An Australian military aircraft has spotted four orange objects at sea, once again raising hopes that they might be linked to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Measuring more than two metres, the objects will be analysed by the Australian coordination centre for the missing flight, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).
Good weather and a search zone closer to land had helped the Australian P-3 Orion crew captained by Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams to spot the objects yesterday.
"We were able to detect many objects in the water," Adams told SMH at RAAF Pearce base last night, after an 11-hour mission.
"We were able to rule a few out as fishing buoys and fishing nets, however, of interest today we did encounter an area within approximately five nautical miles which included at least four orange coloured objects greater than approximately two metres in size each.
Information about the objects had been passed on to the rescue coordination centre and a GPS buoy dropped in the area.
"It's for the rescue coordination centre to analyse these and send investigators to investigate as they see appropriate, however, for my crew, from our perspective this was the best visibility we had of any objects in the water and gave us the most promising leads," said Adams.
Objects sighted by aircraft cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are recovered by ships. Nothing has yet been verified as being from MH370, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) had said last night.
A number of objects were retrieved by the HMAS Success and Haixun 01 on Saturday and had been examined and were believed to be not related to the missing plane.
Amsa had said in a statement that the objects had been examined on the ships and were described as fishing equipment and other flotsam.
Amsa had also said that eight ships had been deployed to the search area, the biggest deployment to date, which also involved nine aircraft.
The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200ER, with 239 passengers and crew on board, disappeared from the radar on March 8, about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am. – March 31, 2014.