The search for the Malaysian flight MH379 that vanished in March 2014 has been suspended after three years.
The families of the victims say the decision is “irresponsible”.
Family support group Voice370 said the search ought to be expanded – it was “an inescapable duty owed to the flying public”.
The plane vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 on board.
More than 46,300 sq miles of the Indian Ocean has been searched with no results. Pieces of debris have been found as far away as Madagascar.
Only seven have been identified as definitely or highly likely to be from the Boeing 777.
There were 14 nationalities among the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the plane. The majority – 153 people – were Chinese.
Announcing the suspension, Australia, Malaysia and China said “no new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft” despite numerous studies.
They remained hopeful this would happen in the future.
However, Voice370 said the search must continue and be extended to include an area of some 25,000 sq km north of the current one, recommended by a report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in December 2016.
“Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves.”
A report in November 2016 said theM370 flight probably made a “high and increasing rate of descent” into the Indian Ocean.
International teams are continuing to search for EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean.
Military units from Greece, Egypt, France and the UK are taking part in the operation near the Greek island Karpathos.
Flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew when it vanished on May 19.
Greece said radar showed the Airbus A320 had made two sharp turns and dropped more than 25,000ft before plunging into the sea.
Egypt says the plane was more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act than a technical fault.
Most of the people on board Flight MS804 were from Egypt and France. A Briton was also among the passengers.
So far, no wreckage or debris from the aircraft has been found.
Initial reports on May 19, based on Egyptian officials’ comments that wreckage had been found, later proved unfounded.
Greece’s lead air accident investigator Athanasios Binis said items including lifejackets found near Karpathos were not from the Airbus A320.
“An assessment of the finds showed that they do not belong to an aircraft,” he said.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ordered the country’s civil aviation ministry, army-run search-and-rescue centre, navy and air force to take all necessary measures to locate the wreckage.
The French air accident investigation bureau has dispatched three investigators, along with a technical adviser from Airbus, to join the Egyptian inquiry.
In France, the focus is on whether a possible breach of security happened at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.
Security was already tight, and under review, after last November’s attacks by ISIS in Paris.
Since then, some airport staff have had security clearance revoked over fears of links to Islamic extremists.
Flight MS804 left Paris at 23:09 local time on May 18 and was scheduled to arrive in Cairo soon after 03:15 local time on May 19.
On the plane were 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security personnel.
According to Greek aviation officials, air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot when he entered Greek airspace and everything appeared normal.
They tried to contact him again at 02:27 Cairo time, as the plane was set to enter Egyptian airspace, but “despite repeated calls, the aircraft did not respond”. Two minutes later it vanished from radar.
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told reporters: “The picture we have at the moment on the accident as it emerges from the Greek air force operations centre is that the aircraft was approximately 10-15 miles inside the Egyptian FIR [flight information region] and at an altitude of 37,000 feet.
“It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 37,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet.”
Egypt’s Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said: “Let’s not try to jump to the side that is trying to identify this as a technical failure – on the contrary.
“If you analyze the situation properly, the possibility of having a different action, or having a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical [fault].”
EgyptAir flight MS804from Paris to Cairo has disappeared from radar, the airline says.
The Egyptian airline says there are 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security personnel on board.
The plane was flying at 37,000ft when it went missing over the eastern Mediterranean. An official said the plane lost contact with radar at 02:45 Cairo time.
EgyptAir says search and rescue teams have been deployed.
The passengers on board included 30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, one Briton, as well as people from Belgium, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal, EgyptAir says.
There were three children on board.
EgyptAir says the Airbus A320 disappeared about 10 miles into Egyptian air space and the relevant authorities have been notified.
Amid fears that the plane has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, the Greek authorities have joined Egyptian armed forces in the search operation.
Flight MS804 left Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport at 23:09 local time on May 18 and was scheduled to arrive in Cairo soon after 03:00 local time on May 19.
An airport official, quoted by Egypt’s state-run newspaper al-Ahram, said the last contact with the plane had been 10 minutes before it disappeared – and no distress signal had been sent.
Egyptian PM Sherif Ismail has arrived at the airport in Cairo, along with the families of those on board, state-run Nile News TV reports.
