Why Finding MH370 Is So Difficult

An eight-hour round trip is needed to reach the main search area, allowing for only a couple hours of aerial search each day.

Why Finding MH370 Is So Difficult

‚ÄčThe search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 continues two weeks after it first disappeared. But you may be wondering, how it could be so difficult to find a commercial airliner given modern-day technology.

This is how Malaysia’s transport minister explained it. 

"Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and also rough seas." (Via Al Jazeera America)

But it’s not just the currents working against searchers. The search area itself presents even more challenges.

"The search zone, first based on those Australian satellite photos, is in one of the most remote corners of the globe, four hours from land." (Via NBC)

The eight-hour round trip only allows for a couple of hours of aerial search during the day. (Via NBC)

CBS reports crews are also battling mother nature.

"The weather has not been kind. Winter is approaching, making the South Indian Ocean rough and skies cloudy." (Via CBS)

On top of nature's obstacles, the technology searchers hope to use to find the plane has an expiration date. CNN says the flight recorder only sends out a locating tone for 30 days — and that signal hasn't been picked up yet.

"If the plane is in the water, the recorders may have sunk far from where any debris on the surface drifted. The water in the southern Indian Ocean can be 13,000 feet deep." (Via CNN)

Search crews have already covered nearly 3 million square miles of water. (Via CNN)

To put that in perspective, that’s almost the size of the continental United States.

China's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense released a satellite image of a third object floating in the Indian Ocean. ABC reports the object is about 75 miles southwest of where the first two were spotted.