Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Day 42 -- April 20 , 2014 ........ PERTH - The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), codenamed Bluefin-21 has to date completed about 50% of the focused area in the underwater search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing on March 8 - will the search essentially be ended in a week ? Well , Tony Abbott of Australia said last Wednesday the search had a bout a week left , Malaysian looking to set a date for a no survivors announcement , various moves are being examined for financial compensation for the families of the victims ....... looks like unless there is a break through , this SAR gets wrapped maybe next weekend . Of course , IMHO , the outcome of finding absolutely nothing was predictable ( search in the wrong area and with a faulty tool , the outcome is assured )
Malaysian Chronicle .....
Sunday, 20 April 2014 18:14
MH370: Bluefin-21 completes 50% of underwater search area
PERTH - The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), codenamed Bluefin-21 has to date completed about 50% of the focused area in the underwater search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said the focused underwater search area was defined as a circle with a radius of 10 kilometres (km) around the second signal detected by the Towed Pinger Locator on April 8.
No contacts of interest have been found so far, the agency said in a statement here Sunday.
The agency, which is overseeing the search operation, said the Bluefin-21 AUV commenced its eighth mission right after the completion of mission seven Sunday morning. On Saturday, the agency said the AUV had combed an area of about 133 square km at the end of its sixth mission.
On Saturday as well, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, while denying media report that the underwater search would take six weeks to two months to complete, stated that the immediate search area being scoured at present by the Bluefin-21 should be completed within the next week.
The minister also noted that it was now timely for the parties involved in the search operation to consider and discuss the use of submarines. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had recently indicated that the search operation would be regrouped and reconsidered if there were no new updates "in the next few days".
Bluefin-21, was deployed on its maiden underwater mission on Monday, in the hope of locating debris from the missing plane, after no further confirmed signals were picked up by the Towed Pinger Locator since April 8.
It uses acoustic sounds to create a three-dimensional map of the sea floor and takes a minimum of 24 hours to complete each mission, including four hours to download collected data.
The statement added that Sunday's visual search area would involve 11 military aircraft and 12 ships.
"The weather forecast for today is scattered showers, isolated thunderstorms in some areas, and east south-easterly winds," said the agency.
Flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea.
It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, in the southern Indian Ocean.
After an analysis of satellite data indicated that the plane's last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 had "ended in the southern Indian Ocean". – Bernama
MH370: Malaysia Airlines to provide FINANCIAL AID to families
KUALA LUMPUR - The families of the passengers and crew of flight MH370 will receive financial assistance from Malaysia Airlines to ease their burdens, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin.
Hamzah, who heads the sub-committee focusing on the next-of-kin, said that the process to identify those who would receive the assistance started two weeks ago.
The assistance would come solely from MAS, with the Government only stepping in to bear some of the costs if there is a need for it.
During a briefing with the families at the Royale Chulan Hotel on Sunday, Hamzah said the families have been requested to submit their own amounts for financial assistance.
"Some of the families have lost their breadwinners and may be facing financial difficulties.
"Those affected will all receive some form of financial assistance from MAS.
"However, when the assistance will be given will be determined at a later date as we have recipients from 15 different countries, " he told reporters.
He added that two Malaysian representatives were in talks with the families in China regarding financial assistance, with MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun expected to fly to Beijing to speak to the next-of-kin as well.
Selamat Omar, 60, the father of aviation engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, said he was grateful for the Government's offer. -Asiaone
New Straits Times.......
20 April 2014| last updated at 06:50PM
MH370 Tragedy: NOK committee to set date for 'no survivors' announcement
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin said as the head for the next-of-kin (NOK) committee, he understands the anguish and pain that the family members of those on board MH370 are going through.
"I give my personal assurance that our committee is keeping the families' best interest close to our hearts," said Hamzah adding that the previous three NOK committee meetings he had chaired involved 16 relevant ministries and agencies.
"We are working very closely with various governments especially with the countries whose nationals were on board MH370, from the meetings, various issues that needed urgent attention were addressed such as the objective and framework of our committee.
"I will be flying to Beijing soon to ensure that the bilateral ties between Malaysia and China remains unscathed by the MH370," he said at a press conference after attending a briefing with the affected family members here.
Hamzah said the NOK had been told that every party is looking for answers of what happened to the ill-fated flight and promised the families that he would bring issues that were raised in the briefing to the committee's meeting tomorrow.
He added part of the discussion with the NOK involved finding a solution for the family members to move forward as well as the amount of financial assistance that will be given to every affected families.
Hamzah said the financial assistance for every NOK would come from Malaysia Airlines and that the government would assist the airline if necessary.
Hamzah added that the NOK committee would be discussing on setting a date to announce that there were no survivors from MH370 so that relevant documents including death certificates could be issued.
"It has taken 44 days to find the missing MH370 and the family members were updated with information that has been furnished by the experts," he said.
Hamzah said the Chinese government holds a crucial role in explaining to the affected family members as they understand their own people and the culture.
He added that the sub-committee had also undertaken steps to address the needs and welfareof the Chinese next of kin including assigning Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun to discuss with the Chinese Government on the needs and welfare of the affected familiy members.
Hamzah say the team in Beijing has conducted briefings and the updates will be given when there are things that have come up.
We can question whether the search area is correct or not - but is the search sub even reliable ? Fait Accompli with the Bluefin and with the search area combed ?
A Bluefin-21 is craned over the side of Australian Navy vessel Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Photo: Getty Images
The best leads in the underwater search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be exhausted in about a week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr Abbott said if the Bluefin-21 underwater drone scanning the Indian Ocean's seabed in the search area fails to locate wreckage, there would need to be a rethink.
"We believe that search will be completed within a week or so," Mr Abbott said.
"If we don't find wreckage, we stop, we regroup, we reconsider."
Mr Abbott said he was confident searchers were looking in the right place for the plane based on the electronic signals, possibly from the aircraft's black boxes, detected by equipment towed by Australian naval vessel ADV Ocean Shield on April 5 and 8.
The prime minister's latest comments come as the US media questions the Australian government's use of the single Bluefin-21 in the search area after its first two missions were aborted.
The man who led the search for aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart's plane in the Pacific Ocean has been critical of the Bluefin-21.
"I can tell you it didn't work for us," Richard Gillespie, founder of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, told CNN.
"We were very hopeful the Bluefin-21 would be the answer - the way to search for this very hard to find wreckage.
"What we found was the Bluefin-21 couldn't perform reliably.
"We had extremely frustrating aborted missions, just as we have seen in the Indian Ocean.
"We saw malfunctions."
Mike Dean, the US Navy's deputy director for salvage and diving, told CNN one of its Orion-towed search systems was available in Maryland for use in the search if Australia requested it.
The Orion can send back real-time data to searchers.
Other search experts say a REMUS 6000 autonomous underwater vehicle, used to find Air France flight 447 after it went down in 2009, would be more suitable.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was carrying 239 passengers when it disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.