Missing Flight 370 Black Box Hunted by British Ship


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British Navy ship HMS Echo arrived Sunday in the area in the southern Indian Ocean where a Chinese ship detected "pulse signals" that could be from the black box of the Malaysian Boeing 777-200 jet that has been missing since March 8.

The HMS Echo, deployed to where the crew of the Chinese vessel Jaixun 01 detected pulses last week, is "capable of collecting an array of military hydrographic and oceanographic data," according to Britain's Ministry of Defense.

 The Australian Navy's Ocean Shield, which is carrying high-tech sound detectors from the U.S. Navy, will first investigate also deploy to the location, but will first investigate other sounds it picked up 300 nautical miles away from the Chinese ship.

Flight 370 disappeared from radar and broke all communication during a trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8.

Crews are racing to recover the aircraft's black box. No signal has been detected from the box since last week, and searchers fear the box's battery may be dead. Black boxes hold flight data and emit signals so that they can easily be found, but the battery typically lasts only about a month.

“We’re now into Day 37 of this tragedy,” said aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas on Sunday.

“The battery life on the beacons is supposed to last 30 days. We’re hoping it might last 40 days. However, it’s been four or five days since the last strong pings. What they’re hoping for is to get one more, maybe two more pings so they can do a triangulation of the sounds and try and narrow the (search) area.”

Despite having no new transmissions from the black boxes to track, air and sea crews continued their search on Sunday for debris and any sounds that may be emanating from the boxes.

Image via Wikimedia Commons