Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Wed February 10 2016

US Team To Join Final Leg of MH370 Search

Impacting Travel | Malaysia Airlines | Rich Thomaselli | February 10, 2016

US Team To Join Final Leg of MH370 Search

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

A U.S. presence will finally be part of the final leg of the search for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

A U.S. team comprised of scientists and engineers will join Chinese, Australian and Dutch investigators as the search team begins one last push to try to locate the missing Boeing plane, which disappeared in March of 2014.

The joint investigative research team will be disbanded in June, according to a story in Yahoo Travel via the Malaysian Insider.

"We fully understand and appreciate the magnitude of this effort, and we look forward to assisting the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) in finding MH370 and bringing closure to those impacted by this tragic event," Mike Kutzleb, president of Phoenix International, said in a statement.

READ MORE: How You Can Help Find MH370

Phoenix International is a Maryland-based maritime solutions company that specializes in manned and unmanned underwater operations. 

This last leg comes after hope was renewed last July when a piece of airplane debris was discovered in the Indian Ocean on Reunion Island. Malaysian officials confirmed first that a flaperon, a piece of the wing, was indeed from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion (Island) is indeed from MH370,” Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said at the time.

READ MORE: Who's Stealing From Lost Passengers of MH370?

French officials leading that part of the investigation, since Reunion Island is a French property, also confirmed about a month later that the piece was from MH370.

But there has been nothing since, no other pieces of debris confirmed to be from the missing flight, which began in Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, was heading north toward Beijing, abruptly turned around and disappeared.

According to the International Business Times, Phoenix International has a very sophisticated side scan sonar, which can create an image of large areas of the sea floor. Known as the Phoenix Synthetic Aperture Sonar, the piece of equipment that will be used is more accurate than the traditional 75 kHz side sonars that were used over the past two years, noted Phoenix officials, who also said their gear offers a "higher degree of resolution," especially at the outer ranges of sonar.

The IBT wrote, “Recent commitments by the People's Republic of China to provide funding and equipment, coupled with Malaysia's ongoing financial contributions, will ensure the thorough completion of the remaining 45,000 square kilometers of the search area," according to a statement from Australian officials leading the search effort.

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