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Missing Jetliner

No contact to prompt review of search : Abbot

Sydney - A continuing failure to find debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet in a prospective patch of the Indian Ocean would prompt searchers to rethink their strategy, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday.

The plane vanished an hour into a night flight March 8 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, mostly Chinese nationals, and no trace has been found since. The hunt for wreckage from flight MH370 is likely already the most expensive in aviation history but Abbott said there would be nolet-up in the international effort.

"Australia won’t rest until we’ve done everything we humanly can to get to the bottom of this mystery," the prime minister told reporters in Canberra.

Abbott said that if nothing turned up in the current search area,which is 80-per-cent exhausted, there would be a re-think of the way forward in the hunt for the Boeing 777.

"No contacts of interest have been found to date," the Perth-based search team said in its latest bulletin. The search area is focused on a point 1,548 kilometres north-west of Perth where computer modelling suggests the plane went down.

A Bluefin-21 underwater probe is nearing the end of its search in a 210-square-kilometre section of ocean where the average depth is around 4,500 metres. The patch was determined by the last sonar signal, presumed to come from the plane’s emergency beacon, a month after MH320 went missing.

The beacon has likely stopped transmitting because its battery was only good for one month.The Bluefin-21 has completed 10 missions, each time aiming to spend 16 hours working up a profile of the ocean floor with its sonar array.


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