March 28th, 2014
06:58 AM ET

Flight 370 Search Area 'Considerable,' Conditions 'Challenging'

Nearly three weeks after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the focus of the hunt for the missing passenger jet has moved yet again.

Search teams have shifted to a different part of the southern Indian Ocean after Australian authorities said they received "a new credible lead" about the jetliner's most likely last movements.

An analysis of radar data led investigators to move the search to an area 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) to the northeast of where efforts had been focused previously, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Friday.

It described the new information, which indicated the errant jetliner didn't fly as far south as previously thought, as "the most credible lead to where debris may be located."

That means the huge, isolated areas of the ocean that ships and planes had combed for more than a week - and where various satellites detected objects that might be debris from the missing plane - are no longer of interest.

"We have moved on from those search areas," said John Young, general manager of emergency response for the Australian maritime authority.

The new search area is "considerable" and conditions there "remain challenging," acting Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters Friday.

The sudden change of geographic focus is the latest twist in an investigation that has so far failed to establish why Flight 370 flew dramatically off course or exactly where the plane and the 239 people it was carrying ended up.

"To me, it's not a game changer, it's a reset," David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said of the shifted search.

See updates on this story at CNN.com. 

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Lawrence Barbeaut

    I THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE GIVEN EACH OF THE FAMILIES THE BILL FOR THE SEARCH, THEY OBVIOUSLY DON'T APPRECIATE AMERICA AND THE OTHER COUNTRIES BESIDES MALAYSIA SPENDING MILLIONS MAYBE EVEN HALF A BILLION DOLLARS ON THE SEARCH, WHEN THERE WAS MOSTLY FOREIGN PASSENGERS. THEY COULD HAVE SHOWED SOME GRATITUDE INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SEARCH AND EVERYTHING. MAYBE IF THEY HAD JUST GIVEN THEM WHAT JUST THE FUEL COSTS ALONE EACH FAMILY COULD HAVE HAD A MILLION DOLLARS AND WOULDN'T HAVE COMPLAINED SO MUCH, YOUR ALL WELCOME FOR MY TAX DOLLARS LOOKING FOR YOUR PLANE BY THE WAY...

    April 4, 2014 at 7:13 am | Reply
  2. William Denis Guest

    If equipment to stream data from the flight voice and data recorders on commercial aircraft is affordable to install, but too costly in data streaming costs, could it not just stream recorded data when a major system or alarm occurs.

    April 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Reply

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