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Pings detected, links to MH370 not confirmed
Published:  Apr 5, 2014 12:55 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2014 1:52 AM

Latest developments

  • Chinese vessel detects pings in Indian Ocean

 

  • Pinger manufacturer says frequency 'identical' to black box
  • Ships using sonar equipment now trying to find black box

  • Plane's black box locator beacon battery life running out
  • Follow us as we bring the latest updates and coverage for the search of Flight MH370:

    Pinger maker: Frequency 'identical' to black box

    9.45pm: Sydney Morning Herald reported Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom, saying 37.5 kHz frequency was the standard beacon frequency for both black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder.

    “They’re identical,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Australian Defence Minister David Johnston urged caution.

    "I have not had a chance to get to the bottom of this but can I tell you this is not the first time we've had something that has turned out to be very disappointing," he told ABC24.  

    University of Southampton oceanographer, Simon Boxall, said a “variety of things” use the same frequency as the pulse signals reportedly detected.

    “We've had a lot of red herrings, hyperbole on this whole search,” Mr Boxall told CNN. “I'd really like to see this data confirmed... It could be a false signal.”

    Chinese vessel detects pings in Indian Ocean

    7.20pm: Both Xinhua and CCTV  reports that the Chinese vessel Haixun 01  has detected a signal pulsing once a second at a frequency of 37.5 kilohertz, which is consistent with a black box pinger.

    37.5 kHz per second is currently the international standard frequency for the underwater locator beacon on a plane's black box.

    It is located at 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude - an area in the Indian Ocean off Australia.

     
    However, the reports caution that links between this signal and MH370 is yet to be confirmed.

    Meanwhile, Chinese state media agency China News Service reports that the signal that Haixun 01 detected lasted only about 90 seconds, and was heard at about 4.30pm

    “Three crew members have confirmed hearing the suspicious signal, but it came so suddenly that they did not manage to record it in time,” the report said.

     

    It adds that two Chinese military vessels have been rushed to the area.

    Xinhua also said a Chinese air force plane spotted a number of white floating objects in the search area.

    Hisham: Batteries not due for replacement

    6pm: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today denies that the pinger batteries for the MH370 black box may not last its full duration as reported by CNN.

    When asked by Malaysiakini at today's press conference, he claims the batteries are not due to be replaced until 2014 but does not elaborate.

    At the PC he also curiously contradicts inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar's earlier announcement that the police have cleared all passengers of hijacking, sabotage as well as psychological and personal problems.

    Chinese views on M'sia generally unflattering

    5.30pm: Wall Street Journal 's China Real Time page today ran a street chat with Beijing folk on their views of the MH370 tragedy and whether it has affected their views of Malaysia.

    Cai Wei Ke , a real-estate agent, does not blame Malaysia as it "simply didn't have the resources to solve this problem. The country has limited power and it isn't very strong..."

    Student Zhang Jie when asked the question "The Chinese government has called Malaysia's handling of the missing plane 'intolerable'. Is that fair?" replies, "That's exactly the word I'd use."

    "Before this incident, all I really knew is that a lot of singers were from Malaysia. After this, I think it's an irresponsible country, leaking fake information and wasting our efforts," he says when asked if his views on Malaysia has changed.

    Baker Mr Chen says he hopes the Malaysian government "can continue to provide more sound information" and agreed that Malaysia's handling was "intolerable" as the government "didn't take enough responsibility over the lives lost".

    However he added the Chinese government "could have done a better job with the search and taken steps to act even faster" and allocated more funds and resources to speed up the search.

    Ann , a clothing store owner and part-time actress says the incident has changed her view of Malaysia as a good travel destination.

    Her view was it is a "closed, timid country with no international view. It refused to disclose any information, and when it was pushed to do so, it was still hesitant and slow".

    She also criticises the Chinese top leaders for not taking more responsibility pointing to Premier Li Keqiang "instead of some spokesman".

    Others echoed the majority sentiment was that Malaysia's handling was intolerable for various reasons, for "giving up" when other countries pressed on with the search, or for handling the situation poorly,

    "They said the plane was 'missing'. Missing? What does that even mean? Where's the evidence?" complains clothing store owner Ms Chen.

    Mr Liu a security guard says, "I don't think it's safe there anymore, who would still dare to go there?"

    Another retiree Ms Li says, "I don't think Malaysia is a nice place, and I think their government is irresponsible."

    Real-estate agent Mr Zhang is among the few who say he would still want to travel to Malaysia.

    DAP calls for candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka

    2.30pm: A candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur and in Johor Bahru are being planned for Monday at midnight to mark the one month since MH370 vanished, says DAP parliamentary leader and Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang.

    "I call on Malaysians to have a candlelight vigil on Monday midnight which marks the full month of the disappearance of MH370 in prayer and hope for the 239 passengers and crew on board, and in support and solidarity with their loved ones in their anguish and suffering," he says in a statement.

    "Not only in Malaysia and the 13 countries whose nationals were on board of the missing MH370, but all over the world, concerned people will be praying and hoping, however slim the hope, for a miracle about the safety of the 239 passengers and crew."

    Black box battery life questioned

    11.10am: The integrity of the MH370’s black box pinger has come under spotlight again as US-based manufacturer Dukane Seacom Inc claims it has not received the units for battery replacement due in 2012.

    According to CNN , this could imply the battery life would be shorter than expected and could by now have run out even as the black box search is under way.

    Full story

    Race to find black box

     

    8.40am: The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) says the search today will involve up to 13 aircraft and 11 ships, including ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo .

     

    “The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) has determined a search area of about 217,000 square kilometres, 1,700 kilometres north west of Perth.

     

    “Today's search area will focus on three areas within the same vicinity,” it said, adding that the weather is expected to be "fair with possible showers".

    8am: Today is the 29 th day of the MH370 crisis, as searchers continue to listen desperately for faint and fading signals from the aircraft’s black box.

     

    The batteries of the black box’s pingers are built to last only 30 days, and search crew have abandoned the usual approach of first trying to find debris on the ocean surface.

     

    The vessels ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo have already commenced the black box search yesterday and continue today.

     

    This requires vessels to travel at reduced speeds of three knots (approximately 5km per hour) to better detect the audio signals, limiting their search coverage within  a smaller area.

     

    “No hard evidence has been found to date so we have made the decision to search a sub-surface area on which the analysis has predicted MH370 is likely to have flown.

     

    “While the preference for search operations is to use physical evidence and then drift modelling to determine a smaller sub-surface search area, the search track is considered to be the best estimate possible for an area likely to contain the crashed aircraft,” said Joint Task Force 658 commander Peter Leavy in a statement yesterday.

    Once the batteries run out, the only option for underwater search efforts is the painstaking work of using sonar to map the sea floor.

    Recap:

    MH370 left for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on March 8, with 239 crew and passengers (with 153 Chinese nationals) on-board.

     

    However, it was mysteriously diverted less than an hour into its flight, and satellite data suggests it flew over the South Indian Ocean about six hours after air control contact was lost.

     

    Solving this mystery hinges largely on locating the black box, bright orange in colour, comprising two separate components - the flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

     

    The former records information such as altitude, heading, speed, and other data of an aircraft’s final 25 hours. The latter records audio in the cockpit for the last two hours, including the pilot’s conversations, if any.

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