Flight MH370 Live Blog - Live Blogs - Al Jazeera English

Flight MH370 Live Blog

The search continues for the plane that went missing between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing with 239 people on board.

  • Planes and ships resumed the search for wreckage from Flight MH370 on Wednesday after weather improved in the treacherous Indian Ocean.

    Gale force winds, driving rain and mountainous seas prevented any sorties being flown from Perth in Australia's west on Tuesday, but 12 aircrafts will be airborne on Wednesday, with South Korean planes joining the search for the first time.

    "Today's search is split into three areas within the same proximity, covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres," said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which is coordinating the operation.

    Australian naval vessel the HMAS Success, which was forced to leave the storm-tossed region, has returned and will conduct a surface sweep of a zone where two objects were spotted this week.

    China's polar supply ship Xue Long has also joined the quest to find physical proof that the Malaysia Airlines jet went down in the remote seas, and clues as to why it veered off course and vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the search -- now in a recovery phase -- would continue until there was no hope of finding anything.

    "It is not absolutely open-ended but it is not something we will lightly abandon," he said.

    Mark Binskin, vice chief of Australia's Defence Force, has underscored the daunting size of the area under scrutiny by air crews flying exhausting sorties far from Australia's west coast.

    "We're not trying to find a needle in a haystack, we're still trying to define where the haystack is," he said on Tuesday as authorities face the task of retrieving sunken or floating debris, as well as the "black box" flight recorder.

    [AFP]
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  • New satellite images have revealed more than 100 objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be debris from the missing plane, Malaysia's acting transport minister said.

    Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference that the images were captured by France-based Airbus Defence and Space on March 23.

    [Reuters]
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  • Multinational search teams have resumed the hunt for the wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after weather conditions improved over the southern part of the Indian Ocean.

    A total of 12 planes and two ships from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China, Japan and South Korea were participating in Wednesday's search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

    Continue reading the full story here



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  • Court documents that often precede a lawsuit have been filed by a US law firm on behalf of a relative of a passenger on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

    Januari Siregar, a relative of Indonesian-born passenger Firman Chandra Siregar filed the charges. 

    The filing in Chicago asks a judge to order Malaysia Airlines and Chicago-based Boeing Co. to turn over documents related to the possibility "negligence" caused the Boeing 777 to crash, including any documentation about the chances of "fatal depressurization" in the cockpit.
    [Associated Press]
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  • More satellite images have given searchers the latest clues in the hunt for the downed Malaysian jetliner, as planes flew out of Australia on Thursday trying to spot 122 objects seen floating in the turbulent Indian Ocean where officials believe the missing passenger jet may have crashed.

    In total, 11 planes and five ships are set to scour a search area 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth on Australia's western coast, but the Australian Maritime Safety Authority cautioned that weather was expected to deteriorate later Thursday. 

    [AP]
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  • UPDATE

    Aircraft searches for a Malaysia jetliner presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean have been called off for Thursday due to bad weather, a US Navy officer told Reuters news agency.

    "The forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near zero visibility," said Lieutenant Commander Adam Schantz, the officer in charge of the US Navy Poseidon P8 aircraft detachment.

    "Anybody who's out there is coming home and all additional sorties from here are cancelled." 

    The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed flights had been cancelled due to the weather.
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  • The search party was on the hunt for debris, and the black boxes aboard the flight. 

    The two nearly indestructible boxes recorded critical information that would help investigators reconstruct what went wrong with Flight MH370.

    The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have beacons that are sending out "pings" which searchers could track back to the main wreckage. But the batteries will run out in about two weeks.

    [AP]
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  • What are the search parties looking for? 

    They're commonly called black boxes, but the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder are actually orange - so they can be more easily seen.

    The data recorder logs performance and other metrics, including speed, altitude and direction. In all, it can keep 1,000 different measurements, giving investigators a rich cache of information.

    Those measurements cover the 25 hours prior to a crash. The voice recorder captures two hours of sound from several microphones in the cockpit. It runs on a continuous loop, so audio from the critical moments during which the plane diverted west from its Malaysia-China route - about seven hours before it is believed to have crashed - have been erased.

    [AP]
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  • Why the race against time to find these recorders? 

    Each recorder has its own beacon, bolted to the box's outside, which once activated by water emits a chirp every second. The chirp can't be heard by the naked ear - it requires special equipment to detect. 

    A beacon's battery is designed to last 30 days. Once that month is up, the pings begin to fade in the same way that a flashlight with failing batteries begins to dim.

