Project370: The Plan - Phase 2
Sea search Phase Two - ROV identification
Sidescan sonar can do a great job of identifying shapes and objects. It cannot read writing or see in colour.
So once the sidescan sonar chaps have pin-pointed some targets they reckon are the missing airliner, we will need to send out a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with a different ship to use its video and still cameras to visually confirm what these targets are.
All being well we will have found the aircraft.
Post search phase - Co-operation with authorities
We will never lose sight of the fact that this is not a science project. We are, in fact, seeking to task specialist contractors to search for the remains of 239 fellow human beings. The aircraft wreckage is their final resting place.
A key part of our work agreement with all service providers will be an undertaking to treat the site of the crash with the requisite respect and that it not be tampered with in any manner.
Project370 will then contact the accident investigators in Malaysia and provide the location to them for further follow up.
Flight recorder recovery will NOT be attempted - this is for the autnorities to complete.
In terms of ICAO statutes they have charge of the investigation into the "why" of the crash. It is they who have the competence and authority to recover data recorders and any other evidence deemed vital.
It would make sense, however, in the event that the contractors tasked by Project370 do find the wreckage, for the authorities to take over the contract and extend it so as to authorise the ROV team to recover the recorders while the vessel is on site. This will avoid any further delays in resolving the questions about the accident flight. In addition, the official investigators would not need to re-spend money which the Project370 charity would already have given out by that stage to get a suitably equipped vessel to the location.
However, such a decision would be the preserve of the authorities at such a point and Project370 will gladly co-operate fully in order to achieve the best result.
What if we do not find the aircraft in our first search area?
This eventuality has been considered. However, it will not have been a fruitless search (albeit not having an aircraft to show for the efforts) as we will have positively ruled-out one more chunk of the Indian Ocean where the aircraft might have crashed (but did not) and be one step closer to searching the correct part.
Project370 will then, assuming no further official searches have been undertaken in other areas, look to the next most logical and likely area to search.
It is our view that this matter should never be allowed to rest until the aircraft has been found.