A 20-year-old “genius” electronic engineer and his father are among the crew searching for the missing Malaysian flight MH370.
When Jay Larsen, the chief engineer on MH370 search vessel GO Phoenix, needed a new technician, his 20-year-old son Kolter sprang to mind.
“He’s an electrical engineer genius and we asked him to come along,” he said.
“He’s been a very solid member. I’m proud of him.
“I don’t know that we can understand the weight of what we’re doing honestly.
“We’ve all experienced losses close to us and we’re out here trying our hardest.”
Jay and Kolter are key members of a search crew on board the GO Phoenix, a vessel scouring the Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), which disappeared March 8 while ferrying 239 passengers and crewmembers from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China.
And while the Flathead Valley natives long to be home tracking elk sign through the wet November snow, the significance of their contribution to the search expedition isn’t lost on either of them.
For seven months, family members of the missing passengers and flight crew have been waiting for answers buried in a watery abyss, and Larsen hopes his highly specialized sonar technology can help bring them to light.
Jay Larsen owns the Whitefish-based deep-sea survey company Hydrospheric Solutions LLC (HSI), and, as chief engineer of the sonar kit that the ship is towing miles beneath the ocean surface, he has spent the last month mapping the undulating mountains and crevasses of the ocean floor, working round-the-clock to locate the missing flight in the remote southern Indian Ocean. His son, Kolter, an engineering student at Montana State University – Jay’s alma mater – joined the crew somewhat serendipitously as an electrical technician while taking a semester off college.
The sonar that HSI is towing 3.2 miles beneath the ship is called the SLH ProSAS-60, owned by SL Hydrospheric LLC, a company that Larsen still co-manages and co-founded in 2008 with the purpose of bringing the rarefied device to the deep-sea surveying market.