    According to Chuck Schofield of Dukane Seacom Inc., a company which has sold pingers to Malaysia Airlines, the batteries might "reliably'' give five extra days before dying. The specific length depends on factors including maintenance and temperature.

    Authorities believe the plane crashed March 8. So the pingers would begin to fade around April 7, and could go silent around April 12.

    The US Navy on Wednesday deployed a Towed Pinger Locator, a device that's pulled behind a vessel at slow speeds, and an unmanned underwater vehicle to Perth in western Australia. The equipment will be fitted to an Australian vessel, which according to Malaysia is expected to reach the search area April 5.

    [AP]
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  • Wouldn't the crash have destroyed the black boxes?

    The data and voice recorders are tough. Honeywell Aerospace made the boxes in the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. They are engineered to survive a super-hot fire for an hour, stay intact during a violent impact, and withstand the tremendous pressure of being under 20,000 feet of water, Honeywell spokesman Steve Brecken said. 

    Ocean depths in the search area average roughly 10,000 to 15,000 feet. The flight data recorder should retain its information for at least two years.

    [AP]
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  • Will the case of MH370 bring a change to Aviation safety devices? 

    After the crash of an Air France flight in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, searchers did not locate the black boxes for nearly two years.
    Aviation regulators began a push to extend battery life, and the European Aviation Safety Agency will require a 90-day pinger starting next year. 

    Several years later, a second regulatory change kicks in - a much larger pinger must be added to the structure of the air frame. That would give searchers a second signal to track, one that can be detected up to 13 kilometers away. 

    The black box pingers have a range of about four kilometers.

    [AP]
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  • A Thai satellite has detected about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for Flight MH370, officials said Thursday.

    Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency, said the images showed "300 objects of various sizes" in the southern Indian Ocean about 2,700 kilometers southwest of Perth, Australia.

    Some of the objects were estimated at up to 16 meters long, he said.

    The images were taken by the Thaichote satellite on Monday, took two days to process and were relayed to Malaysian authorities on Wednesday.

    Anond says the objects were about 200 kilometers from the area where a French satellite on Sunday spotted 122 objects. It remains uncertain whether the objects are from the missing flight.

    [AP]
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  • Japan said on Thursday it provided Malaysia with four satellite images taken on Wednesday showing about 10 objects that might be debris from the plane, with the largest measuring about 4 meters by 8 meters.

    The objects were located about 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth, Japan's Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office said.

    A Thai satellite also spotted about 300 objects, ranging from 2 meters to 16 meters long, about 2,700 kilometers southwest of Perth, said Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency.

    He said the images, taken Monday by the Thaichote satellite, took two days to process and were relayed to Malaysian authorities on Wednesday.

    The objects were about 200 kilometers southwest of the area where a French satellite on Sunday spotted 122 objects.

    It's unknown whether the satellites detected the same objects; currents in the ocean can run a
    meter per second and wind also could move material.

    [AP]
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  • Mathematicians at a scientific firm who discovered missing Air France jet deep beneath the Atlantic are preparing to look for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

    Metron, a scientific consulting firm, has already started work with data currently in the public domain.

    "We're trying to get our hands on all the publicly available data so we can start doing an independent assessment," Van Gurley, a senior manager in Metron's advanced mathematics applications division, told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

    Founded in 1982, Metron conducts highly specialised analysis for US national security applications, such as sonar systems.

    In the case of Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 with 228 on board, the target was its flight data recorder lying at the bottom of the ocean.
    [AFP]
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  • People light candles at a vigil for passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in Kuala Lumpur [Reuters] 

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  • Australian search authorities said on Friday they were shifting their area of search due to a "new credible lead" from analysis of radar data provided by Malaysia.

    The new information was based on analysis of radar data between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca before radar contact was lost, AMSA said in a statement.

    "As a result today's search will shift to an area 1,100km to the northeast based on updated advice provided by the international investigation team in Malaysia."

    Analysis indicated that the aircraft was traveling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft traveled south into the Indian Ocean, it said.
    [Reuters]
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  • The Chinese Air Force said on Saturday that one of their airlifters has found three debris respectively in white, red and orange colours and marked the area during its scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner MH370 in a new search area in southern Indian Ocean.

    The Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter took off to a new search area designated by Australia at 6:05 on Saturday to begin the search.

    As of 9:53, the crew members and the Australian experts on board the plane have spotted three suspected debris in white, red and orange colours in an water area with a radius of 15 km from 300m high. 