In October 2015, a Russian passenger plane flying from Sharm el-Sheikh crashed over the Sinai peninsula killing all 224 people on board. Officials in Moscow and Egypt later said the aircraft was brought down by an explosive device. ISIS militants said they had bombed the plane.
Two plane parts found in Mozambique almost certainly came from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the transport ministers of Australia and Malaysia say.
The two parts were found separately by members of the public and were flown to Australia for analysis.
Australia’s Darren Chester said the finds were “consistent with drift modeling” of ocean currents.
MH370 vanished in March 2014 with 239 people on board.
The plane went out of contact while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Satellite data suggests it likely went down in the southern Indian Ocean after veering off course for unknown reasons.
The fate of the plane, its passengers and crew remains one of aviation’s biggest unsolved mysteries.
One of the parts retrieved in Mozambique was found on a sandbank by an amateur US investigator in late February. That find prompted a South African tourist to come forward with a piece he found in Mozambique in December.
Darren Chester said the investigation team had finished examining the debris and found both were “consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft”, the same make as the missing plane.
“The analysis has concluded the debris is almost certainly from MH370,” he said in a statement, adding that it showed that the vast deep-sea search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean, being led by Australia, was focusing on the right place.
Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai later told a news conference that paint samples from the debris indicated they were parts of the missing plane.
“First, the two pieces of debris belong to Boeing 777 parts. Secondly, from the paint and the stencils of these two pieces, it is similar to MAS [Malaysian Airlines] airlines paint. We conclude it is most certain [it] belongs to MH370,” he said.
The Australia-led search is scanning the sea floor, much of it previously unmapped, in the hope of locating the wreckage.
Darren Chester said that would continue for now, with 10,000 sq miles of ocean still be to covered.
However, the three countries have said that barring significant new evidence, they will end the operation once the area has been fully searched.
The MH370 search is expected to be completed in the coming months.
Meanwhile, officials are arranging to collect and examine a fourth piece of debris, found at Mossel Bay in South Africa’s southern coast on March 21 by a local archaeologist.
The piece apparently bears a part of the logo of Rolls Royce, the British company which manufactures engines for aircraft including the Boeing 777.
Malaysia says it is awaiting permission from South Africa to conduct a search of its coast for more debris.
Malaysia remains committed to finding flight MH370, said PM Najib Razak on the first anniversary of its disappearance.
Relatives of the 239 missing passengers and crew are holding a series of remembrance ceremonies.
The Malaysian airliner was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished on March 8, 2014. No trace has ever been found.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian government has released its official report into the disappearance of flight MH370.
The report contains masses of technical information about the missing aircraft, its maintenance record, the background of the crew, and the various air traffic control and military radar tracking records of the plane.
It appears to offer no significant new information which might explain where the plane went, or what happened to it.
“No words can describe the pain the families of those on board are going through. The lack of answers and definitive proof – such as aircraft wreckage – has made this more difficult to bear,” said Najib Razak in a statement.
He added that the search team had followed the “little evidence that exists” but remained “hopeful” that the plane would be found.
The international search team is focusing on an area of the southern Indian Ocean, approximately 1,000 miles off the coast of western Australia.
Earlier on Sunday, the families of MH370 crew members held a remembrance ceremony at the house of missing in-flight supervisor Patrick Gomez.
“We’re always thinking exactly what happened on that day itself, you know the conversations that we were having, the tears, the hugs that we were giving each other,” said his wife, Jacquita Gonzales.
The event has not been billed as a commemoration ceremony because many family members still believe that their loved ones are alive.
The search team is due to release an interim report about MH370 later today.
Earlier, Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that he was confident that the plane would be found in the southern Indian Ocean.
Liow Tiong Lai promised his government would continue to back the search and said he was confident they could complete the search operation “hopefully by May this year”.
He told AFP that investigators would go “back to the drawing board” if the search failed to yield results by May.
Some families of those on board the plane have accused the Malaysian authorities of hiding some information, but the transport minister urged them not to believe the conspiracy theories.
Earlier this year, the Malaysian government declared flight MH370 to have been lost with all on board, in a move it said was necessary to start processing compensation claims for the families.
Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government are being sued by two children whose father, Jee Jing Hang, was on MH370 flight that disappeared on March 8.
It is believed to be the first legal case filed in Malaysia since the incident.
The lawsuit accuses the civil aviation department of negligence for failing to contact the plane within a reasonable amount of time after it disappeared.
