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Local expert weighs in on methods used to find missing flight 370

Published On: Apr 08 2014 05:08:37 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 08 2014 06:19:34 PM CDT

It's a race against time in the search for missing flight 370.

It's a race against time in the search for missing flight 370.

Crews are still scouring part of the Indian Ocean, trying to locate the source of faint sounds heard over the weekend, sounds that could possibly be pings from the plane's black boxes.

Once found, a robot submarine will head to the ocean floor to look for wreckage from the plane.

But officials say the clock is ticking; the batteries for the black boxes aren't expected to last much longer.

An underwater submarine now being used to search for the missing aircraft is the same one Rick Gillespie, of Chester County, is using to look for the lost plane of Amelia Earhart.

"It's a pulsing sound and looking for echoes," he explained.

Gillespie likened it to an underwater bat.

"Depends on the underwater topography," he said, when asked if the underwater submarine has a realistic chance of finding flight 370.

The former aviation accident investigator says the chance of locating flight 370's black boxes increases dramatically if the ocean floor is flat.

"If a flat sandy bottom can go back and forth and look for anything sticking up, a piece of cake," he stated.

"I do think they are getting close and it sounds encouraging," he added.

During the investigation Gillespsi has become a go to on camera expert for CNN.

"I love it because my job as head of TIGHAR is to make as many people aware of our work," Gillespie said.

TIGHAR is short for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a nonprofit he and his wife started 30 years ago and has more than 1,200 members worldwide.

Gillespie is convinced that Amelia Earhart's plane went down north of Samoa at a small south Central Pacific island.

If Earhart's plane can be found 77 years later, then so too, Gillespie says, can flight 370.

"It bothers us tremendously because we all fly and that an airplane can just poof disappear. It's not supposed to happen in this day and age," he said.