More objects spotted in hunt for MH370

18:28, Mar 27 2014
The MH370 story in pictures
The saga begins on March 8, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 departs Kuala Lumpur at 12:41am, local time. On board are 227 passengers and 12 crew.
The MH370 story in pictures
Captaining the flight of the Boeing 777-200 is 53-year old Zaharie Ahmad Shah, shown here on the right.
The MH370 story in pictures
At 1:21am the MH370's transponder stops signalling, halting the regular responses it usually gives to radar signals. The plane makes a series of strange but controlled movements, turning west sharply, then climbing above its designed height limit and back down.
The MH370 story in pictures
At 1.30am, on point 4, the plane is spotted for the last time on civilian radar. At 2.15am, on point 5, military radar spots it, although it is not clear at the time that this was MH370. Satellite data suggests the plane could also have angled towards point 6.
The MH370 story in pictures
At 6.32am air traffic control in Kuala Lumpur sends a radio signal on an emergency channel asking MH370 to contact them. The plane is now overdue at Beijing Airport, shown.
The MH370 story in pictures
Relatives of passengers despair, and the search begins.
The MH370 story in pictures
International news media focus on the story immediately.
The MH370 story in pictures
Multiple false leads pop up, like this oil spotted by a Vietnamese search plane.
The MH370 story in pictures
Malaysian government and airline officials have released confusing and contradictory information. Here, Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, left, and Department of Civil Aviation director general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman take questions at a press conference.
The MH370 story in pictures
Concerns are raised when it becomes apparent that two Iranian men, shown here, boarded the plane with stolen passports. Interpol rejects the suggestion of terrorism, however, concluding the men were probably asylum seekers.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
The search intensifies, covering new areas with a wide array of international support.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
Outpourings of grief and support are expressed worldwide.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
The anguish of the relatives is palpable.
The MH370 story in pictures
Theories abound. Fellow pilot Chris Goodfellow has suggested that a tyre may have caught fire, causing the pilots to turn towards the closest suitable airport, with the rapid ascent and descent perhaps representing an attempt to extinguish the fire. Critics of this theory have pointed out that the change in path was programmed into the plane's computer 12 minutes before the calm toned "good night" transmission, suggesting the change in course was planned.
The MH370 story in pictures
Given the amount of fuel on board, the plane could have made it as far north as Kazakhstan, on a possible flight path shown in orange.
The MH370 story in pictures
Or somewhere southwest of Australia, on a possible flight path shown in orange.
The MH370 story in pictures
Others have speculated that the pilot or co-pilot may have intentionally crashed the plane. The FBI is trying to restore deleted simulator-flights from Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah's computer – but these could be innocuous. Critics of the crash theory say neither the pilot nor co-pilot had ever expressed any kind of radical sentiment or displayed mental issues, and both possessed adequate flying experience.
The MH370 story in pictures
The ever-present worry of terrorism remains. No groups have claimed responsibility for the incident, and a political motivation is unclear - but that doesn't rule it out.
MH370
On March 20, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told his parliament that objects had been spotted in waters hundreds of kilometres off the western Australian coast. Further searches, by Australian, New Zealand and US planes, were needed to find out if they were part of the missing plane.
Perth
The crew of one of two Chinese Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft used in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk away from their plane in Perth.
MH370 search
Thirty-eight days after the plane went missing, an Australian navy ship is guided into position by a Royal New Zealand Airforce P-3K2 Orion aircraft. Officials say they will deploy an underwater robot to aid in the hunt.
MH370
Announcing that an underwater drone will be deployed imminently, Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre chief Angus Houston says an oil slick has been detected in the search area for the missing plane.

Searchers are hoping for better weather today in the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, as new satellite images emerge showing hundreds of objects thought to a large debris field from the plane.

The latest possible sightings of wreckage from Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8, were captured by Thai and Japanese satellites in roughly the same remote expanse of sea as earlier images reported by France, Australia and China.

"We detected floating objects, perhaps more than 300," Anond Snidvongs, the head of Thailand's space technology development agency, told Reuters. "We have never said that the pieces are part of MH370 but have so far identified them only as floating objects."