Flight MH370, from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, had 239 people on board.
Lawyers representing the two underage sons of passenger Jee Jing Hang filed the suit with the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
They are suing the national carrier for breach of contract, saying it failed to take all measures to ensure a safe flight. They are also suing civil aviation authorities, the immigration department and the air force for negligence.
Flight MH370, from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared with 239 people on board
“We have waited for eight months. After speaking to various experts, we believe we have sufficient evidence for a strong case,” said their lawyer Arunan Selveraj.
“A big plane missing in this age of technology is really unacceptable,” he said.
The legal team said they would seek damages but did not give a figure.
In March a civil action case was brought in the US by a law firm on behalf of relatives. But a judge dismissed it, calling it an improper filing.
The Malaysian government believes MH370 ended its journey in the southern Indian Ocean, in seas far off the Australian city of Perth.
But there is no explanation yet for what happened to the plane or caused it to stray so far off course.
Despite extensive searches coordinated by Australian authorities, no wreckage of any kind has been found yet.
Some legal experts say this could hamper any lawsuits filed, as it leaves much to speculation.
Al passengers and crew members on board of Air Algerie flight AH5017 died after the aircraft crashed in Mali, says the French President, Francois Hollande.
Francois Hollande said one flight data recorder had been recovered, after French troops reached the crash site near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane early on Thursday after pilots reported severe storms.
The 116 passengers on the Air Algerie flight included 51 French citizens.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 had been chartered from Spanish airline, Swiftair. It was flying from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ougadougou, to Algiers.
There are no survivors from the Air Algerie AH5017 passenger jet that crashed in Mali
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio network RTL that “the aircraft was destroyed at the moment it crashed”.
“We think the aircraft crashed for reasons linked to the weather conditions, although no theory can be excluded at this point,” he said.
A team of 100 French soldiers, with 30 vehicles, had travelled to the crash site on Friday, a French defense ministry official said.
The team was part of a force that was deployed to Mali last year to combat an insurgency backed by al-Qaeda.
“French soldiers who are on the ground have started the first investigations,” Francois Hollande said on Friday.
“Sadly there are no survivors.”
Contact with Flight AH 5017 was lost about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou early on Thursday morning, Air Algerie said.
The pilot had contacted Niger’s control tower in Niamey at around 01:30 GMT to change course because of a sandstorm, officials say.
Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list comprised 27 people from Burkina Faso, 51 French, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, two from Luxembourg, five Canadians, four Germans, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian.
The six crew members are Spanish, according to the Spanish pilots’ union.
The wreck of Air Algerie plane that disappeared with 116 people on board on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has been found in Mali, officials say.
The Burkina Faso army said Air Algerie flight AH 5017 had crashed about 30 miles from the Burkinabe border.
The wreckage has been found south of the Malian town of Gao.
Air Algerie flight AH 5017 had crashed about 30 miles from the Burkinabe border
The searchers mission is complicated by the vast scale and daunting terrain of Mali. The area where the flight is suspected to have crashed is a sparsely inhabited region of scrubland and desert dunes stretching to the foothills of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains. Much of it lies in the hands of Tuareg separatist rebels, who rose up against the government in early 2012, triggering an Islamist revolt that briefly seized control of northern Mali.
The Malian government has only a weak presence in the region and relies on French and U.N. peacekeepers for aircraft and logistical support.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane early on Thursday after pilots reported severe storms.
The passengers included 51 French citizens.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 had been chartered from Spanish airline Swiftair.
Air Algerie flight AH 5017 crashed on July 24 en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.
There were few clear indications of what might happened to the aircraft, or whether there were casualties, but Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 01:38 GMT because of a storm in the area.
“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the Algerian official told Reuters, declining to be identified or give any details about what had happened to the aircraft on its way north.
Almost half of the passengers were French citizens, an airline official said.
“Currently we have no news of flight AH5017. Thank you”
Air Algerie flight AH 5017 crashed on July 24 en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board
Two French fighter jets based in the region have been dispatched to try to locate the airliner along its probable route, a French army spokesman said. Niger security sources said planes were flying over the border region with Mali to search for the flight.
Algeria’s state news agency APS said authorities lost contact with flight AH 5017 an hour after it took off from Burkina Faso, but other officials gave differing accounts of the times of contact, adding to confusion about the plane’s fate.
Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed it had lost contact with the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie, which it said was carrying 110 passengers and six crew.
A diplomat in the Malian capital Bamako said that the north of the country – which lies on the plane’s likely flight path – was struck by a powerful sandstorm overnight.
An Air Algerie representative in Burkina Faso, Kara Terki, told a news conference that all the passengers on the plane were in transit, either for Europe, the Middle East or Canada.
Kara Terki said the passenger list included: 50 French, 24 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, four Algerians, two from Luxembourg, one Belgian, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian, one Ukrainian and one Romanian.
Lebanese officials said there were at least 10 Lebanese citizens on the flight.
A spokeswoman for SEPLA, Spain’s pilots union, said the six crew were from Spain. She could not give any further details.
Australian government has announced a new search area for the missing Malaysian plane after further analysis of satellite data.
The search will now shift south to focus on an area 1,100 miles off the west coast of Australia, Deputy PM Warren Truss confirmed.
Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 passengers on board.
Officials said they believed the plane had been on autopilot when it crashed.
The search for missing MH370 flight will now shift south to focus on an area 1,100 miles off the west coast of Australia
A 64-page report released by the Australian government concluded that the underwater search for the plane should resume in the new area.
An extensive search of the ocean floor was conducted in April after several acoustic pings, initially thought to be from the plane’s flight data recorders, were heard. However, officials now believe the pings were not caused by the plane.
“It is highly, highly likely that the aircraft was on autopilot otherwise it could not have followed the orderly path that has been identified through the satellite sightings,” Warren Truss said.
The underwater search for the plane was put on hold to allow more time for survey vessels to map the ocean floor.
The new search is expected to commence in August and is expected to be completed within a year, Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief Martin Dolan confirmed.
Submarines will scour the ocean floor to look for signs of the missing Boeing 777.
The search for the missing plane is already among most expensive in aviation history.
After more than 100 days since the disappearance of the airliner, many of the relatives of the missing passengers have continued to express frustration at the lack of progress in the search.
According to the Australian officials, the area where acoustic signals thought linked to the missing Malaysian plane were detected can now be ruled out as the final resting place of flight MH370.
The Bluefin-21 submersible robot had finished its search of the area and found nothing, they said.
Efforts would now focus on reviewing search data, surveying the sea floor and bringing in specialist equipment.
Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Using satellite data, officials have concluded that the airliner, which had 239 people on board, ended its journey in the Indian Ocean, north-west of the Australian city of Perth.
No trace of the plane has been found and there is no explanation for its disappearance.
Four pings that officials believed could be from the missing plane’s “black box” flight recorders were heard by search teams using a towed pinger locator device.
The area where acoustic signals thought linked to the missing Malaysian plane were detected can now be ruled out as the final resting place of flight MH37
These pings were used to define the area for the sea-floor search, conducted by the Bluefin-21. It had scoured over 850 sq km of the ocean floor, JACC said.
“Yesterday afternoon, Bluefin-21 completed its last mission searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the towed pinger locator,” a statement from the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) said.
“The data collected on yesterday’s mission has been analyzed. As a result, the JACC can advise that no signs of aircraft debris have been found by the autonomous underwater vehicle since it joined the search effort.
“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau [ATSB] has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgement, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370.”
The statement came hours after a US Navy official told CNN that the acoustic signals probably came from some other man-made source.
“Our best theory at this point is that [the pings were] likely some sound produced by the ship… or within the electronics of the towed pinger locator,” Michael Dean, the US Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering, told CNN.
“Always your fear any time you put electronic equipment in the water is that if any water gets in and grounds or shorts something out, that you could start producing sound,” Michael Dean said.
A US Navy spokesmen subsequently described his comments as “speculative and premature”.
In its statement, JACC said an expert working group would continue to review and refine existing data to better define a search area for the missing plane.
A Chinese ship had already begun mapping an area of ocean floor in a survey process that was expected to take three months.
Meanwhile, the ATSB would soon seek bids from commercial contractors for the specialist equipment needed for the underwater search – a process expected to begin in August, JACC said.
Australia’s PM Tony Abbott said signals in remote seas thought to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are “rapidly fading” and finding the jet will be a “massive, massive task”.
Tony Abbott said he was confident “pings” detected by search teams were from the aircraft’s black boxes.
