Search for missing flight MH370 set to resume

Search for missing flight MH370 set to resume

Search for missing flight MH370 set to resume

The Malaysian government signed a "no cure no fee" deal Wednesday with US exploration company Ocean Infinity in a final attempt to resolve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

The airliner disappeared nearly four years ago while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.

The two parties sealed the "no cure, no fee" deal wherein the US firm will scour a new search area covering 25,000 square kilometers in the southern Indian Ocean beginning mid-January.

The flight was carrying individuals and families from 14 different countries, though most of the passengers and crew were from China and Malaysia. Last month the former US pilot, who has assisted the US National Transportation Safety Board on air-crash investigations, reiterated his conviction that the pilot ditched MH370.

Ocean Infinity has leased a Norwegian research ship for the search.

Some debris definitively linked to the plane has been found, but for the most part its whereabouts remain unknown.

The Australian-led search mission was suspended in January past year after investigators finished scouring a 120,000 sq km search area determined via a satellite analysis of the plane's trajectory.

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Ocean Infinity will take on the economic risk of the renewed search, only receiving payment if the aircraft wreckage is located.

Voice 370 also urged the government to be open to similar "no cure, no fee" search proposals by other parties should Ocean Infinity's search mission prove to be unsuccessful.

Charitha Pattiaratchi, professor of coastal oceanography at the University of Western Australia, told 9News that the survey systems used by Texas-based Ocean Infinity from its Seabed Constructor vessel would cover 100,000sqkm in just 90 days.

Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless A$200 million (S$209 million) search of an area of 120,000 sq km in January previous year, despite investigators urging the search be extended to a 25,000 sq km area further to the north. "Now it's back to four years ago where we have to wait everyday (to find out) whether debris can be found", said Shin Kok Chau, whose wife Tan Ser Kuin was a flight attendant on MH370. On March 8, 2014, the Boeing Co.

"We hope that this time, we would be able to find the wreckage to give some closure to the families", he said adding that expert had said that there are 85 per cent probability of finding the aircraft in the new search area.

Based on radar and satellite communications, the plane was calculated to have plunged into the southern Indian Ocean, sparking a massive hunt led by Australia.

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