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Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

PERTH, Australia (AP) — The desperate, multinational hunt for Flight 370 resumed Wednesday across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a daylong halt eased considerably.

A total of 12 planes and five ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane showed that it had crashed in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.

The new data greatly reduced the search zone, but it remains huge – an area estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), about the size of Alaska.

“We’re throwing everything we have at this search,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine Network television on Wednesday.

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere,” he later told Seven Network television. He vowed that “we will do what we can to solve this riddle.”

In Beijing, some families held out a glimmer of hope their loved ones might somehow have survived. About two-thirds of the missing were Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane’s remains. Many also believe that the Malaysian officials have not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search.

Wang Chunjiang, whose brother was on the plane, said he felt “very conflicted.”

“We want to know the truth, but we are afraid the debris of the plane should be found,” he said while waiting at a hotel near the Beijing airport for a meeting with Malaysian officials. “If they find debris, then our last hope would be dashed. We will not have even the slightest hope.”

China, which now has Chinese warships and an icebreaker in the search zone, has been intent on supporting the interests of the Chinese relatives of passengers, backing their demands for detailed information on how Malaysia concluded the jet went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

That also is the likely reason why Chinese authorities – normally extremely wary of any spontaneous demonstrations that could undermine social stability – permitted a rare protest Tuesday outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, during which relatives chanted slogans, threw water bottles and briefly tussled with police who kept them separated from a swarm of journalists.

China dispatched a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, who met Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other top officials Wednesday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The plane’s bizarre disappearance March 8 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing has proven to be one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.

Investigators have ruled out nothing so far – including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders will be a major challenge. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

On Wednesday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the southern search operation Malaysia’s behalf, said a U.S Towed Pinger Locator arrived in Perth along with Bluefin-21 underwater drone. The equipment will be fitted to the Australian naval ship, the Ocean Shield, but AMSA could not say when they would be deployed.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellite, but none have been retrieved or identified. Wednesday’s search focused on an 80,000 square kilometer (31,000 square miles) swathe of ocean about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) southwest of Perth.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed in the general rea where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

Kerry Sieh, the director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore, said the seafloor in the search area is relative flat, with dips and crevices similar to that the part of the Atlantic Ocean where the Air France wreckage was found.

He said he wouldn’t expect much current on the seafloor, and believes any large pieces of the plane would likely stay put once they have completely sunk. But recovering any part of the plane will be tough because of the sheer depth of the ocean – much of it between about 3,000-4,500 meters (10,000-15,000 feet) in the search area – and inhospitable conditions on the surface where intense winds and high swells are common.

“This is a really rough piece of ocean, which is going to be a terrific issue,” Sieh said. “I worry that people carrying out the rescue mission are going to get into trouble.”

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology warned that weather was expected to deteriorate again Thursday with a cold front passing through the search area that bring rain thunderstorms, low clouds and strong winds.

Pitman reported from Kuala Lumpur. AP writers Eileen Ng and Scott McDonald in Kuala Lumpur, Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing, Danica Kirka in London Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand contributed to this report.

Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

PERTH, Australia (AP) — The desperate, multinational hunt for Flight 370 resumed Wednesday across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a daylong halt eased considerably.

A total of 12 planes and five ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane showed that it had crashed in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.

The new data greatly reduced the search zone, but it remains huge – an area estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), about the size of Alaska.

“We’re throwing everything we have at this search,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine Network television on Wednesday.

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere,” he later told Seven Network television. He vowed that “we will do what we can to solve this riddle.”

In Beijing, some families held out a glimmer of hope their loved ones might somehow have survived. About two-thirds of the missing were Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane’s remains. Many also believe that the Malaysian officials have not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search.

Wang Chunjiang, whose brother was on the plane, said he felt “very conflicted.”

“We want to know the truth, but we are afraid the debris of the plane should be found,” he said while waiting at a hotel near the Beijing airport for a meeting with Malaysian officials. “If they find debris, then our last hope would be dashed. We will not have even the slightest hope.”

