Australia says new 'pings' best lead yet in Malaysia jet search

April 7th, 2014  
News Manager

Topic: Australia says new 'pings' best lead yet in Malaysia jet search

By Jane Wardell and Swati Pandey SYDNEY/PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - An Australian ship searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner has picked up signals consistent with the beacons from aircraft black box recorders, in what search officials said on Monday was the most promising lead yet in the month-long hunt. The U.S. Navy "towed pinger locator" connected to the Australian ship Ocean Shield picked up the signals in an area some 1,680 km (1,040 miles) northwest of Perth, which analysis of sporadic satellite data has determined as the most likely place Boeing 777 went down. "I'm much more optimistic than I was a week ago," Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency coordinating the search, told a news conference in Perth in western Australia, while cautioning that wreckage needed to be found for a confirmation. "We are now in a very well defined search area, which hopefully will eventually yield the information that we need to say that MH370 might have entered the water just here." If the signals can be narrowed further, an autonomous underwater vehicle called a Bluefin 21, will be sent to find wreckage on the sea floor to verify the signals, said Houston, who noted that the potential search area was 4.5 km (2.8 miles) deep, the same as the Bluefin range.


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