|(Flight MH370) Australians say they need to listen in on ‘more transmissions’ at search location
Efforts to detect underwater signals from what could be the blackbox of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 will likely continue for days before a remotely-operated submersible is deployed to scan the seabed, Australian officials said today.
The detection of sonic “pings’’ consistent with those emitted by aircraft black box recorders had raised hopes that a submersible would soon be launched.
However, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said in Perth more signals would have to be first detected and acoustic listening would continue until the batteries powering the emissions of signals had expired.
“We need to continue that [search] for several days to the point at which there is absolutely no doubt that the pinger batteries will have expired,'' Angus Houston said. “Until we stop the pinger search we will not deploy the submersible.''
Further signals would help to focus the hunt for a possible crash site, he said.
“If we can get more transmissions we can get a better fix on the ocean floor which will enable a much more narrowly focused visual search for wreckage,'' he said.
Houston said no further transmissions had been detected in the remote search area off western Australia which could help pinpoint where the jet carrying 239 people is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
“We need another transmission to better refine the area,'' Houston added.
Up to 11 military planes, three civilian planes and 14 ships are taking part in the unprecedented search 2,268 kilometres northwest of Perth, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said.