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National

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370

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Fairfax joins RAAF search for MH370

Fairfax reporter Liam Ducey flew with RAAF crew looking for MH370 debris in the Indian Ocean.

PT1M25S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-356tv 620 349
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We are going to now suspend live coverage as we await news from the search zone.

A quick wrap of what happened today.

The first plane left Perth at about 9.15am. Now four other planes have either reached the search area or are on their way there.

A Norwegian merchant ship has also been searching the area, 2500km southwest of Perth, since Thursday night, with another due to arrive tonight.

So far, nothing has been found.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended his decision to announce the potential breakthrough yesterday in parliament, saying Australia "owed it" to the families of those on the missing plane to give them information as soon as it comes to hand.

The blog will resume if major news breaks.

 

 

Fairfax China correspondent Philip Wen has been at the Lido Hotel in Beijing where the families of passengers on board the missing plane have been briefed by a Malaysian government delegation.

He notes that there is an "even heavier" police presence there than yesterday.

And that media were ejected from today's family briefings.

 

As the hunting and waiting continues, National Affairs editor Tom Allard writes on the five air safety lessons to be learned from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

  • How could an aircraft vanish when there are websites that track planes in real time?
  • When countries co-ordinate a search mission, they're not always sharing information;
  • Why doesn't the black box float?
  • There are big gaps in the global airworthiness alert system; and 
  • Passport control is not as watertight as we'd like to think.

Here's a video from RAAF Base Pearce north of Perth, where the planes are leaving from.

AKA "the waiting game".

MH370: waiting game at RAAF Pearce (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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MH370: waiting game at RAAF Pearce

Search planes are taking off from the airfield at the heart of Australia's hunt for missing flight MH370, with media waiting for news from the search zone.

PT0M45S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-357z4 620 349

According to AMSA, the planes can communicate back while they in the search area if they should find anything.

 

It is about a 7 hour round trip from Perth to the search area by air (depending on weather conditions).

The aircraft have about 2 hours of search time when they get there.

That means that the first plane that set out this morning at 9.15am (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time) should now be on its way back.

The planes that left around 11.15am and 11.30am should have reached the search area by now.

The fourth plane, which left at about 12.45pm would almost be at the search area.

A fifth plane is due to leave Perth at 4pm.

We know that a satellite owned by US company DigitalGlobe took the images of the missing debris.

But who provided them to AMSA?

Ben Grubb reports that:

Spokeswoman Lisa Martin has told Fairfax Media that Australian intelligence agency, Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation, provided AMSA with the satellite imagery from March 16 that shows two objects in the Indian Ocean.

She said DIGO was scouring through DigitalGlobe's imagery and not AMSA. She did not know how many personnel at Defence were looking over the imagery.

China is sending some warships!

AP reports that China is sending three ships to search for the possible pieces of the Malaysia Airlines plane, the government said today.

It has not been reported where the ships are coming from, or when they might arrive.

However, previous reports have said that ships have been searching near Sumatra.

Funny, but Tony Abbott did not mention this after his conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

 

 

 

AMSA's website has been straining under the increased interest now that it is spearheading the search effort for MH370.  

It has been down on and off today.

AMSA spokeswoman Lisa Martin says the reason ASMA's website has often not been accessible is due to the fact it had been inundated with visitors, especially by people in the media.

"Normally there are only 30 people active on it at any one time. Now there are around 1000 at any one time," she said, adding that AMSA's Twitter following has increased by 10,000 followers overnight.

 

As others have also pointed out, the PM's early-announce approach with the debris-find also avoids being tarred with the same brush as Malaysian authorities.

 

There have been some eyebrows raised about the fact that Tony Abbott made his announcement to parliament about the debris before any effort could be launched to find it.

But as we noted earlier, he made a passionate defence of the way he played things, when asked in a press conference in PNG.

He said that not only did Australia owe it to the families of those on board to "do everything we can to solve this",

"[we] owe it to them to give them information as soon as it's to hand".

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Port Moresby on Friday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Port Moresby on Friday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

AMSA says that, due to the distance to and from the search area, the aircraft involved have about two hours of search time.

 

Four aircraft have now left Perth for the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, AMSA has announced.

A RAAF P3 Orion left at about 12.45pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time).

It will join two other P3 Orions and an ultra long range Bombadier Global Express jet.

A US Navy P8 Poseidon plane will leave at about 4pm.

 

 

The delegation was sent after satellite data showed that the plane had likely flown for hours after it went missing. 

Philip Wen also reports that families have questioned why it took so long to verify the data.

(This follows a Wall Street Journal report that officials took four days to act on the satellite information that showed the plane had flown for several hours away from the area being covered.)

Fairfax China correspondent Philip Wen has been at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, where the families of some of the passengers on board MH370 are staying.

He reports they have spent the morning being briefed by a senior Malaysian delegation - sent by Malaysian PM Najib Razak - that arrived on Thursday night.

They included representatives from the Malaysian defence force, civil aviation authority and a Boeing 777 pilot.

 

The Age's political editor Michael Gordon is travelling with the Prime Minister in PNG.

While Tony Abbott's press conference obviously dealt with Manus Island issues, the missing plane was also discussed.

Michael reports that, given there have been no sightings of any debris possibly linked to the missing plane, the PM gave a passionate defence of his decision to make a statement to Parliament on Thursday on the discovery of the satellite images.

He said we all owed it to the loved ones of those missing to crack this "extraordinary riddle".

Mr Abbott described the search as a "gut-wrenching business" and acknowledged that what was shown in the images could potentially be a discarded shipping container.

He also described the search area as the most inaccessible spot one could imagine on the face of the planet.

 

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill walk towards a meeting, at Parliament House in Port Moresby on Friday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill walk towards a meeting, at Parliament House in Port Moresby on Friday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

We will bring you more from the PM's Port Moresby press conference shortly.

But first, more information has emerged about the satellite search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing.

The Herald's Ben Grubb reported today on the US satellite that captured the images of the debris 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

Tony Abbott is continuing his first trip to PNG as Prime Minister.

He has just done a press conference, where we learn that he has called his Chinese counterpart to give him an update on MH370. 

You can watch a video of the Hoegh company press conference below.

Norwegian ship searches in darkness for MH370 (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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MH370: Norwegian ship seeking survivors

Owners of the Hoegh Autoliner commit their ship to searching "until further notice" for debris and any survivors of the missing Malaysian airliner.

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The head of shipping at Hoegh, Olav Sollie, said that those on board the ship would not necessarily be using fancy technology in their search efforts.

"The best way with this size of a vessel [which is 230 metres long], it sounds probably old-fashioned, but it's a very good way of doing a search on sea, that is on deck with a binocular."

The Norwegian cargo ship Hoegh St Petersburg was the first ship to reach the search area.

It searched through the night, even though the official search was called off.

The CEO of Hoegh Autoliners, Ingar Skiaker, has told reporters from Oslow that "we consider this an emergency situation and we will continue until further notice". 

"If there [are] any survivors spotted, we will have the means to take them on board," he said.

 

Investigators seeking the missing Malaysia Airlines plane face a "colossal task" that is "far, far harder" than the two-year search for an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic, the man who led the French inquiry has warned.

Alain Bouillard's comments came as experts described the deep waters of the Southern Ocean that may contain debris belonging to flight MH370 as "one of the most hostile environments in the world".

Mr Bouillard, 63, worked for France's air accident investigation bureau, BEA, a world authority on air crashes, and also led the investigation into the Concorde disaster outside Paris in 2000. Three BEA members are helping the Malaysian authorities in their search.

"This disappearance is still a great mystery, and will lead to an inquiry and a search that is far, far harder than we had looking for Air France 447," Mr Bouillard said.

Read the full story. 

Brazilian Navy sailors pick a piece of debris from Air France flight AF447 out of the Atlantic Ocean, some 1,200 km  northeast of Recife, Brazil.

Brazilian Navy sailors pick a piece of debris from Air France flight AF447 out of the Atlantic Ocean, some 1,200 km northeast of Recife, Brazil. Photo: Reuters

This is the satellite that captured the images that may be of debris related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

WorldView-2, owned by US satellite company DigitalGlobe, provides imagery at a resolution of approximately 50 centimetres. It takes a new image of any place on earth every 1.1 days (one day, two hours and 24 minutes), writes deputy technology editor Ben Grubb.

DigitalGlobe confirmed on Friday that it was the one that provided the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) with the satellite images that were captured on March 16, showing the two objects in the Indian Ocean.

"We have been informed by an Australian government official that it was our imagery Prime Minister [Tony] Abbott referred to in his recent comments," the company said in a statement.

Read the full story. 

DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite.

DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to hold a press conference in Papua New Guinea about lunchtime, our reporter David Wroe says. Mr Abbott is expected to outline further details about the search.

Here's a map from the AMSA showing the cumulative area searched since Tuesday. 

Source: AMSA

Source: AMSA

AMSA has also just released an updated map of the area to be searched today.

Day four search area.

Day four search area. Photo: AMSA

AMSA has just released its latest update, stating that two more aircraft were due to depart for the search area a short time ago, at 11am AEDT.

The civil Gulfstream jet and a second RAAF P3 Orion will take over the search from the RAAF P3 Orion that set out at 9.15am AEDT.

Due to the distance to and from the search area (about a four-hour flight each way), each aircraft will only have about two hours of search time.

AMSA says a total of five aircraft will be involved in today's search, with a third RAAF P3 Orion due to depart about 1pm AEDT.

A United States Navy P8 Poseidon will set off for the search area about 4pm AEDT.

One merchant vessel is currently in the search area, with a second due to arrive tonight.

Source: Wall Street Journal.

Source: Wall Street Journal.

Here's a useful graphic from the Wall Street Journal about the sea and air convoy from 12 countries committed to the search in the southern corridor.

Weather conditions appear to be quite bad at Pearce RAAF base, near Perth, this morning. That's where the search planes are setting off from.

One of the world’s top air accident investigators says the missing Malaysia Airlines jet may never be found if it came down in the Indian Ocean, according to the Financial Times.

Rémi Jouty, head of the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses, the French air accident investigation branch, said much more work was needed before any undersea search could start if debris did indeed turn out to be from the missing aircraft.

“The only thing I can say is it will be most difficult and the recovery [of the wreckage on the seabed] is not guaranteed,” Mr Jouty told the Financial Times.

The first search plane took off from Pearce RAAF base in Western Australia at 6.15am Perth time on Friday, which is 9.15am eastern daylight time.

Four planes will be involved in today's search, and their departure times will be staggered throughout the day. 

The next plane is due to leave at about 8am Perth time, or 11am eastern daylight time.

It takes about four hours for the aircraft to reach the search zone.

 

If the debris in the southern Indian Ocean is confirmed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, it would eliminate some of the wilder theories about what happened to the plane, writes Anne Davies.

It would point instead towards the likelihood of an emergency on the flight, and an attempt by the crew to turn back and complications that caused them to fall into unconsciousness, leaving the plane on a ghost flight until it ran out of fuel.

Fairfax Media journalist Liam Ducey was on board an RAAF Hercules aircraft as it scoured a stretch of ocean off Australia’s west coast. Here he writes of the ongoing search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Searching the ocean: crew on the Hercules C-130J plane.

Searching the ocean: crew on the Hercules C-130J plane. Photo: Liam Ducey

A photographer due to take off on a search plane from Pearce RAAF base on Friday morning has reported a lot of lightning over the area.

"It's windy, it's wild, the media are having terrible trouble with keeping their kits up," said photographer Bohdan Warchomij.

Fairfax Media reporter Peter Hannam has spoken to Ben Domensino, a senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, who says weather conditions over the search area look likely to improve for a couple of days at least.

