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Search operation for Malaysia Airlines aircraft: Update 13

Monday 24 March 2014

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region has resumed this morning, with further aircraft joining the operation out of Perth.

Media Release

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reiterates this is a challenging search operation. The flight has been missing since March 8 and AMSA continues to hold the gravest of concerns for the passengers and crew on board the missing flight.

AMSA is using all satellite imagery and information available in its search area development. Both civil aircraft engaged by AMSA and military aircraft from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China and Japan are all assisting in the ongoing search operation to provide the best chance of locating objects captured by satellite imagery with the naked eye.

AMSA has tasked a total of 10 aircraft today to search for possible objects in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

The weather forecast in the search area is expected to deteriorate with rain likely.

Today’s search is split into two areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 68,500 square kilometres.

Three civil aircraft will be involved in search activities today. These are two Bombardier Global Express planes and an Airbus aircraft.

A total of 20 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will again be air observers on board the civil aircraft. Ten volunteers will be on board the Airbus, and five volunteers will be on each of the Bombardier Global Express aircraft.

All three civil aircraft will also have an AeroRescue Aviation Mission Coordinator on board. Aerorescue is AMSA’s contracted provider of dedicated search and rescue services from locations across Australia.

Two Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China have been tasked by AMSA to join today’s search, together with two P3 Orion aircraft from Japan. The two Chinese aircraft are now en route to the search area.

The United States Navy P8 Poseidon will also be a part of today’s search activities, along with two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion aircraft.

Departure times of aircraft will be provided later today.

HMAS Success remains in the search area. A number of Chinese ships are en route to the search area to assist in the location of objects possibly related to the search.