No new signals in search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

12 April 2014

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The Herald Sun reports

NO new acoustic signals have been detected in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Hopes of recovering the aircraft’s black box have risen significantly in the past week after the Australian vessel Ocean Shield detected four signals believed to have come from the jet’s flight recorder.

However, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre says no new signals have been detected in the past 24 hours.

Nine military aircraft, one civil aircraft and 14 ships will continue the hunt for MH370 today, searching an area of more than 41,000 square km about 23,000km northwest of Perth.

That large search area again appears to contradict Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent suggestion that the search area in the Indian Ocean has very much narrowed.

Mr Abbott told his Chinese counterpart that search teams have narrowed the area where they believe MH370’s black box is to within 10km.

The PM gave Chinese President Xi Jinping a private and detailed briefing in Beijing about the latest on the search for the missing Boeing 777-200ER aircraft which had 154 Chinese people on board.

He told the President before a State dinner with the Australian premiers at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing — an unprecedented audience — that search teams led by the Australian ship Ocean Shield had narrowed down the area in the Indian Ocean where pings from the flight recorders are being received to a grid of around 10km by 10km.

He told President Xi that there is now a high degree of confidence that the signals were the black boxes from the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight.

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The PM then personally invited President Xi to address the Australian parliament later this year. President Xi will be only the second Chinese leader to be invited to address Parliament since Hu Jintao visited in 2007.

The Australian vessel Ocean Shield towing a US Navy device that detects black box signals has to date recorded four signals that are believed to have come from at least a black box flight recorder.

The Ocean Shield was today in an area about 2200km northwest of Perth continuing sweeps of its pinger locator to detect further signals.

Orion aircraft were also continuing acoustic searches.

Diving deep ... Leading Seaman Aircrewman (LSA) Daniel Colbert assisting LSA Joel Young b

Diving deep … Leading Seaman Aircrewman (LSA) Daniel Colbert assisting LSA Joel Young back into HMAS Toowoomba’s, S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter, Tiger 75, after retrieving debris in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Source: AFP

The plane’s black boxes, or flight data and cockpit voice recorders, may hold the answers to why the aeroplane lost communications and veered so far off course when it vanished on Saturday, March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Search crews are racing against time because the batteries powering the devices’ locator beacons last only about a month — and more than a month has passed since the plane disappeared.

 

Finding the black boxes after the batteries fail will be extremely difficult because the water in the area is 4500 metres deep.

The PM had described the loss of Malaysian flight MH370 as one of the “great mysteries of our time”.

“It is probably the most difficult search in human history,” Mr Abbott said in a speech to 1800 people at the official launch of Australia in China week.

“I thank the government and people of China for the help that they have given to Australia as we lead this search and recovery effort.

 

Search continues ... Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Noel O'Brien keep

Search continues … Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Noel O’Brien keeping a look out from the port flag bin of HMAS Toowoomba during the search for missing Malaysia Airways Flight MH370.

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