Missing Plane: Bluefin Drone Reaches Deepest Level Yet in Search

Image: Missing Plane: Bluefin Drone Reaches Deepest Level Yet in Search

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 11:38 AM

By Ken Mandel

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The underwater drone dispatched to scour the Indian Ocean floor for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has reached its deepest and riskiest level yet, experts say.

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21, equipped with a "side scan" sonar, is searching an area roughly 1,200 miles west of Perth, Australia, where officials feel the plane crashed shortly after it vanished from radar screens March 8. All 239 passengers and crew are believed to have perished.

A series of "pings" that authorities believed might have been coming from the plane's black boxes led searchers to the area in the Indian Ocean, but no new signals have been received in a week, according to Reuters. That's what triggered the launch of the Bluefin-21.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

"This is the first time the Bluefin-21 has descended to this depth," U.S. Navy spokesman Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel S. Marciniak said in a statement this week. "Diving to such depths does carry with it some residual risk to the equipment and this is being carefully monitored by the U.S. Navy and [Bluefin-21 owner] Phoenix International."

On Monday, the probe set out for a 20-hour deployment, but returned eight hours later when it entered water beyond its 14,764-foot maximum depth, according to CNN. The second mission also ended abruptly because of technical difficulties, The Associated Press reported.

The Bluefin-21 has an automatic safety mechanism, which sends the vessel to the surface when it exceeds a depth of 14,763 feet. None of its searches so far have turned up any wreckage.

Friday's plunge was the drone's fifth venture. Marciniak also told Reuters that the search area has been narrowed based on further data analysis, and the search window has also been shortened, given that the drone is now focusing on a "reduced and more focused underwater search area."

Urgent: Assess Your Heart Attack Risk in Minutes. Click Here.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Passengers Push Plane on Icy Russian Runway (With Help of a Tractor)

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:45 PM

Passengers on a Russian plane got off to push the aircraft to help get it on the runway after it began slipping on ice i . . .

Bernie Tiede, Convicted Murderer Mortician, to Get New Sentencing

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 17:39 PM

Bernie Tiede, the mortician who was convicted of killing his companion Marjorie Nugent in 1996, will receive a new sente . . .

Chrysler Pentastar Logo Getting Phased Out With FCA Formation

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 15:51 PM

Chrysler's iconic Pentastar logo is being phased out as the company introduces a new logo in keeping with the newly form . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved