MH370 Operational Search Update—
02 November 2016
This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.
Key developments this week
- Fugro Equator completed trials of the re-mobilised Hugin 4500 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) search system and departed the calibration range for the search area on Friday, 28 October 2016. The vessel arrived in the search area today.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 continues to conduct underwater search operations using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
- Today, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released its MH370—Search and debris examination report (more details are available below).
Underwater Search Operations
More than 110,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People's Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometre search area.
Due to poor weather conditions over the Southern hemisphere winter, it is expected searching the entire 120,000 square kilometre search area will be completed by around January/February 2017.
Ministers went to great lengths to explain this does not mean the termination of the search. Should credible new information emerge that can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given to determining next steps.
[Click map to view larger image]
ATSB Report: MH370—Search and debris examination update
Today the ATSB released the latest update report on the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: MH370—Search and debris examination update. This report provides an update of the MH370 search area definition described in previous ATSB reports. It comprises further analysis of satellite data, additional end of flight simulations, a summary of the analysis of the right outboard wing flap, and preliminary results from the enhanced debris drift modelling. The report is available on the ATSB website: www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2014/aair/ae-2014-054/
First Principles Review Meeting
The ATSB has convened a First Principles Review in Canberra from 2–4 November 2016. The Review brings together members of the Australian and international Search Strategy Working Group and other experts and advisors. They will review the results of the search undertaken to date and all of the available data, associated analysis, assumptions and modelling which have informed the definition of the search area. The Review may also assist operations in the remainder of the search effort. A report detailing the outcomes of the Review will be published by the ATSB in the coming months.
Weather conditions are predicted to be marginal changing to poor later in the week. These conditions may impact the progress of the search operations as the ROV requires frequent launching and recovery from the vessel—operations which call for suitable conditions.