Video: Two more pings received on suspected Flight 370 search

posted at 8:01 am on April 9, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The search teams looking for the wreckage of Malaysia Air Flight 370 believe they have heard a total of four pings from the “black boxes” in the last few days — two of which were received yesterday. The signals came from the narrowing search area off of Australia’s northwest coast, on frequencies consistent with those of commercial-aircraft flight recorders. After more than a month, though, time is running out on locating them through their beacon transmissions:

Since Saturday, the Australian navy ship Ocean Shield — equipped with a U.S. Navy black-box detection system — has picked up four separate transmissions, the two most recent of which came on Tuesday. The newest signals are significant, because the increased data could allow searchers to more accurately predict the location on the Indian Ocean floor where the sounds are originating.

Australian officials caution that they cannot yet determine whether the sounds are coming from the remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board. But Houston said that the signals are a “great lead,” one that has helped to drastically narrow a search field that once spanned much of the world’s largest continent and third-largest ocean. The area now being scoured by search teams is about the size of South Carolina.

Those acoustic signals, according to Australian analysis, match the kind emitted by black boxes and take the form of metronomic pings recurring just shy of once every second. Analysts looking at the first two transmissions determined that they were “not of natural origin,” Houston said, “and likely sourced from specific electronic equipment.”

It’s still like looking for a needle in a haystack, but the haystack has gotten much smaller in the last few days. The deployment of 14 ships and 15 aircraft still have not found wreckage from the aircraft on the surface, but this lead should draw them in more closely to where the remains of the aircraft eventually settled. As the Washington Post notes, it took 20 days of intensive searching for the flight recorders from the Air France that went down in 2009 off of South America, and searchers had a clearer idea of the search area in that case.

The man in charge of the search effort declared himself “optimistic” that this effort had finally reached that stage:

Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean, said on Wednesday that the Australian navy’s Ocean Shield had picked up two more underwater signals that could be from Flight 370.

Houston said that the newly detected signals had not narrowed the search area enough to dispatch a submersible to search for possible wreckage, but did express his belief that searchers are finally “looking in the right area.”

“I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future — but we haven’t found it yet, because this is a very challenging business,” he said. “We need to visually identify aircraft wreckage before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370,” he said.

If you need a primer on flight-recorder transmissions, Time Magazine offers this video explaining the technology — and its limitations. The manufacturer’s best guess is that the signal heard by the search team is one of his products. They certainly hope he’s right.


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I’m sticking with aliens.

rbj on April 9, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Isn’t it funny how important learning and knowing the truth of something is. It is for me, anyway.

LashRambo on April 9, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I remember seeing (video) the 2nd plane crashing into the World Trade Center. It entered the building as though it were butter, and the plane a butter knife. I think if if MH370 crashed going straight down into the ocean that it would do much the same thing, just disappear into the depths of the ocean.

Dasher on April 9, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I’m sticking with aliens.

rbj on April 9, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I’m sticking with Pakistan.

bigmacdaddy on April 9, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Just incredible if this is the location.

cozmo on April 9, 2014 at 8:28 AM

for those not familiar the silver “tube” at the end is the ulb.
Dukane DK100/110/120 series most likely with the DK120 (last I knew) being the newest iteration.

dmacleo on April 9, 2014 at 8:45 AM

PahKeeStan is enjoying their new 777.

Conservative4Ever on April 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM

a graphic that adds perspective to the problem

chasdal on April 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.

rightside on April 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

a graphic that adds perspective to the problem

chasdal on April 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Excellent graphic. Not to make light of the situation, but shouldn’t the Democrat’s chances of gaining seats in November be listed some where around that 12,000 foot level?

Rovin on April 9, 2014 at 9:13 AM

I remember seeing (video) the 2nd plane crashing into the World Trade Center. It entered the building as though it were butter, and the plane a butter knife. I think if if MH370 crashed going straight down into the ocean that it would do much the same thing, just disappear into the depths of the ocean.

Dasher on April 9, 2014 at 8:15 AM

That’s the way it appeared, but that fireball was the plane disintegrating and setting off the fuel. Depending on how fast MH370 hit the water, I imagine the pieces are very, very small since water has greater density than a building.

