Search for Missing Flight Shifts 700 Miles Northeast

Australia announced Friday that it was sending ten planes and six ships to a new search site after radar data showed that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was flying at a fast pace and would have burned through its fuel sooner than investigators had estimated.

The new search site is about 700 miles northeast of where satellite images indicated an appropriately-sized debris field in the southern Indian Ocean earlier this week.

"This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement.

Officials say conditions in the new search area are considerably better than the strong currents search teams have battled since the plane disappeared on March 8.

"It is a different ballpark," said Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer of New South Wales University, of the new search area. "Where they are searching now is more like a subtropical ocean. It is not nearly as bad as the southern Indian Ocean, which should make the search easier."

Search crews are still checking the debris spotted by Japanese, Thai, and French satellites earlier this week, but bad weather has cut most efforts short so far.

Search for Missing Flight Shifts 700 Miles Northeast

[Image via Getty]