Planes continue search for missing jet

Three planes have left Perth to continue the search for missing flight MH370 off the West Australian coast.

Fine weather is expected to help searchers today after rain and cloud hampered efforts to find the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in previous days.

An RAAF P-3 Orion left at 9am, with two ultra-long-range commercial jets following it 15 minutes later.

The Orion will be able to search for two hours, while the commercial jets have five hours of search time.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is leading the search and says it is still being treated as a rescue operation, two weeks after the jet disappeared.

Another RAAF Orion was due to leave at 11am, a New Zealand Orion is scheduled to leave at 1pm and another RAAF Orion at 3pm.

A 24-metre-long object was spotted by satellite in the Indian Ocean on March 16.

"The area will have pretty much light surface winds, generally less than about 10 knots. We're not expecting any significant weather," Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Luke Huntington told ABC radio.

"Visibility should be greatly improved."

Two merchant ships are assisting in the search area and the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Success is due to arrive at the search area on Saturday afternoon.

Pride in our air force

Really good to see our boys out there as well as a number of others in the big search, in the ever robust P3 Orion, which, over the many sterling years of service, must have been the most wonderful sight and sound to people lost out at sea in a liferaft, or clinging to wreckage, an angel of mercy.

One cannot help but be affected by this awful mystery, especially so as I have both flown Malaysian Airlines on four occasions, have been so kindly welcomed by the Malaysians on my numerous visits there, and have Malaysian friends.  So the gravity of the situation does rest on my shoulders too, apart from the fact I'm very much an aviation enthusiast.  I hope this at the least can be resolved, preferably with the least painful result, and some answers come to light soon.

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