Imej 24 meter tenggelam timbul di permukaan air, mungkin serpihan pesawat...
Dua imej yang ditemui oleh satelit Australia kemungkinan besar adalah serpihan pesawat MH370 yang hilang, namun ia kurang jelas dengan objek yang besarnya berukuran 24 meter, kata Jabatan Keselamatan Maritim Australia (AMSA) hari ini.
"Ia adalah objek yang saiznya wajar dan kemungkinan ditolak oleh air dengan tenggelam timbul di permukaan laut," kata John Young, Pengurus Besar kepada Divisyen Tindakan Kecemasan, satu unit di bawah AMSA memberitahu sidang media hari ini.
Autralia menghantar empat buah kapal terbang dan dua kapal laut ke kawasan pencarian di Lautan Hindi itu untuk mengenalpasti objek yang dikesan oleh satelit itu.
Air di kawasan itu adalah 'dalam beberapa ribu meter' dan penglihatan yang kabur akan menyukarkan pencarian, walaupun cuaca adalah sederhana, kata Young.
Imej satelit itu kabur namun saiznya sesuai sekali dengan serpihan kapal terbang, lapor Reuters.
Penilaian terhadap imej ini yang dibuat oleh Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation Australia yang memberikan indikasi ia mungkin serpihan pesawat MH370 kerana ia termasuk dalam kawasan carian yang menjadi fokus kepada pasukan pencari dan penyelamat.
Imej ini diambil dari dalam kawasan pencarian yang ditetapkan dua hari lalu.
Australia mengetuai carian di bahagian selatan koridor selatan, dengan bantuan daripada Tentera Laut Amerika Syarikat.
Kawasan pencarian semakin kecil berdasarkan data pengesan satelit dan analisis cuaca dan arus, tetapi ia masih meliputi kawasan seluas 600,000 km persegi, kira-kira saiz Sepanyol dan Belanda.
Pencarian Boeing 777-200ER sebelum ini memberi tumpuan kepada dua koridor; satu menuju ke utara melalui darat dari Laos ke arah Laut Caspian, dan kedua ke arah selatan, di seluruh Lautan Hindi dari barat pulau Sumatera Indonesia di barat Australia.
Pandangan itu adalah berdasarkan ketiadaan tanda daripada negara di sepanjang koridor utara bahawa pesawat memasuki ruang udara mereka, dan kegagalan untuk mencari kesan bangkai dalam pencarian di bahagian atas koridor selatan. – tmi
Satellite finds objects possibly from missing Malaysian jet...
Two images spotted by satellites that may be potential debris from a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner were "indistinct", with the largest measuring 24 metres, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday.
"They are objects of a reasonable size and probably awash with water moving up and down over the surface," John Young, general manager of the emergency response division of AMSA, told reporters.
Australia has sent four search aircraft and two ships to an area south of the search zone in the southern Indian Ocean it identified earlier this week to search for the objects pinpointed by satellites.
Water in the search area was "several thousand metres deep" and poor visibility in the area would hamper the search, although the weather was moderate, Young said.
"I can confirm we have a new lead," Malaysian transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, where the investigation into the missing airliner is based.
"I am meeting the Australian delegation now," he added. we are waiting for some information."
Another official in Malaysia said investigators were "hopeful but cautious" about the Australian discovery. The satellite images were being reviewed and they were awaiting visual confirmation, the source said.
No confirmed wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found since it vanished from air traffic control screens off Malaysia's east coast early on March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.
"New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean," Abbott told the Australian parliament.
"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search."
"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified," he said.
Abbott said he had already spoken with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified.
"The task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out they are not related to the search for MH370," Abbott said.
FBI helping probe
Investigators believe that someone with detailed knowledge of both the Boeing 777-200ER and commercial aviation navigation switched off the plane's communications systems before diverting it thousands of miles off its scheduled course.
Exhaustive background checks of the passengers and crew aboard have not yielded anything that might explain why.
Investigators piecing together patchy data from military radar and satellites believe that, minutes after its identifying transponder was switched off, the plane turned sharply west, re-crossing the Malay Peninsula and following an established commercial route towards India.
After that, ephemeral pings picked up by one commercial satellite suggest the aircraft flew on for at least six hours.
The methodical shutdown of the communications systems, together with the fact that the plane appeared to be following a planned course after turning back, has focused particular attention on the pilot and co-pilot.
The FBI is helping Malaysian authorities analyse data from a flight simulator belonging to the captain of the missing plane, after initial examination showed some data logs had been deleted early last month.
A Malaysian official with knowledge of the investigations into the pilots said three simulator games that 53-year-old pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had played were being looked at.
"We are following up on the data logs being erased," the source said. "These could be logs of the games that were erased to free up memory, so it may not lead us to anything. He played a lot of games, going into hundreds and thousands of hours."
Abbott said a search aircraft was due to arrive at the area where the objects were spotted at about the time he was speaking in parliament.
A further three aircraft were also en route to the site.
An unprecedented multinational search for the plane has focused on two vast search corridors: one arcing north overland from Laos towards the Caspian Sea, the other curving south across the Indian Ocean from west of Indonesia's Sumatra island to west of Australia.
Australia is leading the search in the southern part of the southern corridor, with assistance from the US Navy.
The exact location of the possible debris was not clear, and Abbott did not say if it was in the search area set out by AMSA.
The area that Australia was searching on Wednesday was mostly around 2,000-3,000 metres deep, although that part of the ocean does go as deep at 4,000-5,000 metres.
That would make recovering the "black box" voice and data recorders that may finally unlock the mystery of what happened aboard Flight MH370 extremely challenging.- toi