Occams Stubble on April 9, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Rovin on April 9, 2014 at 9:13 AM

It’s just off the bottom of the graph. Mixed in with the scavenger fish poop.

cozmo on April 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.

rightside on April 9, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Perfect, great scene in a good movie.

Whiterock on April 9, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Probably the funniest CNN “developing story” chyron on the plane story.

whatcat on April 9, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I just hope those souls on board didn’t suffer.

Jackalope on April 9, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Isn’t it funny how important learning and knowing the truth of something is. It is for me, anyway.

LashRambo on April 9, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I don’t know much about this, but my understanding is that curiosity is a critical survival mechanism – it’s in our wiring.

We humans have it much. And cats.

Tsar of Earth on April 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I remember seeing (video) the 2nd plane crashing into the World Trade Center. It entered the building as though it were butter, and the plane a butter knife. I think if if MH370 crashed going straight down into the ocean that it would do much the same thing, just disappear into the depths of the ocean.

Dasher on April 9, 2014 at 8:15 AM

That’s the way it appeared, but that fireball was the plane disintegrating and setting off the fuel. Depending on how fast MH370 hit the water, I imagine the pieces are very, very small since water has greater density than a building.

Occams Stubble on April 9, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Very true. A glass-box skyscraper like the WTC looks impressively solid, but it’s really more like a chandelier; a lot of thin glass hung on a framework of steel girders. (The girders bear the weight, the glass is mainly to keep the weather outside.)

When the airliners hit, they were basically the equivalent of guided missiles hitting thickets of steel “tank traps”, like the glider traps the Wehrmacht put in fields in Normandy before D-Day. The traps tore up the gliders, but were mostly destroyed in the process, and Waco CG-4As were a lot flimsier than modern jetliners. The planes hitting the towers tore the insides of the structures apart as thoroughly as the structures tore them apart.

Hitting the water at high speed, in a 200+ ton jetliner, basically straight down is a very different situation. Water is incompressible; under heavy impact loads, it behaves much like a solid. On impact, the airplane would initially penetrate, due to its streamlining. Then the incompressibility factor would start taking it apart as the plane’s velocity exceeded the rate at which the water could “get out of the way” by flow dynamics.

When it finally got to the bottom, I’d expect a few large pieces of wing, fuselage, etc., accompanied by lots of small debris. The wreck site on the bottom will probably look less like the Titanic or Bismarck than like the Thresher or Scorpion.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The plane safely landed st the CIA parking lot in Langley Va three weeks ago but so far has escaped detection.

Is it a’ping’, ‘wishful thinking’ or the sound of lapping waves upon a lonely shore? If there is no discovery in the next two weeks, most likely we have our next Amelia Earhart Legend.

MaiDee on April 9, 2014 at 3:25 PM

They’re gonna need TWO ships that sense a ‘ping’ and then correlate the times of signal detection. Triangulate the true bearing and with additional analysis estimate a depth.
An LA class attack sub could have found this thing (when the emissions from the box were fresh) in short order if it were directed to the region … with a little luck anyway. But King Putt doesn’t know what a submarine is or what it can do … so …

As for the remnants of the aircraft … at those velocities the water surface is similar to concrete.
There is a video of the F-4 on a rocket sled test (Holloman AFB?) where the A/C is accelerated to ~450kts then impacts against a sample structural of a nuclear reactor containment building design.
The F-4 basically turns into dust as it is ‘fed’ into the wall.
Some parts remain recognizable but not many are whole.

Missilengr on April 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM

IF they ever manage to find the ‘black box’, that’s all they will find; a data recorder sitting alone, half covered in silt, sitting on the ocean floor without any sign of a downed aircraft within 1,000 miles.

Why would obama’s military bother to dump the whole jet when they have a perfectly good terrorist plot in store for it, just send the half dead pinger to the bottom of the ocean and that’ll be enough to get people to believe the whole jet is down there. That’ll give him plenty of time for the story to fade while he packs the plane with explosives and radioactive waste so it can be exploded over Atlanta or Dallas.

Brought to you courtesy of Alex bonehead Jones…..

Diluculo on April 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM

I swear that looks like something from Harbor Freight.

bbhack on April 9, 2014 at 7:25 PM