The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

March 26, 2014

Hunt for lost plane resumes

(Continued)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia —

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 23,000 feet deep.

It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370’s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the topography of the seabed where Malaysia Flight 370 is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

Searching for a needle in a haystack would be simple by comparison, he said.

The satellite information does not provide an exact location — only a rough estimate of where the jet went down.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the data is still being analyzed “to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft” and that an international working group of satellite and aircraft performance experts had been set up.

Monday’s announcement that there were no survivors unleashed sorrow and anger among the victims’ families, who have complained about a lack of reliable information from Malaysian officials.

Nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched Tuesday to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, “Liars!”

Many wore white T-shirts that read “Let’s pray for MH370.” They held banners and shouted, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

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