An underwater vehicle searching for the lost Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has completed eight missions with no finds of interest.
The Bluefin-21 underwater vehicle has searched about two-thirds of the search area, a circle with a 10km radius around the location of the second towed pinger locator contact on 8 April.
A ninth search mission was scheduled to begin this morning.
In addition, ten aircraft and 11 ships are searching the remote area of the Indian Ocean where the 777-200ER is believed to have crashed after running out of fuel. The visual search area for the day is nearly 50,000 km2, located 1,741km northwest of Perth.
The weather is deteriorating in the area of the search, with a tropical cyclone encroaching on the area from the north.
The underwater search followed the detection of four pings consistent with those from an aircraft's cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder were detected by the ship ADV Ocean Shield using the towed pinger locater. Authorities have described the pings as the strongest lead so far in the search effort.
No further pings have been detected, which is likely due to batteries in the recorders expiring.
Flight MH370 went missing in the early hours of 8 March while enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Satellite data later concluded that it ended its flight over the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of kilometres off course from its intended flight path. There were 239 passengers and crew on board the flight.