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Expert team working on locating missing Dornier plane, its CVR

PTI 14 Jun 2015, 14:56:25 PM IST

Chennai: A team of scientists from the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) with expertise in deep ocean technology, is currently working on locating the missing Coast Guard Dornier plane with three crew and its cockpit voice recorder off the Tamil Nadu coast.

“Our team of four scientists is on board a Coast Guard ship to help locate the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the missing plane,” Director of Chennai-based NIOT, M A Atmanand told PTI.

The missing CG aircraft is equipped with a CVR, Inspector General S P Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard (East), Chennai, said.
Atmanand said three other scientists of the institute, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, were also currently working alongside personnel of other agencies in locating the aircraft.

NIOT's research ship “Sagar Nidhi” is expected to reach the area of search which is along the coastline off Karaikkal-Cuddalore by tomorrow evening, he said.  The scientists have expertise in deep ocean technology and are doing their best to locate the aircraft and its CVR, he said.

Asked about using remotely operable vehicle (ROV) underwater to locate the plane, the NIOT official said, “The need for using it can be expected only at a later stage after getting a clear idea about the probable location.  “It can be deployed only at a specified target area and the ROV cannot sweep-scan huge tracts of ocean floor,” he said.

“The ROV can scan only an area of about 25 square metres at a time underwater,” he added.

Coast Guard has already said that it has requested ROVs from agencies like NIOT and Reliance for support in locating the missing aircraft.
To a question, Sharma denied claims in social networking sites today that the missing aircraft had been “spotted at a depth of about 850 metres in the sea” near Sirkali, off Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.

INS ‘Sandhayak', a naval survey ship, began operations in the Karaikkal-Cuddalore coastline on the intervening night of June 11-12 to locate the aircraft. It's sonar equipment sent signals deep into the ocean and picked up some intermittent signals, likely to be from the Dornier plane, according to Sharma.

The plane with a three-member crew went missing on June 8 after taking off from here and there was no contact with it after 9.23 PM on that day.