China, which now has Chinese warships and an icebreaker in the search zone, has been intent on supporting the interests of the Chinese relatives of passengers, backing their demands for detailed information on how Malaysia concluded the jet went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

That also is the likely reason why Chinese authorities – normally extremely wary of any spontaneous demonstrations that could undermine social stability – permitted a rare protest Tuesday outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, during which relatives chanted slogans, threw water bottles and briefly tussled with police who kept them separated from a swarm of journalists.

China dispatched a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, who met Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other top officials Wednesday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The plane’s bizarre disappearance March 8 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing has proven to be one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.

Investigators have ruled out nothing so far – including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders will be a major challenge. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

On Wednesday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the southern search operation Malaysia’s behalf, said a U.S Towed Pinger Locator arrived in Perth along with Bluefin-21 underwater drone. The equipment will be fitted to the Australian naval ship, the Ocean Shield, but AMSA could not say when they would be deployed.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellite, but none have been retrieved or identified. Wednesday’s search focused on an 80,000 square kilometer (31,000 square miles) swathe of ocean about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) southwest of Perth.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed in the general rea where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

Kerry Sieh, the director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore, said the seafloor in the search area is relative flat, with dips and crevices similar to that the part of the Atlantic Ocean where the Air France wreckage was found.

He said he wouldn’t expect much current on the seafloor, and believes any large pieces of the plane would likely stay put once they have completely sunk. But recovering any part of the plane will be tough because of the sheer depth of the ocean – much of it between about 3,000-4,500 meters (10,000-15,000 feet) in the search area – and inhospitable conditions on the surface where intense winds and high swells are common.

“This is a really rough piece of ocean, which is going to be a terrific issue,” Sieh said. “I worry that people carrying out the rescue mission are going to get into trouble.”

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology warned that weather was expected to deteriorate again Thursday with a cold front passing through the search area that bring rain thunderstorms, low clouds and strong winds.

Pitman reported from Kuala Lumpur. AP writers Eileen Ng and Scott McDonald in Kuala Lumpur, Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing, Danica Kirka in London Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand contributed to this report.

Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

PERTH, Australia (AP) — The desperate, multinational hunt for Flight 370 resumed again Wednesday across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a daylong halt eased considerably.

A total of 12 planes and two ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane had proved beyond doubt it gone down in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.

The new data vastly reduced the search zone, but it remains huge – an area estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), about the size of Alaska.

“We’re throwing everything we have at this search,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine Network television on Wednesday.

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere,” he later told Seven Network television. He vowed that “we will do what we can to solve this riddle.”

In Beijing, some families held out a glimmer of hope their loved ones might somehow have survived. About two-thirds of the missing are Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane’s remains. Many also believe that the Malaysian officials have not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search.

Wang Chunjiang, whose brother was on the plane, said he felt “very conflicted.”

“We want to know the truth, but we are afraid the debris of the plane should be found,” he said while waiting at a hotel near the Beijing airport for a meeting with Malaysian officials. “If they find debris, then our last hope would be dashed. We will not have even the slightest hope.”

In China’s capital a day earlier, nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the Malaysian Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate, shouting, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

Wary of virulently nationalistic public opinion, China’s government has sought to defend the interests of family members, calling in Malaysia’s ambassador Monday to demand access to the technical data that determined the plane crashed into the sea west of Australia.

That was likely the reason why authorities permitted Tuesday’s rare protest outside the Malaysian Embassy, in which they briefly tussled with police who kept them separated from a swarm of journalists.

China dispatched a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, who was expected to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other top officials Wednesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng has said China wants to know details about the complex analysis of satellite data by foreign experts indicated the flight had plunged into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean, far from any landing strip.

The conclusions were based on an analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

The plane’s bizarre disappearance March 8 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing has proven to be one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.

Investigators will be looking at various possibilities, including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

Kerry Sieh, the director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore, said the seafloor in the search area is relative flat, with dips and crevices similar to that the part of the Atlantic Ocean where the Air France wreckage was found.

