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Setback in search for lost plane's black box

THE race to locate the missing Malaysia jet's black boxes before the signals from them stop has found nothing, the head of the search effort has said.

Sound locating equipment on board the Ocean Shield has picked up no trace of the signals since they were first heard late Saturday and early Sunday.

The signals had sparked hopes of a breakthrough in the search for missing Flight MH370.

The boxes' locator beacons have a battery life of about a month. Today is exactly one month since the plane vanished.

Angus Houston, the retired Australian air chief marshal leading the search off the western coast, said: "There have been no further contacts with any transmission and we need to continue (searching) for several days right up to the point at which there's absolutely no doubt that the batteries will have expired."

TOWED

IF, BY THAT POINT, THE US NAVY LISTENING EQUIPMENT BEING TOWED BEHIND THE OCEAN SHIELD HAS FAILED TO PICK UP ANY SIGNALS, A SUB ON BOARD THE SHIP WILL BE DEPLOYED TO TRY AND CHART OUT ANY DEBRIS ON THE SEA FLOOR.

The pinger locator detected two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from an aircraft's black boxes – the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, Mr Houston said.

The plane vanished on March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 on board.

Finding the black boxes is key to unraveling what happened to the Boeing 777, because they contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings that could explain why the plane veered so far off-course.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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