French satellite scans confirm Chinese image of possible plane debris
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/23/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
In the hunt for that missing Malaysian jet airliner that fell off the world's screens on March 8, satellite scans from France have provided new indications of objects adrift in the Indian Ocean. These scans confirm existing Chinese evidence as more planes and ships join the search.
A New Zealand P3 Orion surveillance plane dispatched to the scene earlier found only clumps of seaweed.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A breakthrough is hoped in the mystery of Malaysian Air Flight 370 after radar and visual scans failed to find objects spotted in earlier images taken from space. International vessels combing the area also want to locate a wooden pallet seen from the air to check if it could have come from the jet's hold.
"The aircraft are operating at extreme ranges," Australian Maritime Safety Authority official Mike Barton said. "They're operating at the limits of their endurance and only having a short period of one-to-two hours in the search area."
The Chinese photo, taken March 18, is focused 90 degrees east and almost 45 degrees south, versus almost 91 degrees east and 44 degrees south for similar items on a March 16 satellite image.
The dimensions appear similar to those of the larger of two objects seen previously, said to be 24 meters long. The Malaysian plane, a Boeing Co. (BA) 777-200, measures 63 meters, with a wingspan of 61 meters and a 6.2 meter cabin diameter.
French satellite images have been sent to the Australian center leading the search in the southern Indian Ocean, a Malaysian government statement said.
Radar echoes had detected floating debris 2,300 kilometers from Perth and that extra satellites would be mobilized to pursue the search, according to the French foreign affairs ministry. No date or coordinates for the discovery were immediately provided.
The wooden pallet spotted from a civil search aircraft was among a number of small objects spread over five kilometers and could be of the kind used in planes. There appears to be evidence of multi-colored strapping belts around it.
"The use of wooden pallets is quite common in the industry," Barton said. "They're usually packed into another container which is loaded in the belly of the aircraft."
However, a New Zealand P3 Orion surveillance plane dispatched to the scene earlier found only clumps of seaweed.
"The more aircraft we have, the more ships we have, the more confident we are of recovering whatever material is down there," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, according to a transcript. "Obviously before we can be too specific about what it might be, we do actually need to recover some of this material."
As more potential debris is spotted, a growing fleet of vessels is converging on the area, while the number of planes deployed was increased to eight from six yesterday, including four long-range civil aircraft and a U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon.
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