Domensino says a high pressure ridge will be passing to the south of the search area over the weekend. This will allow wind and seas to ease and allow some clearing, which would help the search effort.

Another trough may move back into the region early next week, around Tuesday or Wednesday. This should bring more cloud and rain and cause wind to increase

 

This handout photo taken on March 19, 2014 shows Royal Australian Air Force Sensor Employment Manager, Flight Lieutenant Smokey Dawson from 10 Squadron, keeping a watchful eye over the flow of information aboard an AP-3C Orion over the southern Indian Ocean.  Two objects possibly related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been sighted in the southern Indian Ocean, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a potential breakthrough on March 20.       AFP PHOTO/AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE 
----EDITORS NOTE ----RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT Click to play video

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MH370 search flights prepare for take-off

A photographer travelling on a search plane looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 describes the scene at RAAF Base Pearce on Friday morning as media crews and search teams prepare for take-off amid wild weather.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott was in Port Moresby on Friday morning, and said that Australia was ‘‘throwing all the resources we can at it [the search operation]’’.

‘‘We will do everything we humanly can to try to get to the bottom of this,’’ he said.

‘‘We don’t know what that satellite saw until we can get a much better, much closer look at it but this is the first tangible breakthrough in what up until now has been an utterly baffling mystery.

‘‘We do have pretty strong satellite imagery and obviously this is a very serious lead in the way that nothing else so far really has been.’’

The search for potential wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean is painstaking. But the wait for families of those on board Flight MH370 must be agonising.

Families huddled around television screens on Thursday as news broke that possible debris from the plane had been spotted.

"It gets your heart racing ... I will tell you that, but it could just be nothing. We don't know and neither do they,’’ said Sara Weeks, whose brother Paul Weeks was aboard the missing flight.

No answers: Paul and Danica Weeks on their wedding day in 2007.

No answers: Paul and Danica Weeks on their wedding day in 2007. Photo: Supplied

Peter Hartcher reports that, when the Australian official took the podium to explain to reporters the discovery of satellite images that might show pieces of MH370, he carefully omitted to tell them the source.

The images were from a US satellite. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's John Young didn't mention this to the media. Nor was he asked. But he wouldn't have disclosed it in any case.

As ever, Australian officialdom is hyper protective of US intelligence and its sources - even more protective than the Americans themselves.

John Young of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in front of a diagram showing the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

John Young of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in front of a diagram showing the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Photo: Reuters

Fairfax Media reporter Patrick Hatch reports that seven Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers have flown to Western Australia to help search for the missing flight.

SES spokeswoman Sally Lowenstein said the volunteers had been trained as air observers by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and flew out of Essendon Airport on a search-and-rescue plane about 5am on Friday.

“That plane is based in Victoria and that’s why they’ve taken a Victorian crew as well,” she said.

The volunteers will work from RAAF Base Pearce, north of Perth, until Wednesday.

So remote is the search zone, in the Indian Ocean 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth, that it takes aircraft about four hours to reach the area.

When they arrive, they only have enough fuel to search for two hours, before heading back to base.

This video shows what flight crews are confronted with:

A handout photo taken on March 19, 2014 shows Royal Australian Air Force pilot Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams from 10 Squadron, flying his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.  Two objects possibly related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been sighted in the southern Indian Ocean, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a potential breakthrough on March 20, 2014.  Abbott told parliament Click to play video

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Missing plane: on board the search flight

RAAF Orion planes are scouring a search zone in the southern Indian Ocean for debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Nine News

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The Age's Steve Lillebuen has contacted Norwegian cargo ship Höegh St Petersburg, which has been diverted to the search area.

But the skipper declined to answer any questions about the search or current weather conditions, referring inquiries to AMSA.

An AMSA spokeswoman had no further updates.

The Höegh St Petersburg, a car carrier, was en route from South Africa to Australia when it was diverted.

Other vessels heading to the search zone include the Australian navy ship HMAS Success, which is due to reach the area on Saturday.

One of the planes scouring the southern Indian Ocean on Thursday afternoon did detect several objects on its radar - but it turned out to be a false alarm.

One was a freighter, and two others were pods of dolphins.

David Wright, from US news organisation ABC, was on board the P-8 Poseidon plane that was sent to the area where debris from the airplane was potentially identified.

Wright said searchers were posted at all of the plane's windows, and the plane worked back and forth through its search area in a ‘‘lawn mowing pattern’’.

At 8am, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority released this update about today's operation:

"Today’s search will utilise four military aircraft, including two RAAF Orions, tasked by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to search a 23,000 kilometre area, about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

"A merchant ship remains in the search area. Another merchant ship is en route to the area and is expected to arrive tonight.

"A total of six merchant ships have assisted in the search since a shipping broadcast was issued by AMSA on Monday night."

A P3 Orion, the type of aircraft being used in the search for MH370.

A P3 Orion, the type of aircraft being used in the search for MH370.

Norwegian car carrier Höegh St Petersburg on Thursday night reached the Indian Ocean area where possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane was spotted.

"The ship has arrived at the site to take part in the search," said Cecilie Moe, spokeswoman for the Norwegian company.

According to another Hooeg Autoliners spokesperson, Christian Dahll, the search window for Thursday was limited by sunset.

The "St. Petersburg" vessel, a vehicles carrier, was on its way from Port Louis in Mauritius to Melbourne, when it was requested by the Australian authorities to reroute in order to identify the debris spotted by satellite in the southern Indian Ocean.

 

 

Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St Petersburg reached the search area on Thursday night.

Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St Petersburg reached the search area on Thursday night. Photo: AP

Search area for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Search area for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The search team is facing an incredibly tough task, as Fairfax Media's science editor Nicky Phillips explains.

The area of ocean being scoured is close to the Roaring Forties, a region where strong westerly winds whip up giant swells and waves, creating some of the roughest seas in the world.

There is almost no land to slow the winds, which creates strong, high waves and swell.

The currents also extend through the water column as the region is so deep.

It is an area that ships tried to avoid, unless they are travelling from South Africa to Tasmania.

Weather will be a key concern for the Australian-led search team today.

Rough seas, high winds and poor visibility in the southern Indian Ocean hindered the operation on Thursday, and search teams were unable to locate any debris.

But conditions are expected to ease into the weekend, Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharpe says.

Weather conditions to improve at potential MH370 crash site (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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MH370: search-site weather conditions improving

Meteorologist Rob Sharpe from the Weatherzone says conditions at potential crash site of MH370 are not best for spotting debris but expected to improve over the weekend.

PT1M10S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3555e 620 349

Here you can find a rundown of how the news broke on Thursday afternoon, and how the search unfolded throughout the afternoon and into the night.

The latest update from AMSA, issued late on Thursday night, says four aircraft involved in Thursday’s search covered a search area of about 23,000 square kilometres.

A Norwegian merchant ship arrived in the search area on Thursday evening, while another merchant ship is en route to the area.

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success has also set off from Fremantle, but is expected to take two days to reach the area.

Front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, Friday.

Front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, Friday.

As David Wroe writes, the satellite images were taken on Sunday and the debris could already have floated scores of kilometres away, making the search even more difficult.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has explained why authorities are only now acting on the images, which the Australian government has said came from a commercial satellite.

"Due to the volume of imagery being searched, and the detailed process of analysis that followed, the information was brought to the attention of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Thursday morning," it said.

What exactly are they searching for?

Search teams are hoping to find two objects, one measuring roughly 24 metres in length and the other about five metres in length, that were captured on US satellite images on Sunday.

Those images had been analysed by satellite experts from the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation, which deemed them "credible sightings".

The area where the debris was sighted is about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of possible debris from MH370.

Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of possible debris from MH370.

Good morning. We're continuing our live coverage today of the search for possible wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 in the Indian Ocean off Perth.

The aerial search was called off late on Thursday night, with no sightings of the debris identified earlier on a US satellite image.

The first plane is due to take off again at 5.30am this morning in Perth, which is 8.30am eastern daylight time.

 

Related Coverage

Fairfax joins RAAF search for MH370 (Thumbnail)Click to play video

Video

Fairfax joins RAAF search for MH370

Fairfax reporter Liam Ducey flew with RAAF crew looking for MH370 debris in the Indian Ocean.

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: MH370 search 'far, far harder' than Air France AF447 investigation

21 Mar Investigators seeking the missing Malaysia Airlines plane face a "colossal task" that is "far, far harder" than the two-year search for an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic, the man who led the French inquiry has warned.

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Debris found in search for MH370, says Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

20 Mar The Australian-led search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight has had an apparent breakthrough, with satellite images showing two objects in waters off Perth. Follow the story here.

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: satellite images focus search on southern Indian Ocean

20 Mar The Australian-led search 2500km south-west of Perth finished for the night without finding any debris from MH370, nor the objects that appeared in the satellite images revealed on Thursday.

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: US satellite the unspoken source that sparked search for MH370

When the Australian official took the podium to explain to reporters the discovery of satellite images that might show pieces of MH370, he carefully omitted to tell them the source.

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: RAAF narrows search field as hunt for MH370 continues

21 Mar A loud hiss from hydraulics could be heard as the cargo bay on the Hercules C-130J plane swung open, exposing a massive expanse of ocean thousands of kilometres off the West Australian coast.

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: emergency is more likely scenario for flight MH370

The location of debris from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean would eliminate some of the wilder theories about what happened to the plane and would lean towards the likelihood of an emergency on the flight, an attempt by the crew to turn back and complications that caused them to fall into unconsciousness leaving the plane on a ghost flight until it ran out of fuel.

The satellite that may have found missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

21 Mar Meet WorldView-2. It weighs 2800kg, operates from 770km up and is able to collect nearly 1 million square kilometres of imagery every single day.

Missing Malaysia Airlines MH370: Five air safety lessons to be learnt

21 Mar The hunt for Malaysia Airlines MH370, which went missing almost two weeks ago, has been one of the most puzzling - and chaotic - aircraft investigations on record. While multiple leads have gone cold, there are five lessons that should be learnt to fix the apparent - and sometimes shocking - weaknesses in the global air safety regime.

MH370 search: what happens when a plane runs out of fuel?

21 Mar If debris spotted in southern Indian Ocean does in fact turn out to be flight MH370, it will be thousands of kilometres from where it turned around over the Malay Peninsula. At some point, though, the fuel would have run out.

Sort comments by:
  • I hope that I'm missing the obvious, but are the visual observers wearing polarised glasses or looking through polarised windows which would make floating objects more visible against oblique glare and reflection?

    Commenter
    Pizzaman
    Location
    Date and time
    March 24, 2014, 1:55AM
  • To Thor
    The Malayan authorities diddled around for to many hours let alone the amount of time they took to investigate the where a bouts of the aircraft.

    Commenter
    stonefish
    Location
    perth
    Date and time
    March 23, 2014, 5:55PM
  • In Sunday ABC News article "Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Tony Abbott holds 'increasing hope' that search for MH370 will be successfulI" issued 45 minutes ago, Nationals leader Warren Truss, who was Acting Prime Minister in Tony Abbott's absence, was quoted as saying 'the search would continue until it would be "futile" to continue, and that the cost of the search was not a factor' Cost not being allowed to influence the Australian Maritime Safety Authority controlled search would come as a breath of fresh air to the families involved and the many Countries helping.

    Commenter
    Anton
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 23, 2014, 11:51AM
  • One can easily narrow down the search for the plane to at most a handful of locations on the circumference around the satellite when it received the last signal. Indeed signals have been sent every half hour since the beginning of the flight, so we know not only one final circonference but a series of circonferences one every half-hour. Looking at the distance between any two circonferences, one can determine, given the plane's speed, whether it changed direction and to what degree (only we cannot say if it truned left or right). But suppose its direction changed say 3 times after we lost it on radar, then we would have at most 8 (=2^3) locations where to look for the plane, instead of a huge arc ranging from Kazakhstan to Antarctica.

