want to recover the black boxes in hopes the cockpit voice and flight data recorders can explain why the plane lost communications and flew so far off-course before disappearing.


Associated Press writers Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.


Follow Margie Mason on Twitter at twitter.com/MargieMasonA

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
offshorerich April 17 2014 at 10:38 AM

OK HELLO SHERRI has a point, for the past 30 years I have been an avid offshore fishing one of the tricks was using bunker oil 1 teaspoon of oil will create a circle the size of the average car, I am not sure how many gallons of oil the jetliner Carries but it will create the same affect now throw in some clothing seat cushions that gets saturated this will linger on for a long time, my theory from the beginning was the jetliner is OK and terrorist might be involved, but they have it someplace where if they wish to modify it they will, as far as the passengers I pray that they are just being held hostage and no harm has been done, you have to remember they know what one jetliner is capable of with just the fuel may be they weren't satisfied with twin towers? Back to the point with all the sophisticated equipment that we have today they cannot find the liner? With all the freighters traveling throughout the area no one has seen anything on the water at that time clothing or oil? I hope I am wrong but I still wonder,

Flag Reply +4 rate up
4 replies
Bobby Dempsey April 17 2014 at 11:36 AM

Have Your Say...This whole thing has now become a huge joke!!! Everybody has an opinion, but nobody actually knows jack-****! Shut up until you have actual facts. When is some idiot going to come up with an "Alien Abduction"? Our company had a piece of equipement that malfuctioned in Holland and my boss ket questioning me about what it could be. I told him I could speculate until "the cows come home" but I would reserve any comments until I could actually see the equipement. That is what everybody needs to do, reserve all comments until the actually find the airplane.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
roseofarc68 Bobby Dempsey April 17 2014 at 11:49 AM

...Or, at least "KNOW" where it is, huh???

Flag Reply 0 rate up
ssass3101 Bobby Dempsey April 17 2014 at 11:51 AM

yes that would be fine, but they are not going to find this plane in the ocean - so how long should they keep looking?????

Flag Reply 0 rate up
rschulte4326 April 17 2014 at 9:29 AM

Your looking in the wrong place . When the plane turned it lost power and hit the water on the other side. Search on the other side with your yellow cigar and you'll find your plane .

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
phrankly rschulte4326 April 17 2014 at 9:32 AM

i tend to agree.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
rjackson2a rschulte4326 April 17 2014 at 9:55 AM

Then why don't they just hire an expert like you so they can find it by the end of the day?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
johnny_lee_konkaroo April 17 2014 at 10:25 AM

it would probably work better if they painted a fin blue... that's obvious.

told the wife they wouldn't find anything with these because it's all a charade to delay, delay, delay while pretending to be looking for something they know isn't there.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
sonnyuomo1 April 17 2014 at 8:01 AM

Shrink Ray from Despicable Me....as good as anything else that everyone is throwing out there....where is the Long Island Medium? ....Oh wait...this is real life....they can't do anything with that...it would expose them...Aliens?.....that's always a good out because you need no real proof...right up their alley....Bermuda Triangle shift?...that wouldn't need proof either...Time travel?...it would have to have gone to the future because we haven't found it yet...flux capacitors for everyone!...If we throw enough $%^Tt against the wall, some things will stick and everyone will look at it like we are waiting for the epiphany...drooling over the newest piece of juicy news not to put closure to the familes who have suffered losses, buy to fuel the media fire....then we can move on to everyone's favorite colors and how the pilot didn't like brussel sprouts as a kid...the real meat behind the story....

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
rlpjr2 sonnyuomo1 April 17 2014 at 8:47 AM

Nicely articulated post bravo...

Flag Reply 0 rate up
rjackson2a April 17 2014 at 9:53 AM

It took two years to find the Air France plane that went down in the Atlantic a few years ago, and they knew where it had crached. If it takes that long this time, are we going to continue to get this play by play narative every day for the entire time?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Mitch rjackson2a April 17 2014 at 10:46 AM

As long as you click on articles about it, yes.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Lenny April 17 2014 at 7:29 AM

I ask why is there only one sub.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Doug Fordon Lenny April 17 2014 at 7:41 AM

I've been wondering why there not using military subs. The sonar on those puppies is way superior to any scout robot and can cover much bigger area's.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
rlpjr2 Doug Fordon April 17 2014 at 8:48 AM

Simple....the world communities do not want anyone to know their capabilities sad but true...

Flag +2 rate up
ibeyour1 Doug Fordon April 17 2014 at 1:08 PM

right tool for the right job

Flag +1 rate up
Donnie April 17 2014 at 12:18 PM

we may never know what happen.. but as much technology as we and other countries have i dont understand why nothing has really been proven for a "fact". is it under water? was that decoy pings? did it get highjacked? did it malfuction? did aliens abduct? was it the pilots or the 2 guys with fake passports? either way something happen and yes they must keep the search on regardless what we feel it cost. why did plane turn so sharp? highjacked is best one so far, but then why no one use phone before they took them all up? maybe no signals could get out because of major malfuction? then the big one yet, terroist major thing they love to do is scare people to death, so maybe its setting somewhere while they are watching people go nuts trying to find it, and maybe the countries know this and dont wont to put BIG fear in everyone just yet!! just my opinion like the rest of you. either way i pray for the families having to listen and read all this daily. i hope they figure out soon so they can have closer.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
grlsrm200 April 17 2014 at 10:42 AM

It certainly seems very mysterious that nothing at all is being found. Someone somehwere is not giving out with the real facts or is hiding something that is a known but for some reason must be kept secret? I know this a huge area and has been described as a difficult and dangerous place but every indication is that this plane seems to have evaded every search.. There were some crashes that took two years to be found . So I guess it is not unrealistic but quite frustrating for all involved. My heart felt sympathies for the fanmlies and the searchers who are so dedicated. Good hunting.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
Liza grlsrm200 April 17 2014 at 11:54 AM

it is NOT mysterious that nothing is being found. The ocean is enormous and incredibly deep and this plane is a SPECK down there. They may never find it. Things get lost - even big things like a 777 because
oceans are beyond people's grasp in how enormous they are. They heard pings and triangulated and thought there was hope, but an area then dropped off to WAAAAAY deeper and so the plane might be down where no machine or person can go.
I think if they find it, it will be by sheer determination and a big stroke of luck.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
SKCRCPUSCG April 17 2014 at 12:23 PM

It has been a noble but futilile effort.... The reality is, that only so many resources can be expended in the search. Furthermore, it's highly unlikely that so much as one body could be recovered from the ocean depths. In fact, the general locataion of the plane is just and educated guess... but a guess none the less. Perhaps in time, something will float to the surface, or turn up in a dense jungle, until then, keep hope alive and may these 239 souls R.I.P.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
aol~~ 1209600



World Series

More From Our Partners