|(Flight MH370) Chinese searchers report ‘suspicious objects,’ US navy positions black box detector
The US Navy said it was sending a black box locator to an area of the southern Indian Ocean being scoured for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.
Chinese aircrew meanwhile, sad they detected “suspicious objects'' in the southern Indian Ocean, Xinhua reported.
The crew reported the coordinates -- 95.1113 degrees east longitude and 42.5453 south altitude -- to the Australian command center as well as Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, which is en route to the sea area.
They gave no immediate further details, but an earlier Xinhua report said a Chinese military plane set off early today from the western Australian city of Perth to seek “suspicious debris'' floating in the remote waters captured by satellite imagery.
The US navy called today’s move a “precautionary measure'' in case new sightings confirm the location of the aircraft which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.
“If a debris field is confirmed, The Navy's Towed Pinger Locator 25 will add a significant advantage in locating the missing Malaysian aircraft's black box,'' Commander William Marks, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said in an e-mailed statement.
The locator system relies on acoustic signals to help find flight recorders – also known as black boxes – on downed navy and commercial aircraft to a maximum depth of 20,000 feet , he added.
However, the statement cautioned that the deployment did not mean the missing jet's location had been confirmed.
“Please note that movement of the Towed Pinger Locator into the region is not an indication that we have confirmed a debris field,'' it said.
“It's a precautionary measure so that if we do find debris, we'll be ready to deploy the equipment to listen for the black box.''
A Chinese military plane set off from the western Australian city of Perth at first light today to search for “suspicious debris'' floating in the remote waters and captured by Chinese and Australian satellite imagery.—AFP