UK & World News

  • 12 April 2014, 22:51

MH370: Hunt Resumes For Plane's Black Box

The hunt for missing flight MH370 has resumed as authorities race to identify further signals which could point to the location of the plane's black box recorder.

The search operation is seeking to determine the black box's exact resting place in the southern Indian Ocean before the device's beacons fade.

The Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield will today carry out "focused sweeps" of the search area with a towed pinger locator in an attempt to pick up more signals.

Today's operation covers an area of 15,982 square miles, some 1,450 miles northwest of Perth.

Nine military aircraft, one civil plane and 14 ships will assist in the search, according to the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).

"Today, Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield continues more focused sweeps with the towed pinger locator to try and locate further signals related to the aircraft's black boxes," JACC said.

"This work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is deployed."

Ocean Shield has already picked up four signals linked to aircraft black boxes, with the first two revealed to be consistent with signals from aircraft flight recorders.

The beacons on the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders only have a normal battery lifespan of around 30 days.

The renewed search comes after Australia's prime minister said searchers were "very confident" that signals detected in the Indian Ocean are from the plane's black box.

Tony Abbott told reporters during a visit to China that authorities have "very much narrowed down the search area".

"We are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box," he said.

"Nevertheless, we're getting into the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade.

"We are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires."

The Malaysia Airlines plane went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board.