MH370: New search area for missing Malaysia Airlines plane announced
Australian government has announced a new search area for the missing Malaysian plane after further analysis of satellite data.
The search will now shift south to focus on an area 1,100 miles off the west coast of Australia, Deputy PM Warren Truss confirmed.
Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 passengers on board.
Officials said they believed the plane had been on autopilot when it crashed.
A 64-page report released by the Australian government concluded that the underwater search for the plane should resume in the new area.
An extensive search of the ocean floor was conducted in April after several acoustic pings, initially thought to be from the plane’s flight data recorders, were heard. However, officials now believe the pings were not caused by the plane.
“It is highly, highly likely that the aircraft was on autopilot otherwise it could not have followed the orderly path that has been identified through the satellite sightings,” Warren Truss said.
The underwater search for the plane was put on hold to allow more time for survey vessels to map the ocean floor.
The new search is expected to commence in August and is expected to be completed within a year, Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief Martin Dolan confirmed.
Submarines will scour the ocean floor to look for signs of the missing Boeing 777.
The search for the missing plane is already among most expensive in aviation history.
After more than 100 days since the disappearance of the airliner, many of the relatives of the missing passengers have continued to express frustration at the lack of progress in the search.
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