[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Fading signals add to plane search urgency

Search continues for Malaysian plane in Indian Ocean with batteries of black box recorder past their 30-day life.

Last updated: 12 Apr 2014 15:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The mystery over the missing plane has sparked the most expensive search operation in aviation history [Al Jazeera]

Hopes raised by recent detection of signals from the the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner's black box has started to wither once again amid overpowering fear that the battery of the recorder on board may have died.

The five-week search campaign resumed on Saturday, a day after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned that signals picked up during the search in the remote southern Indian Ocean, believed to be "pings" from the black box recorders, were fading.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared soon after taking off on March 8 from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, triggering a multinational search that is now focused on the Indian Ocean.

Search officials say they are confident they know the approximate position of the black box recorder, although they have determined that the latest "ping', picked up by searchers on Thursday, was not from the missing aircraft.

Batteries in the black box recorder are already past their normal 30-day life, making the search to find it on the murky sea bed all the more urgent. Once they are confident they have located it, searchers then plan to deploy a small unmanned "robot" known as an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.

"Work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is deployed," the Australian agency coordinating the search said on Saturday, according to Reuters News Agency.

"There have been no confirmed acoustic detections over the past 24 hours," it said in a statement.

The black box records data from the cockpit and conversations among flight crew and may provide answers about what happened to the plane, which flew thousands of kilometres off course after taking off.

The mystery has sparked the most expensive search and rescue operation in aviation history.

297

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list