Five aircraft spotted coloured objects in the new search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight on Friday.
Photographs of the objects were taken and were to be assessed overnight, while a Chinese ship in the new search area was directed towards the debris.
More debris located ... a crew member of an Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion patrol plane, looks out of his observation window. Photo: AP
Earlier in the day, the search area was shifted 1000 kilometres north-east after international air crash investigators had their ”most credible lead” yet.
The new area was calculated after analysis of radar data indicated the aircraft was travelling faster than previously thought, meaning it would have used its fuel more quickly and travelled less distance.
At 319,000 square kilometres, the new search area revealed on Friday is massive, almost the same size as the Malaysian land mass and roughly 50 per cent larger than Victoria.
Flight Lieutenant Jayson Nichols looks out the cockpit of a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft over clouds while searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Photo: Reuters
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority announced on Friday night a New Zealand Orion surveillance plane had spotted a number of white or light-coloured objects and a fishing bouy in the area, which were also seen by spotters on an Australian Orion.
The Royal Australian Air Force plane also sighted two blue-grey rectangular objects. A second Australian Orion reported seeing a number of objects in a separate part of the search area about 546 kilometres away.
RNZAF Orion spotted objects in #MH370 search area, identity to be established. Soon to land @ RAAF Pearce. AMSA awaiting imagery. 1/2— AMSA News (@AMSA_News) March 28, 2014
RNZAF Orion spotted objects in #MH370 search area, identity to be established. Soon to land @ RAAF Pearce. AMSA awaiting imagery. 1/2
Ten planes were involved in Friday’s search, covering more than 250,000 square kilometres.
Chinese vessel Haixun 01, which is already in the search area, will seek to relocate the objects on Saturday.
Five other search ships - including Australia’s HMAS Success - are moving north from the search zone in the southern Indian Ocean they were scouring on Thursday, which is some 1100 kilometres to the south.
Conditions are expected to be reasonable when the search continues on Saturday.
- Additional reporting by Tom Allard