Search and rescue officials in Australia are confident they know the approximate position of the black box recorders from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
At the same time, officials said a “ping” signal, captured on Thursday, was not related to the plane.
“We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a speech in Shanghai.
“We have very much narrowed down the search area. It’s been very much narrowed down because we have now had a series of detections, some for quite a long period of time. Nevertheless, it’s now, we are now getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade,” said Abbott.
The narrowed-down search was focusing on a small patch of the Indian Ocean, after the latest “ping” added confidence to four previous “pings” detected.
The signals were all detected in this area.
The search is reaching a critical stage, with the battery life of the black box recorders nearly at their limit.
One of the best underwater location tools, Bluefin-21, is on board Australian navy ship Ocean Shield. It could be deployed to look for wreckage on the sea floor once a final search area has been determined.