    Commenter
    mathematician
    Location
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 10:16PM
  • This incident confirms to humanity how small we actually are. On scale a Boeing 777 airliner when placed somewhere on our planet without specific coordinates and especially somewhere in our vast oceans is almost invisible and if underwater almost impossible to locate .
    So tormenting for all the families and loved ones related to all aboard mh370.
    How terrible it must be to constantly worry and think the worst for your loved ones and still have to hope ????? Please God !! help all those seeking to find this plane !

    Commenter
    avid reader
    Location
    brisbane
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 9:29PM
  • as a chinese happily working in sydney as my second home, i say thanks for pm tony abbot to let us know the information of any possibilities they have gathered in australia. It's a relief to see australian government to officially take part in the rescue of missing mh370, especially after so many doubts of a delayed malayzia government" responce in the first two weeks of this tradegy. It's when we got the news that the plane may have crashed in indian ocean near australia, that hope has rised again of finding the truth and bringing justice to those families waiting n suffering.

    Commenter
    emma
    Location
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 8:27PM
  • I must repeat my praise for the coverage SMH gave to the search for missing MH 370 on 20th and 21st. But disappointed to see no continuation today.

    Commenter
    am22
    Location
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 3:06PM
  • missing plane must have landed in jaffna northern sri lanka

    Commenter
    john
    Location
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 2:21PM
  • Spent quite a while looking for the Mar 22 coverage. Cannot find it at all - just random articles. Have the journos gone off for the weekend? or am I just missing the obvious? Post link please if you know where the missing coverage is!

    Commenter
    am22
    Location
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 12:48PM
  • It just occurred to me that if the plane went down on this busy shipping lane, where the debris is supposed to be, why did a ship not see the plane or see it go down??

    Commenter
    starlite0
    Location
    Kuwait
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 6:18AM
  • One can easily narrow down the search for the plane to at most a handful of locations on the circonference around the satellite when it received the last signal. Indeed signals have been sent every half hour since the beginning of the flight, so we know not only one final circonference but a series of circonferences one every half-hour. Looking at the distance between any two circonferences, one can determine, given the plane's speed, whether it changed direction and to what degree (only we cannot say if it truned left or right). But suppose its direction changed say 3 times after we lost it on radar, then we would have at most 8 (=2^3) locations where to look for the plane, instead of a huge arc ranging from Kazakhstan to Antarctica.

    Commenter
    mathematician
    Location
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 5:03AM
  • We have yet to see a single person from INMARSAT who can confirm the claims of a the Inmarsat actually receiving those "pings".

    As I understand it, Inmarsat gave "data" to "Sita" who gave it to Malaysia Airlines who gave it to the world.

    I believe the world needs to be shown real evidence of the satellite pings.

    All the evidence of radar returns appears to be dubious and contradictory. The only evidence that is reliable is the Transponder stopped between Malaysia and Vietnam and absent the Inmarsat ping claims, that is where "common sense and logic" says the wreckage lies.

    Commenter
    OttawaMensCentre
    Location
    Ottawa Canada
    Date and time
    March 22, 2014, 1:42AM
  • It's another tragic event in our world , honestly know one knows what happened, maybe we will maybe we won't , I feel for the families of all those that are missing and the genuine people trying to answer the questions , I believe it's unfortunately an accident the planes crew tried hard to fix but could not ,,

    Commenter
    Roo
    Location
    2594
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:36PM
  • Has been following this mystery from day one and I doubt I'll switch off my mobile phone next time the flight attendant instructs me.

    Commenter
    Jangam
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 6:23PM
  • Certainly a single plane is showing up so many lapses in Aviation industry. Whatever comes out of this mystery, it has created an entire university of learnings to all - stakeholdesr of Airline companies and also to customers, air travellers

    Commenter
    Jangam
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 6:21PM
  • For what purpose should anyone have the ability to turn off a transponder on a commercial plane?

    Commenter
    Eggbert47
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 5:29PM
  • MG, from what I remember the satellite information was used to calculate distance to MH370 according to the hourly "pings". The arcs were derived from this, with the end points the maximum distance it could have flown before it ran out of fuel. The Seychelles are not anywhere near the right distance from the satellite.

    Commenter
    pass
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 5:13PM
  • What is that you think they know that they aren't letting on?
    Don't go shy on me now!

    Commenter
    Timmy O'Toole
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 4:35PM
  • The people who wish to use the commentary pages of the SMH to push their political agenda and attack Mr Abbott regarding this matter should hang their heads in shame and should be ashamed of yourselves when potentially 239 people are missing and presumed to be dead. Utterly disgraceful commentary by some people using this matter and politicising it. I suppose it isn't surprising given the level of intelligence of some, or lack thereof.

    Commenter
    Ramjet
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 4:20PM
  • The thing that really annoys me is how long this is taking, there are too many policeys, guidlines and legislations that need to be passed, before people step in, and it waists cruitial time. There are too many countreys worried they will jepardize there top secret defence and security caparbilities. Is this really how the process goes when a neighbouring country needs help in a crisis situation? Seriously its two weeks, if there were survivors and hopefully we find survivors, they shouldnt have to wait this long for the world to respond to a crisis like this. Iits rubbish and the media makes things 10 times worse. countrys should come togthere straight up. it really makes u wonder how would we be if there was an even bigger crisis, all policys need reviewing and also planes need to be overhauled with up to date technology. customers should be awear what planes consist of and be able to make there on choice as to if they want to fly with a company that doesnt have up to date flight satalight data incase of an emergency...... just a thought

    Commenter
    blue
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 4:20PM
  • I am so saddened for the families in this, and for the souls on the plane.
    And I am so proud of all the men and women on the groound working on this.
    I fail to see how such a large piece could be intact after an uncontrolled crash into water.
    There is something quite odd surrounding this total event.
    'IF' this is the plane, and I stress 'IF', has been dumped in such a place so as to be hidden?
    And why, if this is so.

    Commenter
    Dave Scott
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 4:11PM
  • The comments here are utterly ridiculous and indicative of the lack of intelligence that now exists in Australia. What a great future Australia has to look forward to when you have people speculating on peoples lives and making ridiculous statements about Mr Abbott, and turning it into some failure of the Government. It is utterly sickening, reprehensible & disgusting.

    Commenter
    McCool
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 4:10PM
  • Exactly why were the Maldive islanders reports of the possible sighting of MF370 so rapidly dismissed? What do the dismissrs claim ws seen? And what are the islanders saying now?

    Commenter
    bigbull
    Location
    NSW
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:53PM
  • To all those Politicising this tragic event, grow up. This is not the time to attack the PM. It's a tine for Australia to be united, support the efforts to find the Plane, support those Australians who lost family. Mr Abbott as PM has the duty to act as he has. I don't like him or his policies however if I want I'll express my views in relevant articles. He has done no wrong over this and acted as any PM would or should. Lets prey for the families of these passengers and just support the PM on this one issue.

    Commenter
    Jessica
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:44PM
  • So many unqualified, ill informed, ignorant, arm chair experts criticising something of which they know nothing about. This is an extremely fluid situation which the media reveal an irresponsible attitude to what they publish.
    Once the truth is found, which may in a case such as this take a long long time, the those same members of the ill informed public and media will get on the band wagon again.
    The great philosophers would say those who make such ill informed comments have revealed all doubt as to being fools !

    Commenter
    Pistol Pete
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:44PM
  • The mystery only deepens about what happen to MH370.
    Some reports say that the plane had only enough fuel to fly to China and now it might appear it may have ended up in the Indian or Great Sothern Ocean. How? With all the rumours, conflicting reports and speculation it's hard to know what to believe. It crashed, pilot suicide, hijacked, landed somewhere remote, satellite images delayed, hell why not aliens taking the plane. It amazes me in this day of age how a plane can just vanish. While no fan of Abbott he is damned if he releases info damned if he doesn't but I think maybe he should have held back until maybe a bit certain on the info. How may times can the relatives of the passengers take having their hopes risen in finding out what might have happen only to have them dashed again and again. I really hope something is found confirming what we all fear but I'm just not sure that will happen.

    Commenter
    maryjane
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:33PM
    • Oh and you would know MaryJane
      put your self in Abbotts shoes (every time before you bother writing) thousands of journos & labour/greens waiting to say he held info back and crucify him...he did what was best be open and honest but you just cant please whingers

      Commenter
      steve m
      Location
      Mullaloo Beach
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 8:37PM
    • and how do you suggest he could be "more certain on the info" ??
      the satellite images were the ONLY thing available. what further info could he obtain ? He was obliged to share the images with the world.

      Commenter
      C
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 9:45PM
  • Love the comments here:

    Why did Tony Abbot announce this information so early.

    next comment:

    The satellite images are 4 days old!!! why did the government wait so long!!!

    Commenter
    fatdunky
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:31PM
    • Satellite images are mealtime. China has 21 satellites over our heads and we have 8, well we don't have a space agency until 2013 although we have the Pine Cap in our land for ages. We also buy/borrow information and images from around 600 satellites owned by other countries. Almost all satellites got cameras and there is at least one satellite crosses over us every 10-20 minutes. Now ask yourself where are these images?

      Commenter
      Alisa
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:42PM
    • You've summed it up perfectly. The reason for the contradiction? Haters gonna hate, and will interpret anything the 'hatee' does so as to criticise and vent their hate.Simple as that.

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Kew
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:47PM
    • @Alisa, seriously, get some help. Do you really think that every, sorry "almost all" satellite has a camera? Oh, and we don't have a "Pine Cap". Sounds like you do have a tin-foil hat though.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 5:05PM
    • Or someone was being overly opportunistic and deserved the criticism.

      Commenter
      Mat
      Location
      Seymour
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 5:12PM
  • If Tony Abbott had waited more than 10 minutes the press would have been asking about a ramp up in optempo at RAAF Pearce (it takes a huge support effort for a few p3s and the other aircraft and personnel operating out of any base. The staff at Maccas at RAAF Edinburgh P3 base and at Pearce would be on to it. Someone in the east would catch on to the fact that HMAS SUCCESS and other ships disappeared at night etc. PM had to announce it and also couch it in the terms he did.

    Commenter
    andyb4
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:24PM
    • Jason

      Perhaps we are showing more sensitivity to the families of those on board who are from Australia.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:13PM
  • What concerns me is the there is a lot of junk floating around in the oceans. There also quite a few pieces from Container ships which could well fit the bill. The southern ocean/southern Indian is a very rough place to go from those whom I know have been out there. There is no chance of determining whether it is a piece of a plane or a container or something else . One can only hope. But with the strength of the currents finding it again is like finding a needle in a haystack.

    Commenter
    Elli
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:09PM
  • How strange...so the transponder was switched off but surely there are other radars to detect an unknown flying object - it's all these countries sitting back, playing with their thumbs and waiting to see where this is heading before they speak up - is causing the delay in the search. If this is not the case then I would have to say their radar or whatever they want to keep an eye out for is not effective or useful...because you know if they can't detect a plane then UFOs are probably zipping in and out of our skies without us knowing.

    Commenter
    sigh
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:09PM
    • Tone I'm with you, why didn't Abbott just inform the Malaysians and let them make an announcement as they do every day. It's their plane their problem we are just helping.

      Commenter
      Amro
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:05PM
  • Why does the announcement of the finding of possible debris by a U.S. satellite require an announcement from an Australian Prime Minister in parliament?

    Commenter
    AndreP
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:04PM
    • Because it'll look good on Abbott's record if the images do show the debris of the plane. It's like that pic showing up in a firey's uniform to "fight" bushfires in NSW. Publicity stunt to make him look good.

