Perth to host biggest crash probe
Photo taken in 2011 of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that disappeared last week. Picture: AP/Laurent Errera

Perth is set to become the centre of the biggest air crash investigation in history with the apparent discovery of wreckage of MH370 some 2700km south-west of Margaret River.

Investigators from Malaysia, Australia, the US and Britain will arrive in Perth over the next 24 hours along with an armada of ships and more planes.

The countries involved are determined by the location of the accident, ownership of the plane, country of the airline and manufacturer of the plane and its engines.

The Boeing 777 is built in Seattle and the engines on this model come from Rolls-Royce.

As well as air crash investigators, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and other criminal agencies are expected to take part in the investigation, which will be the most difficult ever attempted.

The wreckage is located in the southern Indian Ocean, where the ocean floor is up to 3050m deep and the seas extremely rough.

These ingredients would make the recovery of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 almost impossible.

The cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder will be recovered by a deep-sea submersible, probably from US-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

WHOI is the world's most experienced oceanographic research group.

It found the black boxes from Air France Flight 447.

However, the recovery of the wreckage would be conducted by deep-sea salvage experts that may include the US Navy, which would use the expertise and equipment used to recover crippled submarines.

But finding crash debris does not mean that searches will find the plane.

It took two years to find the fuselage of Air France 447, which crashed in June 2009.

And it has been two weeks since MH370 disappeared with ocean current taking debris hundreds of kilometres.

Below the surface at lower depths ocean currents often move in vastly different directions, making locating the aircraft even more challenging.

And the state of the sea will play havoc with rescue attempts with swells often well over 30m in winter.

South Indian Ocean swells are already topping 17m and winter is still a few months away.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West