Category: Underwater MH 370

Underwater-Malaysia Airlines Flight 370-Searching by Towed Pinger Locator, Bluefin-21 and P-3C Orion Aircraft

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is an international passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing that left on 8 march 2014 at 01:20 MYT, after losing contact with air traffic control. It’s shipping 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 countries. Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a 53-year-old from Penang and had a flying experience of 18,365 hours. Copilot Fariq Abdul Hamid was a 27-year-old and had a flying experience of 2,763.

At the point of the Gulf of Thailand, flight signal was lost on secondary radar. According to the data from military radar, investigators fulfilled that the aircraft had diverted due to the transmissions between the aircraft and an Inmarsat satellite. From its intended path and headed westward across the Malay Peninsula, then continued on a northern or southern track for approximately seven hours. MAS (Malaysia Airlines) announced the missing flight at 07:24.

Equipment used for searching MH370 aircraft.

Towed Pinger Locator

Royal Australian Navy used a “Towed Pinger Locator” to search the black-box Pinger from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 underwater. An airplane’s black box is planned to withstand fire, being submerged in water, hydrostatic pressure, heat and being crushed. There are two types of flight recorder one is called FDR (Flight Data Recorder), whereas other CVR (Cockpit Voice recorder).

FDR is a device used to record specific aircraft performance parameters and the date of recorder used for accident investigation as well as for analyzing air safety issues, engine performance and fabric degradation. CVR is a device used to record the audio environment in the flight deck of an aircraft, used for accident investigation as well as incidents.

Towed Pinger Locator

The black box detector can detect “pings” up to 20,000 ft (below the surface) and search area nearly 19,000 feet. Australia’s Joint Agency Co-ordination Center said “By 29 May, its cleared 850 sq.km of the ocean floor.” They estimate that the batteries expire around 7 April.

Angus Houston (retired Air Chief Marshal) stated that “The region of highest probability as to where the aircraft might have entered the water is the area where the underwater search will begin.”

Bluefin-21, AUV

Bluefin-21 is an AUV means Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is a robot which travels underwater without needing input from an operator. Its shape looks like a torpedo. It is a highly modular vehicle capable to run multiple sensors and payloads at once and boasts a high energy capacity that enables extended operations even at larger depths.

Bluefin-21 AUV

Bluefin-21 is used for diverse deep-sea missions, including offshore survey, marine archeology survey, marine salvage detection, mine countermeasures, oceanography, and the detection of unexploded ordnance. It takes two hours to go down to the base end of the sea and an extra two hours to show up, with the ability to search for sixteen hours.

On Monday, crews sent the investigation to the ocean floor in what was expected to be a 20-hour operation, only to have it rendered in less than eight hours after encountering waters beyond its 14,764-foot (4,500-meter) maximum depth.

Angus Houston stated “The only thing we have left at this stage is the four transmissions and an oil slick in the same locality; hence we will investigate those to their termination.”

P-3C Orion Aircraft

The Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion is equipped with radar and infrared detectors as well as observation posts to help detect any wreckage on the surface of the sea. It also has three cameras under the landing gear capable of zooming in for a tighter look.

The four-engine turboprop plane is intended to fly low and slow to support surveillance. Formerly it has hit the search location; single or two outer engines can be turned off to keep fuel and stretch out the surveillance time.

P-3C Orion Aircraft

The plane fitted with a MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) on the APU exhaust, which is used for detecting underwater submarines. The aircraft also has audio detectors, which are capable to detect sound up to 304.8m (1,000ft) below the surface of the sea.