By Chase Hagl
Ocean Infinity Commits to a New Search for MH370
Ocean Infinity, a reputable technology company specializing in the collection of high-resolution seabed data, has committed to another search for MH370, just under four years after their first search came to a hapless end.
The announcement comes eight years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, bound for the Chinese capital, Beijing. The reinstated search for the aircraft could begin as early as next year.
The Boeing 777-200ER with 227 passengers and 12 crew took off at 12:40 a.m. without incident. At 1:19 a.m., just 39 minutes after takeoff, Captain Ahmad Zahari Shah, a pilot with over 33 years of experience, radioed Malaysian air traffic control with a brief message: “Good night, Malaysia Three-Seven-Oh”, and disappeared over the Indian Ocean.
Following the aircraft’s disappearance, the Malaysian government began their attempt to locate the missing aircraft and occupants onboard. For years, local government and private companies have all attempted to locate the airliner, utilizing ships and aircraft from Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, all to no avail.
With the exception of a few pieces from the aircraft washed ashore on different coastlines including debris from the flaperon, engine cowling, flap fairing, horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, cabin divider bulkhead, etc., there is still no conclusion to the final resting location of the aircraft. Experts theorize that the 777 continued its flight south for a few hours — off course to the north-eastern route towards Beijing — and now rests somewhere on the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
There is a wide range of theories on the cause of the disappearance of flight 370. These range from lack of fuel to suicide by a pilot. The only thing investigators are fairly certain of is that the aircraft manually changed course after the last radio message and that the aircraft fuselage broke apart – either in the air or on impact.
After many years and upwards of $145 million spent trying to locate the aircraft with no results, the official search came to an end in 2018.
Ocean Infinity’s first search covered an area a little under 70,000 square miles of the Indian Ocean seabed utilizing a deep-sea survey vessel named the Seabed Constructor. The total area covered by the company was in far excess of the initial 16,000 square mile target and almost the same area as the previous search achieved in 2.5 years.
Ocean Infinity has plans to send its state-of-the-art autonomous vessels back into the Indian Ocean, however this time, they’ll be complemented by new, remotely operated ships that are currently in the process of being built.
“They’re probably the most modern, cutting edge ships in the world. And one of the things we’re working on is the regulatory framework for a ship that can be driven with no person on board,” stated Ocean Infinity CEO, Oliver Plunkett.
Recently on 60 Minutes, respected British aerospace engineer and physicist Richard Godfrey made the bold statement that he knows the precise location of MH370. He claims that he accomplished this through the use of ham radio, analyzing distinct disturbances in radio waves from takeoff to the end.
He is the first and only one to investigate the signals of the ham radio operators on the night the plane went missing.
Ocean Infinity’s search will hopefully provide insight into whether Godfrey’s claims are true. Until then, the families of the 239 passengers and crew on board continue to hang onto the hope that the company can bring their losts ones home — providing the long-awaited closure they’ve been looking for.
However, before Ocean Infinity can embark on its multimillion-dollar investigation, they still need to gain approval from the owners of the airline — the Malaysian authorities.