Underwater sounds detected by a ship searching the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes, an Australian official said Monday. This has been called “a most promising lead” in the month-long hunt for the vanished plane.
Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency co-ordinating the search, warned that it could take days to confirm whether the signals picked up by the Australian navy ship, Ocean Shield, are from the black boxes that belonged to Flight MH370, but called the discovery very encouraging.
After a month-long search for answers filled with dead ends, Monday’s news brought fresh hope given that the two black boxes, which contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings, are the key to unravelling exactly what happened to Flight MH370.
Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammudin Hussein told reporters that in light of the new information, “We are cautiously hopeful that there will be a positive development in the next few days, if not hours.”
The Australian Navy’s Ocean Shield, which is carrying high-tech sound detectors from the U.S. Navy, picked up two separate signals late Saturday night and early Sunday morning within a remote patch of the Indian Ocean far off the west Australian coast. The first signal lasted two hours and 20 minutes before it was lost, the ship then turned around and picked up a signal again, this time recording two distinct “pinger returns” that lasted 12 minutes.
Houston cautioned that it was too early to say if the transmissions were coming from the missing jet. “Without wreckage, we can’t say it’s definitely here. We’ve got to go down and have a look,” said Houston.
Meanwhile, the British Ship HMS Echo was using sophisticated sound-locating equipment to try to determine whether two separate sounds heard by a Chinese ship about 555 km away from Ocean Shield were related to the plane. The patrol vessel Hai Xun 01 detected a brief “pulse signal” on Friday and a second signal on Saturday.
Story courtesy of CBC News, to read the full article click here.
exactAIS® tracking of the Ocean Shield searching for any signal from flight MH370, and HMS Echo en route to an area over 500km away, where Hai Xun 01 has also detected a brief signal.