But no new signals have been confirmed in the search area since Tuesday.
“No one should underestimate the difficulties of the task still ahead of us,” Tony Abbott warned.
Correspondents say Tony Abbott appeared to be couching his comments from Friday, in which he said he was “very confident” that signals heard by an Australian search ship were from the missing Boeing 777.
Speaking during a visit to China, Tony Abbott said teams were hoping to track further signals in a section of the southern Indian Ocean before shifting the search operation to the seabed.
Australian PM Tony Abbott said he was confident pings detected by search teams were from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane’s black boxes
“Trying to locate anything 4,500 metres [15,000 feet] beneath the surface of the ocean, about a 1,000km [620 miles] from land is a massive, massive task,” Tony Abbott said.
“Given that the signal from the black box is rapidly fading, what we are now doing is trying to get as many detections as we can so that we can narrow the search area down to as small an area as possible.”
Tony Abbott said a submersible drone would be sent to conduct a sonar search of the seabed once search teams were confident with the area identified – but he refused to say when that might be.
After analyzing satellite data, officials believe Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people aboard flew off course for an unknown reason and went down in the southern Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia.
Those leading the search fear that time is running out because the batteries that power the pings from the black box only last about a month, and that window has already passed.
Two sounds heard a week ago by the Australian ship Ocean Shield, towing the ping locator, were determined to be consistent with the signals emitted from the black boxes. Two more pings were detected in the same general area on Tuesday.
On Thursday, an Australian aircraft picked up an audio signal in the same area as the four previous detections but officials now believe it is unlikely to be related to the black boxes
The underwater search zone is currently a 500 miles patch of the seabed, about the size of Los Angeles.
The submersible drone, Bluefin 21, takes six times longer to cover the same area as the ping locator and it would take about six weeks to two months for it to search the current zone.
Complicating matters is the depth of the seabed in that area. The signals are emanating from 15,000 ft below the surface, which is the deepest the Bluefin can dive. The search coordination centre said it was considering options in case a deeper-diving sub was needed.
An Australian P-3 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has detected a possible new signal in the southern Indian Ocean, Australian officials say.
The plane picked up the signal in the same area where an Australian vessel detected audio pings earlier this week, officials said.
The signal would require further analysis, but could have been from a “man-made source”, officials said.
Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, with 239 people on board.
The Australian plane picked up the signal in the same area where a vessel detected audio pings earlier this week
The search zone was tightened on Thursday after a US navy “towed pinger locator” picked up audio signals in the area, sparking hopes that the plane’s black box was in the area.
Australian vessel Ocean Shield picked up four acoustic signals in the area, twice over the weekend and twice on Tuesday.
Speaking after the latest possible signal was detected, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is leading search efforts, said: “The acoustic data will require further analysis overnight but shows potential of being from a man-made source.”
Up to 14 planes and 13 ships are involved in Thursday’s search, scouring an area of 22 300 sq miles, around 1,400 miles north-west of Perth. It is the smallest designated area in the hunt to date.
Planes have dropped buoys equipped with hydrophone listening devices into the water to help pick up signals.
The batteries on the black box only last about a month, so teams need to work quickly to track the audio signals before they stop broadcasting.
Malaysia has come under criticism for its handling of the search, with families of the passengers on the plane accusing the authorities of a lack of transparency.
The investigation came under further scrutiny after it emerged that the final words from the plane were “good night Malaysian three seven zero”, and not “all right, good night”, as previously reported by the government.
According to experts, the Chinese ship that detected a sound in the southern Indian Ocean consistent with a black box “ping” while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have simply been listening to itself.
That possibility illustrates just how complicated the task is to locate the transmitters from the lost MH370 flight.
Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston warned Tuesday – 32 days since Flight 370 vanished after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur – that other ships are being kept away from the search area to prevent any further confusion about signal noise.
“We can’t have too many ships in the area, because when you are dealing with these transmissions, you need utter silence,” he said.
“It becomes a very noisy environment if you suddenly have several ships around there or ships dropping things in the water.”
Chinese ship Haixun 01 detected a sound in the southern Indian Ocean consistent with a black box ping while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
The crew of Chinese ship Haixun 01 announced Saturday they had recorded fleeting pings off Australia’s west coast, but their discovery occurred more than 350 miles from where the Australians say sustained and repeated pings were found Sunday.
