The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 resumed Sunday night as crews extended their search into the Indian Ocean, more than six months after the jet vanished from the air.
The GO Phoenix, the first of three ships that will spend up to a year searching for the wreckage far off Australia’s west coast, is expected to begin hunting for the jet for the next 12 days before returning to shore to refuel, The Associated Press reported.
Crews will use sonar, video cameras, and jet fuel sensors to scour the ocean floor for the Boeing 777. The wide-bodied jet and its 239 passengers disappeared without a trace on March 8 during a red-eye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
There is still not a single trace of the wreckage, even after the most expensive and widespread airplane recovery mission ever launched.
The search was placed on hold temporarily four months ago to allow researchers time to map the ocean floor, more than 1,000 miles southwest of Australia. Investigators will comb through a 60,000 square kilometer search site, where they believe the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed.
In a few weeks, the Dutch contractor Fugro will provide two other ships to join the Malaysian-contracted GO Phoenix. One of the vessels will be an unmanned submarine equipped with even more advanced sonar technology, said NBC News’ Tom Costello.
The disappearance of the airline was one of two tragedies within four months, as another Malaysia airline — Flight 17 — was shot down over Ukraine in July. President Barack Obama said that pro-Russian separatists downed the jet by a surface-to-air missile launched from a region in eastern Ukraine. He called for an immediate cease-fire between the two fighting countries, Ukraine and Russia, so that a credible international investigation could be conducted.
The two tragedies have devastated Malaysia Airlines.