Australian PM Confident Signals are from Missing Plane's Black Box
April 11, 2014 1:42 PM EST
The international effort to find a missing Malaysian jetliner was zeroing on a small patch of the Indian Ocean on Friday, but Australia's prime minister warned the signal from what is believed to be the plane's black box was fading.
Search for Missing Malaysia Plane Set to Move to Sea Floor
The Australian agency overseeing the search said it would use some of the most sophisticated resources at its disposal on the small search area after a new acoustic signal, that could be from the plane's black box recorders, was detected on Thursday.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he was confident that the latest signal, which was captured by a listening device buoy, indicated that the search was focused on the correct area.
"We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH370," Abbott told reporters in Shanghai.
The latest ping seems to lend credence to four previous "pings" detected by a U.S. Navy "Towed Pinger Locator" (TPL) towed by Australia's Ocean Shield vessel.
The mystery of Malaysia Airlines (MASM.KL) Flight MH370, which disappeared more than a month ago, has sparked the most expensive search and rescue operation in aviation history.
The black boxes record cockpit data and may provide answers about what happened to the plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew when it vanished on March 8 and flew thousands of kilometres off its Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing route.
But the batteries in the black boxes have already reached the end of their 30-day expected life, making efforts to swiftly locate them on the murky ocean floor all the more critical, Abbott said.
"We are now getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade and we are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires," he said.
Search efforts are now focused on three areas.
Aircraft and ships are combing over two large search zones, some 2,390 km (1,485 miles) northwest of Perth, for possible floating debris related to the crash.
But it is the much smaller search zone, just 600 sq km (232 sq miles, located about 1,670 km (1038 miles) northwest of Perth that has generated fresh optimism.
The smaller zone is near where the Ocean Shield picked up the acoustic signals and where dozens of sonobuoys capable of transmitting data to search aircraft via radio signals were dropped on Wednesday.
But experts say the process of teasing out the signals from the cacophony of background noise in the sea is a slow and exhausting process.
An autonomous underwater vehicle named Bluefin-21 is onboard the Ocean Shield and could be deployed to look for wreckage on the sea floor once a final search area has been identified.
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Pregnant Kate Middleton Wants To Have A Big Family With ‘Five Children’ At Anmer Hall Residence- Reports
- ISIS European Teen Jihadists Allegedly Pregnant; New Zealand Silent On Kiwi Jihadist's Request To Return Home
- New Zealand Scientists Dissect Well-Preserved Female Colossal Squid [VIDEO]
- ISIS Murder Videos 'Turning On' Foreign Jihadists To Fight US and Britain [VIDEO]
- 24-year-old Playboy Model Marries 81-year-old Construction Tycoon Richard Lugner
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Ukraine Crisis: Poland Denies Supplying Weapons To Kiev
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Countdown Begins Oct 8: 8 Killer Specs and Features to Expect
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MF 370: Indonesian Police Chief Claims He Knows What Happened To Missing Jet