      Commenter
      Interesting
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:29PM
    • Because the prime minister was about to receive a battery of awkward questions about a certain minister who may have been a little too over zealous in the trough. The PM is well aware that he must DIVERT attention away from his former minister and FEED the media cycle. In that sense he (and Ms Credlin) have done remarkably well and should be congratulated.

      Commenter
      Transparent
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:00PM
  • So now it was just an accident. Cabin depressurises, pilots pass out and the ghost plane runs out of fuel. What happened to the reports about the transponder being manually turned off? Also, what about the mobile phones of passengers connecting but not being answered, suggesting that the phones were still functional long after the fuel had exhausted?

    Commenter
    Ralph
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:02PM
    • The phones were not ringing at the phone itself, but at the network...that has been explained and reported already

      Commenter
      cokes
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:32PM
  • Definitely I am with those conspiracy theorists. Totally not convinced that the USA does not know more about this aircraft than we are being told. I do not subscribe to the view that any one country is behind this disaster, rather that at least one, or several, countries know a whole lot more than they are letting on. I do hope they find the plane, wrecked or otherwise, so that the families who have lost loved ones can at least know that - small comfort though it may be. All of the families are in my prayers. Not so impressed by the Malaysian authorities who appear to be a bunch of maladroits when it comes to handling disasters.

    Commenter
    Judith
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 3:00PM
    • What is that you think they know that they aren't letting on?
      Don't go shy on me now!

      Commenter
      Timmy O'Toole
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:09PM
    • The US (and Australia) do know where this plane is by now. There is just too much imagery not to.

      There is a chance some groups/nations are trying to find out what other groups / nations can do.

      Smoke that up your pipe ASIS.

      Commenter
      j frank parnell
      Location
      los alamos
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 6:13PM
  • For the plane to end up in the southern indian ocean on one tank of fuel against the roaring 40s is not scientifically feasible. Even going westward from Indonesia you would be flying against the current prevailing summer monsoon trade winds which would reduce air speed and increase fuel consumption making it almost impossible to end up where the "debris" was sighted. The only favourable trade winds at this time of the year would be flowing north west towards the Bay of Bengal and towards India. My guess is the "hijacked" plane took this path to maximise fuel efficiency, distance, avoiding radar from Pine Gap and Diego Garcia. Both locations would have had equipment sensitive enough to pick up suppressed flatulence 3000km away..

    Commenter
    lunikliu@gmail.com
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:56PM
    • Assuming those winds are at the same height as the plane, ill tip the trade winds were below the planes level

      Commenter
      Food for thought
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:11PM
    • 'radar at Pine Gap"? It's a satellite communications station.

      Commenter
      Alex
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:17PM
    • It has both Radars and communication listening capabilities. In fact, it picks up any long range missile fired across the world.

      Commenter
      Alisa
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:33PM
    • Yet a plane can fly from Sydney to Johannesburg against the roaring 40'on one tank??
      FYI it actually makes the out trip more than 2hrs longer than back

      Commenter
      cokes
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:35PM
    • Jason, hey, don't let me stop you from making a public spectacle of yourself,
      it was just some friendly advice.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:53PM
  • I asked myself: what would have happened if it had been Julia Gillard as Prime Minister and not Tony Abbott.

    And the answer is: she would have done exactly what Abbott did, given the timeline. AND the Gillard haters would have dumped on her big time accusing her of every real and imagined malign motivation.

    The fact is that this issue is one of international attention and I don't see a place for politics here. It's just a pity that we now have a culture of hate and immediate conclusion of improper motives driven by the Abbott Opposition. They have poisoned us all.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:50PM
    • WW,

      You were going so well, right up until your last 2 sentences.
      Clearly you are poisoned!

      Commenter
      You Got
      Location
      Nothing
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:01PM
    • WW - Well said - It's not a time for finding politics though given your stated Gillard belief - could you point me to any "rusted on" LNP followers who belittled Gillard when she periodically announced the death of Australian servicemen? I can't recall any and if I did, they would have deserved the same condemnation Tones is receiving in this comment string.

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:03PM
    • 100% agree. Anyone who uses this misfortune to attack anyone in Politics needs to have a good hard look at themselves.

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:13PM
    • Contrary to what appears to be the belief on this forum, if Gillard had made the same announcement, I would have had a go at her as well.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:15PM
    • i fully agree, if Abbott did not say anything, then questions would be asked by the media and public why there was significant search effort was being carried in this area and what prompted this search. if Abbott did not say anything then the same criticism that is being directed at the Malaysian Govt that they are withholding something, would happen. He cannot win.

      Commenter
      Mal
      Location
      Cranbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:20PM
    • Smack, the difference is that Australian servicemen and women dying was a fact. Debris floating in the sea that might, just might be from the missing plane is purely speculation. One should be announced in parliament. The other should be verified before speaking up in parliament.

      Commenter
      James
      Location
      Cranbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:30PM
    • Well said, and I don't believe you for a minute.

      Commenter
      Shaking Eagle
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:33PM
    • Peace to friend and foe alike.

      As far as I'm concerned, I think it is neither appropriate nor inappropriate for Abbott to announce the satellite when and where he did. It appears to have been very recent information; much of the western world was watching closely; other involved political leaders had been soundly criticised rightly or wrongly for being slow in updating the families and the community at large; and Australia was taking the lead in this latest and, apparently, best information so far as a consequence of geography.

      I found myself wondering for a little while about Abbott's political calculations, such was the climate he had created by the way he operated. But the reality is that what was done was right. I don't like thinking like that but that seems to be the way that it is played.

      Smack, in regard to the politics of announcing the deaths of servicemen on active duty, I have some clear views, but this is neither the time nor place to air them.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:44PM
    • James - I hear you and could even agree with you. However - it seems serious consideration was given to the evidence from persons other than Abbott who agreed the evidence was significant enough to warrant sending out Australian resources to investigate. Additionally ,the families of deceased defence force personnel were told immediately in any case. You only have to see the need of the current families involved for any significant news of their loved ones.

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:58PM
    • SteveH your argument is weak at best. I guess that's why you guys are so desperate to attack this statement.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:48PM
  • For the plane to end up in the southern indian ocean on one tank of fuel against the roaring 40s is not scientifically feasible. Even going westward from Indonesia you would be flying against the current prevailing summer monsoon trade winds which would reduce air speed and increase fuel consumption making it almost impossible to end up where the "debris" was sighted. The only favourable trade winds at this time of the year would be flowing north west towards the Bay of Bengal and towards India. My guess is the "hijacked" plane took this path to maximise fuel efficiency, distance, avoiding radar from Pine Gap and Diego Garcia. Both locations would have had equipment sensitive enough to pick up suppressed flatulence 3000km away..

    Commenter
    Lonnie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:45PM
  • Ok, so the satellite that found the "items" takes fresh photos every 1.1 Days, yet the only images we are seeing are 5 days old. Why cant they look at the last 2 scans to track the "items"

    Commenter
    Cambo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:44PM
    • Satellite images are mealtime. China has 21 satellites over our heads and we have 8, well we don't have a space agency until 2013 although we have the Pine Cap in our land for ages. We also buy/borrow information and images from around 600 satellites owned by other countries. Almost all satellites got cameras and there is at least one satellite crosses over us every 10-20 minutes. Now ask yourself where are these images?

      Commenter
      Alisa
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:14PM
    • I'm just guessing here however, maybe it takes them time to break down the footage to the point they say , yep that looks likely. Be a shame to rush into things and divert resources if its just a guess

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:16PM
    • Well @Cambo, what brilliant thinking you have. I'm sure that no-one would ever have thought of doing that. Best get on the telephone to the authorities right away, as I don't think they are sitting around reading the comments section of this fine publication.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:37PM
    • Well there's your answer right there. "Satellite images are mealtime". So that means they only take photos at breakfast,lunch and dinner times. A lot can hapen in between those times.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:51PM
    • to The Other Guy: realtime images, not mealtime, typos, but you made lough anyway

      Commenter
      Alisa
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:09PM
  • There is no need to hate Tony Abbott for making an announcement on Australia's search efforts. He never said anything was going to be found- our military are searching.

    Just remember that nearly 300 people may have perished here and as a responsible nation, we are assisting in the international search for the 777.

    Commenter
    Tangential
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:42PM
    • But he announced it in Parliament, giving the debris find extra credibility. Regardless of whether he said it might not be there, his authority position would lead people to believe that it was credible, because a Prime Minister wouldn't be so unprofessional and unfeeling as to announce a find unless there actually was something there. I guess we will have to wait and see whether it had credibility or the Prime Minister was just being opportunistic, won't we?

      Commenter
      Jordy
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:03PM
  • I don't think that Abbott has anything to apologize for. He shared new information that constituted a rare lead in this fairly open-ended search operation. How the media and the public reacted to the information is on them!

    Commenter
    Matt H
    Location
    United States
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:40PM
  • '...given there have been no sightings of any debris possibly linked to the missing plane, the PM gave a passionate defence of his decision to make a statement to Parliament on Thursday on the discovery of the satellite images.

    He said we all owed it to the loved ones of those missing to crack this "extraordinary riddle".'

    Rubbish!! Edwardian Tony saw an opportunity to promote the Australian military. Finding the wreckage would take heat of the January military incursions in to Indonesian waters. This was a political stunt to boost the standing of Australia's defence forces in the region. It's a shame our defence forces personnel get dragged in to a politicians' posturing against our neighbours.

    Commenter
    Paulie72
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:39PM
  • This is why we need one or more aircraft carriers of our own. We could get one there (in a few days) and it could be searching during all daylight hours and not have to keep flying back to Perth every couple of hours.

    Commenter
    Cambo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:35PM
    • Have you got any idea how much it costs to build and maintain an Aircraft carrier. It's not feasible with our population base. Oh let's have an aircraft carrier just incase we need to search. We actually recently purchased a Naval vessel that carries helicopters, I'm sure if needed it can be sent and the Helicopter could do a better job

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:21PM
    • Jason, because a large number of RAAF planes and aircrew are involved.

      Why don't you guys stop digging you're already close enough to the bottom.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:34PM
  • More likely to be melting icebergs than planes. July 2013 a giant iceberg calved off Pine Island Glacier and has been tracked in the Southern Ocean close to shipping lanes. The West Australian current may have caused remnants to drift North into the Southern Indian Ocean.

    Commenter
    fay
    Location
    Perth WA
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:28PM
  • To The Other Guy

    Yeah I guess my science degree makes me a tin foil hat nutten , huh?

    Yeah well as to whether it was "humane" , when was the last time the people who run this planet truly cared about the little people?

    It seems logical given the number of poorly fumbled & executed deliberate red herrings in the media that something in that aircraft was worth disappearing 239 people for.

    Hopefully it wasnt nuclear.

    Commenter
    Wombat
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:27PM
    • Abbott made it political the moment he announced it in Parliament.

      As for your other arguments, Australian situations with concrete known facts warrant announcements in Parliament.

      Wild speculation does not.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:27PM
  • It is rare I agree with anything Tony Abbott says, but I will agree that he did the right thing announcing what he did yesterday. It gives the people effected by this at least some hope of closure. Seems many making comments here have lost sight of the human tragic side....But I guess haters are going to hater

    Commenter
    Crackers 26
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:14PM
    • I don't believe this is about tit-for-tat attacks on Abbott at all. This is a legitimate comment. Abbott should have butted out and left it to the experts to comment.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:09PM
  • "WorldView-2, owned by US satellite company DigitalGlobe, provides imagery at a resolution of approximately 50 cm. It takes a new image of any place on earth every 1.1 days (1 day, 2 hours and 24 minutes), writes deputy technology editor Ben Grubb."
    If this is true then they can establish from the imagery they already have - that it was not there one day and it was there the next. I mean if the debris was not there before the time the plane went down and it was there in the next shot then that would make it clearer. Could they not use the day to day images to track this debris.

