Ways eyed to make planes easier to find in ocean

Indonesia Malaysia Plane

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly five years, government and industry officials have been exploring a variety ways to make it easier to find airliners and their critical “black boxes” when they end up in the ocean.

But the effort was too late to help in the case of a Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared over the weekend.

National Transportation Safety Board officials said at a briefing Tuesday that the efforts were spurred by the two-year search of the Atlantic Ocean beginning in June 2009 for the main wreckage and the data and cockpit voice recorders of Air France Flight 447.

Since then, officials have discussed requiring underwater locator beacons on black boxes to last 90 days instead of 30, making recorders that can float and attaching underwater locator transmitters to the aircraft fuselage.

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