PERTH, April 11 – The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) has confirmed that a signal picked up by an Australian AP-3C Orion aircraft on Thursday in the Indian ocean search area is not related to an aircraft underwater locator beacon. JACC chief coordinator Air Chief Marshal (Rtd) Angus Houston said an initial assessment determined that the signal did not come from an aircraft underwater locator beacon. “The Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre has analysed the acoustic data and confirmed that the signal reported in the vicinity of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield is unlikely to be related to an aircraft black box. “Further analysis continues to be undertaken by the Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre,” he said in a statement here Friday. The search team has so far detected six pings, two of which were picked up by a Chinese vessel, Haixun 01, on April 4 and 5, while Ocean Shield, equipped with a US Navy towed pinger locater, traced four signals on April 5 and 8.
“Today (Friday), Ocean Shield is continuing more focused sweeps with the towed pinger locator to try and locate further signals that may be related to an aircraft black box,” said Houston. He said it was to glean as much information as possible while the batteries on the underwater locator beacon might still be active. “The AP-3C Orion continues its acoustic search, working in conjunction with Ocean Shield, with three more missions planned for today. “A decision as to when to deploy the autonomous underwater vehicle will be made on advice from experts on board the Ocean Shield and could be some days away,” he said. He said that so far there had been no major breakthrough in the search for MH370 and he would provide an update if further information became available. 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. Malaysian 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”.