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April 08, 2014

Despite Weekend Reports of Detecting Pings from Flight 370's Black Boxes, Optimism of Finding the Wreckage is Now "Fading Away"

First of all, I'm sorry to be posting so late.

I got up late -- first strike. But since then I've been writing a long piece. As Hour One turned into Hour Two and that turned into Hour Three, I realized I had better put up some filler post in the meantime.

This is that filler post.

The optimism that bubbled up over the weekend when an Australian navy ship detected pulses that appeared to signal the nearby presence of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's so-called black boxes had subsided somewhat by Tuesday, as continuing listening efforts yielded nothing.

Searchers are still scouring the waters, but their optimism is "more cautious," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. William Marks. "As hours pass," he said, "our optimism is fading away, ever so slightly."

His restraint contrasted with the cheers that erupted Saturday when the team aboard Australia's Ocean Shield detected a possible signal from the plane's flight data recorder or its cockpit voice recorder. A second possible signal was heard soon after.

The signals, detected about 1,100 miles (1,750 kilometers) northwest of Perth, Australia, were consistent with those sent by a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said. They were heard in seawater about 14,800 feet (4,500 meters) deep.


The first signal, detected by the towed pinger locator dragged behind the Australian ship, continued for more than two hours; the second for about 13 minutes. But since then, there's been silence.

The black boxes' batteries have enough power to ping for about one month.

Flight 370 had been missing for about one month as of the weekend. Thus, this could be, maybe, that the last signals from black boxes were heard just as the batteries failed, and now we'll hear nothing from the black boxes ever again.

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posted by Ace at 01:29 PM

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