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MH370 pinger locator brings ships closer to missing Malaysian Air flight

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The search for the MH370 entered a new phase with the introduction of a pinger locator, BBC News reported on Sunday.

A towed pinger locator is combing the ocean looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to find the black box.

Two ships

Two ships are searching a 150 mile path to retrieve the black box data recorder that will help investigators learn what happened to the missing flight.

Australian search officials said that the effort is a race against time because the black box’s batteries will fade after 30 days.

Timeline

MH370 disappeared on March 8 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China. A total of 239 people were onboard. Relatives have told that there is virtually no hope for their survival. Some have speculated that the flight may have landed in a remote area, but search authorities said that there are no airfields anywhere near where the plane disappeared in the south Indian Ocean.

Australia is spearheading the search from Perth. A virtual navy is looking for the plane. A total of 14 planes and 11 ships at last count were involved in the search.

There have been a number of false alarms as ships and planes found debris unrelated to the plane in the waters near where the plane has presumed to have crashed.

Angus Houston, head of the Joint Agencies Coordination Centre (JACC) leading the search, said over the weekend that two search ships had "commenced the sub-surface search for emissions from [the] black box pinger".

The Australian Navy is involved in the search. The Aussie military’s Ocean Shield ship was using a pinger locator that it towed. The locator was on loan from the US Navy. Another ship, the HMS Echo was also towing a pinger locator.

While the pinger is required to emit signals from the black box for 30 days, authorities say it could go on for days or even weeks longer than that before the batteries are completely exhausted.

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