Australian PM confident signals are from missing plane
Updated: 2014-04-11 11:41
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This chart released by Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center shows search area being undertaken April 11, 2014.
PERTH/SHANGHAI - Search and rescue officials in Australia are confident they know the approximate position of the black box recorders from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday.
"We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres (miles)," Abbott said in a speech in the Chinese commercial capital Shanghai.
"Still, confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost four and a half kilometres beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on the flight."
The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared more than a month ago, has sparked the most expensive search and rescue operation in aviation history.
The search was focusing on a small patch of the Indian Ocean on Friday, after the latest "ping" seemed to lend credence to four previous "pings" detected by a U.S. Navy "Towed Pinger Locator" (TPL) towed by Australia's Ocean Shield vessel.
All five acoustic signals were detected in this small area.
But Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency supervising the search effort, said on Friday that analysis of acoustic data confirmed that the latest signal was unlikely to be related to the missing plane's black boxes.
"On the information I have available to me, there has been no major breakthrough in the search for MH370. I will provide a further update if, and when, further information becomes available," he said in a statement.
The black boxes record cockpit data and may provide answers about what happened to the plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew when it vanished on March 8 and flew thousands of kilometres off its Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing route.