In the ongoing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, officials have once again found what they're calling their best lead so far. This time, it's in the form of two pings that are believed to be consistent with an aircraft's flight and voice recorder.
"Clearly this is a most promising lead, and probably in the search so far it's probably the best information we have had." (Via MSNBC)
But, once again, the odds are stacked against search teams and nothing has been confirmed. Right now, time seems to be the biggest problems facing search crews.
The black box transponder, which officials hope is causing the signals, only has around 30 days worth of battery power and Monday marks the 31st day since Flight 370 disappeared. (Via ABC)
As an aviation expert told TIME Magazine, "We’re not talking about days now, we’re really talking about hours left of the battery life, ... So we have to be cautious-optimistic."
Two pings were picked up about 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, Australia, with one lasting more than two hours and another a little over ten minutes. (Via Fox News)
The ocean is about 2.8 miles deep in that area, which is just about the limit the unmanned submarine they're using can dive looking for wreckage. (Via Bluefin Robotics)
"The two ships will search a 200 kilometer track converging on each other." (Via BCC)
Officials were sure to caution there is no guarantee this is the missing plane. They said such pings could be set off by sea animals like whales or even other ships in the area.
"I would strongly urge all the parties involved to treat this information responsibly and give time and space for the authorities to conduct further verification." (Via CNN)
But if officials are able to confirm the pings are in fact from Flight 370's black box, the New York Times cites an official who says the search will become a recovery effort, "At such ocean depths, ... that could take 'a long, long time,' measurable in months."