    Upon discovering the debris, the crew members immediately dropped two sea dye markers to mark the areas and reported the findings to the relevant parties.

    "After entering the search area, the airlifter flew for about 20 minutes. We found an L-shaped debris in orange colour right below the plane's right wing. 

    Then within around three minutes, we found a strip-shaped object. We immediately reported our findings to the captain," said Wang Zhenwu, crew member of the Chinese airlifter.

    "When we found the objects, the crew verified that the objects they found were along one axis. After verified two times, we decided to drop the buoys that mark the area with dying agent. 

    From an altitude about 300m, we dropped one sea dye marker to each of the suspected sites, which were exactly the same latitude and longitude of the location of those debris," said Liu Jun, captain of the Chinese airlifter.

    [Reuters]
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  • Chinese aircraft searching for the missing Malaysian plane has spotted three suspicious objects in the waters near Australia.

    Chinese ships are also joining in the search in the Southern Indian Ocean.

    It's exactly three weeks since Malaysian airlines MH 370 vanished with 239 passengers on board.

    Teams are now focusing on the waters more than 1,800 km west of Perth.

    Al Jazeera's Sonia Gallego reports.

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  • Former Australian defence chief to head search efforts

    [AP] 

    Former Australian defence chief Angus Houston will take over coordination of the international search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

    The retired air chief marshal will head a new joint agency coordination centre to be set up in Perth which will coordinate the search for the Boeing 777, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Sunday.

    [AFP]
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  • No positive ID on objects pulled from Indian Ocean

    A day after the search for the missing Malaysian plane
    shifted to a new area of the Indian Ocean, ships on Saturday plucked objects
    from the sea to determine whether they were related to the missing jet, but none
    were confirmed to be from the plane [AP] 

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  • Australia's prime minister has said that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet will not be scaled back, despite the search being slow, difficult and frustrating so far. 

    Ten planes and 11 ships found no sign of the missing plane in the search zone in the southern Indian Ocean, about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles) west of Australia, officials said.

    The search area has evolved as experts analyzed Flight 370's limited radar and satellite data, moving from the seas off Vietnam, to the waters west of Malaysia and Indonesia, and then to several areas west of Australia. The search zone is now 254,000 square kilometers (98,000 square miles), about a 2.5 hour flight from Perth.

    [AP]
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  • In a statement late Monday, Malaysia said the final words received by ground controllers at 1:19 am on March 8 were "Good night Malaysian three-seven-zero.'' Earlier the government said the final words were "All right, good night.'' The statement didn't explain or address the discrepancy.

    The statement also said investigators were still trying to determine whether the pilot or co-pilot spoke the words.

    [AP]
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  • Australia is deploying a modified Boeing 737 to act as a flying air traffic controller over the Indian Ocean to prevent a mid-air collision among the large number of aircraft searching for the Malaysia Airlines jetliner.

    According to an Australian government briefing note read out to The Associated Press news agency by an official, the air force is sending an E-7A Wedgetail equipped with advanced radar to start monitoring the search zone Tuesday.

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    [AP]
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  • Malaysian authorities released the full transcript of communications between the pilots of missing Flight MH370 and air traffic controllers on Tuesday, saying the exchanges showed nothing unusual.

    "There is no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript," a statement by Defence and Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

    The 43 separate transmissions over nearly 54 minutes are thick with air-traffic and navigational jargon and give no hint of trouble aboard the ill-fated plane.

    The transcript concludes with Malaysian air traffic control first bidding MH370 "good night", as it instructs the pilots next to contact controllers in Vietnam, over which the plane was due to fly.

    The final entry from just after 1:19 am comes from one of the two MH370 pilots, who says "good night, Malaysian three seven zero".

    The transcript - and particularly the final words from MH370 -- have been the subject of much speculation following earlier statements by authorities and the airline that the last transmission from the plane was a casual "All right, good night".

    Tuesday's statement said the transcript was "initially held as part of the police investigation", but gave no other reason for the delay.

    Malaysia Airlines had said previously that the last words were believed uttered by First Officer Fariq, but the statement said the ongoing investigation was yet to confirm that.

    [AFP]
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  • Industry group seeks continuous flight tracking

    An aviation industry group is creating a task force to make recommendations this year for continuously tracking commercial airliners because "we cannot let another aircraft simply vanish" like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

    The aviation mystery has highlighted the need for improvements in tracking aircraft and security, according to the International Air Transport Association, a trade association for the world's airlines meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

    "In a world where our every move seems to be tracked, there is disbelief that an aircraft could simply disappear,'' said Tony Tyler, the director general of the group whose 240 member airlines carry 84 percent of all passengers and cargo worldwide.