    Commenter
    Wally20
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:06PM
  • MH370 --- has anyone asked GOOGLE wha data they have from the early part of the flight. They know where I am all the time because I have GPS access on. I would expect many passengers fail to turn their phones off in flight and some statistically would gave GOOGLE GPS on..

    Commenter
    RoP
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 2:01PM
  • Wow, with all the "experts" here, Tony Abbott could sack the Australian Intelligence people, get his answers on these blogs, and save the country a fortune!

    Commenter
    You Got
    Location
    Nothing
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:59PM
    • Which is exactly why Abbott should have known not to get involved in the first place.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:55PM
  • Forget the Australian Government, they are nothing but a compliant little puppy to the USA, we don't even have access to or control of spy installations installed by the US on our soil! The question should be, why did the US through Pine Gap and Esperance spy facilities refuse answers to Indonesia when asked? How come the US can pinpoint 24M long debris in the vastest ocean on earth? Did they know exactly where to look? Was there a scenario that resulted in the US Military shooting flight MA370 out of the sky??? Action like this and callous disregard about the lives of innocent passengers would have massive anti US resentment worldwide, reason enough to spin a story and who better than the Aussies to perpertrate political lies.

    Commenter
    Abe Shimmelpfennig
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:51PM
    • "why did the US through Pine Gap and Esperance spy facilities refuse answers to Indonesia when asked"?
      Maybe because Indonesia has nothing to do with it? Maybe because it's a Malaysian plane? Maybe because you just have no idea what you're talking about?

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:01PM
  • Now he's summoning the Chinese premier to report to him? lol

    Commenter
    teller_joe
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:45PM
    • The use of this situation by Tony Abbott in Parliament to score political points and to try to deflect the Arthur Sinodinos situation is the disgrace, no matter how you Liberal lovers try to paint the situation.

      He should have done it outside of Parliament or not at all.

      Why did he have to suddenly become the spokesperson for a Malaysian based international situation?

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:41PM
  • Oslow? Must be a new country in the Indian Ocean I haven't heard of.

    Commenter
    HC
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:37PM
    • Oslow is the capital of Norway. The first ship on site was a Norwegian ship.
      Stop showing just how stupid 'orrrzzies' are.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:24PM
    • Oslo - is capital of Norway

      Commenter
      Dhammachick
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:11PM
    • Agreed but it eems there are sad psychotics who have deloped a most unhealthy obsession about the guy why these dopey comments aren't moderated out is beyond me

      Commenter
      Timmy O'toole
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:25PM
  • why cant they track the passengers mobile phones

    Commenter
    jaxta
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:25PM
    • There aren't any mobile phone towers in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

      Commenter
      Dravid
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:41PM
    • This has been explained multiple times over the last 10 days or so. Google it!

      Commenter
      am22
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:54PM
    • I did enough readings before I posted my comments below. MH370 reminds me by the Egyptair 990 crashed in the Atlantic near the US carrying over 75 special Egyptian army forces. Well, the dead pilot was blamed but after the blackbox was tortured by FBI

      Commenter
      Alisa
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:12PM
    • And probably no ships nearby to use their mobile towers

      Commenter
      Densel
      Location
      Western Australia
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:42PM
    • That's the stupidest thing I've ever read. but maybe the reception is great at the bottom of the southern ocean. call Vodafone and find out.

      Commenter
      HDT
      Location
      Fitzroy
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:49PM
    • @Alisa, why would the FBI torture a black box?

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:54PM
  • I do not know why the media across the world does not mention that among the passengers of flight MH370 there are Chinese and Malaysian engineers and scientists who are working and developing stealth aircraft technology. Which one is important, a big fuss about a phone call made by the pilot probably to his daughter or a friend or those engineers.
    We know that processed satellite images can have resolutions of up to 25cm and even less in good weather, so why the US and probably Australia and countries around us do not want to share this information. Why the search for the missing flight around Australia just started? Although US satellite images were available. Why Thai authorities waited 10 days before confirming that they had spotted a plane? Was it hijacked then shot down or hijacked by US itself? It is well known that engines are fitted with transponders and some are stealth and installed by US in any civilian or military aircraft. Are we or the US own the Pine Gap?

    I strongly believe the US knows a lot about what exactly happened to this flight, similar to what happened to few other flights across the world carrying soldiers, military scientist. Why the FBI is telling us that the pilot flight simulator has the flight path to Diego Garcia. Well, there is a huge U.S. military base there and the Chinese military engineers could be quickly debriefed and re-flown out. I think a real story of what exactly happened to MH370 is currently been re-drafted.
    I hope some of my comments make sense

    Commenter
    Alisa
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:24PM
    • It's good that you haven't got carried away with paranoia and fantastical conspiracy theories.

      I hope the US doesn't record this.

      Commenter
      Ian
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:43PM
    • Not at all.

      Commenter
      Fred
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:47PM
    • No, your comments don't make sense. You're another misguided conspiracy theorist contributing nothing but drivel.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:49PM
    • I will believe an accident first over any conspiracy theory, until proven otherwise. This situation really does not fit the pattern of a conspiracy, even if, by some chance, there were stealth scientists on board.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:50PM
    • Thanks for the insights Agent Mulder.

      Commenter
      Paul
      Location
      Doncaster
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:54PM
    • I don't believe you are paranoid but I think those two chaps following you are.

      Commenter
      PB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:34PM
  • If it wasn't so tragic, this whole saga would be a fascinating study of human psychology, the media, global cooperation (or possible lack thereof), and the limitations of technology (and those who use it). This event has changed my world view; I never would have believed that we'd be this baffled by the disappearance of a large plane in 2014. Earlier mysteries or delayed discoveries made much more sense in their particular circumstances.

    Commenter
    Passionfruit
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:11PM
    • I'm with you Passionfruit, we just have to wait until more evidence is presented (ie finding the black box for one thing), until studies confirm one way or the other. Until then, we can only speculate about why people didn't use their mobiles phones, or why things were switched off, and the plane's direction was in mid-re-direction... It is all baffling, but we have to be patient now. Thoughts go out to the families and friends of all those on board.

      Commenter
      spikeyhair
      Location
      macgregor
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:27PM
    • Tone, I'd say using this accident to carry on with your usual political tit for tat is what's really insensitive.

      Anyway carry on as usual Tone.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:10PM
  • can someone clarify this with me...why can theynot track the last position of the passengers mobile phones?

    Commenter
    jaxta
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 1:07PM
    • Because there are no mobilr phone towers out there to receive the signal.

      Commenter
      Grumbles
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:39PM
    • The rusted-ons will always try some angle to blame Abbott and the LNP. It's what they do.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:02PM
    • So a 5 minute announcement about w world event in parliament, where 239 lives are at stake, after which Abbott handled management over to AMSA is inappropriate to you, Tone?

      I assume you approve of 15 minute speeches about misogyny however?

      Commenter
      ROFL
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:01PM
  • I would like to thank SMH for providing such a level headed coverage of this news. Lots of up-to-date factual information (what there is) and little hype/drama/speculation. Most appreciated.

    Commenter
    am22
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:58PM
    • Agree

      Commenter
      Scotch
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:12PM
    • Are you sure that you're reading the same SMH articles as the rest of us?

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 5:41PM
  • The Digital Globe satellite images are generally not sold at their maximum resolution. The maximum resolution images are only provided to approved users, generally in the U.S. This is common knowledge, so they are really touchy about the intelligence issue. Even if they released these images at full resolution it would make no difference in this case, as the search location could hardly be sensitive from an intelligence point of view. People already know about the capability of these satellites, but just can't buy the images.

    We can also deduce from the amount of resources committed, the press releases and the size of the search area that Australia or the U.S. probably picked up the plane by radar or satellite, otherwise everything else wouldn't make much sense.

    It seems the idea is to find the plane without revealing too much about intelligence capabilities. In the end that makes sense too, as there is no need to compromise intelligence capabilities (for the sake of satisfying curiosity) if you can find the plane without doing so.

    Commenter
    PR
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:58PM
    • exactly!

      Commenter
      am22
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:03PM
    • Thank You Master!

      Commenter
      Brian
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:18PM
  • Well at least the flight path wasn't over the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They wouldn't have a hope in hell of finding anything in that environmental disaster.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:58PM
  • To suggest that if Abbott did not announce details of the Malaysian Airline's possible sighting in Parliament it would be interpreted as not being transparent is ridiculous. The sighting could have been announced outside of Parliament, and not given the weight of a Prime Minister's announcement in Parliament.

    And choosing particular situations where the government is transparent, and others where they refuse to be transparent, does not make this government a transparent government, no matter what you say.

    Commenter
    Tone
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:57PM
    • Give it up Tone. You wouldn't be happy regardless of what they did. I, for one, am happy that we were informed of what was going on given there were Australians on board. I want to know that we are following up credible leads as soon as possible. The statement made was timely and fairly understated. A press conference on the other hand (e.g. Labor's 'Drugs in Sport') would have been over the top and I guarantee you'd have been on here banging on about how it has given false hope, was over the top, unnecessary etc

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:04PM
    • Tone's

      Repeating the same line over and over again does not add weight or credibility to your initial comment.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:07PM
    • Tone,
      Just for one second take your spite and hatred off the table. It is of INTERNATIONAL importance!
      How would you feel if your family was on that plane and Tony Abbott waited until after parliament to tell you there may have been a sighting?
      This is not a Labor vs Liberal event Tone.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:13PM
    • dRod, it takes a lot of time to determine the credibility of a find. It makes very little difference if the family find out during Parliament or 4 hours later.

      Suspended, I would have been happy if they didn't say anything at all and only spoke to the families, unless the plane itself was actually found, not just political speculation.

      Skeptic, I have merely responded to attacks on my comment by people that are all Liberal Party members. They don't seem to realise that I am not a Labor supporter. So please, what lines have I repeated, and do you have any real argument with me other than disagreeing with my very valid comment?

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:48PM
    • Tone, it's not political speculation. Spending a minute updating the House isn't over the top. Did you notice that Labor haven't come out swinging saying he's politicising the issue? So why are you getting all bent out of shape about it? Announcing a credible lead publicly actually helps the government lobby to get other assets to assist with the SAR i.e. if you are believe it is credible enough to go public, then it is worth other nations getting in and helping out, which is exactly what has happened. And as I've already mentioned, there are plenty of people that are encouraged to see that we actually have a credible lead and are following it up. A minute of the PM's time on the issue followed up by comprehensive briefings from ADF/AMSA isn't too much to ask.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:09PM
    • Tone

      You obviously missed the irony, when you stated in your first post that "It's offensive to the family and friends of the people on that plane".

      Tone's you are doing more than a fine job of being offensive to the families within Australia, who may be keeping up with any progress via this site.

      I couldn't care less who is presiding in the Chair or when the announcement is / was made.

      You then deflect by stating you are not a supporter of the ALP; but; anyone not towing your line is a paid up member of the LNP. Again, more disrespect to the families.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:16PM
    • Tone

      BTW, incorrect in that you were responding to personal attacks. After all, your post is the lead-in at the thread that started at 9:13am

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:20PM
    • Tones, your flogging a dead horse as usual. Your hatred of our Prime Minister shines through every time you put your opinion in. We know how you feel about him. Take a bex and have a lie down.

      Commenter
      The Real Johno
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:22PM
    • Over-indulgent love for Abbott is no better than attacks on Abbott. Not that I see any Abbott bashing going on - it seems like a legitimate comment to me.

