Malaysia uses underwater ROVs to search of flight wreckage

CNN
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 3:55pm

Families of those aboard flight 370 are grappling with the news from the Malaysian government that no one survived.

But they still want evidence.

Authorities are hoping to find that physical evidence when the weather improves, and the search resumes.

This could be the key to solving the mystery of Malaysian airlines flight MH 370.

An underwater vehicle that works in the deep sea, called a remotely operating vehicle, ROV for short.

It's what the Malaysian government has added to its fleet of resources, in hopes of recovering some of the most critical pieces of evidence from the deep sea.

"Well the two key pieces of evidence that outweigh all other evidence are the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder," former director of FAA Office of Accident Investigation, Steven Wallace told CNN.

Helix canyon off-shore gave CNN an exclusive look at the ROV Triton XLS works.

The multi-million dollar machine is tethered to a vessel, dropped into the water by a cable, and slowly, remotely lowered to the sea floor by pilots in a control room-located inside the ship.

The ROV is equipped with cameras.

"You have two cameras; one for the pilot and one for the co-pilot," explained ROV superintendent, Martin Stitt.

Meaning, an ROV like this one could lay the "first eyes" on the wreckage site of MH-370.

"The wreckage can tell you how it impacted, or how it came apart, it can certainly tell you if certain parts were burned, it can tell you a very complete story," Wallace told CNN.

Metal arms and jaws, are controlled by a joystick.

"Stuff like a black box not a problem at all for an ROV to pick it up, put it in a basket and recover it back to the vessel," Martin Stitt explained.

But before the data recorders are recovered, the wreckage must be located.

A task as daunting as the Indian Ocean is deep.

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