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Why is solving the Malaysia airline mystery worth $44-million (and counting)?




Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein (L), acting Minister of Transport and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak update the media on the search and rescue plan for the missing MAS Airlines flight MH370 during a press conference on March 15, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein (L), acting Minister of Transport and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak update the media on the search and rescue plan for the missing MAS Airlines flight MH370 during a press conference on March 15, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
How Foo Yeen/Getty Images

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Six weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the multinational search team has brought in an autonomous underwater drone to comb through the ocean floor for wreckage, launching the hunt in another direction.

The batteries in the plane’s black boxes are thought to have died. The search team last picked up last a “ping” from the transponders six days ago. While searchers have narrowed down an area around 230 square miles—and close to 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, to focus their search efforts on, it could still take months for the underwater robot to scour the entire expanse.

Cost of the search has reached $44 million, according to a Reuters analysis,and is on track to become the most expensive search in aviation history.

The Boeing 777 plane dropped off radar soon after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur on March 8. The flight was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members and was headed for Beijing.

What can we learn by salvaging the wreckage of the missing plane?

Guest: 

Captain Ross "Rusty" Aimer, former United Airlines pilot and CEO of Aero Consulting