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Aug 3, 2017

What happens if private MH370 search is launched by new tech US firm?

An apparently well resourced privately funded offer to keep looking for MH370 puts the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese authorities on the spot

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

An Ocean Infinity website graphic

An American oceanographic exploration firm, Ocean Infinity, has offered to launch a radically faster seabed search for the sunk wreckage of missing flight MH370 for an undisclosed fee paid only if it succeeds in finding the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that vanished with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014.

The offer, publicised by independent MH370 researcher Victor Iannello puts authorities in Malaysia, Australia and China on the spot in terms of support, given the controversial suspension of the official tripartite search in January contrary to a recommendation by Australian scientists to make a final examination of a comparatively small section of the southern Indian Ocean seabed to the southwest of Perth, Western Australia.

The Australian transport safety investigator, the ATSB, managed the now suspended oceanic search on behalf of its Malaysia and China partners in the quest to find the wreckage, and locate and recover, if possible, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

There is nothing to prevent any entity from searching for the main wreckage from MH370, although there are long standing internationally agreed rules that seek to avoid disturbing any aircraft wreckage pending a examination by an accident inquiry that conforms to the protocols of the International Civil Aviation Organisation which was founded in 1947.

MH370 was over the Gulf of Thailand early on March 8, 2014, on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, when it abruptly ceased to be visible to air  traffic control systems as a transponder identified flight.

Automatically generated signals from MH370 picked up by an Inmarsat communications satellite indicated that the jet eventually flew into southern Indian Ocean airspace before running out of fuel.

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7 comments

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7 thoughts on “What happens if private MH370 search is launched by new tech US firm?

  1. Dan Dair

    This looks like a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ exercise in PR, at first glance.?

    If this oceanographic business really is offering to search on a ‘paid upon results’ basis, perhaps the ATSB will be good enough to inform the Australian public what the reasons were, should the tripartite group not accept this offer.?

    Perhaps the ATSB would also be good enough to provide us with the ‘cash-value’, MAS, China, Boeing, Rolls-Royce & perhaps even Inmarsat, placed on the usefulness of finding the wreckage & most particularly the ‘black-boxes’.?
    (I won’t include Malaysia on that list, because though it’s clear the Malaysian people are still anxious for further information & a possible conclusion to this loss, it’s also clear that the Malaysian government & authorities couldn’t give a flying-fish about it)
    One might speculate that the amount being requested by Ocean Infinity for a satisfactory resolution to the search, would be met comfortably between these four or five interested-parties.?

  2. jukebox

    Rather quaint graphic ~ looking a lot like the sea surface inside Cockburn Sound, rather than the far Indian Ocean. Let’s hope those drone submersibles have location beacons, should one or more be untethered in the rough and tumble of real world search conditions.

  3. Tango

    Sounds like they should have waited for this offer in the first place! (only half in jest)

    The wreckage disturbance appears not to be an issue as it is predicated on a payoff and no one is going to spend that kind of money just to fish a few pieces up.

    As for Boeing, DD seems convinced they have skin in the game and they feel they do not. We know who has the trump card there.

    China has the biggest interest in the outcome (or the people do) but the government would rather blow money on Olympics so what can you say.

    1. Dan Dair

      Tango,
      Clearly China, Malaysia & MAS have the greatest vested-interests in this loss.
      Far & away the big majority of those on-board were Chinese nationals.
      Malaysian airlines were the unfortunate airline who ‘lost’ this aircraft.
      As I mentioned, the opinions of the Malaysian people are probably not represented at all by their government & authorities, on this matter.?
      Boeing have a cloud hanging over them which it would be in their interest to resolve. It may be that no-one is taking the prospect of it being some kind of an airframe failure (possibly similar to that proposed by Mick Gilbert.?) seriously at the moment, but should there be any additional unexplained loss or any suggestion of an in-flight decompression or windscreen fire, this incident will be first to rear it’s very ugly head. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised if Boeing weren’t quietly replacing all the windscreens, free-of-charge, on all the aircraft still flying from that ‘bad-batch’ which Mick Gilbert highlighted.?
      Rolls Royce & Inmarsat, for different reasons, might be interested in ‘pulling out their wallets’ to contribute to such a search.
      RR had engines on the aircraft which conceivably may have been problematic, but mostly they may want the kudos of being able to trumpet how effective their ‘real-time’ engine management system is, or could be if you choose to utilise it.?
      Inmarsat, would probably like to prove to the world just how good their system is, though just how much that would be worth to them in a cash value & how much cash they actually have to write-off against tax for such a venture, is anyone’s guess.?

      Incidentally, China’s last Olympics was nearly 10 years ago & the Winter one they’re currently being considered for hasn’t yet been allocated, so it’s very unlikely that this is in any way a factor influencing that nations decision whether to accept or reject this search offer.?

      1. romeobravo

        Beijing was awarded the 2022 Olympics two years ago. They open on 4 February 2022.

        1. Dan Dair

          That’ll teach me to do better research…..
          I though they were due to be awarded next month.!!!

          1. Tango

            Dan: I have to laugh. First Boeing history says they are in the denier camp. The 737 rudder issue and the 767 loss over (India?) with Laudi Air and the thrust reverser deployment are two cases.

            I don’t pretend to understand why two entireties of pretty equal standing like Airbus and Boeing take different tact’s, just that they do and did.

            As for the mystical cloud hanging over Boeing? I have not seen an iota of it.

            As the 777 has a history of some 20 + years with nothing happening, hard to argue there is an inherent issue with the 777.

            As good old Sherlock said, the simplest explanation is the best (I could have that wrong and need to do some research )

            Somewhat like our idiot POTUS, looking for deep meaning is a waste, he is an idiot and that is all the explanation you need.

            Surviving the consequence of his stupidity is another thing of course. Sometimes the inertia of Government is a benefit. Or as the Commandant of the USCG said, I will be damned if I betray our service members .