Written by News 1st
24 Mar, 2014 | 1:35 pm
A Chinese military aircraft searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner spotted several “suspicious” floating objects on Monday in remote seas off Australia, increasing the likelihood that the wreckage of the plane may soon be found.
China has diverted its icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, toward the location where the debris was spotted, Xinhua said. A flotilla of other Chinese ships are also steadily making their way south. Over 150 of the passengers on board the missing plane were Chinese.
In a further sign the search may be bearing fruit, the United States Navy is flying in its high-tech Black Box detector to the area.
The so-called black boxes – the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder – record what happens on board planes in flight. At crash sites, finding the black boxes soon is crucial because the locator beacons they carry fade out after 30 days.
“If debris is found we will be able to respond as quickly as possible since the battery life of the black box’s pinger is limited,” Commander Chris Budde, U.S. Seventh Fleet Operations Officer, said in an emailed statement.
Budde stressed that bringing in the black box detector, which is towed behind a vessel at slow speeds and can pick up “pings” from a black box to a maximum depth of 20,000 feet, was a precautionary measure.
The Chinese aircraft that spotted the objects was one of two IL-76s searching early on Monday. Another eight aircraft, from New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Japan, were scheduled to make flights throughout the day to the search site, some 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth.
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