Desperate hunt on for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 'black boxes'

Apr 05 2014, 14:44 IST
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Relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight  MH370 lit candles in a prayer room in Beijing. (AP) Relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 lit candles in a prayer room in Beijing. (AP)
SummarySearch teams are desperately trying to find faint sound signals from flight recorders of Malaysia Airlines MH370.

Planes, ships and two submersible sound locators were deployed Saturday to again scour a remote patch of the Indian Ocean in the increasingly urgent hunt for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that vanished four weeks ago.

A multinational team is desperately trying to find debris floating in the water or faint sound signals from the plane's flight recorders that could lead them to the aircraft and help unravel the mystery of its fate.

Also read: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Searchers launch most intensive hunt yet in Indian Ocean

Beacons in the black boxes emit ''pings'' so they can be more easily found, but the batteries only last about a month. And officials say that the more time that passes before any floating wreckage is found, the harder it will be to find the plane itself.

So far, there's been no sign of the Boeing 777.

MalaysiaAirlines_kin prayer> </p><i>Tiger75, an S-70B-2 Seahawk, launches from the Australian Navy ship HMAS Toowoomba as it continues the search in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. (Reuters)</i>
</p><p>The recorders could help investigators determine why Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, veered so far off-course. 
</p><p>Two ships with sophisticated equipment that can hear the recorders' pings were deployed for the first time on Friday along a 240-kilometer (150-mile) route investigators hope may be close to the spot where they believe the plane went down. 
</p><p>Those ships, the Australian navy's Ocean Shield and the British HMS Echo, were returning to the search area on Saturday, along with up to 13 military and civilian planes and nine other ships, the agency coordinating the search said. 
</p><p>Weather conditions in the area, which have regularly hampered crews trying to spot debris, were fair with some rain expected, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said. 
</p><p>Because the U.S. Navy's pinger locator can pick up signals to a depth of 6,100 meters (20,000 feet), it should be able to hear the plane's data recorders even if they are in the deepest part of the search zone - about 5,800 meters (19,000 feet). But that's only if the locator gets within range of the black boxes - a tough task, given the size of the search area and the fact that the pinger locator must be dragged slowly through</p></font>
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