Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Most intensive hunt yet in Indian Ocean

Apr 05 2014, 14:46 IST
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Australia's Ocean Shield lies docked at naval base HMAS Stirling while being fitted with a towed pinger locator to aid in her roll in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Australia's Ocean Shield lies docked at naval base HMAS Stirling while being fitted with a towed pinger locator to aid in her roll in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
SummaryShips using sonar equipment now trying to find black boxes of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Four weeks after the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, searchers on Saturday launched the most intensive hunt yet in the southern Indian Ocean, trying to find the plane's black box recorders before their batteries run out.

Up to 10 military planes, three civilian jets and 11 ships will scour a 217,000-sq-km (88,000-sq-mile) patch of desolate ocean some 1,700 km (1,060 miles) northwest of Perth near where investigators believe the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went down on March 8 with the loss of all 239 people on board.

"If we haven't found anything in six weeks we will continue because there are a lot of things in the aircraft that will float," Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the head of the Australian agency coordinating the operation, told reporters.

"Eventually I think something will be found that will help us narrow the search area."

MalaysiaAirlines_kin prayer> </p><i>Tiger75, an S-70B-2 Seahawk, launches from the Australian Navy ship HMAS Toowoomba as it continues the search in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. (Reuters)</i>
</p><p>Authorities have not ruled out mechanical problems as a cause but say the evidence, including the loss of communications, suggests Flight MH370 was deliberately diverted thousands of kilometres from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
</p><p>Dozens of flights by a multinational taskforce have so far failed to turn up any trace of the plane, and investigators concede the task has been made more difficult by the lack of data.
</p><p>The Boeing 777 was briefly picked up on military radar on the other side of Malaysia and analysis of subsequent hourly electronic MalaysiaAirlines_chopper

Tiger75, an S-70B-2 Seahawk, launches from the Australian Navy ship HMAS Toowoomba as it continues the search in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. (Reuters)

SONAR SEARCH

Sonar equipment on two ships joining the search may help find the plane's black box voice and data recorders that are key to unlocking what happened on the flight. The black box is equipped with a locator beacon that transmits "pings" when underwater, but its batteries may only last 30 days.

Australian authorities said the so-called Towed Pinger Locator will be pulled behind navy ship HMAS Ocean Shield, searching a converging course

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