      Commenter
      Jennifer
      Location
      Carlton
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:39PM
    • Tone - You may or may not be a Labor supporter but we have an Australian Prime Minister trying to pass on information to the Australian people on an major international incident involving almost certainly the deaths of your fellow Australians in the most timely manner possible. Just as there was no political slant to Julia Gillard announcing the deaths of Australian servicemen in the Parliament or outside as the news came to hand - there is no political slant to this except in your mind. Grow up!!!

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:48PM
    • @ Tone

      'I have merely responded to attacks on my comment by people that are all Liberal Party members.'

      Chortle, chortle.

      I think Tone needs to send out his own search and rescue team to recover some reality.

      Commenter
      ArnB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:48PM
    • Don't worry Tone, a lot of people agree with you. Just because the usual Liberal supporters don't like this comment and find it necessary to attack you, doesn't make it any less valid. So much love of Abbott from such a loud but usual small group.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:53PM
    • Tone

      So, I guess you never objected to proceedings being interrupted when we lost service personnel under Julia Gillard, K Rudd or TA for that matter?

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melboune
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:52PM
  • Why are people losing track of what is really happening here ............????? This has zip to do with Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party. It has everything to do with the fact that potentially hundreds of people have lost their lives and a hugely concerted effort has been put into trying to find this aircraft. Focus on putting positive energy towards the families of these passengers and stop using this forum as an arena for your political frustrations!!!!

    Commenter
    foreversouthafrican
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:47PM
    • The rusted-ons will always try some angle to blame Abbott and the LNP. It's what they do.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:02PM
    • Agreed but it eems there are sad psychotics who have deloped a most unhealthy obsession about the guy why these dopey comments aren't moderated out is beyond me

      Commenter
      Timmy O'toole
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:25PM
    • Which is exactly why Abbott should have known not to get involved in the first place.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:55PM
  • Why is the PM wasting time on this? This isn't his job. It seems like a very obvious grab for the limelight to bolster popularity. It seems ghoulish to do this the expense of the families of the missing passengers and crew.
    We should be hearing updates like this from the search and rescue or the ADF spokesperson, not the head of government.

    Commenter
    Knee Jerk
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:47PM
    • Knee Jerk - I don't think spending a minute updating the Parliament on what is going on is too much to ask. The rest of the detail came out at the AMSA press conference.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:08PM
  • The thing I don't understand (amongst many) is how the plane could have ended up in that position. Earlier indications were that the plane had limited fuel on board. I would have thought far less than would be required to reach so far south in the Indian Ocean. Wouldn't that suggest that, if this debris is from the plane, it's floated on ocean currents and the plane came down considerably further north?

    Commenter
    SteveR
    Location
    McKinnon, Vic
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:46PM
    • no, the plane had fuel to fly from KL to Beijing - likely 7 hours worth plus reserves, i reckon it turned back to KL never made it and kept on flying - typical of explosive decompression - loss of cabin pressure

      Commenter
      michael
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:24PM
  • This is when we need the drones, as they can stay out in the search area for much longer but i now many that comment here have said they are a waste of money. Well something like this proves that wrong. it would also be a cheaper option for searching.

    Commenter
    Mal
    Location
    Cranbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:42PM
    • Mal

      The plane did not come down on the western tip of Rottnest Island.

      The search area is 2500km SW of Perth. Simple question Mal, how would a drone get there in the first place.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:09PM
    • First of all, they are not a waste of money for all purposes. They are only a waste of money when dealing with defenceless victims, such as asylum seekers.

      Secondly, most drones don't have the range needed to cover a significant section of the planet. Satellites provide much better coverage, and skilled defence force programmers can run imaging code to identify likely wreckage.

      Thirdly, once they find a likely candidate area, they need to find the black box first. These only have between 2 and 25 kilometre range, and are only detectable under water using underwater acoustic listening equipment. Drones don't swim.

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:18PM
  • Imagine the howls of derision from right wing shock jocks if Gillard had started grand standing like Abbott is? If he wasn't in PNG I imagine he would have offered to swim out there in his red budgies and personally rescue any survivors.

    Serious point: as soon as politicians get involved in search and rescue efforts proper timely planning goes out the window as they suddenly demand quick results to make themselves look like leaders on the 6 o'clock news. Stay out of it Tony and let the proffesionals do their job.

    Commenter
    StBob
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:39PM
  • This is manna for Abbott and he'll play it well to his acolytes, but all he is doing is getting Sinodinos off the front pages. Cynical use of the media and they all fall for it.

    Much more appropriate for a senior military man to make these announcements.

    Commenter
    Jamie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:38PM
  • Why is the Prime Minister making announcements about unidentified objects floating in the sea? Why is he holding a press conference? Surely these are not Prime Ministerial matters. Should be search and rescue until something concrete found.
    Prime Minister should be managing the country meanwhile. Not looking for his moment in the international spotlight.

    Commenter
    RoadToad
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:38PM
    • Hear, hear!

      Commenter
      Ruth
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:15PM
    • Luckily Abbot only made a short announcement in parliament and then handed the issue over to AMSA. Exactly as per your wishes, RoadToad.

      Commenter
      Ralph
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:08PM
  • Is Peter Hartcher now going to retract his story of today and apologise for writing lies?
    There is no "Unspoken secret behind images", is there?
    Is the editor going to apologise on his behalf?
    Is Fairfax going to stop printing false stories?
    Are the censors at Fairfax going to censor this comment along with the numerous others I've tried to post today to highlight the falsehoods printed by them

    Commenter
    The Other Guy
    Location
    Geelong
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:16PM
    • Which article?

      Commenter
      Can't find it
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:18PM
  • Am I the only one who notices the bleeding obvious - that this arcraft seemed to have on board something ( or someone ) worth stealing a whole aicraft for?

    And who has access to such resources to do it?'

    The whole crash story doesnt add up, which leaves one logical outcome - theft.

    Commenter
    Wombat
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:12PM
    • Unfortunately, incompetency is more likely than conspiracy, and an accident is more likely than maliciousness. I believe that they've had an accident, as it doesn't actually have any of the indicators that it is anything else.

      It is likely that they lost air pressure, and someone punched a code into the computer to get the plane below 4000 feet and returning to Malaysia. They probably lost consciousness at that point, and were hoping to regain consciousness when the plane got below 4000 feet.

      Theft is about as unlikely as you can get.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:43PM
    • Highly unlikely. If that plane landed anywhere - someone saw it. Guarantee we would know a hell of a lot more if it landed anywhere in the world.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:45PM
    • Wasn't the cargo some sort of fruit?

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:48PM
    • Yes, @Wombat. Someone wanted to steal 'something', and wanted the whole world to know about it.
      Tighten up that tin-foil hat mate.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:10PM
    • COnsidering the pilots have a fairly selaed cabin and dedicated emergency oxygen supplies, I find the loss of pressure idea possible but ultimately unlikely.

      Theft by person or groups unknown seems more logically plausible.

      Commenter
      Wombat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:12PM
    • Passionfruit, was reported they had a load of Lithium batteries in the cargo.
      Can overheat and explode.
      Who knows, maybe we never will. All these theories. just be good to locate it and give the families some closure.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:50PM
    • Having been privy to a real life military aircraft engine theft overseas, I can tell you that there are much easier and humane ways to steal aircraft parts than to hijack an aircraft full of passengers.

      Commenter
      Matthew
      Location
      South Yarra
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:03PM
  • "We are pumped..", "We are excited..."

    I think journalists should be a bit more selective with their reporting. At the end of the day if they find any wreckage it means 238 people lost their lives. I don't think pumped and excited are the words I'd choose to report on this.

    Commenter
    steve
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:12PM
  • If the Satellite recaptures images of any place on earth every 1.1 days, then surely we should have 2 or 3 more since Sunday!! That may help discover which direction the debris has moved.

    Commenter
    Tom
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:08PM
    • Yes Tom, I don't understand this either...and why not concentrate satellite photography over that region of the Indian Ocean? Can't we get pictures from today? This whole tragic event has made me realise that humans are not as advanced technologically as I thought we were.

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:00PM
  • I guess by Australia looking for this lost plane will take the focus off Abbott and the tense strained relations with Jakarta,for the time anyway!!

    Commenter
    Archer
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:06PM
  • It is pre-emptive and immature to have commented as if Mr Abbott was trying to glean some statesman ship credibility by making statements based on at best outright speculation. This whole news story has been a media gift allowing unfettered speculation to run riot through the 24 hour news cycle. To have an attention deficit Australian politician fan the flames is childish.

    I am from the UK (as you can see by my monica) and only in Australia do you regularly get the Prime Minister of the land (usually accompanied by two back seat nodding dogs) making live on air public statements.

    Compare that with the UK PM who is rarely presented live on TV or the US President who does so even more rarely.

    This does not reflect Statesmanship Mr Abbott and it it turns out this is not the missing plane, you will look very very foolish.

    I also think it will play into the ignorant fool opinion alot of people seem to have of you.

    Commenter
    Joe the POM
    Location
    Geelong
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:05PM
    • Why dont you mind yr own business and let our PM have his moment. If and IF it is the plane there will be closure for many grief sticken ppl.

      Commenter
      louie
      Location
      Neutral Bay
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:08PM
    • I was minding my own business and then all of a sudden up popped Tony Abbott on my TV to inform me of the latest speculative developments.

      Why not write to Parliament House and tell Tony to mind his?

      Commenter
      Joe the POM
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:53PM
    • If a 5 minute announcement within the confines of parliament is what you consider inappropriate, then you're the one with issues, Joe.

      Commenter
      Roex
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:13PM
  • I think the announcements by Abbot are simply part of a strategy to demonstrate what is being done with the search. The Malaysians lost control of the public relations on this issue and they have rightly handed comms over to a central, single authority. It's Crisis Management 101.

    FWIW - I think that the Yanks know far more than we are being told, so possibly to divert from continued speculation on who knows what and more importantly, HOW they came to know it, we are now getting regular briefings from a senior official, lots of info such as what the satellite looks like, info graphics and maps, and heaps of background detail.

    It's obvious that a formal strategy is now in place for the comms on this issue, since even the commander of the Norwegian car carrier shop cannot comment, and refers back to the central source.

    Commenter
    La Comtesse
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 12:00PM
  • As to "Who is paying for this?" - too many people fall for this furphy. Much of the human resources are readily available and actively at any given moment. Where do people this these resources come from? The local pub? Volunteers? The main demonstrative cost is the cost of the infrastructure, fuel and wear and tear on the equipment is use - and this has been purchased to be used for this type of scenario as well as training. Is this good training? You betcha. Stop falling for those people who focus on selling cost as an issue

    Commenter
    Objects Move
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 11:56AM
  • apologies for silly question or if repeated however can someone confirm whether this plane was detected by our defence forces or whether they determined where to look through modelling or similar. If it wasnt detected then why not?
    Just sayin that if all it takes to avoid any sort of radar worldwide is to turn off the transponder thats amazing. it seems this way however I hope I am incorrect

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 11:42AM
  • Worth checking out but it is extremely unlikely this debris is part of the plane. It's too large. Probably a container which went overboard.

    Commenter
    JM
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 11:32AM
    • It's not likely to be a shipping container, as they're 12m in length. This object is 24m.

      Commenter
      Mrs Marsh
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:59PM
    • Mrs Marsh, I think you will find there are 2 sizes of shipping container. a 12 metre and a 24 metre container.

      Commenter
      AdrianL
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:44PM
  • The other piece of good news in this tragedy, aside from the satellite images, is that Australia is now running the show. I expect we'll see a lot more competency on display in the coming days than the Malaysians could muster. No offense to Malaysia, but they're just seemed too overwhelmed to deal with this properly.

    Commenter
    thomson_r_a
    Location
    Canada
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 11:30AM
    • They were initially hamstrung due to neighbouring politics over who owns what oceans etc. Disputes over oceanic borders and no info meant they couldn't launch the official search.
      Also hamstrung due to intelligence/military alliances. i'm sure they did they best they could given the unique circumstances. it's in their interest to.
      i hope our Navy now have GPS's.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:41PM
    • Absolutely right !

