In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, crew members on board an aircraft P-8A Poseidon assist in search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Malaysian authorities on Sunday examined a flight simulator that was confiscated from the home of one of the missing jetliner's pilots. The Boeing 777 went missing less than an hour into a March 8, flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing as it entered Vietnamese airspace. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Eric A. Pastor)

Searchers relying on satellite data to find plane

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Search and rescue experts say the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane may hinge on inexact satellite data.

A satellite was able to connect with the aircraft's messaging system once an hour for four to five hours after the system was shut down and the plane disappeared from radar screens. The satellite tilted its antenna to receive messages from the plane, although no location information was exchanged.

Investigators have used the antenna angle, along with radar data, to draw two vast arcs where the plane is believed to be.

Air crash investigators have never used this kind of satellite data before to try to find a missing plane, but it may be the best clue left.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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