Acoustic data offer new hope of finding MH-370

It is aviation’s greatest unsolved mystery.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, triggering history’s most extensive search for a missing aircraft.

There’s no longer any doubt the plane flew south over the Indian Ocean for several hours before crashing. A total of 3 confirmed and 15 other likely pieces of the aircraft washed up on East African and Madagascar beaches (see diagram below).

But pinpointing the crash site eluded searchers. Triangulating satellite “handshake” signals produced a rough search area, but not an exact location, as those signals were an hour apart.

Now, the U.K.-based tabloid Daily Mail reports here, British researchers think hydrophones in Australia and at Diego Garcia may have picked up noises of the crash. Similar data was used to locate the wreck of an Argentine submarine a year after it went missing in 2017. These noises may not have come from MH-370, but if they did, they could better narrow the search area.

The search was suspended in 2018, but Ocean Infinity, a private firm, wants to resume the search and is negotiating with the Malaysian government to do so.

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