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The latest in the search for Flight 370

Story highlights

  • The aircraft disappeared 46 days ago
  • So far, the search has turned up nothing
  • Officials are starting to draw up longer range plans

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared 46 days ago and there's still no sign of the jetliner or its 239 passengers and crew. Let's get you caught up:

It's been six weeks and the search hasn't turned up anything. What's next?

More of the same for now -- searches of the surface of the southern Indian Ocean from the air and sea and mapping of the ocean floor using an unmanned deep-sea vehicle. Malaysian and Australian authorities are starting to map out a long-term strategy for the search, which could conceivably go on for months or years, if the two-year search for Air France Flight 447 is any guide. Guidelines drafted by Malaysia raise the possibility of a significantly wider search area should the current underwater search fail to turn up evidence of the plane.

Is it possible that will happen?

The Bluefin-21 underwater vehicle brought in to scour the ocean floor is on its 10th trip underwater in search of Flight 370 and has yet to find anything. It's covered about two-thirds of the area searchers want to focus on -- a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius around where a pinger locator earlier detected what could have been the locator beacon from one of the plane's so-called black boxes. Aerial and surface searches have also struck out so far. Given enough time and money, searchers would almost certainly find the jet, but if it's not found, this would not be the first airplane to vanish.

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How are families of the missing doing?

    They're angry and frustrated. Relatives had expected to meet with Malaysia Airlines representatives and government officials Tuesday in Beijing, but the meeting was postponed. They went to a meeting at a Beijing hotel there, expecting a long-awaited briefing from Malaysian technical experts. They erupted in anger when the diplomat announced there wouldn't be one."We don't know at this point whether they are alive or dead. And you haven't given us any direct proof of where they actually are. We want our loved ones back," the father of a missing passenger cried.

    Are lawyers getting involved?s

    Although an Illinois lawyer began laying the groundwork for a lawsuit last month, now that we're past a 45-day period during which lawyers are prohibited by a U.S. regulation from contacting relatives, expect more attorneys to join the fray. The rule, enforced by the National Transportation Safety Board, says American attorneys have to wait 45 days before contacting relatives of passengers lost in a plane crash. That means U.S.-based attorneys can now file lawsuits on behalf of Flight 370 passengers against the missing plane's manufacturer, U.S.-based Boeing. But relatives aren't interested in a big money grab, Sarah Bajc, partner of Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood, told CNN Tuesday. She said the feeling among the relatives is that they do not want to file lawsuits to chase money. They want information. "We don't feel we have a whole lot of other choices because we're certainly not getting any answers without (legal action)," Bajc said.

    Legal pressure might force it to release data on the aircraft's flight path and other details, she said.

    More than 45 days into the search, here come the lawyers

        Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

      • nr intv moni basu husbands quiet suffering flight 370_00020822.jpg

        His wife never came home from her flight on MH370, and now K.S. Narendran is left to imagine the worst of possible truths without knowing.
      • This handout photo taken on April 7, 2014 and released on April 9, 2014 by Australian Defence shows Maritime Warfare Officer, Sub Lieutenant Ryan Penrose watching HMAS Success as HMAS Perth approaches for a replenishment at sea while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Two fresh signals have been picked up Australian ship Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370, raising hopes that wreckage will be found within days even as black box batteries start to expire.

        Was the sound of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 striking the water captured by ocean devices used to listen for signs of nuclear blasts?
      •  A crew member of a Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF) P-3K2-Orion aircraft helps to look for objects during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in flight over the Indian Ocean on April 13, 2014 off the coast of Perth, Australia. S

        What was believed to be the best hope of finding the missing plane is now being called a false hope. Rene Marsh explains.
      • Caption:A Chinese relative of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 uses a lighter as she prays at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 8, 2014. The hunt for physical evidence that the Malaysia Airlines jet crashed in the Indian Ocean more than three weeks ago has turned up nothing, despite a massive operation involving seven countries and repeated sightings of suspected debris. AFP PHOTO/WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

        Involved parties, including the manufacturer Boeing, are bracing for a long public relations siege.
      • The painstaking search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 got a vote of confidence Friday that the effort is headed in the right direction, but officials noted that much work remains.
Credit: 	CNN

        Official: The four acoustic pings at the center of the search for Flight 370 are no longer believed to have come from the plane's black boxes.
      • INDIAN OCEAN (April 14, 2014) -- Operators aboard ADF Ocean Shield move U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 into position for deployment, April 14. Using side scan sonar, the Bluefin will descend to a depth of between 4,000 and 4,500 meters, approximately 35 meters above the ocean floor. It will spend up to 16 hours at this depth collecting data, before potentially moving to other likely search areas. Joint Task Force 658 is currently supporting Operation Southern Indian Ocean, searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair/RELEASED)

        The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will effectively be put on hold this week, and may not resume until August at the earliest.
      • Movie-makers say they have recruited leading Hollywood technicians to bring their experience to mid-air flight sequences.

        Movie-makers in Cannes have announced they're making a thriller based on the disappearance of Malaysian flight MH370.
      • The search for the missing Boeing 777 has gone on for eight weeks now. CNN's David Molko looks back at this difficult, emotional assignment.