- New Zealand aircraft spots objects in new search zone
- New search area based on recalculation of plane’s speed
- Revised zone increases search flight time
- Images of potential debris further south now in doubt
- Relatives to be offered flights to Perth if wreckage is found
There are as yet no more details on that tantalising update on the sighting of objects by a New Zealand search plane in the new search zone.
Just to repeat the objects have yet to be identified and are unlikely to be relocated by ship until Saturday.
A New Zealand search aircraft reports spotting objects in the revised search area, according to the Twitter feed of the Australian Maritime and Safety Authority.
It is awaiting images of the sighting. Confirmation of the sighting by ship is not expected until Saturday, it added.
RNZAF Orion spotted objects in #MH370 search area, identity to be established. Soon to land @ RAAF Pearce. AMSA awaiting imagery. 1/2
Sightings need confirmation by ship – not expected until tomorrow. #MH370 2/2
Australia and Malaysia are giving out slightly different signals about how the revised search area relates to potential debris spotted hundreds of miles further south-west in satellite images earlier this week.
At the press conference by the Malaysian authorities, which has just ended, acting transport minister Hishammuddin said:
Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images over the past week.
Here’s the full text of the opening statement to today’s media briefing by Malaysia’s acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein:
Today, the search for MH370 has been further refined. The international investigation team continue working to narrow the search area, and shed further light on MH370s flight path.
Here’s a graphic of the revised search area showing it in relation to the size of the UK.
At their daily media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia authorities confirmed that objects sighted by satellites as floating in the Indian Ocean have not been identified as related to MH370.
But they claimed the revised search area was still consistent with those satellite sightings, due to powerful ocean drifts.
The UK’s Air Accident Investigation’s Board, which helped Malaysia to calculate the MH370 had crashed into the Indian Ocean, has defended its decision not to brief Chinese relatives about its calculation.
On Wednesday Malaysian official told a briefing to relatives that the UK experts had been invited to attend the briefing but refused.
This is not the AAIBs investigation. The AAIB, working as part of an international team, continues to give its full support to the investigation and to share its expertise and analysis with Malaysian authorities. Given that the Malaysians are leading the investigation, it is entirely right that they also lead in communicating developments with the families, the media and the wider public.
Angry relatives of the lost passengers have staged another protest at Malaysia in Beijing by staging a walk out of briefing by Malaysian officials.
Mass walk-out by over 300 relatives of #MH370 Chinese passengers after an hour, in protest of "useless" briefing. pic.twitter.com/Vx95GZvY1M
One #MH370 relative stayed and asked Msia officials if lives are more impt than national interest – and left without hearing their answer.
The new revised location for MH370 is said to be the most "credible" lead about the plane’s whereabouts, since the last most "credible" lead showed what was thought to be a debris field hundreds of miles to the south-west.
Explaining the new calculations Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau, said:
It is an iterative process and is being refined over time but what we have at the moment is the most credible location of the entry to the water and therefore the place to search.
Welcome to our live coverage of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after the hunt for the wreckage took another twist almost three weeks after the plane went missing.
Here’s a summary of the latest developments:
Link to article: feeds.theguardian.com/c/34708/f/663879/s/38b5e70c/sc/39/l/0L0Stheguardian0N0Cworld0C20A140Cmar0C280Cmh370A0Esearch0Eshifts0E70A0A0Emiles0Ecloser0Eto0Eaustralia/story01.htm