BEIJING, April 5 Agencies: A Chinese patrol ship searching the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, missing since March 8, has detected a pulse signal matching the frequency of the standard underwater locator beacon on black boxes on all aircraft, according to news agency Xinhua.
Xinhua said a black box detector deployed on the vessel Haixun 01 picked up the 37.5kHz signal at around 25 degrees south and 101 degrees east on Saturday.
The international team searching for the missing Boeing has very little time to zero in on the missing aircraft since a locater beam’s battery lasts for at most 30 days, and 28 days have elapsed since MH370 is thought to have deviated thousands of kilometers from its scheduled course and ended up in the Indian Ocean.
Xinhua also said a Chinese air force plane spotted a number of white floating objects in the search area. Most of the passengers on the missing plane were Chinese.
The search team has been desperately trying to find floating debris of the aircraft or the pings from the black box of the aircraft, which has the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder.
The black box, if located, will help investigators understand why the aircraft made a sharp turn left from its scheduled flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, switched off its transponders and disappeared without any definite electronic trace with 239 people on board.
So far, there has been no trace of the Boeing 777-200 despite a couple of sightings of what could have been aircraft parts floating in the ocean.
If the battery of the locator runs out before the aircraft is located, the search will get vastly more complicated, and an international effort will have to be mounted to survey the Indian Ocean floor over 217,000 square km.
Up to 13 military and civilian planes and nine other ships were also taking part in the search on Saturday.