    "We cannot let another aircraft simply vanish," he said in announcing the high-level task force to make recommendations on tracking commercial aircraft.
    [Associated Press]
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  • Peter Jackson's jet joins search for missing MH370: report

    The personal jet of Oscar-winning movie director Peter Jackson was reported Wednesday to have been called into assist  with the search for the missing Malaysian airliner.

    Australian authorities coordinating the search for Flight MH370 which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board said a civilian jet was being used to assist military aircraft scouring the Indian Ocean for any signs of the Boeing 777.

    After initially denying it was Jackson's jet, a spokesman for the New Zealand movie director later confirmed it was his aircraft that had been chartered to Australian authorities, the New Zealand Herald reported. 

    Radio New Zealand said Jackson, who directed the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies, had personally approved the use of his Gulfstream G650 in the search.
    [AFP]
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  • The investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may take a long time and may never determine the cause of the tragedy, Malaysia's national police chief warned Wednesday.

    Khalid Abu Bakar said the criminal investigation was still focused on four areas - hijacking, sabotage and personal or psychological problems of those on board the plane.

    "Investigations may go on and on and on. We have to clear every little thing," Khalid said. "At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident."

    Khalid said that police had conducted more than 170 interviews with family members of the pilots and crew members. ``We must be very thorough and we need all the time ... you cannot hurry us,'' he said.

    Police are also investigating the cargo and even the food served on the plane to eliminate possible sabotage, he said.

    [AP]

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  • The US military has spent more than $3.3m on the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and has put in place plans that nearly double the original $4m available for the hunt, a Pentagon spokesman said.

    Army Colonel Steve Warren said, on Wednesday, the Defense Department spent $3.2m between March 8 and March 24 on the initial search for the Boeing 777-200ER, which went missing more than three
    weeks ago during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

    The search for the missing plane is still on going.

    [Reuters]
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  • Malaysian police have ruled out involvement of any passengers in the disappearance of a missing jetliner, while Australian officials warned bad weather and a lack of reliable information were impeding efforts to find wreckage from the plane.

    Up to 10 planes and nine ships from a half dozen countries on Wednesday scoured a stretch of the Indian Ocean roughly the size of Britain, where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is believed to have crashed more than three weeks ago.

    Authorities have not ruled out mechanical problems as causing the disappearance, but say all the evidence suggests the plane was deliberately diverted from its scheduled route from
    Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

    Malaysia's police chief said the investigation was focusing on the cabin crew and pilots, after clearing all 227 passengers of possible involvement in hijacking, sabotage or having personal or psychological problems that could have been connected to the disappearance.

    "They have been cleared," national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.

    The search and rescue teams are in a race against time to locate the plane's black box recorder, which has an expected battery life of around 30 days and without which it may never be possible to find the wreckage.

    [Reuters]
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  • The latest search area for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

    Updated search area for missing flight MH370 [Reuters] 


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  • About 50 protesters protested outside the US embassy in Kuala
    Lumpur  to call for a boycott of CNN and Fox News in response to their coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

    In a statement handed to the embassy, protest groups said
    reporting of the search for MH370 by both networks had suggested links between
    Malaysia's Muslim leaders and "acts of terrorism".



    "This is utter gutter journalism and we reject and we
    are very sad and i think we should re-educate the American journalism,"
    said Malaysian Media Foundation Foundation President Dzulkarnian Taib, one of
    the organisers of the event.



    Protesters said commentators on Fox News had unfairly
    emphasised the Muslim faith of MH370's pilot and co-pilot as a cause for
    suspicion.





    [Reuters]

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  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak flew to Australia for briefings on the search for the missing plane and held talks with his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, whose country is overseeing the search operation.

    “I know that until we find the plane, many families cannot start to grieve,” Najib said.

    “I cannot imagine what they are going through. But I can promise them that we will not give up.”

    In the same press briefing Abbot said his country will do everything it can to find the missing plane.

    “It is a very difficult search, the most difficult in human history. But as far as Australia is concerned, we are throwing everything we have at it.”

    No trace of the Boeing 777 has been found nearly four weeks after it vanished in the early hours of March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

    Ten planes and nine ships were involved in search operations on Thursday, scouring the ocean far off Australia's southwest corner where investigators believe the plane may have ended up after unknown events occurred on board.

    [AP]
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  • Government's should make better use of airlines passenger data 

    Experts at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual conference have said governments should take more responsibility in fully utilising airline passenger data so as to confirm the identities of passengers on board flights.

    Missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had two passengers board the plane with other people's passports. 

    Although the two were proved not linking to terrorism, experts warned that their boarding with other people's passports was not an individual case and airlines worldwide should pay attention to it.
    [Associated Press]
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  • Crew members aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft search in the southern Indian Ocean for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 [Reuters]  

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  • A Chinese patrol ship searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz per second in the south Indian Ocean on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua reported.

    A black box detector deployed by the vessel Haixun 01 picked up the signal at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, Xinhua said. 

     It has yet to be established whether it is related to the missing jet. Xinhua also said a Chinese air force plane spotted a number of white floating objects in the search area.

    [Reuters]

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  • Malaysia vowed on Saturday that it would not give up trying to find the missing jetliner and announced details of a multinational investigation team to try to solve the aviation mystery, as the search for the plane entered its fifth week.

    Military and civilian planes, ships with deep-sea searching equipment and a British nuclear submarine scoured a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast, in an increasingly urgent hunt for debris and the "black box'' recorders that hold vital information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's last hours.

    After weeks of fruitless looking, officials face the daunting prospect that sound-emitting beacons in the flight and voice recorders will soon fall silent as their batteries die after sounding electronic "pings'' for month.

    [AP]
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  • Chinese state media says a ship has detected a "pulse signal" in the MH370 search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

    A Black Box locator has detected that signal but authorities have yet to determine whether it's related to the missing MH-370 flight.

    Al Jazeera talks to Chris Yates, an independent Aviation analyst in Manchester.

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  • The Australian-led joint agency coordinating the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner says electronic pulse signals reportedly detected by a Chinese ship in the southern Indian Ocean are consistent with those of an aircraft black box.

    However, Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said early on Sunday that the agency cannot verify any connection between the signals and Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

    [AP]
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  • No positive on "pulse signal"

    Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared on March 8 [AP] 

    Officials are trying to confirm whether a "pulse signal" reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship in the Indian Ocean came from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

    The Australian agency coordinating the search for the missing plane said that the electronic pulse signals reportedly detected by the Chinese ship are consistent with those of an aircraft black box.

    But the agency's head, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said officials "cannot verify any connection" at this stage between the signals and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

    [AP]
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  • Chinese families of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 passengers have held a candlelight vigil to mark the one month anniversary of the aircraft's disappearance. [AP] 

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  • Officials urge caution 

    An Australian ship has detected faint pings deep in the Indian Ocean in what an official has called the "most promising lead" yet in a month-long search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

    But officials coordinating the multinational search for the missing jet still urged caution on Monday after a weekend that also brought reports of "acoustic noise" picked up by a Chinese vessel involved in the search.

    [AP]
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  • Relatives of those on board have held vigils to mark the one month anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. In Beijing, family members gathered to light candles in honour of their loved ones. Out of the 239 passengers on board the aircraft, 154 were Chinese nationals. 
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

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  • 'Pings' raise hopes MH370 will be found


    After a navy ship heard more signals from deep in the Indian Ocean, the head of the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner said Wednesday he believes the hunt is closing in on the "final resting
    place" of Flight 370.

    The Australian vessel Ocean Shield picked up two signals Tuesday, and an analysis of two other sounds detected Saturday showed they were consistent with a plane's flight recorders, or "black boxes," said Angus Houston, the Australian official coordinating the search for the Malaysian Airlines jet.

    "I'm now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not-too-distant future," Houston said. "But we haven't found it yet, because this is a very challenging business."

    [AP]
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  • This infographic published by the Washington post shows just how deep in the ocean the missing plane might be.


    To view the full infographic click here.

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  • Report: Malaysia Airlines lost flight recordings during an incident at Heathrow Airport
    in 2012

    Malaysia Airlines failed to properly preserve flight recordings during an incident at London's Heathrow Airport in 2012 when a plane had to turn back because of technical problems, a report by Britain's air accidents investigator found on Thursday.

    “The investigation determined that the operator's procedures for the preservation of flight recordings were not sufficiently robust to ensure that recordings would be preserved in a timely manner following an incident or accident.” the report said.

    The report was published as search teams continue to hunt for the airline's missing Flight 370, which disappeared in an unrelated incident last month on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.

    [AP]
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  • BREAKING: [AP] Australian PM says searchers for missing flight #MH370 are confident signals are coming from missing plane's black box
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  • Australian PM confident sounds are from Flight 370

    Australia's prime minister says searchers hunting for the missing Malaysian jetliner are confident underwater signals that have been picked up are coming from the jet's black box.

