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SYDNEY - After a four-month hiatus, the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is about to resume in a desolate stretch of the Indian Ocean, with searchers lowering new equipment deep beneath the waves in a bid to finally solve one of the world's most perplexing aviation mysteries.
The GO Phoenix, the first of three ships that will spend up to a year hunting for the wreckage far off Australia's west coast, is expected to arrive in the search zone Sunday, though weather could delay its progress. Crews will use sonar, video cameras and jet fuel sensors to scour the water for any trace of the Boeing 777, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board. The search has been on hold for months so crews could map the seabed in the search zone, about 1,100 miles west of Australia. The 23,000-square mile search area lies along what is known as the "seventh arc" — a stretch of ocean where investigators believe the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed, based largely on an analysis of transmissions between the plane and a satellite. "We're cautiously optimistic," said Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the agency leading the search. "But it's just a very big area that we're looking at." Malaysia and Australia are each contributing around $60 million to fund the search.
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