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  1. #3851
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    If anyone wants to know what a rat smells like....

    MH370: Malaysian military sidelines crash investigators as power play emerges on search team
    Updated 8 February 2018, 22:50 AEDT
    Exclusive by Peter Lloyd


    A power struggle emerges in the Malaysian-led investigation into the disappearance of MH370, with four air crash investigators sidelined and plans to replace them with Malaysian Air Force officers.


    A power struggle has emerged in the Malaysian-led investigation into the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean four years ago.


    Four civilian air crash investigators, including the lead authority on analysing black box flight data, have been sidelined over reported budget constraints.


    The Malaysian military wants to replace them with seven Royal Malaysian Air Force fighter and helicopter pilots with far less crash investigation experience.


    The lead aviator, Colonel Lau Ing Hiong, confirmed his secondment to the search team


    "Yeah, it's correct," he said.


    The colonel said he saw his role on the team as being there in anticipation of the black boxes being found, but denied there would be a military operation to secure them.


    Figures linked to the investigation have told the ABC on condition of anonymity they are concerned the recent move has tarnished the search's independence.


    One said unauthorised people like Air Force personnel on board the search vessel could raise questions about the chain of evidence.


    That is due to a perceived conflict of interest for military personnel between the civilian chief of the search and their military commander.


    But insiders say the search has already been muddied merely because of the presence of military personnel on the team.


    The director-general of Malaysia's civil aviation authority declined an extended interview, but said: "These investigations need to be done by independent bodies."


    The ABC has approached the Malaysian Prime Minister for clarification about the role of the Air Force.


    It is not unprecedented for Malaysian Air Force personnel to be involved in air crash investigations — they were in the case of MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine.


    The private sector vessel currently searching for the plane's wreckage, the Seabed Constructor, docked at Fremantle to refuel on Thursday.


    Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said so far the search had gone smoothly in the ship's 90-day race against the clock to find the wreckage.


    "[In] one day they can search more than 1,000 square kilometres. We will continue to keep the public informed," he said.


    The ship has been the subject of conspiracy theories after it turned off its transponder for 80 hours, fuelling internet speculation.


    Malaysian authorities know why the ship was not reporting its location, but did not disclose the information in their weekly update on the search.


    Until now, the MH370 search has been conducted by eight civilian aviation experts including Malaysians as well as foreign nationals, one of them from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.


    MH370: Malaysian military sidelines crash investigators as power play emerges on search team | ABC Radio Australia

  2. #3852
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    THERE was no treasure chest, no Black Pearl, no Jack Sparrow and no MH370 - yet.
    What there was were two geological formations that had been identified as points of interest.
    The Ocean Infinity-leased Seabed Constructor, the high-tech vessel searching for MH370, had returned to revisit those points of interest discovered on its first sweep and turned off its satellite tracking system so as not to give the relatives false hopes.
    The idea was to try and prevent wild speculation it had found the plane.
    What happened was exactly the opposite, with bizarre stories, laced for good measure with a treasure chest.
    A source in London, said the 'treasure chest' was a throw-away joke from Fugro's Paul Kennedy, the former search head.
    "'PK' made some flippant, closing remarks during his presentation at the WA SSSI 2015 conference several years ago and this was picked up and became speculation that spread across the internet like wild fire," the source said.
    The Seabed Constructor left the search area on February 4 and arrived at Henderson today. It will depart on February 12 to resume the search.
    The MH370 Response Team said 7500 sq. km of the 25,000 sq. km identified in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the original search had been swept by the ship.


    The Seabed Constructor began the search January 21 and uses eight Hugin autonomous underwater vehicles to scour the seabed.
    Ocean Infinity has a "no find, no fee" deal with the Malaysian government.
    It will be paid $US20 million if plane is found in the 5000 sq. km primary search area, $US30m in the 10,000 sq. km secondary zone and $US50m in the 10,000 sq.km tertiary area.
    The three zones make up the 25,000 sq.m area defined by the ATSB and other experts.
    Ocean Inifinity will get $US70m if it locates the wreckage in outside that 25,000 sq.km zone where a number of experts have suggested it is.
    The University of Western Australia’s Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi said last year that its reverse drift modelling put the location of MH370 "at Longitude 96.5° E Latitude 32.5° S with a 40km radius."
    Some members of the global "Independent Group" of experts, believe it may be even further north and a map on the Malaysian update identifies two "site extensions", one of which ranges north of 29° S.
    The Ocean Infinity search will cover all areas.

