WEAR - Search Results
Potential break in mystery of Malaysian Flight 370
Another potential break in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
The ship, Ocean Shield, has detected two sustained "pinging" signals in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Officials say they are consistent with transmissions from an airplane's black boxes.
But the head of a joint agency coordinating the search says it may take days to confirm whether the signals are indeed from the flight and data recorders of Flight 370.
Two pings picked up by search ships in the Indian Ocean. Could this be the first signs of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?
Clearly this is a most promising lead and probably in the search so far. Australian authorities said one of their vessels - with this American ping locator - heard two separate signals.
This would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
Saturday night into sunday crews heard something like this:
The first signal lasted two hours and 20 minutes. The ship turned and picked up another signal for about 13 minutes.
The two pings were about a mile apart.
Now this Australian Navy ship - the Ocean Shield - is zoning in on a very small area, just three square miles of the Indian Ocean.
The waters are very deep there, nearly three miles to the ocean floor.
But the search teams want to hear a third ping, that will allow them to triangulate where the signals are coming from.
Then a deep sea search could begin.
That will be the trigger at the moment to launch the autonomous underwater vehicle with a more accurate sonar and potentially a camera for mapping and visually looking at the ocean floor
The batteries on the black boxes were expected to be at full strength only through this weekend. But manufacturers of the so-called pingers say there could be a few more days of solid signals.
Even if we lose the pingers we're in a small enough search area we'll find wreckage on the bottom.
That may not be right away. Experts say it could be months or years. But just a matter of time.