He said he wouldn’t expect much current on the seafloor, and believes any large pieces of the plane would likely stay put once they have completely sunk. But recovering any part of the plane will be a challenge because of the sheer depth of the ocean – much of it between 3,000-4,000 meters (9,800-13,000 feet) in the search area – and inhospitable conditions on the surface where intense winds and high swells are common.

“This is a really rough piece of ocean, which is going to be a terrific issue,” Sieh said. “I worry that people carrying out the rescue mission are going to get into trouble.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the southern search operation Malaysia’s behalf, said the focus Wednesday will be on an 80,000 square kilometer (31,000 square miles) swathe of ocean. Ships and aircraft are looking for possible debris that has drifted from the suspected crash zone. The area is about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) southwest of Perth.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellite, but none have been retrieved or identified.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology warned that weather was expected to deteriorate again Thursday with a cold front passing through the search area that bring rain thunderstorms, low clouds and strong winds.

Pitman reported from Kuala Lumpur. AP writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing, Danica Kirka in London Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand contributed to this report.

Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

PERTH, Australia (AP) — The desperate, multinational hunt for Flight 370 resumed again Wednesday across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a daylong halt eased considerably.

A total of 12 planes and two ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane had proved beyond doubt it gone down in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.

The new data vastly reduced the search zone, but it remains huge – an area estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), about the size of Alaska.

“We’re throwing everything we have at this search,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine Network television on Wednesday.

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere,” he later told Seven Network television. He vowed that “we will do what we can to solve this riddle.”

In Beijing, some families held out a glimmer of hope their loved ones might somehow have survived. About two-thirds of the missing are Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane’s remains. Many also believe that the Malaysian officials have not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search.

Wang Chunjiang, whose brother was on the plane, said he felt “very conflicted.”

“We want to know the truth, but we are afraid the debris of the plane should be found,” he said while waiting at a hotel near the Beijing airport for a meeting with Malaysian officials. “If they find debris, then our last hope would be dashed. We will not have even the slightest hope.”

In China’s capital a day earlier, nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the Malaysian Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate, shouting, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

Wary of virulently nationalistic public opinion, China’s government has sought to defend the interests of family members, calling in Malaysia’s ambassador Monday to demand access to the technical data that determined the plane crashed into the sea west of Australia.

That was likely the reason why authorities permitted Tuesday’s rare protest outside the Malaysian Embassy, in which they briefly tussled with police who kept them separated from a swarm of journalists.

China dispatched a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, who was expected to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other top officials Wednesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng has said China wants to know details about the complex analysis of satellite data by foreign experts indicated the flight had plunged into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean, far from any landing strip.

The conclusions were based on an analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

The plane’s bizarre disappearance March 8 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing has proven to be one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.

Investigators will be looking at various possibilities, including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

Kerry Sieh, the director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore, said the seafloor in the search area is relative flat, with dips and crevices similar to that the part of the Atlantic Ocean where the Air France wreckage was found.

He said he wouldn’t expect much current on the seafloor, and believes any large pieces of the plane would likely stay put once they have completely sunk. But recovering any part of the plane will be a challenge because of the sheer depth of the ocean – much of it between 3,000-4,000 meters (9,800-13,000 feet) in the search area – and inhospitable conditions on the surface where intense winds and high swells are common.

“This is a really rough piece of ocean, which is going to be a terrific issue,” Sieh said. “I worry that people carrying out the rescue mission are going to get into trouble.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the southern search operation Malaysia’s behalf, said the focus Wednesday will be on an 80,000 square kilometer (31,000 square miles) swathe of ocean. Ships and aircraft are looking for possible debris that has drifted from the suspected crash zone. The area is about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) southwest of Perth.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellite, but none have been retrieved or identified.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology warned that weather was expected to deteriorate again Thursday with a cold front passing through the search area that bring rain thunderstorms, low clouds and strong winds.

Pitman reported from Kuala Lumpur. AP writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing, Danica Kirka in London Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand contributed to this report.

Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

PERTH, Australia (AP) — The desperate, multinational hunt for Flight 370 resumed again Wednesday across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a daylong halt eased considerably.

A total of 12 planes and two ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane had proved beyond doubt it gone down in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.

The new data vastly shrunk search zone, but it remains huge – an area estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), about the size of Alaska.

“We’re throwing everything we have at this search,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine network television on Wednesday.

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere,” he later told Seven Network television. He vowed that “we will do what we can to solve this riddle.”

In Beijing, some families held out a glimmer of hope their loved ones might somehow have survived. About two-thirds of the missing are Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane’s remains. Many also believe that the Malaysian officials have not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search.

Wang Chunjiang, whose brother was on the plane, said he felt “very conflicted.”

“We want to know the truth, but we are afraid the debris of the plane should be found,” he said while waiting at a hotel near the Beijing airport for a meeting with Malaysian officials. “If they find debris, then our last hope would be dashed. We will not have even the slightest hope.”

In China’s capital a day earlier, nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the Malaysian Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and shouted, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

In a statement of support for the families, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur to deal with the case, and Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia’s ambassador that China wanted to know exactly what led to the announcement that the plane had been lost, a statement on the ministry’s website said.

The plane’s bizarre disappearance March 8 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing has proven to be one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.

Investigators will be looking at various possibilities, including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) deep in some parts. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the southern search operation Malaysia’s behalf, said the focus Wednesday will be on an 80,000 square kilometer (30,900 square miles) swathe of ocean. Ships and aircraft are looking for possible debris that has drifted from the suspected crash zone. The area is about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) southwest of Perth.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellite, but none have been retrieved or identified.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology warned that weather was expected to deteriorate again Thursday with a cold front passing through the search area that bring rain thunderstorms, low clouds and strong winds.

Malaysia announced Monday that a complex analysis of satellite data by foreign experts had concluded that flight had ended in a remote corner of the Indian Ocean, far from any landing strip.

The conclusions were based on an analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

The airline’s chairman, Mohammed Nor Mohammed Yusof, warned it may take a long time for further answers to become clear.

“The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th,” he said.

Pitman reported from Kuala Lumpur. AP writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing, Danica Kirka in London and Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.

Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — As frustration was setting in, calmer seas returned Wednesday and the search for the remains of Flight 370 began anew in remote waters of the Indian Ocean off western Australia.

Gale-force winds that forced an all-day delay Tuesday died down, allowing a total of 12 planes and two ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to resume the hunt for any pieces of the Malaysia Airlines jet – tangible evidence for the families seeking closure after more than two weeks of anguished uncertainty.

Although officials sharply narrowed the search zone based on the last satellite signals received from the Boeing 777, it was still estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), an area bigger than Texas and Oklahoma combined.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine network television on Wednesday: “We’re throwing everything we have at this search.”

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere, but nevertheless, we are the closest nation. We are a capable nation. We will do what we can to solve this riddle,” he later told Seven Network television.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which coordinates the search on Malaysia’s behalf, said Wednesday’s search will focus on 80,000 square kilometers (30,900 square miles) of ocean. The search area is about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth.

Australia’s deputy defense chief, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, told reporters Tuesday in Perth, the Australian west coast city that is the staging point for the search, that it is a massive challenge.

“We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack – we’re still trying to define where the haystack is,” he said.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted southwest of Perth, but none have been retrieved. If they are found to be from the plane, that may help investigators narrow the search for the wreckage of the plane.

Malaysia announced Monday that an analysis of satellite data received after Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 indicated the plane had gone down in the Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people aboard.

But that finding did not answer troubling questions about why the plane was so far off-course. China, home to 153 of the passengers, demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data used to determine the plane’s fate.

The airline’s chairman, Mohammed Nor Mohammed Yusof, said it may take time for further answers to become clear.

“The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th,” he said.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) deep in some parts. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

The satellite information did not provide an exact location – only a rough estimate of where the jet went down, and Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the data is still being analyzed “to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft” and that an international working group of satellite and aircraft performance experts had been set up.