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/travel/a...-ng-b88739586z

  3. #3853
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    Article at the link below about the "treasure chest". What's striking is the quality of images they can now produce.



    One of the stunning sonar images of the wreck believed to be the SV Inca, which vanished en route from South America to Australia in 1911. Photo / Supplied
    Truth about 'treasure' chest at centre of the MH370 search boat rumours - NZ Herald
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #3854
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    PUTRAJAYA: Seabed Constructor, the vessel deployed to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, will resume its search tomorrow.

    Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said: “The ship is currently refuelling and restocking supplies at Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia, and will be leaving port this Sunday.”

    Azharuddin said he was satisfied with what he saw on board the search vessel which had sophisticated equipment and eight Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.
    “They are very professional and have been very transparent about the complex operation,” he said when contacted in Australia yesterday.

    Azharuddin also met with two Royal Malaysian Navy personnel who had been seconded to the vessel and was given a satisfactory progress report. Seabed Constructor resumed the search in the Indian Ocean on Jan 22, but the vessel had turned off its monitoring system for three days without explanation. On Wednesday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai assured that the search mission was on course and the company had “every right” to switch off their transponder.

    Ocean Infinity, the US-based company engaged by Malaysia for the search mission, has 90 days to find MH370 on a “no cure, no fee” basis.
    If it manages to find the aircraft, the company will be rewarded between US$20mil (RM78mil) and US$70mil (RM273mil), depen[at]ding on the area the plane is found.

    The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight, with 239 people on board, went missing on March 8, 2014, after departing from Kuala Lumpur.
    An earlier Australian-led search for the plane was suspended in January 2017, after it failed to find the missing aircraft, despite covering a 120,000 sq km area in the southern Indian Ocean.

    Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nati...chxoIWMoCZh.99

    https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nati...-in-australia/

  5. #3855
    Valve Master Latindancer's Avatar
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    I don't understand this part about being paid apparently on a sliding scale between US$20mil and US$70mil "depending on the area the plane is found" in. There's a $50 mill difference there....

  6. #3856
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle junior View Post
    ^somebody pulled their funding
    Sounds plausible to me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    I don't understand this part about being paid apparently on a sliding scale between US$20mil and US$70mil "depending on the area the plane is found" in. There's a $50 mill difference there....
    I think it seems to send a signal of shoulder shrugging whateverism.

    I've been on that ship. You can find online who finances and runs the operation. An idea touted around for throwing all that money at it was to search for gold at the bottom of the Irish sea:
    £4.5bn of British gold sunk by the Nazis | Daily Mail Online

    ...which didn't seem to happen.

    My impression was that people running things seemed slightly deluded and unrealistic about operating ships. The non-crew staff seemed a bit clueless and bit swaggary and nonchalant to me.
    Basics seemed to be missed, expectations (including deadlines) seemed unrealistic, and indicative of inexperience. It seems to be bimbling around looking for high-value work to justify the outlay, and constantly pumping out PR.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

  7. #3857
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    I never quite understood why the Australian government had to suffer the brunt of the search cost towards the end of the search.

  8. #3858
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    I don't understand this part about being paid apparently on a sliding scale between US$20mil and US$70mil "depending on the area the plane is found" in. There's a $50 mill difference there....
    I believe it's based on how long it takes to find it, i.e. the area searched. The longer it takes, the more expenses, ergo the bigger payment.

  9. #3859
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    Quote Originally Posted by cisco999 View Post
    I never quite understood why the Australian government had to suffer the brunt of the search cost towards the end of the search.
    They didn't have to. It's called a "goodwill gesture".

  10. #3860
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    It's been mentioned on here several times, and the current search may yield useful information, so: An entertaining read on Deep Sea Mining the will browse better than it will paste.

    The secret on the ocean floor - BBC News

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