The missing jet mystery continues as a Chinese vessel’s black box detector deployed by the vessel Haixun 01 picked up a “ping” signal on Saturday in the search for the plane’s black box.
The signal had a frequency of 37.5kHz per second, which is the same as the plane’s black box would emit, but Australian and Chinese authorities admit that there is no conclusive evidence yet that the signal was indeed from MH370’s box, according to Reuters.
“The characteristics reported (by the Chinese vessel) are consistent with the aircraft black box.”, said Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency that is coordinating the operation.
“However, there is no confirmation at this stage that the signals and the objects are related to the missing aircraft,” he said. He added that his agency was seeking more information from China.
The signal was detected at about 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude. However, the search area continues to be a daunting 88,000 square miles and even with dozens of countries sending boats, planes, and jets, it’s a struggle to determine exactly where the plane is located.
There are two Towed Pinger Locators that are being towed slowly on two ships, one on navy ship HMAS Ocean Shield and one on British hydrographic survey ship HMS Echo, that may be of little use unless the area of the planes location is narrowed down. The speed at which the Towed Pinger Locators have to be pulled and its low range prohibit them from searching large areas quickly.
“I won’t even call it an area. What we are doing is we are tracking down the best estimate of the course that the aircraft was on,” U.S. Navy Captain Mark Matthews said. “It takes a couple of days on each leg so it’s a slow-going search.”
Hopefully a stroke of luck will hit soon and they’ll be able to locate the plane’s black boxes before their batteries run out.
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