Search vessel follows signals like those from black boxes
Almost a month after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished without a trace, an Australian search vessel has found signals that are similar to those from aircraft black boxes, the BBC reports.
Using a towed pinger locator, the Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield spotted the signal twice, once for as long as two hours and 20 minutes. The signal appears to have a depth of 4,500 metres.
It is the “most promising lead” so far, according to Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search for the plane. However, no debris has yet been found.
As previously reported, the plane was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 when it disappeared, with 239 people on board. Officials in Malaysia say they believe it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
“On this occasion two distinct pinger returns were audible,” ACM Houston said. “Significantly this would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.”
The position of the signals now needed to be fixed, so that an autonomous underwater vehicle can try to find the wreckage on the sea bed.
[pictured: Cloud patterns over the Indian Ocean west of Australia; courtesy NASA]