Military Aircraft Finds New Objects in Missing Plane Search
A New Zealand military plane found objects floating in the Indian Ocean that could be from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
Authorities say a ship will reach the search area by Saturday to investigate the objects and determine if they are, in fact, from the missing Boeing 777.
The discovery comes hours after the search area was shifted about 700 miles north on Friday due to a "credible lead." Radar analysis showed that the plane was traveling faster than previously thought, thus using more fuel.
Earlier this week, satellites from Japan and Thailand delivered images of hundreds of objects that could be a possible debris field in the southern Indian Ocean. Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says "this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images."
The new search area is 80% smaller than the old one — 123,167 square miles — and it's about 1,150 miles from Perth, Australia. This part of the Indian Ocean is particularly tough to search because it is a hub for massive waves and winds that often exceed hurricane force. Search operations were suspended some of this week due to weather conditions that made for poor visibility. The sea depths in this updated search area range from 6,560 feet to about 13,000 feet.
Australian authorities, however, said on Friday that the weather conditions have improved, and 10 new aircraft are active in today's search.
While Hussein says weather will be favourable this weekend for search efforts, Malaysia's Civil Aviation chief said it remains one of the biggest challenges in the search.