#MH370: Chinese ship detects possible signal from black box

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777

Have the searchers located the black boxes?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Good morning:

I have an exciting development to report.

Al Arabiya News is reporting:

As the search for missing Malaysian Flight MH370’s black box carries on, China’s official news agency said Saturday a Chinese ship, part of the multinational search effort looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, has detected a “pulse signal” in southern Indian Ocean waters.

A black box detector deployed by the vessel, Haixun 01, picked up a signal at 37.5Hz per second Saturday at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, the Associated Press reported the agency as saying.

However, the ship’s team could not establish whether that the signal was related to the missing jet.

This is the black box frequency and the location is 956 nautical miles (1,100 miles) northwest of Perth (heading 129.16). The depth of the ocean is 15,509 feet.

We will have to wait and see if this can be verified.


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11 Responses to #MH370: Chinese ship detects possible signal from black box

  1. Malisha says:

    In terms of finding people quickly when they need help, there is an old Chinese folk tale, similar to another old Japanese folk tale, that shows that it is not at all helpful. With apology to the High Chief Air Official Pooh-Bah of Flying Persons and Things, let me paraphrase these stories.

    A woman had two sons and in the custom of the time, she named her favorite son with a long dignified name, and gave the less favored son a simple one-syllable “call him” name. So her sons were named (if telling the Chinese version) Tiki-Tiki-Tembo-Noso-Rembo-Chari-Bari-Ruchi-Pet-Pari-Pembo (the favorite) and Pak.

    One day the boys were playing and Tiki-Tiki-Tembo-Noso-Rembo-Chari-Bari-Ruchi-Pet-Pari-Pembo fell into the well. Pak ran for help. Whenever he ran into anyone who could help, he began to tell them, “My brother Tiki-Tiki-Tembo-Noso-Rembo-Chari-Bari-Ruchi-Pet-Pari-Pembo has fallen into a well…” but they all either got bored and left, or fell asleep, or forgot what he was saying because the name was so long. So by the time Tiki-Tiki-Tembo-Noso-Rembo-Chari-Bari-Ruchi-Pet-Pari-Pembo got help, it was almost too late. And the moral of the story was if you love your children, give them short names.

    The Japanese version calls the unfortunate long-named child Tiki-Tiki-Tembo-Noso-Rembo-oo-wa-Moochi-Yama-Gama-Goochi.

    Same story, though. 😀

  2. Here’s the “official” response to the report from Chief Coordinator Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret’d) of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre:

    The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret’d), said reports that the Chinese ship, Haixun 01, had detected electronic pulse signals in the Indian Ocean related to MH370 could not be verified at this point in time.

    “I have been advised that a series of sounds have been detected by a Chinese ship in the search area. The characteristics reported are consistent with the aircraft black box. A number of white objects were also sighted on the surface about 90 kilometres from the detection area. However, there is no confirmation at this stage that the signals and the objects are related to the missing aircraft,“ Air Chief Marshal Houston (Ret’d) said.

    “Advice tonight from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is that they cannot verify any connection to the missing aircraft.

    “The RCC in Australia has spoken to the RCC in China and asked for any further information that may be relevant.

    “The deployment of RAAF assets to the area where the Chinese ship detected the sounds is being considered.

    “I will provide further updates if, and when, more information becomes available.”

    If the number of titles in front of his name counts for anything, he should find the plane in no time.

    (Probably not nice of me to say that, but I couldn’t help myself)

  3. The Washington Post is reporting:

    The signal was measured at a frequency of 37.5 kilohertz and was repeating at one-second intervals, Xinhua reported.

    Anish Patel, president of Florida-based pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom, told CNN that was the correct frequency for the two emergency location beacons that are built into the plane’s black box flight data recorder and its cockpit voice recorder. He added that it was not a frequency that “readily occurs in nature.”

    “The reason it was chosen was to give that standout quality that does not get interfered with by the background noise that readily occurs in the ocean,” he said.


    China Central Television reported that crew members had first heard the signal Friday, but for only 10 minutes, and that they had not been able to record it during that time. The ship searched the same area for five hours Saturday without any luck before hearing the signal again for around 90 seconds, around two nautical miles away from the first location, CCTV reported.

  4. The Mirror has some good photographs of members of the crew of the Haixun in a dinghy searching for a signal. This is what they were doing when they found the signal.

    Also has a chart showing the location and search area.

  5. Xinhua is reporting:

    ABOARD PATROL SHIP HAIXUN 01, April 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01, searching for the missing Malaysian passenger jet MH370, detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5kHz per second in southern Indian Ocean waters Saturday.

    A black box detector deployed by the Haixun 01 picked up the signal at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longtitude. It is yet to be established whether it is related to the missing jet.

    Great photo of a helicopter landing on the the Haixun, the Chinese patrol ship that detected the signal.

  6. Now the Ocean Shield needs to proceed as fast as possible to the new location and drop that pinger locator as close to X marks the spot as possible.

  7. I’m excited.

    We’re running out of time and this report could turn out to be the real deal.

    Sure, I will be disappointed if it doesn’t pan out but I’m not going to allow fear of failure to dampen my enthusiasm.

  8. Here’s CNN:

    (CNN) — In what may turn out to be a major breakthrough in the monthlong search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a Chinese patrol ship searching the southern Indian Ocean discovered Saturday the pulse signal used by so-called black boxes, state news agency Xinhua reported.

    But the pulse signal has not been confirmed, China’s Maritime Search and Rescue Center reported, according to China Communications News, which is the Ministry of Transport’s official newspaper.

    The signal reported — 37.5 kHz — “is the standard beacon frequency” for the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom.

    “They’re identical.”

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