The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Friday night a New Zealand Orion had spotted a number of white or rectangular, white-coloured objects and a fishing bouy in the area.
The objects are the first spotted from a plane rather than via satellite.
A Chinese vessel, Haixun 01, which is already in the search area, will seek to relocate the objects today. By late afternoon NZ time, six ships in the area had yet to locate the objects spotted by the NZ Orion.
Five other search ships are moving north from the search zone in the southern Indian Ocean they were scouring on Thursday, soem 2500km south west of Perth, to the new, smaller search area around 1800km off the coast.
A total of 256,000 square kilometres was searched on Friday, the AMSA says.
Photographic imagery of the objects was captured and will be assessed overnight.
The objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships.
RNZAF Orion spotted objects in #MH370 search area, identity to be established. Soon to land @ RAAF Pearce. AMSA awaiting imagery. 1/2
— AMSA News (@AMSA_News) March 28, 2014
An RAAF P3 Orion spotted various objects of various colours in a separate part of the search area about 546km away from those spotted by the NZ plane.
A total of ten planes were tasked by AMSA in today’s search and all have now departed the search area.
Weather conditions in the area are expected to be reasonable for searching on Saturday, the AMSA says.