Re: It is a salvage mission in international waters, China should take over the search
Agreed that it is only going to show the crash location. The bodies have likely been eaten or otherwise disintegrated by the oceans. In monetary and engineering terms there is next to nothing that would be learned.
There is not only the monetary cost, but also the risk to human lives of the doing this in a very stormy ocean. Risking human lives for what to us is 'no good reason'.
But I understand in Chinese culture there is an emotional desire to recover the bodies and that the Chinese families have been pushing the Australians to resume the search -- to make the attempt even if it is unlikely to be successful. Just like US marines risking their lives to drag home a deceased comrade.
I can understand that desire, but the Chinese should be pushing their own government.
Yes, we know the engines performed as designed until they ran out of fuel. We know that about the IMSAT transponder too.
One of the strong likelihoods is that the accident was caused by a loss of pressurization due to fire in the cargo of LiNH batteries. With that theory the course changes are explained as the pilots attempting to take the aircraft where it could dump fuel and then land. Some of the cargo might be non-buoyant and still down there to provide charred evidence. But don't we already know that the bulk carriage of LiNH batteries is too dangerous to be permitted in passenger aircraft? So nothing to be gained there.
A botched hijacking or robbery resulting in a depressurization is another theory, but that would not leave any evidence after so long.
Pilot suicide wouldn't leave additional contrary evidence either. (Why commit suicide in a lengthy 7 hour manner where passengers and crew would stop you? Why not nose dive? Or better yet, why not kill do it at home and kill only yourself?)
I doubt if the cockpit voice or flight data recorders, or cell phone memory cards, would be readable after so long under such deep water. Charred wreckage would be the only hope. And it would merely confirm what we already know about NiMh batteries.
It can't be terrorism because by definition terrorism is done on civilian targets in a manner to create terror in civilian populations. By definition, if it is made to look like an accident, if it is deliberately done in a manner not to cause terror, it isn't terrorism.
The only reason to pursue the salvage is cultural for the families of the survivors. So they can tell their friends and family, and the spirits of their ancestors, that they tried to do the (culturally) right thing and recover the bodies. I can understand that. But I cannot understand asking the Australians to do it for them. To whatever extent this is a part of Chinese culture the Chinese government should want to do this for its people.
IF in fact there is some new suggested search zone. I read the quote from the end of this fresh report as saying drift debris is consistent with the zone already searched on the basis of the satellite transmissions.
But yeah, no economic or safety reason to continue the search. Only a cultural one.