#MH370: Sonobuoys detect possible signals from black boxes

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Good morning:

I have more good news to report in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

CNN is reporting this morning that an Australian P3 Orion has picked up signals during Thursday’s search from some of the 84 sonobuoys that were dropped into ocean in the vicinity of the location where the Ocean Shield picked up signals from the black boxes with the towed pinger locater (TPL).

Sonobuoys, which float on the surface, dangle a hydrophone (i.e., an underwater microphone) attached to a 1,000 foot cable. The sonobuoy broadcasts any radio signal picked up by the hydrophone.

Searchers are using the sonobuoys to precisely locate the black boxes on the ocean bottom, which is 14,800 feet deep.

The electronic information picked up by the sonobuoys will be evaluated Thursday night.

Depending on the results, the Ocean Shield may deploy the Bluefin 21 to find the wreckage and and photograph it.


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7 Responses to #MH370: Sonobuoys detect possible signals from black boxes

  1. Turns out that the sounds detected by the sonobuoys were not pings.

    Here’s the press release issued Friday evening.

    The Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret’d), said an initial assessment of the possible signal detected by a RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft yesterday afternoon has been determined as not related to 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 the aircraft black boxes,” Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston (Ret’d), said.

  2. towerflower says:

    Watching some of the information of the pings last night, they said they would keep at the mission of mapping of/listening for the pings until they are positive that the batteries in the boxes are dead. The more information they can get to pin down a location, the better. They want the search area for Bluefin to be as small as possible to avoid a longer delay. The maker of one of the boxes said he would suggest that they go for at least 40 days, while others said they should wait until at least 3 days go by with no pings until they launch Bluefin.

    Malaysia released some more information….frankly I don’t understand their withholding some of this…..saying that the military said their radar showed the plane dropped to 4,000 ft. I have a question with that.

    Since the transponder is the equipment that relays the altitude information to the ground, how would they know the altitude of the plane since the transponder was lost shortly after their last transmission? The only thing I can think of is if they know that they have some “blind spots” in their radar due to mountains/terrain and that they know they will lose aircraft at certain altitudes in those areas. If so then it is only an assumption that the aircraft was at that altitude if they had an occasional signal. But without that transponder they don’t know for sure.

    They are also now saying it was the pilot who made the last transmission and not the co-pilot. But I don’t see anything suspicious in who made the last call. Flight crews decide ahead of time who will be at the controls and who will be talking on the radio during the phases of flight.

    • Malisha says:

      The more peculiar piece, to my way of thinking, is why withhold the information at all, ever, under ANY circumstances? They could release the information and say it was unconfirmed, or give the other details that made them wary of it. Hidden information is very bad policy when people’s lives are involved.

      • towerflower says:

        It doesn’t portray the Malaysian government in a good light, that’s for sure. Everything with this so far has been government controlled……the government, through Khazanah, is also the airline’s majority shareholder (Khazanah Nasional Berhad is the Government of Malaysia’s strategic investment fund).

    • masonblue says:

      Thank you, towerflower, great comment, very informative.

  3. masonblue says:

    Good morning everyone, this is Crane-Station here, as we share a screen today. Great news on the electronic data.

    Yesterday, there was a comment/inquiry about the prosecutor’s cross in the Pistorius case. Fred will address that, but we must first review the tapes in the (tragic) case. Hoping to have a post a bit later in the day.

    Also, from Pittsburgh, the lawyer for stabbing suspect Alex Hribal, 16, will seek a mental evaluation. Competency to stand trial is one thing the lawyer mentioned, and you may recall from Fred’s posts that this is a legal term: Can Mr. Hribal understand the charges, as well as his legal peril, and can he communicate with his lawyers and assist in his defense? These are some questions addressed with competency- and the lawyer mentioned that competency is different that a mental health defense.

    • masonblue says:

      Huh, wow. Crane-Station here again on Pistorius. Those screams are a problem. Plus, is there some kind of a memo circulating that says shooters must later claim that it was them and not the shot person, who was screaming? Did he claim that it was him screaming, and not a woman, like the neighbors heard?

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