Video of the Chinese ship appeared to show an extra pinger on board. That pinger would just need to get wet for it to start transmitting – noise that could then get picked up by the ship’s search crews, said Anish Patel, president of pinger maker Dukane Seacom. The company supplies black-box beacons for Malaysia Airlines.
“It takes the slightest bit of moisture for that water-activated switch to automatically fire up,” Anish Patel said.
He added that it’s “not best practice” during a search to keep another pinging device where you’re listening.
Video on China’s CCTV shows the crew of the Haixun 01 boarding a small dinghy and using a handheld hydrophone, which was lowered into the water on a pole, to listen for the pings from the missing jet’s two black boxes.
Experts have said that while it’s possible that such a device could pick up pings from the ocean, it’s highly unlikely in this case. The maker of the hydrophone technology used by the Chinese said it’s intended for shallower waters and requires the user to be much closer to the transmitter. The depth of the ocean in the search area is as much as 3 miles.
The Chinese said they recorded the fleeting pings on Friday and Saturday off Australia’s west coast. The signal’s frequency was recorded at 37.5 kHz per second – the same that would be emitted by flight recorders and a noise that does not occur naturally in the ocean.
Australia also is dragging a ping locator in the search area, and officials said signals it picked up late Saturday and early Sunday were stronger and lasted longer than the ones detected by the Chinese.
Those noises haven’t been heard since. The signals would become fainter over time as the beacons’ battery life slowly dies out. That typically takes about a month.
Teams searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will wait for further contact with signals picked up over the weekend before using a submersible down to search for debris.
Australian Ocean Shield vessel has heard signals that officials said could be consistent with “black box” flight recorders.
It has not been able to reacquire them since Sunday, however.
Australian officials said it was key to re-find the signals before using a submersible in a search for wreckage.
Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board. The Beijing-bound plane lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian officials say that – based on satellite data – they believe the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, west of the Australian city of Perth, thousands of miles from its intended flight path.
Teams searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will wait for further contact with signals picked up over the weekend before using a submersible down to search for debris
In Beijing, relatives of missing passengers held a vigil to mark one month since the plane disappeared.
Speaking at Pearce Airbase in Perth, Australian Defense Minister David Johnston said that several days of “intense action” were ahead as search teams tackled “this difficult, complex task” while black box pingers were still believed to be active.
Australian vessel Ocean Shield has been using a towed pinger locator to listen for transmissions from the plane’s flight recorders. Over the weekend, it heard signals on two separate occasions, the first time for more than two hours.
On the second occasion two distinct pinger returns were audible, something said to be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who heads the agency overseeing the search for the plane, said that Ocean Shield had had no further contact with any transmissions since then.
He said that work involving the towed pinger locator would continue for several days, adding that the Bluefin 21 underwater drone would not be deployed unless more transmissions were received.
“If we can get more transmissions we can get a better fix on the ocean floor, which will enable a much more narrowly focused visual search for wreckage,” he said.
Australia’s Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston coordinating the search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane say a Chinese ship has detected a pulse signal for a second time, within hours of it being heard earlier on Saturday.
ACM Angus Houston called the discovery in the southern Indian Ocean an “important and encouraging lead”.
He warned that the data were still unverified.
British naval ship HMS Echo is sailing to the area to investigate further.
It is expected to arrive in the early hours of Monday.
Australian aircraft were also on their way, ACM Angus Houston told reporters. Australian naval vessel Ocean Shield would be heading to the latest search area once it had investigated a third acoustic detection elsewhere.
Both HMS Echo and ADV Ocean Shield have technology able to detect underwater signals emitted by data recorders.
A second pulse signal was detected less than 1.2 miles from the original
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board. Investigators believe it crashed in the Indian Ocean although no confirmed debris has been found. The battery-powered signal from the “black box” recorders fades after 30 days.
After confirming details of the first pulse detected on Saturday which had “characteristics consistent with” an aircraft’s flight recorder, Angus Houston told a news briefing at Pearce Air Base near Perth of a second signal.
“[Saturday] afternoon Perth time, there was another acoustic detection less than 2 km [1.2 miles] from the original.”
The second signal lasted about 90 seconds, he said.
The search coordinator insisted the latest developments should be treated as unverified “until such time as we can provide an unequivocal determination”.
