Experts continue looking for the fuselage of Malasia Airlines Flight 370 more than six weeks after the plane disappeared.
According to recent reports, aerial searches are winding down after having found no substantial clues. In their place will be a bold underwater mission using high-tech equipment to map a 15 square mile area 15,000 feet underwater.
The exploration area, a portion of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia, is about two-thirds the size of Manhattan and was the site of four distinct pings reported by a black box detector.
“We haven’t had a single detection in six days, so I guess it’s time to go underwater,” said Joint Agency Coordination Center Chief Angus Houston.
The Bluefin-21 robotic explorer is sending out sonar signals that will be reported back to the surface to produce three-dimensional maps of the ocean floor.
Additionally, experts will be investigating an oil slick found about three miles to the northwest of the search area.
“We’ve identified some areas we’ve prioritized to go evaluate with the site scan sonar search,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Matthews.
He explained searchers will “go look at the higher priority areas and see if there’s any debris there.”
At such great depths, the Bluefin-21 will be at the very edge of its capabilities, experts explain. Houston concluded that the terrain being investigated is “an area that is new to man.”
He described the ocean floor at that location as “not sharply mountainous,” indicating it is “more flat and almost rolling.”
The investigation is expected to last for several days with the explorer reporting back its finding each day.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Latest Update Of Missing flight MH370 Malaysian Airlines