5th Ping Heard in Jet Search
Officials will analyze latest signal overnight
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2014 7:29 AM CDT
Updated Apr 10, 2014 7:53 AM CDT
A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion flies past Australian Defense vessel Ocean Shield yesterday, on a mission to drop sonar buoys in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.   (AP Photo/Australian Defense Force, LSIS Bradley Darvill)

(Newser) – An aircraft searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane picked up the fifth "ping" detected in recent days, bolstering hopes that searchers are indeed closing in on the plane's location, Reuters reports. The latest signal appears to be from a "man-made source," says the head of the Australian agency coordinating the search, meaning it could be from the airplane's black box recorders; it will be further analyzed overnight. It was picked up thanks to one of the dozens of "sonobuoys" dropped yesterday; they listen underwater and transmit data to aircraft. More reason to hope the plane will be found soon: CNN reports that the signals picked up over the weekend have been analyzed, and authorities say they likely did come from electronic equipment, not marine life, and they seem to be consistent with signals from a flight data recorder.

Meanwhile, Malaysian sources have given CNN more details about the search and the plane's final moments. They say:

  • Police played the recording of the final words spoken from the cockpit to air traffic controllers for five Malaysia Airlines pilots who knew the pilot and co-pilot of Flight 370, and those pilots confirmed it was in fact the captain speaking. "There were no third-party voices," one official source says. Sources add that there was no apparent stress, nor anything else unusual, in his voice.
  • The plane vanished from military radar for about 120 nautical miles after crossing back over the Malaysian Peninsula, meaning it likely went as low as 4,000 feet.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Telos
Apr 10, 2014 12:14 PM CDT
Isn't it lucky or odd that the black box pings are exactly at the location of the last satelite ping and isn't it lucky or odd that the Chinese were the only ones searching the area when the ping was first heard? Comrade captain to comrade sailor: Splash! Now, see if the thing picks up a ping.
Telos
Apr 10, 2014 12:01 PM CDT
Two questions tormenting me: 1) At 4000ft elevation over land, wouldn't cell phones on the plane have pinged the cell towers on the ground? I would have checked for cell pings long before checking for satelite pings from the airplane. 2) What happened to the story about the plane following beacons across the peninsula? If true, it could indicate if the plane was on autopilot or not.
dennis
Apr 10, 2014 9:28 AM CDT
The flight recorder must be days, hours from never being heard again.