Pings 'Consistent With Black Boxes'

Search chief: This is best Flight 370 lead yet

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 7, 2014 1:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – With time about to run out in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's data recorders, authorities say they've had what appears to be the best lead yet. Officials say an Australian vessel has detected pings consistent with the signals from aircraft black boxes, the BBC reports. The Ocean Shield ship, which is towing a pinger locator, has detected two distinct pinger returns, which "would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder," search chief Angus Houston told reporters.

The ship is still in the area trying to reacquire the signal and Houston warns that it could be days before the signals can be confirmed as coming from the missing jet, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. "This is not the end of the search, we still have a lot of painstaking work to confirm this is where the aircraft entered the water," he said. "We need more evidence. It’s very deep water, it's very difficult." When the position is fixed, the ship will lower an underwater drone to search for wreckage.

Retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston speaks to the media during a press conference in Perth, Australia.
Retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston speaks to the media during a press conference in Perth, Australia.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)
The Australian navy ship Ocean Shield is docked at naval base HMAS Stirling while being fitted with an autonomous underwater vehicle, bottom right, and a towed pinger locator.
The Australian navy ship Ocean Shield is docked at naval base HMAS Stirling while being fitted with an autonomous underwater vehicle, bottom right, and a towed pinger locator.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)
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