Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Missing Jet: Seven Hours of Travel Time, Two Hours Searching

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Most of the planes scouring the remote southern Indian Ocean for debris from missing Flight 370 only have a two-hour search window, officials said Friday.

“They only have two hours [of] search time when they get there because of the distance it takes to get to the area,” an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesperson told NBC News. “It’s a seven-hour round trip and a two-hour search time so they are in the air nine hours.”

The search zone is about 1,400 miles southwest of Perth, Australia, limiting the amount of time that aircraft can search the waters before returning to refuel. That distance is farther than a trip between New York and Oklahoma City.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Five planes took off from Perth on Friday, including a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon, three Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orions and “an ultra-long range” Bombardier Global Express.

A second merchant ship was expected to join the auto carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg in the isolated ocean zone later Friday.

A total of six vessels have assisted the search in the region before they were released from tasking, they added.

- Henry Austin

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.