WELLINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Air Vice-Marshall Kevin Short said on Saturday that the New Zealand Orion found a total of 11 objects during Friday's search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, one of which looked like an orange buoy.
"Those objects turned out to be rectangular in shape, nothing bigger than one meter, some of them down to half a meter in size," Kevin Short, who heads New Zealand's Joint Forces, told a press conference in Wellington Saturday.
The RNZAF Orion photographed the objects and dropped a reference marker nearby. A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Orion then relocated the objects a short time later.Short said the objects would have to be retrieved by ships and examined in Perth before they could be identified as coming from the missing plane.
He said the New Zealand air crew couldn't identify anything that would say it was definitely from the Malaysian aircraft, and those images are being analyzed as well.
The main issue is that those objects will have to be picked up by a ship so they can physically examine them, he added.
Air Vice-Marshal Short would not speculate on what the objects might be, but added that fuel tanks from wings, composite materials and plastics from an aircraft would float.
"So it's not unusual to have that sort of thing on the surface. "
The objects were all close together, but others had been found hundreds of miles away.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Saturday's search area had been determined by applying the effects of weather and currents to the analysis of likely aircraft movements provided by Malaysian air crash investigators.
Ships taking part in the search for the missing Malaysian airliner have arrived in an area of the southern Indian Ocean where unidentified pieces of debris were spotted by New Zealand and Australian Air Force Orions.
Searchers are hopeful that a cluster of white rectangular objects are pieces of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.