Better weather raises search MH370 hopes

Last updated 14:10 28/03/2014
Fairfax NZ

Another NZ Orion crew heads to Perth to help search for missing the Malaysia Airlines jet.

MH370 memorial
Reuters
REMEMBERED: A memorial cross and wreath in memory of the victims of missing Malaysia Airways Flight MH370 outside RAAF Base Pearce, Perth.

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Ten aircraft and five ships will be involved in today's search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The nine military aircraft include two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a South Korean P3 Orion, a South Korean C130 Hercules, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese military Ilyushin IL-76, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft, a Japanese coast guard jet, and a Japanese P3 Orion.

One civil aircraft would also act as a communications relay in the search area, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

The search had been hampered by bad weather twice this week but conditions appeared to be improving by Friday morning with planes beginning to depart from RAAF Base Pearce from 6am (11am NZT).

It followed reports from Thailand's space agency of satellite images showing 300 items floating in the southern Indian Ocean that could be debris from the ill-fated flight.

The discovery was reported less than 24 hours after the Malaysian government revealed 122 objects had been seen about 2557 kilometres from Perth, ranging in length from one metre to 23 metres.

News agency Agence France-Presse reported that the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency had captured satellite images of the 300 objects scattered over an area about 2700 kilometres southwest of the West Australian capital.

They ranged from two to 15 metres in size.

"We cannot - dare not - confirm they are debris from the plane," the Thai space agency's executive director Anond Snidvongs said.

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