|The AP-3C Orion search and rescue aircraft returns after the search mission, at Pearce Airbase near Perth, Australia, March 21, 2014. The lead Royal Australian Air force (RAAF) search plane has returned from the remote Southern Ocean on Friday with a squadron captain reporting no trace or possible sightings of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. (Xinhua/Xu Yanyan)
In Pictures: RAAF search plane returns with no trace of missing flight MH 370
PERTH, Australia, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The lead Royal Australian Air force (RAAF) search plane has returned from the remote Southern Ocean on Friday with a squadron captain reporting no trace or possible sightings of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.
Landing at Pearce Airbase, 50 km south of Perth, RAAF Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams stepped directly off the AP-3C Orion search and rescue aircraft at 7.30 p.m. AEST and told the gathering journalists that despite improved conditions, his squadron had made no progress in the withering search for signs of the Malaysia airlines flight that vanished without trace two weeks ago.
Adams, the aircraft captain of crew 310 squadron on-station for the Malaysia MH370 (Boeing 777-200 SER) mission, expressed hope that the search would be quickly resolved.
Adams said after zero visibility in the wild southern ocean earlier in the week his team now had a good opportunity "to see anything" visual. "We got on station today, actually, had really good weather compared to yesterday - 10kms visibility, no rain..," He said. "Unfortunately conditions back here (some 2500 km's north-east of the search area) precluded us staying on the station as long as we liked," Adams added, referring to unexpected gale wind conditions off Perth.
He said the search was continuing with "fellow P3 Orion's" and the U.S. Navy nigh-tech P8 Poseidon joining merchant vessels in a widening search vector but a narrowing timeframe.
Gathering assets now involved in the southern ocean search include the 310 squadron from Pearce airbase made up of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion's, the U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft and another Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion.
Three Chinese navy vessels tasked near Sumatra have also volunteered to join the search off Western Australia.
There are now rotating RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft assigned to the search task being coordinated by AMSA.
Five merchant ships responded to a broadcast to shipping issued by the RCC Australia this week with another four merchant ships having transited through the area over the past two days with a fifth ship expected to arrive in the area.
The Norwegian car-carrier the St Petersburg has been in the area for several days with no sightings yet of the 24 meter long object that has so raised hopes around the world.
Adams told reporters that his squadron was "still searching." "I've got a lot of hope and if the conditions remain as they are, hopefully we'll find something soon."
Hopes have been riding high with the announcement in Perth Friday morning that the Xue Long (Snow Dragon), the Chinese ice- breaker, will join the search.
The Snow Dragon has been refitting in Perth and is now taking on fuel to prepare for a 20-day search mission.
China sets up working group to guide icebreaker's MH370 search
BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- China's oceanic administration on Friday set up a working group to manage icebreaker Xuelong's search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Xuelong(Snow Dragon) is set to head for the southern Indian Ocean before 6 p.m. Friday local time from the western Australian port of Fremantle, where it arrived to resupply on Friday morning. Full story
Chinese icebreaker Xuelong to head for MH370 search
ABOARD XUELONG, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese icebreaker Xuelong is set to head for the southern Indian Ocean on Friday to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Upon arrival at the western Australian port of Fremantle for replenishment on Friday morning, the long-serving Antarctic research vessel received orders from the State Oceanic Administration of China to join the hunt. Full story
Chinese vessel hunting MH370 near Christmas Island
ABOARD HAIXUN 01, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese vessel "Haixun 01" is searching for the lost Malaysian jet in waters near Christmas Island in the southern Indian Ocean on Friday.
The vessel was about 110 nautical miles west of the island at 9 a.m. Beijing time, and will sail southward to continue searching together with another vessel, "Nanhaijiu 101," a Xinhua reporter on board the ship said. Full story
Chinese vessels set out for S. Indian Ocean, multinational search for suspicious debris resumes
BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- More Chinese vessels will set out for the southern Indian Ocean to search for the missing Malaysian jetliner, while the multinational search operation for suspicious debris of MH370 resumes on Friday.
Chinese rescue vessels Haixun 01 and Nanhaijiu 101 will sail off to the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, more than 3,000 km southwest off Perth, Australia, where possible MH370 debris was found on Thursday through satellite imagery. Full story
China Air Force sends 3 aircraft for missing plane search
BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese Air Force planes have been sent to Malaysia to help with the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Upon commands of the Central Military Commission, the aircraft, two IL-76 transport planes and a Yun-8 cargo plane, took off from south China's Sanya airport at about 8 a.m. on Friday, saidPeople's Liberation ArmyAir Force spokesman Shen Jinke. Full story
AMSA releases timetable for searching aircraft
CANBERRA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the coordinating organization in the operation of searching missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, released on Friday the timetable for five aircraft involved in the search.
AMSA said a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-3 Orion departed for the search area at around 9.15 a.m. (2215 GMT Thursday). A civil Gulfstream jet, the latest aircraft tasked by AMSA in the search operation, and a second RAAF P-3 Orion are due to depart for the search area at approximately 11 a.m. (0000GMT). Full story
24-meter-long suspicious object sighted: AMSA
CANBERRA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday that two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted, with the large one about 24 meters long.
"The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface," said AMSA official John Young.Full story
Australia identifies two possible objects related to search for missing plane: Malaysian official
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak received a call from his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott at 10:00 am this morning, informing him that "two possible objects related to the search for" MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian official said Thursday in a statement.
"The Australian High Commissioner has also briefed me on the situation," Hishammuddin Hussein, minister of defense and acting minister of transport of Malaysia, said in the statement.Full story