Search Teams Race To Locate Aircraft As Another Signal Detected

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PERTH, April 11 – A total of 12 military aircraft, three civil aircraft and 13 ships have been raced to pinpoint the exact location of the pulse signals source that could be related to the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 in the Indian ocean on Friday. The search, which enters its 35th day since the plane mysteriously vanished on March 8, intensifies after an Australian aircraft, AP-3C Orion, picked up an acoustic sound of pulse signal while on aerial scouring in the designated search area near the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield on Thursday. There have been seven signals picked up in the Indian Ocean believed to be from the plane’s black box since last Friday.

The black box recorded cockpit data and might provide answers about what happened to the plane. Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) in a statement today said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had planned two search areas in close proximity totalling about 46,713 square kilometres. The agency said the centre of the search areas lies approximately 2,312 kilometres north west of Perth. “The weather forecast for today is 10 – 15 knot southerly winds with isolated showers, seas swells of 1 to 1.5 metres and visibility of five kilometres in showers,” said the Agency, adding that there were no sightings reported by search aircraft or objects recovered by ships yesterday. Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.

A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the aircraft, that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian ocean”.

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