“A lot of this seabed has not even been hydrographically surveyed before — some of it has — but we’re flying blind,” he said, adding that the seabed in the vicinity of the search was up to 7 kilometers (4 miles) deep.
The search center said an air search involving 10 planes was suspended for a second day because of heavy seas and poor visibility.
But 12 ships would join Wednesday’s search of an expanse covering 38,000 square kilometers (14,500 square miles), centered 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) northwest of Perth.
Radar and satellite data show the jet veered far off course on March 8 for unknown reasons during its flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. An analysis indicates it would have run out of fuel in the remote section of ocean where the search has been focused. Not one piece of confirmed debris has been found since the massive multinational hunt began.
Associated Press writer Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.