The AP-3C Orion returns to the RAAF Base Pearce after a day
of searching an area in the Indian Ocean for the missing
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Photo by Reuters
More audio signals consistent with the black box of the
missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been detected.
Search co-ordinator retired air chief marshal Angus Houston
told a press conference in Perth today that the information
He said the first signal was held for about five minutes and
32 seconds, while the second was held for about seven
"I believe we are searching in the right area," he said.
Two acoustic signals were detected over the weekend, it was
revealed on Monday.
Mr Houston displayed a map that showed the first black box
"pings", picked up on Saturday afternoon and evening, were
near the final radar "handshake" the plane made with
The re-detections occurred on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
"We are looking for transmissions that are probably weaker
than they would be earlier on," Mr Houston said.
It is 33 days since the plane went missing en route from
Kuala Lumpur to Beijing - three days beyond the life of the
black box beacon's battery.
But they are known to last several days longer.
Mr Houston said there were no plans to send more ships and
pinger locators to the northern search area, which was being
combed in tighter patterns, because it was crucial to keep
the waters as quiet as possible.
Two thrusters were operating at the back of the Ocean Shield
to propel it through the waves, but everything else had been
turned off to optimise the operation of the pinger locator.
He said he was optimistic plane wreckage would be found "in
the not too distant future".
But photographic evidence taken from a submersible would be
required before the area was declared the final resting place
"I'm not going to confirm anything until someone lays eyes on
the wreckage," he said.
"We need to make hay while the sun shines. We need all the
data we can," he said, referring to the weakening black box
Mr Houston said the Chinese-led effort in the southern part
of the search zone had not picked up any further audio
signals since a detection was reported on Sunday.
He said he didn't believe it would be long before the
automated underwater vessel was deployed because the last
acoustic signal was very weak.
"I don't think that time is very far away."
The search continues for debris on the surface of the ocean,
although none of the objects so far found has had any
connection with MH370.
The Australian ship Ocean Shield is combing the northern part
of the search zone in the Indian Ocean, more than 2000
kilometres northwest of Perth, while the Chinese ship Haixun
01 and British ship HMS Echo are operating at the southern
end of the search area.