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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate' 436

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-dwindling dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Malaysia's Prime Minister announced at a press conference that Flight 370, which disappeared a week ago, was diverted as a result of 'deliberate action.' The investigation has now focused in two ways: first, they're looking more closely at the passengers and crew, and second, they've narrowed the search for the plane down to two corridors. One stretches from Kazakhstan to northern Thailand, and the other goes from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. 'That conclusion was based on a final signal from the plane picked up on satellite at 8:11 a.m. on March 8, nearly seven hours after ground control lost contact with the jet, he said.'

The Prime Minister said the plane's communications system and the transponder system were both disabled early on during the flight. The time of the plane's final satellite contact would have put its fuel reserves very low. 'Police on Saturday morning drove into the residential compound where the missing plane's pilot lives in Kuala Lumpur, according a guard and several local reporters who were barred from entering the complex. ... Experts have previously said that whoever disabled the plane's communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience. One possibility they have raised was that one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide."
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

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  • by robinsonne (952701) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:19AM (#46491867)
    But then the transponder would have still been on...
  • No (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:13AM (#46492233)

    Yesterday I thought so too, but afaik a plane on autopilot cannot change altitude and course the way this plane did over the last seven recorded hours. If the satellite pings aren't just another piece of desinformation, they establish that the plane was deliberately steered. Beyond that, our guesses are just as good as the findings of bomoh kelapa.

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:33AM (#46492371)

    Of course we don't know that it was suicide. It could just have been an unusually unreasonable highjacker who didn't understand that the 777-200 had shorter range than for example Wikipedia lists because it wasn't fully fueled for the relatively short flight to Beijing.

    That's what I was thinking too. This happened to an Ethiopian Airlines flight [wikipedia.org] that was hijacked back in 1996. The hijackers ignored the captains warning that his aircraft's fuel load was insufficient to get them to Australia where the hijackers wanted to go and eventually he was forced to ditch the aircraft in the sea off the Comoros Islands, due to fuel starvation. He would have probably stood a good chance of pulling off a near textbook belly-landing if one of the hijackers hadn't started wrestling with him for the controls seconds before the aircraft touched down on the water which caused one of the engines to touch the water too soon so the machine broke up. Some 125 out of 175 passengers and crew were killed but more would have died if the co-pilot hadn't kept the hijackers off the captains back for most of the landing. It was a pretty impressive feat of airmanship considering the circumstances.

  • Last ping position (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdsolar (1045926) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @12:30PM (#46492817) Homepage Journal
    A couple of arcs of position are available from the last satellite ping. To the North, the arc is mostly over land in Western China though Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are also covered. To the South, the arc is mostly over ocean West of Australia but it crosses Sumatra. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03... [nytimes.com]
  • by roothog (635998) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @03:31PM (#46494161)

    A 727 was stolen in 2003 and has never been found: Wiki [wikipedia.org]

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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