Australia: We've Found Pings Again

Search chief optimistic missing jet will be found soon
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2014 12:51 AM CDT
Updated Apr 9, 2014 7:12 AM CDT
A worker on board the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield lowers a US Navy towed pinger locator into the Indian Ocean.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair)

(Newser) – Australian officials have sounded a fresh note of confidence in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, saying they've reacquired underwater signals following a lapse into silence. Search chief Angus Houston says an Australian navy vessel detected two sets of pings yesterday in the same area that signals were detected over the weekend, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. "I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future—but we haven't found it yet, because this is a very challenging business," Houston told reporters.

The signals are getting weaker, which could be a sign that searchers are getting further away, or, more likely, a sign that the data recorder batteries are starting to fade, explained Houston. He says they have delayed deploying the autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 to search for wreckage because with time running out, they don't want anything to get in the way of the signals. In another promising development, authorities have analyzed the pings detected over the weekend and confirmed that they came from electronic equipment, with signals consistent with those of flight data recorders, CNN reports. (Read more Flight 370 stories.)

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