Relatives of some of the 239 passengers and crew lost in the missing Malaysia airliner will fly to Australia tomorrow in a quest to better understand developments in the search for wreckage and to find some closure more than two years after the tragedy, the daughter of a missing passenger said today.
Grace Nathan is among four Malaysians traveling to Perth tomorrow near the southwest coast port where the ships that scour the seabed of the southern Indian Ocean for wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are based.
Nathan said two Chinese, an Indonesian, several Australians and American wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson would join her group, which will also travel to the search headquarters in Canberra where a wing flap from the missing Boeing 777 is being examined for clues.
Nathan, whose mother Anne Daisy was aboard the flight that flew far off course on its way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8, 2014, said the group did not want the search to end in December if the entire 120,000-square-kilometer search area was examined and nothing was found.
Less than 10,000 square kilometers of seabed has yet to be searched.
The 28-year-old Kuala Lumpur lawyer said she was interested in drifting modeling work currently underway in Australia to define a new search area in case the current search turns up nothing.
“We want to try to better understand what they are trying to do and we want to know what we can do to push for the search to go on,” Nathan said.
Malaysia, Australia and China agreed in July that the USD 160 million search will be suspended once the current stretch southwest of Australia is exhausted unless new evidence emerges that would pinpoint a specific location of the aircraft.
Oceanographers are analyzing the wing flap, known as a flaperon, found on Reunion Island off the African coast in July last year – 16 months after the plane went missing – in the hope of narrowing a possible next search area adjoining the current search boundary.
Six replicas of the flaperon have been sent to Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s oceanography department in the island state of Tasmania where scientists will determine whether it is the wind or the currents that affect how they drift. This will enable more accurate drift modeling than is currently available.