Sat, Mar 29, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Search for lost jet shifts after new lead

RADAR DATA:The new search area is 1,100km northeast of where possible debris was seen and is closer to Perth, amid better weather, Australian maritime authorities said

Reuters, SYDNEY and PERTH, Australia

Officials believe someone on board may have shut off the plane’s communications systems before flying it thousands of kilometers off course, where it crashed into the ocean in one of the most isolated and forbidding regions on the planet.

The US Navy said yesterday it was sending a second P8-Poseidon, its most advanced maritime surveillance aircraft, to help in the search.

“It’s critical to continue searching for debris so we can reverse-forecast the wind, current and sea state since March 8 to recreate the position where MH370 possibly went into the water,” said Commander Tom Moneymaker, a US 7th Fleet oceanographer.

The US has also sent a device that can be towed behind a ship to pick up faint pings from the plane’s black box voice and data recorders, but time is running out.

“We’ve got to get this initial position right prior to deploying the Towed Pinger Locator since the MH370’s black box has a limited battery life and we can’t afford to lose time searching in the wrong area,” Moneymaker said.

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