Australia 'Very Confident' Pings Are From Jet
But no major breakthrough yet, search chief says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2014 4:21 AM CDT
A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion conducts a low level fly-by before dropping stores to HMAS Toowoomba during the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.   (AP Photo/Australia Defence Force, James Whittle)
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(Newser) – Searchers are closing in on the final resting place of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, according to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He told reporters in China today that authorities are "very confident" pings detected in the Indian Ocean are from the plane's black boxes and the position has been narrowed to "within some kilometers," the BBC reports. "Still, confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost 4.5km (2.6 miles) beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on that flight," he added.

  • Search chief Angus Houston, however, downplayed Abbott's remarks, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. He said there had been "no major breakthrough" in the search, which now involves 15 aircraft and 13 ships in a greatly reduced but still large area.
  • Signals consistent with those from flight recorders have been picked up four times in the area, but authorities say a fifth ping detected yesterday by a "sonobuoy" dropped from an aircraft has been analyzed and does not appear to be linked to the plane.
  • A US Navy vessel has arrived to supply ships involved in the search, a sign that "they're getting ready for the long haul," a CNN aviation analyst says. "Even if they do get four or five more pings, once they drop the side-scanning sonar device down, that is going to be painstaking and long. So I think they are settling in for the long search."