MH370: Black Box Battery Has Run Out, Missing Jetliner May Never Be Found

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By Rachelle Corpuz | April 17, 2014 10:24 AM EST

The final glimmer of hope for the team leading the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may be gone. A new report say that it has been more than five days since the search team has picked up weak and indistinct signals, believed to be coming from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370's black box.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) addresses reporters about the missingMalaysia Airlines flight MH370, as Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (L) and Department of Civil Aviation's Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (R) stand by him, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 15, 2014. Najib said on Saturday that the movements of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 were consistent with a deliberate act by someone who turned the jet back acrossMalaysia and onwards to the west.

The battery of a black box only last for 30 days, and that window has already passed as it has been 41 days since the Malaysia Airlines flight MH470 carrying 239 people on board had gone missing. As the families of the passengers and the rest of the world continue to pray for the missing jetliner to be found, the fear that it may never be found increases now that the black box had gone silent.

According to The Independent, a robotic submersible machine called "Blue-fin 21" was sent down to scour the cosmic region of the southern Indian Ocean for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370's debris after no sounds were heard from the locator beacons. Retired Australian defence chief 66-year-old Angus Houston leads the search.

On April 10, an Australian P-3 Orion aircraft identified a fifth signal. It was said to have come from the same location where previous signals were heard. However, Houston revealed that the said ping did not come from the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Nonetheless, Houston is determined to find out the mystery of the missing jetliner. "We have got to find this aircraft because we need to know what happened, but the principal reason we need to find it is for the 239 families," Houston said.

Meanwhile, the "Blue-fin 21" mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was cut short due to a technical glitch, as reported by Salon.com. The underwater drone had to resurface back up even before it completed its task of searching the sea floor of the Indian Ocean. So far, no significant leads were identified out of the data collected. As explained on the Web site, the "Blue-fin 21 descends underwater and stays approximately 150 feet above the ocean floor. It generates a three-dimensional map of the area being search that are produced with a high level of detail.

"If it detects something of interest, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) switches to camera mode and pick up visuals."

Apparently, each underwater mission can take up the whole day. "Two hours are spent diving to the bottom of the sea, 16 hours searching, two hours resurfacing, and then four hours to download the retrieved data."

As the search teams continue to scour the Indian Ocean floor for any sign of debris or wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, it is uncertain if they will be able to find anything of significance that could help explain the fate of the missing jetliner. With no pings heard, it only raises the fear that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappearance will remain a mystery forever.

FURTHER READING:

MH370: U.S. Refutes Claims Plane Lands in Diego Garcia; Aussie PM Confident Detected Signals From Black Box

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Pilot Committed a Planned Suicide?

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: New Theory Why the Airplane Crashed, Unlikely an Act of Terrorism

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(Photo: REUTERS/Damir Sagolj / )
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) addresses reporters about the missingMalaysia Airlines flight MH370, as Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (L) and Department of Civil Aviation's Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (R) stand by him, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 15, 2014. Najib said on Saturday that the movements of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 were consistent with a deliberate act by someone who turned the jet back acrossMalaysia and onwards to the west.
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