A U.S. submarine drone will keep combing the Indian Ocean floor for traces of a missing Malaysian jet airliner after it finishes its current search, Australian authorities told Reuters this week.
Authorities are under immense pressure to decide their next course of action as the Bluefin-21 drone nears the end of its first sweep of remote seabed which officials believe is the likely resting place of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The plane vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board.
Reuters reported that the submarine drone is expected to finish the targeted search of 10 square ams (6.2 square mile) stretch of ocean floor, where a signal suspected to be from the plane's black box was detected, this Wednesday. No wreckage has yet been found, and families of the missing passengers are running out of patience.
Despite a tropical cyclone suspending the air search, the efforts will continue by two dozen countries assisting Malaysia. The daily searches by boat and drone are making this the most expensive search in aviation history, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, a statement attributed to the families of passengers on board the missing flight accused the Malaysian government of giving information about the investigation to the media before them and demanded "regular pre-payments" of compensation before the investigation was complete, Reuters reported.
"We don't expect that they find all of the plane, or all of the bodies, or even that they know everything about how this surreal situation happened, but we do expect at least a tiny bit of concrete evidence," said the statement, published on the families' Facebook page on Tuesday.
Further, the statement said the Malaysian government has "an obligation to make regular pre-payments to the families in need and they have an obligation to exert themselves beyond repeated attempts to force a closure of the issue."
At this point, is it safe to say the Boeing 777 plane will never be located? What ever happened to the pilots and all those passengers?