MH370 announcement
A relative of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing.
MH370 announcement
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) makes an announcement on the latest development on the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane. "This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
MH370 announcement
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 falls down an escalator as he cries after the news that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean and there were no survivors.
MH370 announcement
Selamat Omar (right), father of flight engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat who was on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, sits next to his wife Rosila Abu Samah as he speaks on the phone at the hotel where he and other relatives of passengers are staying.
MH370 announcement
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries after watching a television broadcast of a news conference where Malaysia's PM announced the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
MH370 announcement
Medical personnel transport a family member who collapsed after hearing all hope was lost of finding survivors of MH370.
MH370 announcement
Family members of passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 look out from a room as they cry after watching a television broadcast of a news conference, in the Lido hotel in Beijing.
MH370 announcement
A man cries after hearing the Malaysian prime minister's announcement.
MH370
A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is cared for after fainting at the Lido Hotel.
MH370
A family member of a passenger aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 shouts at journalists after hearing the news that all hope had been lost of finding survivors of MH370.
MH370 reactino
A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leaves on a stretcher after fainting at Lido Hotel.
MH370 announcement
The man is comforted by another grieving family member.

A Japanese satellite also captured images of 10 objects which could be part of the plane, Kyodo news agency quoted the government as saying last night.

An international search team of 11 military and civilian aircraft and five ships had been heading for an area where more than 100 objects that could be from the Boeing 777 had been identified by French satellite pictures earlier this week, but severe weather forced the planes to turn back yesterday.

"The forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near-zero visibility," said Lieutenant Commander Adam Schantz, the officer in charge of the US Navy Poseidon P8 maritime surveillance aircraft detachment.

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the effort, confirmed flights had been called off but said ships continued to search despite battering waves.

"It's the nature of search and rescue. It's a fickle beast," Flying Officer Peter Moore, the captain of an Australian AP-3C Orion, told Reuters aboard the plane after it turned around 600 miles from the search zone.

"This is incredibly important to us. The reality is we have 239 people whose families want some information and closure."

NEW IMAGES

The Malaysian airliner, on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, is thought to have crashed with the loss of all 239 people aboard, including two New Zealanders, after flying thousands of kilometres off course.

The objects spotted by the Thai satellite were between 2 metres and 16 metres in size and were in an area about 2700 km southwest of Perth, Snidvongs said.

The pictures were taken on Monday, a day after a satellite operated by France-based Airbus Defence & Space spotted 122 potential objects in a 400 sq km area of ocean about 2500 km southwest of the Western Australian city.

The pictures by the Japanese satellite were taken on Wednesday of debris about 2500 km southwest of Perth, the biggest measuring 4 by 8 metres, a government official said.

MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after take-off and investigators believe someone on board may have shut off the plane's communications systems. Theories range from a hijacking to sabotage or a possible suicide by one of the pilots, but investigators have not ruled out technical problems.

Partial military radar tracking showed the plane turning west off its scheduled course over the South China Sea and then recrossing the Malay Peninsula, apparently under the control of a skilled pilot.

The logistical difficulties of the search have been highlighted by the failure so far to get a lock on possible debris, despite the now numerous satellite images and direct visual sightings from aircraft and ships.

The area being searched by crews from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea has some of the deepest and roughest waters in the world.

One day had already been lost earlier this week because weather conditions were too dangerous, but Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said the forecast for Friday was better.

RELATIVES DISTRAUGHT

Recovery of wreckage could unlock clues about why and how the plane diverted so far off course in one of aviation's most puzzling mysteries.

The United States has sent an undersea Navy drone and a high-tech black box detector which will be fitted to an Australian ship due in Perth in the coming days.

The so-called black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder - record what happens during flight, but time is running out to pick up their locator beacons, which stop about a month after a crash due to limited battery life.

The prolonged and so far fruitless search and investigation have taken a toll, with dozens of distraught relatives of 150 Chinese passengers clashing with police and accusing Malaysia of "delays and deception".

China has repeatedly voiced its frustration with the efforts of Malaysia to find the plane. China's special envoy to Malaysia said Beijing was doing its best to push the Southeast Asian nation to coordinate the international search effort, state news agency Xinhua said.

Chinese insurance companies have started paying compensation to the families of passengers, Xinhua reported separately.

The family of Paul Weeks, a New Zealander on board the Malaysia Airlines flight, said they had been angered by the way the airline has dealt with the families of passengers.

"The whole situation has been handled appallingly, incredible insensitivity, lack of information," his sister, Sara Weeks, told Radio Live in New Zealand.

She said her brother's wife had only received a text message to say that her husband was presumed dead.

Reuters