Re­port: Malaysia 370 search likely missed de­bris

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

USA TODAY

An Aus­tralian re­port Tues­day about the search for Malaysia Air­lines Flight 370 of­fered the tan­ta­liz­ing con­clu­sion that search planes “al­most cer­tainly” flew over de­bris float­ing on the In­dian Ocean weeks af­ter the crash, but missed it.

Like much about the search for the Boe­ing 777 that went miss­ing March 8, 2014, with 239 peo­ple aboard, the lo­ca­tion of the crash can’t be con­firmed un­less the main wreck­age is even­tu­ally found.

But the 14-page re­port from the Com­mon­wealth Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search Or­ga­ni­za­tion said nu­mer­ous pieces of the plane should have been widely dis­persed and vis­i­ble to search planes fly­ing March 28 through April 1, 2014, and not bunched too close to­gether to avoid de­tec­tion.

Un­der two mod­els about how the de­bris drifted, “the po­ten­tial de­bris field was al­most cer­tainly over­flown on sev­eral oc­ca­sions dur­ing this 5-day pe­riod,” the re­port said.

The $160 mil­lion search was sus­pended in Jan­uary af­ter a painstak­ing sonar sweep of a sec­tion of ocean floor about the size of Penn­syl­va­nia and nearly 4 miles deep in spots.

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