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article imageSearch for missing plane to shift further south in Indian Ocean

By Nathan Salant     Jun 20, 2014 in Travel
Perth - A new search for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is scheduled to resume this summer, hundreds of miles south of where an underwater drone scanned the Indian Ocean seabed for weeks earlier this year but found no trace.
Leaders of the international search from Malaysia and Australia are expected to announce next week the location of a new 23,000-mile search area and what new advanced sonar equipment would be available to do the work.
Martin Dolan of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau told The Telegraph newspaper in London on Thursday that a public announcement would be coming next week
"All the trends of this analysis will move the search area south of where it was," Dolan said.
"Just how much south is something that we're still working on," he said.
The new area will be south of the initial area, where a remote-controlled drone scoured the Indian Ocean bottom for weeks in an unsuccessful search for evidence of the plane.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been missing since March 8, when it disappeared from radar screens about an hour into a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
No trace of the aircraft, a Boeing 777, or its 239 passengers and crew has ever been found despite a massive multi-nation search by ship and by air.
Dolan said experts were studying the electronic evidence and would bring forward a new prediction of where wreckage might be found, the newspaper said.
The first search area was computed using all available signals, including several believed to have come from the missing plane's black boxes, but that analysis apparently was faulty.
The presumed tracking sounds are now believed to have come from another source than the black boxes, the newspaper said.
"Specialists have used several different methodologies and bringing all of that work together to get a consensus view is what we're finalising at the moment," Dolan said.
Private contractors are expected to search off Australia's west coast using side-scan sonar equipment thought to be able to hear as far down as 4.3 miles, the newspaper said.
The new search is expected to take up to 12 months to complete.
Two survey ships are mapping previously uncharted portions of the search-area seabed now, before the start of the new sonar search, the newspaper said.
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