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The search area for the lost Malaysian jetliner moved 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) to the northeast on Friday, following a new analysis of radar data, and a plane quickly found objects that a ship set out to investigate.
A New Zealand military plane, one of nine aircraft hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, found the objects Friday, though the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said on Twitter that it would likely be Saturday before one of the six ships on the way could and determine whether the objects were plane wreckage.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft lands at the RAAF Base Pearce near Perth. (Reuters)
The search for the crashed Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane today dramatically shifted to a new area 1,100 km further northeast in the Indian Ocean after authorities received "the most credible lead" of radar data suggesting the plane flew faster and ran out of fuel more quickly than estimated.
A New Zealand military plane searching the new area found objects, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), coordinating the search operations, said on Twitter.
AMSA said "sightings need confirmation by ship – not expected until tomorrow".
It said the search for Malaysia Airlines plane would now focus on an area 1,100 km further north-east in the southern Indian Ocean off the western Australian coast. The new area is closer to land and has calmer weather than the old one, making search operations easier.
Crew on an Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster unload an Australian Navy Seahawk helicopter at the RAAF Base Pearce near Perth. (Reuters)
Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane search shifted dramatically over 1,000 km after 'most credible lead' yet
AMSA said that the new search area was about 1,850 km west of Perth and covered some 319,000 sq km.
However, this means the huge, isolated areas of the Indian Ocean that ships and planes had combed for more than a week – and where various satellites detected objects that might be debris from the missing plane -- are no longer of interest.
Ten aircraft from six countries -- Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States – were diverted to the new area of search operations.
Five Chinese ships and an Australian naval vessel were also heading towards the new zone of interest.
AMSA said the new information was based on analysis of radar data from Malaysia