The lack of physical evidence and what is thought to be a lack of reliable information from Malaysian officials has resulted in a torrent of criticism from relatives of the passengers.

In Beijing on Tuesday, nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the Malaysian Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, “Liars!”

Many wore white T-shirts that read “Let’s pray for MH370.” They held banners and shouted, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

Police briefly scuffled with a group of relatives who tried to approach journalists. The relatives demanded to see the Malaysian ambassador, and they later met with him.

In a clear statement of support for the families, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur to deal with the case, and Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia’s ambassador that China wanted to know exactly what led to the announcement that the plane had been lost, a statement on the ministry’s website said.

The conclusions were based on an analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

Investigators will be looking at various possibilities, including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

“We do not know why. We do not know how. We do not know how the terrible tragedy happened,” Malaysia Airlines’ chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, told reporters.

McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia. AP writers Scott McDonald and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur; Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing; Danica Kirka in London; and Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.

Hunt for Flight 370 resumes in calmer seas

KDWN

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — As frustration was setting in, calmer seas returned Wednesday and the search for the remains of Flight 370 began anew in remote waters of the Indian Ocean off western Australia.

Gale-force winds that forced an all-day delay Tuesday died down, allowing a total of 12 planes and two ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to resume the hunt for any pieces of the Malaysia Airlines jet – tangible evidence for the families seeking closure after more than two weeks of anguished uncertainty.

Although officials sharply narrowed the search zone based on the last satellite signals received from the Boeing 777, it was still estimated at 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), an area bigger than Texas and Oklahoma combined.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Nine network television on Wednesday: “We’re throwing everything we have at this search.”

“This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere, but nevertheless, we are the closest nation. We are a capable nation. We will do what we can to solve this riddle,” he later told Seven Network television.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which coordinates the search on Malaysia’s behalf, said Wednesday’s search will focus on 80,000 square kilometers (30,900 square miles) of ocean. The search area is about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth.

Australia’s deputy defense chief, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, told reporters Tuesday in Perth, the Australian west coast city that is the staging point for the search, that it is a massive challenge.

“We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack – we’re still trying to define where the haystack is,” he said.

Various pieces of floating objects have been spotted southwest of Perth, but none have been retrieved. If they are found to be from the plane, that may help investigators narrow the search for the wreckage of the plane.

Malaysia announced Monday that an analysis of satellite data received after Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 indicated the plane had gone down in the Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people aboard.

But that finding did not answer troubling questions about why the plane was so far off-course. China, home to 153 of the passengers, demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data used to determine the plane’s fate.

The airline’s chairman, Mohammed Nor Mohammed Yusof, said it may take time for further answers to become clear.

“The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th,” he said.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) deep in some parts. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370′s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed where the plane is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

The satellite information did not provide an exact location – only a rough estimate of where the jet went down, and Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the data is still being analyzed “to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft” and that an international working group of satellite and aircraft performance experts had been set up.

The lack of physical evidence and what is thought to be a lack of reliable information from Malaysian officials has resulted in a torrent of criticism from relatives of the passengers.

In Beijing on Tuesday, nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched to the Malaysian Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, “Liars!”

Many wore white T-shirts that read “Let’s pray for MH370.” They held banners and shouted, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

Police briefly scuffled with a group of relatives who tried to approach journalists. The relatives demanded to see the Malaysian ambassador, and they later met with him.

In a clear statement of support for the families, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur to deal with the case, and Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia’s ambassador that China wanted to know exactly what led to the announcement that the plane had been lost, a statement on the ministry’s website said.

The conclusions were based on an analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

Investigators will be looking at various possibilities, including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

“We do not know why. We do not know how. We do not know how the terrible tragedy happened,” Malaysia Airlines’ chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, told reporters.

McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia. AP writers Scott McDonald and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur; Christopher Bodeen and Didi Tang in Beijing; Danica Kirka in London; and Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.