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Search operations for Malaysia Airlines aircraft: Update 26

Saturday 29 March 2014
Friday's search area for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was shifted north after international air crash investigators in Malaysia updated their previous analysis of the likely aircraft movements.

*All times are expressed in Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDT). Please note all times are approximate.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) assessed this update as credible, and advised AMSA of the new basis for a revised search area.

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) then applied the effects of weather and currents to develop today's search area.

Five aircraft spotted multiple objects of various colours during Friday's search.

The objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships. It is not known how much flotsam, such as from fishing activities, is ordinarily there. At least one distinctive fishing object has been identified.

Today's weather is expected initially to be suitable for searching but conditions are expected to deteriorate later in the day.

The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration ship Haixun 01 has been on scene for relocating objects from first light.

Search activities today will involve a total of 8 aircraft.

They include three Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a Japanese Coast Guard jet, a Japanese P3 Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin IL-76, and one civil jet acting as a communications relay.

The first aircraft to depart was the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, which departed at 9:05am.

The first RAAF P3 Orion departed at 9:50am, with two others scheduled to depart about 12pm and 2pm.

The civil jet is scheduled to depart about 1pm.

The Japan Coast Guard jet is scheduled to depart about 2pm.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart about 3pm. The Japanese P3 Orion is scheduled to depart about 4pm.

Six ships are expected to reach the search area today, tasked with relocating the objects sighted, but will arrive late in the day or after dark.

Media note: Today's search area charts will be made available in the media kit developed for the MH370 search.