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Navy's P-8 Searching for Missing Jet Will be Grounded Saturday

A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon plane at the airport in Perth, Australia, on March 21, 2014. The plane will be grounded for maintenance on Saturday.Ziad Jaber / NBC News

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One of the U.S. Navy planes searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet will be grounded for maintenance Saturday, Navy officials said Friday.

The Navy's P-3C Orion aircraft will continue scouring on Saturday, but the P-8 Poseidon will stay put in Perth, Australia, for routine maintenance, said U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet spokesman, Cmdr. William Marks.

“This mission is certainly unique, really unprecedented … For these planes, we watch the maintenance and the air-crew hours very carefully,” Marks said.

The P-8 spent the day scouring an area 1,500 miles off the southwest coast of Australia. Conditions were clear, but the plane did not find signs of the missing jet on Friday.

The P-8’s twin jet engines allow it to cover far more territory than the P-3, according to the Navy.

— Ziad Jaber

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 A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon plane at the airport in Perth, Australia, on March 21, 2014. The plane will be grounded for maintenance on Saturday. Ziad Jaber / NBC News

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