#MH370: Searchers detect more pings late Tuesday afternoon and evening

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Good morning:

The Ocean Shield, which is using the U.S. Navy’s towed pinger locater (TPL) to search for the black boxes that were on board Malaysia Airlines MH370, twice detected pinging signals from the flight data recorder late Tuesday afternoon and again on Tuesday night.

Zee News India is reporting:

In what is further expected to boost the chances of finding black box of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370, Australian Naval ship Ocean Shield equipped with US-Navy supplied black box detector (Towed Pinger Locator) is reported to have detected two more ‘pings’.

Australian search coordinator Angus Houston told reporters that the signals detected on Tuesday afternoon and evening, were believed to “be consistent with the specification and description of a flight data recorder”.

“Ocean Shield has been able to reacquire the signals on two more occasions, late yesterday afternoon and later last night,” said Angus Houston, head of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre.

“I believe we are searching in the right area,” he said.

CNN provides specific information about the pings:

The first signal, at 4:45 p.m. Perth Time on Saturday, lasted 2 hours 20 minutes.

The second, at 9:27 p.m. Saturday, lasted 13 minutes.

The third signal was picked up Tuesday at 4:27 p.m. That lasted 5 minutes 32 seconds.

The fourth, at 10:17 p.m. Tuesday, was 7 minutes long.

Unfortunately, the searchers do not yet have enough data to confidently pinpoint the location of the black boxes. They do not want to begin searching with the remotely operated sub (Bluefin 21) until they have shrunk the area to be searched as much as possible.

The Bluefin 21’s sonar can scan only about 100 meters to each side and its lights can only illuminate a few meters. The maximum depth at which it can operate is 4,500 meters and some areas of the search zone are deeper. Because of these limitations, they will continue to listen for pings until they are satisfied that they know the location of the black boxes or the batteries have died. The boxes are not going anywhere, so they are not going to risk losing or damaging the Bluefin 21 during a premature dive.

Due to the difference in time, Perth is 12 hours ahead of New York and the late news conference Tuesday evening, news of the pings was not reported until long after I posted my article yesterday in which I said no pings were found Tuesday.


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2 Responses to #MH370: Searchers detect more pings late Tuesday afternoon and evening

  1. Thanks Fred. Perhaps at some point your thoughts on the Pistorius trial and the prosecutors cross this far..

    • Thank you, HamRadioElijah. I do not know the details, Fred will reply about legal things, but just as a layperson bystander seeing headlines in passing, I do wonder about the drama factor. Forcing someone to look at gruesome forensic photographs, and raising the voice- strikes me as overdone, but I admit I have not watched. We will watch, and get back, with thoughts on the prosecutor’s cross.

      Also, on today’s tragic case in the news from Pittsburgh, the suspect is 16. He will be tried as an adult, but due to his age we may not see his name until the first court appearance. The name will appear on the charging documents.

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