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Search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane most challenging ever

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Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston – the man responsible for co-ordinating the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Australia – says the search is the “most challenging” ever seen.

ACM Angus Houston also said that the search for the plane could take weeks.

Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared on March 8 as it was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people.

Search teams are scouring the southern Indian Ocean for signs of the plane.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian authorities released the full transcript of communications between flight MH370 and Kuala Lumpur’s air traffic control. They said there was no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript.

Speaking on Tuesday, ACM Houston, who is heading a new Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) managing the search, said the task was “very complex” because the teams had no hard information to work from.

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane could take weeks

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane could take weeks

Search efforts would take time, he said.

“It’s not something that will necessarily be resolved in the next two weeks, for example.”

Ten military aircraft and nine ships were scheduled to examine Tuesday’s search zone, while an Australia defense vessel with a towed pinger was en route to the area, he added.

ACM Angus Houston explained that they had no information on how high the plane had flown once it disappeared off radar.

A relatively small change in altitude could affect both the plane’s speed and fuel consumption – and over the course of seven hours dramatically alter the location of any crash site.

It is now more than three weeks since flight MH370 disappeared. Malaysian authorities say that based on satellite data they have concluded that it crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.


However, many relatives of the passengers on board have demanded proof that the plane has crashed, and expressed anger at what they perceive as a lack of information from the Malaysian authorities.

Dozens of relatives of some of the 153 missing Chinese passengers have travelled to Kuala Lumpur in their search for answers.

Late on Monday, Malaysian officials issued a new version of the last communication between air traffic control and the plane’s cockpit.

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