Australia ‘very confident’ signals are from missing jet

PERTH, Australia: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday he is “very confident” that signals detected in the search for Flight MH370 are from the aircraft’s black box, whose batteries are waning fast more than a month after the plane vanished.

Abbott, speaking on a visit to China where two-thirds of the 239 on board the Malaysia Airlines jet came from, said he would brief Chinese President Xi Jinping more fully on the investigation later in the day.

Four signals linked to aircraft beacons have been detected by the Australian vessel Ocean Shield using US equipment, with the first two analysed as being consistent with those from aircraft flight recorders.

“We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident the signals are from the black box,” Abbott said in Shanghai.

“It’s been very much narrowed down because we’ve now had a series of detections, some for quite a long period of time.

“Nevertheless, we’re getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade.”

The ping-emitting beacons on the flight’s data and cockpit voice recorders — which have a normal battery lifespan of around 30 days — are expected to die out as the days go by.