Australia: Possible Plane Debris Found

Planes, ships sent to check on floating objects
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2014 12:22 AM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2014 10:03 AM CDT
Australia: Possible Plane Debris Found
A Royal Australian Air Force airborne electronics analyst watches a radar screen over the southern Indian Ocean during the search operation.   (AP Photo/Australia Defence Department, Hamish Paterson)

After 13 days, has Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 finally been found? Australian authorities sent four military search planes to check on two possible pieces of plane debris spotted via satellite in the Indian Ocean around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, the larger of which is around 80 feet across, reports CNN. The AP reports that the planes ended the day having had no luck; they combed an 8,800-square-mile area but were hampered by low visibility caused by clouds and rain. The search will resume tomorrow, but Australian authorities warn against jumping to conclusions. Satellite images "do not always turn out to be related to the search even if they look good, so we will hold our views on that until they are sighted close-up," says John Young, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response chief.

  • Aircraft from the US and New Zealand are also on their way to the debris site, along with a merchant ship and an Australian naval vessel, the BBC reports. Malaysian authorities have been informed of the find and will hold a press conference later today. "Every lead is a hope. We have been consistent with our process and we want to verify properly," a government spokesman says.
  • Crew members from a US Navy Poseidon P-8 told ABC they received radar hits of "significant size" in the area, but their commander later said the readings were typical and not connected to the missing plane.
  • If the debris does turn out to be from the missing Boeing 777, the mystery will still be a long way from solved, the New York Times finds. The clues investigators really need will probably have sunk beneath the waves, and ocean currents could have carried floating debris hundreds of miles away from the crash site.
  • The FBI, meanwhile, says it is working with Malaysian authorities to analyze data deleted from a flight simulator found at the pilot's home. It's not clear whether the deleted files will prove relevant to the investigation and authorities stress that the pilot is being considered innocent.
(Read more Malaysia Airlines stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.