    Tony Abbott told reporters while on an official visit to China that Australian authorities are confident they know the location of the black box from the plane that disappeared without a trace on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

    The plane's black boxes, or flight data and cockpit voice recorders, could help solve the mystery of why Flight 370 veered so far off course.
    [Associated Press]
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  • "We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH370," Australia PM Tony Abbott said in Shanghai.

    "Nevertheless, we're getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade," he said.

    "We are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires."
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  • Fading signals add urgency to search for missing Malaysian jet

    The search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner resumed on Saturday, five weeks after the plane disappeared from radar screens, amid fears that batteries powering signals from the black box recorder on board may have died.

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned on Friday that  signals picked up during the search in the remote southern Indian Ocean, believed to be "pings" from the black box recorders, were fading.

    Batteries in the black box recorder are already past their normal 30-day life, making the search to find it on the murky sea bed all the more urgent. 

    "Work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is deployed," the Australian agency coordinating the search said on Saturday.

    "There have been no confirmed acoustic detections over the past 24 hours," it said in a statement.

    Search officials say they are confident they know the approximate position of the black box recorder, although they have determined that the latest "ping', picked up by searchers on Thursday, was not from the missing aircraft.
    [Reuters]
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  • Latest search areas and locations of "ping" signals [Reuters] 

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  • Malaysia flight's co-pilot tried to make cellphone call

    Investigators probing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 suspect that the co-pilot of the jetliner tried to make a call with his cellphone after the plane was diverted from its scheduled route, Malaysia's New Straits Times reported sources as saying on Saturday.

    The newspaper cited unidentified investigative sources as saying the attempted call from co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid's phone was picked up by a cellphone tower as the plane was about 200 nautical miles northwest of the west coast state of Penang.

    That was around where military radar made its last sighting of the missing jet at 2:15 a.m. local time on March 8.

    "The telco's (telecommunications company's) tower established the call that he was trying to make. On why the call was cut off, it was likely because the aircraft was fast moving away from the tower and had not come under the coverage of the next one," the New Straits Times cited a source as saying.

    Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the report. The New Straits Times quoted acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as saying that the report needed to be verified. 
    [Reuters]
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  • A robotic submarine hunting for the missing Malaysian jet aborted its first mission after only six hours, surfacing with no new clues when it exceeded its maximum depth along the floor of the Indian Ocean, officials said Tuesday.

    Search crews sent the US Navy's Bluefin 21 into the depths Monday to begin scouring the seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 after failing for six days to detect any new signals believed to be coming from its black boxes.

    But the 16-hour mission was cut short when the unmanned sub, which is programmed to hover 30 meters (100 feet) above the seabed, entered a patch that was deeper than its maximum depth of 4,500 meters, the search coordination center and the US Navy said.

    A built-in safety feature returned the Bluefin to the surface and it was not damaged, they said.

    The data collected by the sub was later analyzed and no sign of the missing plane was found, the US Navy said. 

    Crews were shifting the Bluefin's search area away from the deepest water and were hoping to send it back on another mission later Tuesday.

    Search authorities had known the primary search area for Flight 370 was near the limit of the Bluefin's dive capabilities. Deeper-diving submersibles have been evaluated, but none is yet available to help.
    [AP]
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  • Submarine continues second seabed search

    A robotic submarine looking for the lost Malaysian jet is continuing its second seabed search on Wednesday, as up to 14 planes are expected to take to the skies for some of the final sweeps of the Indian Ocean for floating debris from the airliner.

    [AP]
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  • Update: A tropical cyclone is threatening to hinder the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in a remote area of the Indian Ocean, as a submarine drone nears the end of its mission. [Reuters]
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  • The aerial search for Flight MH370 was suspended on Tuesday due to bad weather caused by a tropical cyclone, officials said, but 10 ships would continue the mission.

    Up to 10 military aircraft had been scheduled to fly over the Indian Ocean in hopes of spotting clues as to the fate of the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people.

    But the Joint Agency Coordination Centre managing the search said while the ships off western Australia would pursue their work, aerial surveillance of a 49,491 square kilometre (19,108 square mile) area had been called off.

    "Planned air search activities have been suspended for today due to poor weather conditions in the search area as a result of Tropical Cyclone Jack," JACC said in a statement.

    "It has been determined that the current weather conditions are resulting in heavy seas and poor visibility, and would make any air search activities ineffective and potentially hazardous."

    [AFP]
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