      Nothing more determined than a dedicated digger ..dinkum

      Commenter
      Avid reader
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 22, 2014, 4:34AM
  • Was the plane seen on the Australian Jindalee Over The Horizon Radar? Jindalee is a radar system that is reputed to be sensitive enough to detect a Cessna taking off from Dili airport and it may well have detected the plane if it flew into the Indian Ocean region monitored by the radar, Had the large Boeing come within 3000 km of the coast then it probably would have been detected.
    Was the plane spotted and is the government withholding information on the grounds of "national security"?
    Perhaps that's the reason that Abbott seems so confident that the plane ended up in the Indian Ocean.

    Commenter
    SteveB
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 11:22AM
  • I have been talking to all these satelite and they have been telling me some funny stories of the things they see from up here...unfortunately we have not been able show any clues of positive reference to missing MH370 and will keep a look out from here in for you .......You do what you have to do to locate and solve this mystery for all your sake .......

    Commenter
    God
    Location
    Heaven
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 11:06AM
    • Sadly, I thought you may have been busy accepting souls into heaven.

      Commenter
      Angel
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:34PM
  • “We must know - we will know.” ~ David Hilbert. RAAF, spread your wings high and you'll find the remains.

    Commenter
    S&R
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:55AM
  • And for anyone critical of the fact that the images were taken four days ago but have only just been analysed and released now... Well, it's pretty obvious those images weren't ours (and therefore weren't available to us immediately) and secondly, we don't actually have that many people to go through what must be a mind-boggling amount of imagery to analyse in detail. While they're very good at their job and are able to locate items of interest very quickly, we're talking about hundreds of hours of work because of the level of fidelity of the images (i.e. they must be zoomed in sufficiently in order provide enough detail). This is nothing to do with secrecy, conspiracy or a cover-up, it is the reality and nature of such a task.

    Commenter
    Suspended
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:47AM
  • @questioner - they will be using Bayesian search theory (google it) to predict the flight path, location of floating debris etc.
    The search area would have narrowed because of more calculations and/or extra data...thats what it does.
    Negative information "it wasn't there" is fed into the model, which makes it more accurate.

    Commenter
    endintiers
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:43AM
  • Tony Abbott says...Tony Abbott is a victim of the claw.

    Commenter
    Geronimo
    Location
    Yippee Yi Yo
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:41AM
  • Please, please, no more conspiracy theories! Fact is an aircraft and its passengers has been lost under very difficult circumstances.
    the last thing we need is for our prime minister such as he is to attempt to make political ground from it. Next thing we know is he'll be talking about the heroes carrying out the search. No grandstandingplease!!

    Commenter
    Mavrik
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:41AM
  • The Air France flight 447 wreckage was positively identified after 5 days and was located not far off its planned flight path. The recovery of the black box took over two years and cost $50 million. The fact that it has been over 12 days since MH370 went missing and debris is yet to be located, the odds of locating the black box flight recorder are greatly reduced and may not ever be found. When they do locate the aircraft (and it will be found eventually, one way or another), the total cost of recovery, once all nations involved the SAR are factored in, will be the most expensive and probably the most difficult ever attempted in aviation history. For the families' sake I hope it all happens as soon as humanly possible.

    Commenter
    Suspended
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:39AM
  • I"m disgusted as a human being nd embarassed as an Australian that Abbott would prematurely announce that parts of MH370 may have been found, securing the attention of the global media and further tormenting grieving relatives and friends, simply to distract the Australian domestic media from talking about corruption in his government, an allegedly corrupt minister in Arthur Sidonis, and financial links between Joe Hockey and Eddie Obeid.

    Will the media please drop the speculation on MH370 until we have some facts, and return to the important work of reporting what the government and its members are up to.

    Commenter
    Larry Sizemore
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:36AM
    • There's nothing premature about saying they have a credible lead when they have a credible lead and are following it up. Given there were Australians on that flight, I want to know what we are doing to find them and I'm certain I'm not the only one.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:40PM
    • If you drop your speculation about Aust politicians and keep your comments on topic then I don't mind a bit

      Commenter
      Timmy O'Toole
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:43PM
  • For the sake of the families and to shut most of these 'experts' up, I do hope they find the plane soon.

    Tony Abbott can beat his chest in parliament on this matter but I don't care. Its not about politics its about finding the plane.

    To the person who is asking who's paying for this, assume your parents/sibling/partner is on a missing plane which could be in another country, that country puts significant effort in finding the plane, even though it is just going on a hunch, would you be asking who is paying for it?

    Commenter
    Find the plane
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:21AM
  • This is the problem. Every country involved wants to be the first one to locate the missing plane. It is like a competition and not a rescue mission. Please do not announce anything to the public if they can't verify and confirm they have actually "found" it. This is every embarrassing if Tony using this to shove up his reputation.

    Commenter
    Sue
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:17AM
  • Whilst the RAAF are searching this vast area could they also look out for the lost Liberal economic policies and lost budget revenues...? I have my doubts that they will ever be found....

    Commenter
    Real Treasurer
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:13AM
    • Throw in some lost decency and humility. I'm sure the first thing they'll is some hubris.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:48PM
    • Off topic go and find a more suitable forum
      this one is for caring humans

      Commenter
      Timmy O'Toole
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:45PM
    • Your comment aptly demonstrates that the SMH is biased and allows ridiculous comments to be published here when they have nothing to do with the search or the subject of the article which is a search for 239 missing people and the plane. I'm sure you won't publish this as it doesn't attack Tony Abbott. Utterly reprehensible commentary & disgraceful.

      Commenter
      Equaliser
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:26PM
  • How long can the media keep running the same narrative.... this has to be some kind of world record for generating and sustaining a narrative with live updates that are cut an paste pastiches from previous articles........

    Commenter
    john
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 10:12AM
  • Good to see Australia and especially the USA put the secrecy their surveillance capabilities before civilians lives.

    Commenter
    Brian of Narangba
    Location
    Qld
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:49AM
    • Hold your horses and don't claim success yet.
      The 24 meter object seen from the satellite may in reality be a 30 foot sea container floating just below the surface.
      The seas are awash with containers flushed overboard by heavy seas.

      Commenter
      Big Wolf
      Location
      High Country
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:35PM
    • 24 metres equals 78 feet.

      New theory required!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:06PM
    • Maths not your strong suit then?

      Commenter
      Joe the POM
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 1:28PM
    • What surveillance capabilities do you claim Australia has?? If not asked by the US Australia has nothing, Australia is not even allowed access to spy facilities on it's own soil, in other words Australia is just a convenient geographic location for the US and politically aligned to allow America access without checks or balances on anything they wish to do. Think about which other nation would be so stupid and willingly make themselves nuclear targets for an aggressive predatory foreign power?

      Commenter
      Abe Shimmelpfennig
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 2:00PM
    • Abe. Suggest to read about the Jindalee over the horizon radar, Australian designed and built and operating for decades

      Commenter
      Brian of Narangba
      Location
      Qld
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:23PM
  • Faifax is really pulling out all stops to write as much bs about his as they can.
    Seriously, how about printing FACTS rather than just bs.
    Examples: how about Peter Hartcher's attempt at trying to say that Australia is "trying to protect US intelligence and its sources". The images did come from a US satellite a COMMERCIAL satellite, in the public domain, and NOT from the US Intelligence community. Hartcher, stop trying to beat things up. Maybe try and get some intelligence yourself?

    Commenter
    The Other Guy
    Location
    Geelong
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:44AM
    • I liked the article about checking the pilot's flight simulator for cleared data, implying that he'd somehow intentionally cleared it.

      Commenter
      adrian
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:37PM
  • Can't help but wonder how much this search has cost so far and who is paying the bills? It must be in the many many millions by now. Not saying we shouldn't be searching, just curious as to where the dollars are coming from.

    Commenter
    At what cost?
    Location
    NSW
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Defence and AMSA budgets.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:18AM
    • Folks, read and comprehend. In quite a few pictures, it plainly states "... Australian Region".

      That is, the stuff we (Australia) sends out is paid for by Australia, most likely the Military Budget.

      I suspect that the US aircraft searching are paid for the the US "whatever" budget.

      Its long standing protocol. And its one of the drawbacks of living on one of the few Continents in the Southern Hemisphere that is also 1 complete Nation, that is Australia is responsible for a rather large Area of Responsibility.

      Commenter
      DenisPC9
      Location
      New England Region
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:51AM
    • Well it's using military equipment, and personnel, so i would presumed it's already paid for in the military budget for their training in the operations for search and rescue.

      This is the time and opportunity to implemented their training into real situation which doesn't happened very often.

      Commenter
      Gerson
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:15AM
    • My guess would be the Malaysian government given it's a matter of national interest. MAS is part owned by the government anyway.

      Commenter
      Interested Follower
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:15AM
    • Looks like the resources used for the search are Navy and Air Force assets and personnel, which would need to be maintained and paid anyway.

      Commenter
      george
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:20PM
    • Let's say your mother or father were on board.. bet you'd be tipping out the piggy bank as we speak..goodness this is hardly about money and politics, and vacuous posts = more grist for the mill..

      Commenter
      jon
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:21PM
  • Why does the Age/SMH continue to assert that the satellite pics of possible MH370 flotsam are from a US military source, when it is from a commercial satellite. Additionally, Boeing and Malaysia have already stated that this B777 model did not have the antennae that has been cited as a source of possible structural failure.

    Commenter
    @fount8
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:35AM
  • Who's paying for all this?

    Commenter
    The Treasurer
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:18AM
    • the families of the passengers and crew are paying for it with suffering.

      Commenter
      ikris82
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:26AM
    • I didn't know there was a budget for this sort of thing. This sort of question shouldn't be asked What price do you put on human life?

      The answer is (as far as I know) that each country involved pays for any aircraft or water craft involved in the search.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:30AM
    • Does it matter? The most important thing is that it is found so families can have peace.

      Commenter
      Leonie
      Location
      Broadford
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:30AM
    • Does it matter? If a member of your family is on a commercial aircraft which vanishes for nearly a fortnight, are you going to be concerned about how the search and recovery effort is going to be paid for?

      Commenter
      janeygotagun
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:32AM
    • Every country has a search zone responsibility. When someone asked for help in situations like this that's when you do. Help. And all the rubbish about how much it costs is just that, rubbish. The crew are already getting paid they are RAAF, the planes are usually flying anyway and like the Navy they are already working. Why that comes up every time something like this happens is just petty.

      Commenter
      J Walker
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:51AM
    • Will you make the same comment if one of your family member was involved in this tragedy?

      Commenter
      Will
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:55AM
    • it is so sad that people can measure lives with money.

      Commenter
      tan83
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:19AM
    • Who cares whose paying what. It's good to see so many countries working together for a good cause. It's just the right thing to do for the families first and second to piece together what happened to try to ensure it never happens again. To anyone who whinges about the Bill prey your never lost etc. I bet if you were or if a member of your family was on this flight you would demand more was done.

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:21AM
    • Ultimately Australian taxpayer's pay for the Australian effort - but so what, its fantastic real world training for the RAAF and RAN that money just can't buy.

      Commenter
      Payer
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:50AM
    • To those who are critical of this question, why shouldn't it be asked? It doesn't mean that the questioner is saying the search shouldn't happen. Hopefully, there IS a budget for these sort of things. If there isn't, then it's even more of an issue! Yes, if my family was on the plane, I would want to have the completion of knowing what happened. I wouldn't want to be hit with a million dollar search bill that I wasn't expecting though and had no means to pay. .