“We are working in a very big ocean and within a very large search area, and so far since the aircraft went missing we have had very few leads which allow us to narrow the search area,” he said.
“I assure you that we will follow up and exhaust every credible lead that we receive.”
A dozen military aircraft and 13 ships are already searching three areas about 1,240 miles north-west of the Australian city of Perth.
Australian PM Tony Abbott earlier said he was “hopeful but by no means certain” that the signal detected on Saturday was linked to missing flight MH370.
Haixun 01 picked up the first so-called “ping” signal at about 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, state-run Xinhua news agency said.
The signal reportedly had a frequency of 37.5 kHz – the same as that emitted by the flight recorders.
Three people on board the boat were said to have heard the pings, which were not recorded as they came suddenly.
Xinhua also reported that a Chinese military plane had spotted a number of white floating objects about 60 miles away a few hours earlier.
Malaysian authorities released the full transcript of communications between flight MH370 and Kuala Lumpur’s air traffic control (ATC).
They said there was no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript, although the last words received by ground controllers are different from those previously stated.
Malaysian officials say that based on satellite data they have concluded that flight MH370 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, but many relatives of those on board have demanded proof and expressed anger at what they perceive as a lack of information.
Malaysian authorities released the full transcript of communications between flight MH370 and Kuala Lumpur’s air traffic control (photo RT)
A closed-door briefing is being held in Kuala Lumpur for families of those on the flight.
Full transcript (pilots in italics)
MAS 370 (Kuala Lumpur to Beijing)
PILOT-ATC RADIOTELEPHONY TRANSCRIPT
Departure from KLIA: March 8, 2014
12:25:53 MAS 370 Delivery MAS 370 Good Morning
12:26:02 ATC MAS 370 Standby and Malaysia Six is cleared to Frankfurt via AGOSA Alpha Departure six thousand feet squawk two one zero six
12:26:19 ATC … MAS 370 request level
12:26:21 MAS 370 MAS 370 we are ready requesting flight level three five zero to Beijing
12:26:39 ATC MAS 370 is cleared to Beijing via PIBOS A Departure Six Thousand Feet squawk two one five seven
12:26:45 MAS 370 Beijing PIBOS A Six Thousand Squawk two one five seven, MAS 370 Thank You
12:26:53 ATC MAS 370 Welcome over to ground
12:26:55 MAS 370 Good Day
12:27:27 MAS 370 Ground MAS370 Good morning Charlie One Requesting push and start
12:27:34 ATC MAS370 Lumpur Ground Morning Push back and start approved Runway 32 Right Exit via Sierra 4.
12:27:40 MAS 370 Push back and start approved 32 Right Exit via Sierra 4 POB 239 Mike Romeo Oscar
12:27:45 ATC Copied
12:32:13 MAS 370 MAS377 request taxi.
12:32:26 ATC MAS37….. (garbled) … standard route. Hold short Bravo
12:32:30 MAS 370 Ground, MAS370. You are unreadable. Say again.
12:32:38 ATC MAS370 taxi to holding point Alfa 11 Runway 32 Right via standard route. Hold short of Bravo.
12:32:42 MAS 370 Alfa 11 Standard route Hold short Bravo MAS370.
12:35:53 ATC MAS 370 Tower
12:36:19 ATC (garbled) … Tower … (garbled)
MAS 370 1188 MAS370 Thank you
12:36:30 MAS 370 Tower MAS370 Morning
12:36:38 ATC MAS370 good morning. Lumpur Tower. Holding point..[garbled]..10 32 Right
12:36:50 MAS 370 Alfa 10 MAS370
12:38:43 ATC 370 line up 32 Right Alfa 10. MAS 370 Line up 32 Right Alfa 10 MAS370.
12:40:38 ATC 370 32 Right Cleared for take-off. Good night.
MAS 370 32 Right Cleared for take-off MAS370. Thank you Bye.
