Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ship hunting for more pings in plane search

PERTH, Australia — Search crews hunting for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet have failed to relocate faint sounds heard deep below the Indian Ocean that officials said were consistent with a plane's black boxes, the head of the search operation said today.

Angus Houston, the retired Australian air chief marshal who is heading the search operation far off Australia's west coast, said sound-locating equipment on board the Ocean Shield has picked up no trace of the signals since they were first heard late Saturday and early Sunday.

Time is running out to find the devices, whose locator beacons have a battery life of about a month. Today marks exactly one month since the plane vanished.

Houston said the Ocean Shield crew may spend several more days towing sophisticated U.S. Navy listening equipment deep within the ocean to try to find the sounds again. Only at that point, Houston said, would an autonomous sub on board the ship be sent below the surface to try to chart out any debris on the seafloor. If it maps out a debris field, the crew will replace the sonar system with a camera unit to photograph any wreckage.

Houston's comments contradicted an earlier statement from Australia's acting prime minister, Warren Truss, who said search crews would start the Bluefin 21 autonomous sub on today.

The towed pinger locator detected late Saturday and early Sunday two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from an aircraft's black boxes — the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

Houston dubbed the find a promising lead in the monthlong hunt for clues to the plane's fate, but warned it could take days to determine whether the sounds were connected to Flight 370, which vanished March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

Finding the black boxes is key to unraveling what happened to Flight 370, because they contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings that could explain why the plane veered so far off-course during its flight.

Australian vessel Ocean Shield will drop an unmanned miniature submarine into the Indian Ocean if new signals are picked up, an official said.

Australian Department of Defense

Australian vessel Ocean Shield will drop an unmanned miniature submarine into the Indian Ocean if new signals are picked up, an official said.

Ship hunting for more pings in plane search 04/07/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, NY Times Syndication.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business

    Corporate

    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  2. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  3. On average, a quarter of Transformation Zone staff not returning next school year

    Blogs

    Combined, nearly one in four teachers staffed at eight schools in the Pinellas County school district's Transformation Zone will not return to their school in the fall.

  4. New Port Richey police investigating shooting that left one man wounded

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A man was shot and wounded Saturday after police said he assaulted a restaurant employee.

  5. What to watch this week: 'Still Star-Crossed' on ABC, 'House of Cards' Season 5

    Blogs

    MONDAY

    Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey in House of Cards Season 5.