      Commenter
      Just wondering
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:59AM
    • Would you rather they stop looking for the plane?

      Commenter
      Shane
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:01PM
    • Why does Tony Abbott have to be front and centre in this search op? Completely out of place.

      Commenter
      teller_joe
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:10PM
  • In my opinion there is only a very small chance that this is the remains of the airline will be found in this location. Tony Abbott's announcement in Parliament was appalling. With such a remote chance, is he going to be announcing every single time some wreckage of something that could be remotely mistaken for the plane is found? It's offensive to the family and friends of the people on that plane, and I think it's internationally embarrassing to have our PM act so callously.

    Commenter
    Tone
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:13AM
    • Well it did take the heat off Sinodinos - at least for a few minutes.

      Commenter
      Luke
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:08AM
    • +1

      Commenter
      transparent
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:12AM
    • More needless and unwarranted Abbott bashing. Maybe they won't find the aircraft there, but all the expert analysis of the imagery thus far suggests it is a credible link and worthy of redirecting a vast number of SAR assets for. Unless you're well acquainted with the investigation AND expert, then your opinion isn't worth the bit of screen it is written on. Reporting credible links to the families of the passengers is absolutely appropriate, particularly given their well-publicised complaints of a lack of information provided up until this point. The alternative is to withold any and all information until the location of the aircraft is confirmed, in which case you would be on here banging on about Coalition government secrecy, lack of transparency etc.

      Commenter
      Suspended
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:23AM
    • Yes, withholding the information would have been far more responsible.

      Commenter
      Danno
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:25AM
    • The families with people missing have been complaining about the lack of information coming through...While there may only be a small chance of this debris being related...I'm sure the families will be grateful for being kept updated!

      Commenter
      Leonie
      Location
      Broadford
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:28AM
    • Tony Abbott is sticking his head out too far with a premature announcement. This is such a slim microscopic chance since the distance of the airplane flown is so uncertain due to the unknown altitude and hence fuel consumption. All this media hype.. Leave the leadership of the search to the Yanks, they are professionals and have the equipment.

      Commenter
      paul1234
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:29AM
    • That is a remarkably foolish and fatuous response. The PM, after considered advice, announced this news (after careful consideration of the delicacy of the situation), based on the nuanced work carried out by the many dozens of highly trained analysts who spend their lives cautiously assessing imagery of this sort. Geospatial imagery and analysis makes the Western world safe so that mis-informed people can make their reflexive inner-city leftist bleats in a public forum.

      Commenter
      Skeptik
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:29AM
    • Just what I was thinking, Tone. Has he not seen how distraught those people waiting for news are? Nobody should be publicising any conjecture, only real news. But he can't risk losing any minute opportunity to show off.

      Commenter
      EM
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:30AM
    • Callous?

      Seriously? Did you even listen to his announcement?

      He said 'possibly related to the search' and 'may turn out that they are not related'.

      Try to leave the politics out of what is tragic time for the hundreds, probably thousands of friends and families that had a loved one on this flight.

      Commenter
      ArnB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:38AM
    • The PM did not act callously, he acted appropriately to pass on onformation confirmed by AMSA. Put your political prejudices aside for a bit, and consider things logically.

      Commenter
      rob1966
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:42AM
    • It was purely yet another politically motivated deflection.
      Any normal PM would have called a press conference after QT.
      Besides it was probably Pine Gap that found said wreckage.
      Supposedly all these countries searching yet with holding due to military capabilities/secrecy.
      Not playing ball with Malaysia or each other.
      Lets hope it is from MH370 and some closure can begin.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:42AM
    • These people who are complaining about information being released early would be exactly the same people who would complain, if in 2-3 days time it was found to be the plane, about the information being withheld. Can never please some people, always complaining about something....

      Commenter
      SMD05
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:01AM
    • "The expert analysis....". Yep, heard that many a time before, in the past two weeks, in a variety of contexts.

      Commenter
      Dodgerama
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:04AM
    • Why politicise this issue, Abbot did what a PM should do and announced it. If he didn't announce it he would be abused for that. I have no time for this man myself however its wrong to be petty over a trafedy

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:04AM
    • Completely agree Tone. CNN 'expert' has already said it can't be a wing, or anything external, because it would have sunk by now. It could only be plastic trim or something from the inside. It would surprise me if there happened to be a 24 metre long piece of intact plastic (or similar) after a fire and crash.

      But as I posted yesterday, making this public, provides the media with hours and days of footage and filler. I doubt it's alleviating any angst for the families....what an absurd assumption.

      Commenter
      Dodgerama
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:09AM
    • Suspended. I agree about the Abott bashing. It's pathetic. Lets hope it does not get as bad as the pathetic Rudd, Gillard, Labor bashing. Though I think the LNP spin machine has plenty of spin doctors attacking through comments sections on all media. Be interesting to see if the Murdoch Press stopped acting like a communist paper and permitted people to express support for Labor how that would effect polls. Thank god Fairfax acts as media should.

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:10AM
    • Paul 1234. Australia also have suitable equipment. You have no clue about how sophisticated Australia's ADF and search. Teams are. Australia have saved many lives of our shores with out the yanks. By the way, if Australia closed Pine Gap America would have issues with some of its Military functions. America is not the Messiah

      Commenter
      Jessica
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:15AM
    • Tone, parrots like you are beyond belief, you've spend months complaining that Abbott won't reveal everything thats going on.

      And now complaining he's doing it too much.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:19AM
    • Absolutely Tone, with this tragedy in the international spotlight, this big noting mong, seeking the praise and recognition from the world, announces we've found some "debris". It was disgustingly opportunistic, but typical of our "hero" PM.

      Commenter
      Rocky
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:21AM
    • Well, Tone, if this is a slim chance, why then are 25 aircraft being sent to search this arc, and only 4 aircraft are working the other, northern, arc?

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Kew
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:29AM
    • What's appalling is the Abbott bashing which was the first reaction from the left and attempt to politicise, rather than any kind of consideration of what was being announced.

      You can bet Rudd would've made the same announcement and probably would've acted like he'd saved the world.

      Commenter
      adrian
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:31AM
    • A possible sighting of the downed aircraft and all the rusted-ons can do is abuse our PM. Perhaps they'd be happier if we ignored the search for this aircraft and any possible survivors?

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:40AM
    • I suppose next the plane crashing was Tony Abbott's fault. He announced in parliament a fairly substantial use of military hardware to be used in the search. And given the global search underway it was entirely appropriate he informed parliament of Australia's contribution to the search. He was in no way grandstanding and or offering any false hope. I'm sure relatives of those on board are far more realistic than those commenting here about the real likelihood of finding the plane.

      Commenter
      Mark
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:55AM
    • Really? people have lost lives and all you are appalled at is Tony Abbott?

      Commenter
      MH370
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:57AM
    • So typical of the left to use such a tragedy as an excuse to bash our PM. They obviously have no decency.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:01PM
    • Tone

      I guess you missed the irony of your post and the offensiveness to the families concerned.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:04PM
    • Tone and you would be the first one screaming and yelling about Abbott if he withheld information.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:10PM
    • You mean the four day old information (when it was announced) that came after a narrowing of the search area?

      How dare you give the families of those lost some hope, Abbott!

      Commenter
      The Elder
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:11PM
    • As much as I dislike Abbott and would happily 'Abbott Bash' where I could...I couldn't agree more with your comment Suspended.

      Commenter
      LEONIE
      Location
      BROADFORD
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:18PM
    • When Tony Abbott announced it in parliament, he essentially put the Prime Minister's weight behind this possible sighting. If the Prime Minister of any country puts their weight behind something, they are essentially saying that this is it.

      He'd better be right, because if he's not, he opens himself up to accusations of using this situation to score political points, and to deflect from the Arthur Sinodinos Affair.

      It is appropriate for this hunt to go on. It is appropriate for the families to be notified of any eventualities. The bottom line is that this is a Malaysian incident, and it has nothing really to do with Australia, other than Australia being part of the international effort.

      Personally I think the Prime Minister should act more like a Statesman and less like a high school Jock. Reporting in parliament is simply insensitive as it would give people higher hopes than may be warranted.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:21PM
  • Something doesn't sit right with me. A few hours before they find debris they reduce the search area. A few hours later they find debris based on satellite imagery from 4 days ago, on the tip of the reduced search area. Why was the search area reduced and how long ago did anyone know about this knowledge. I guess going by this federal governments track record of transparency we will never know.

    Commenter
    Questioner
    Location
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 9:13AM
    • Yeah LNP! You need to come clean on all your military intelligence assets and sources, as well as those of allied countries that may have passed along information. It is simply not good enough that you give us results. We need to know how those results were obtained.

      Commenter
      Thor
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:11AM
    • Your damned if you do your damned if you don't. Interesting reading Tone's comments and then yours.

      Commenter
      Danno
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:28AM
    • This might come as a surprise to you, but Search & Rescue teams don't work of media reports.

      The media are usually the last to know. Search areas etc are selected based on information available to the S&R organisation, not what the media are reporting

      Commenter
      rob1966
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:45AM
    • The imagery came from the Americans. It takes a very long time for analysts to eyeball this material and to then have it corroborated.

      The currents in that area of the ocean move at about 2 knots. That imagery was taken 1 week after the flight disappeared so it could have moved some 300-400nm, which is approx 600km from where the flight went down.

      The debris was located some 100km from the search area and in the 5 days since the imagery was taken it could have moved another 300km with the currents since then.

      There is no conspiracy.

      Commenter
      ArnB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:45AM
    • "We need to know how those results were obtained".
      No you don't, @Thor.
      By the way, it was a commercial satellite that found the alleged debris, not military, nor intelligence.

      Commenter
      The Other Guy
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:08AM
    • They said in the news conference yesterday that info from the US Navy Intel regarding the possible flight plan was provided first that led them to change the search boundary. If had reason to believe it had headed in that direction it would not have been too hard to calculate how much fuel would be in the plane & when it would run out.

      They then focused on the patch and targeted the area with satellite which came up with the images.

      These 2 things together were enough for them to investigate more thoroughly. It's not too sinister and still may not end up being the plane.

      Commenter
      SAmbo
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 11:46AM
    • The other guy good reply I am surprised more didn't pick up on it the age of entitlement is still upon us and twisted psychotics still have to whine about abbott at EVERY OPPORTUNITY. These people need to get a life

      Commenter
      Timmy O'Toole
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 12:55PM
    • Ah now it's the let's blame the LNP for this.
      Grow up.

      Commenter
      AnnaM
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:01PM
    • Two words will answer your question re the secrecy: Pine Gap.

      Commenter
      vorheta
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:02PM
    • Abbott has already done enough to make Australia look like some tin pot right wing banana republic now he's just turning us into a laughing stock. I bet the countries that voted for Australia to have a temporary seat on the UN Security Council are having second thoughts.

      Commenter
      RTP
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 3:45PM
    • It is all quite odd.
      If this was hi-jacked, or done by terrorists, it is an extremely organised, extrememly efficient operation.
      IF this was a hi-jacking or terrorist attack, it is organised at an extremely high level and definitely not what we traditionally think of.

      Commenter
      Dave Scott
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:15PM
  • Did the satellite pings allow the plane to be located on a circumference or in a circle?

    Commenter
    Arc
    Date and time
    March 21, 2014, 8:51AM
    • on a circumference

      Commenter
      teller_joe
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 9:28AM
    • Why couldn't they be over near the seychelles then ? thats where they were pointed when they crossed malaysia and its on the rim of the same circle...?

      Commenter
      macguru
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 10:44AM
    • I suspect because the last ping was several hours after the last radar sighting, suggesting the plane had travelled away, much further down the arc.

      Commenter
      Pass
      Location
      Date and time
      March 21, 2014, 4:50PM
Comments are now closed