12:42:05 MAS 370 Departure Malaysian Three Seven Zero
12:42:10 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero selamat pagi identified. Climb flight level one eight zero cancel SID turn right direct to IGARI
12:42:48 MAS 370 Okay level one eight zero direct IGARI Malaysian one err Three Seven Zero
12:42:52 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero contact Lumpur Radar One Three Two Six good night MAS 370 Night One Three Two Six Malaysian Three Seven Zero
LUMPUR RADAR (AREA)
12:46:51 MAS 370 Lumpur Control Malaysian Three Seven Zero
12:46:51 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero Lumpur radar Good Morning climb flight level two five zero
12:46:54 MAS370 Morning level two five zero Malaysian Three Seven Zero
12:50:06 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero climb flight level three five zero
12:50:09 MAS370 Flight level three five zero Malaysian Three Seven Zero
01:01:14 MAS370 Malaysian Three Seven Zero maintaining level three five zero
01:01:19 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero
01:07:55 MAS370 Malaysian…Three Seven Zero maintaining level three five zero
01:08:00 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero
01:19:24 ATC Malaysian Three Seven Zero contact Ho Chi Minh 120 decimal 9 Good Night
01:19:29 MAS370 Good Night Malaysian Three Seven Zero
The reasons for the Malaysia Airlines plane’s disappearance may never be known, police chief Khalid Abu Bakar has warned as PM Najib Razak heads to Australia for talks on the search.
Malaysia’s police chief said that their investigation could “go on and on”.
Ten planes and nine ships will search the southern Indian Ocean on Tuesday.
Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 as it was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people.
The reasons for the Malaysia Airlines plane’s disappearance may never be known
Razak Najib will arrive in Perth, western Australia, on Wednesday evening. He will visit the new Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), where the southern Indian Ocean search is being led.
He will meet Australian PM Tony Abbott, and retired air chief marshal Angus Houston, who is leading the JACC.
Meanwhile, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the criminal investigation could “go on and on and on. We have to clear every little thing”.
“At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident,” he said.
He added that police had “cleared” all the passengers of the four key areas being investigated: hijacking, sabotage, and psychological and personal problems, Malaysia’s Bernama news agency reported.
Khalid Abu Bakar added that more than 170 interviews had been conducted with family members of the pilots and crew members, and that even cargo and food served on the plane were being investigated in case of sabotage.
Wednesday’s search area is around 85,300 sq miles, but cloudy conditions, “sea fog and isolated thunderstorms” will reduce visibility for search planes, JACC said in a statement.
The private jet of film director Peter Jackson has also joined the search.
On Tuesday, ACM Houston said it was the most challenging operation he had ever seen, and warned that search efforts “could drag on for a long time”.
Several floating objects have been found in recent days, but none is believed to belong to the missing plane.
A new search area of the Indian Ocean is being scoured by Chinese ships in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.
The two vessels are trying to find and retrieve a number of items spotted by planes on Friday.
Chinese aircraft are also flying over the area, north-east of the previous zone, and have spotted more objects, China’s Xinhua news agency says.
Chinese ships are scouring a new search area of the Indian Ocean in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet
The Beijing-bound airliner disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.
Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01, and a navy vessel, Jinggangshan, which carries two helicopters, reached the new search area in the past few hours.
Xinhua said the Jinggangshan was expected to focus on searching for debris, oil slicks and life jackets.
Eight aircraft are also taking part in the operation, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the authority confirmed in a statement.
Later on Saturday one of them, a Chinese reconnaissance aircraft, spotted three orange, white and red objects floating in the ocean. Some were very small, and officials have cautioned that they may be sea junk.
On Friday five search planes spotted multiple objects of various colors in the same area – about 700 miles north-east of the previous search zone.
Investigators will not know whether the objects are connected to the missing plane until they have been recovered by ships.
Bad weather has hampered the search efforts in recent days.
Saturday’s conditions are expected to be favorable initially but to deteriorate later in the day.
Meanwhile Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says he has reassured the families of the missing passengers that the search for any survivors will continue.
Some relatives of the flight’s 153 Chinese passengers have refused to accept the Malaysian account of events and have accused officials of withholding information.
Hishammuddin Hussein: “If there is any lead or information that involves survivors, that has been our priority.”
“No matter how remote the search, I am always hoping against hope that we will find survivors,” Hishammuddin Hussein told the latest news conference following a meeting with the families on Saturday.
The Australian and Malaysian governments said on Friday the search area had been changed following further analysis of radar data that showed the plane had been travelling faster, thus burning more fuel.
This would reduce the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean, officials said.
Search efforts had until Friday morning focused on an area some 1,550 miles to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.