In his daily briefing earlier today, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is leading Australia’s search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 made a telling statement
“I’m now optimistic. We’ll find the aircraft or what’s left of the aircraft in the not too distant future.”
His optimism in over a month of uncertainty was based on the fresh signals picked up by the Australian ship Ocean Shield, which led searchers to hope are pings from the locator beacons attached to the data recorders of MH370. Ocean Shield had first picked up underwater pings on Saturday, but then did not hear anything for the next three days. On Tuesday, the ship once again picked up the signals, giving searchers four sets of signals in a general vicinity of about 27 kilometres.
The Australian authorities confirm the signal is around 33.4 Khz, a frequency not found in nature, but is close to the frequency of the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) attached to the data recorders on board MH370. However, the sea-bed is around 4,500 metres deep in this area, and deeper in the nearby vicinity. This is about the limit for ocean salvage.
Houston went on to say
“I believe we are searching in the right area, but we need to visually identify wreckage before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370,” “They [analysts] believe the signals to be consistent with the specification and description of a flight data recorder,”
We pray that this leads to some form of closure for the grieving families of the passengers as well as the crew.