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Attempt to call missing jet may alter search area

  • In this March 23, 2014 photo, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, right, talks with John Rice, senior search and rescue officer and mission coordinator for the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, at rescue coordination center of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra. Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday, Aug. 28, that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. Truss said the analysis of the call, attempted by Malaysia Airlines officials on the ground soon after Flight 370 disappeared from radar, "suggests to us that the aircraft might have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected." (AP Photo/Graham Tidy, Pool)

    In this March 23, 2014 photo, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, right, talks with John Rice, senior search and rescue officer and mission coordinator for the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, at rescue coordination center of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra. Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday, Aug. 28, that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. Truss said the analysis of the call, attempted by Malaysia Airlines officials on the ground soon after Flight 370 disappeared from radar, "suggests to us that the aircraft might have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected." (AP Photo/Graham Tidy, Pool)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 file photo, Malaysian Military Police officers stand guard during a rehearsal of a hand-over ceremony of bodies of victims from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, one day before the bodies of the ill-fated plane, shot down over eastern Ukraine last month, return home from Amsterdam. Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday, Aug. 28, that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 file photo, Malaysian Military Police officers stand guard during a rehearsal of a hand-over ceremony of bodies of victims from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, one day before the bodies of the ill-fated plane, shot down over eastern Ukraine last month, return home from Amsterdam. Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday, Aug. 28, that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

  • In this March 23, 2014 photo, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, right, talks with John Rice, senior search and rescue officer and mission coordinator for the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, at rescue coordination center of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra. Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday, Aug. 28, that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. Truss said the analysis of the call, attempted by Malaysia Airlines officials on the ground soon after Flight 370 disappeared from radar, "suggests to us that the aircraft might have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected." (AP Photo/Graham Tidy, Pool)
  • FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 file photo, Malaysian Military Police officers stand guard during a rehearsal of a hand-over ceremony of bodies of victims from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, one day before the bodies of the ill-fated plane, shot down over eastern Ukraine last month, return home from Amsterdam. Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday, Aug. 28, that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new analysis of a failed attempt to call the plane by satellite phone. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

Attempt to call jet may alter search area

Shortly after the missing Malaysian airliner disappeared from radar, airline officials on the ground tried repeatedly to call the crew of the Boeing 777 using a satellite phone that might have left clues to the jet’s flight path.

Now an analysis of those failed attempts to reach Flight 370 could alter the search for the plane.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said yesterday that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on the new analysis, which suggests that the aircraft turned that direction earlier than previously believed.

Investigators have long been aware of the calls but only recently developed methods to analyze the phone data for hints about the plane’s final hours. It was through a similar analysis of satellite data from the plane’s jet engine transmitters that investigators were able to define the current search area.

The jetliner disappeared March 8 after veering off its northerly course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Associated Press

and has become one of aviation’s biggest mysteries. It is thought to have crashed 1,100 miles off Australia’s west coast, but no trace of the aircraft or the 239 people aboard has been found.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan said he would meet with international experts next week to decide whether the 23,000-square mile targeted search area should be extended or shifted south.

Malaysia Airlines ground staff tried twice to call the crew. The new analysis applies to satellite data from the first call.

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