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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate' 436

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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  • Tracking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @09:53AM (#46491719) Journal

    It slightly blows my mind that companies (airlines) would buy a piece of hardware that costs hundreds of millions of dollars, which is incredibly mobile and used to travel thousands of miles at a time, with a huge amount of liability (billions potentially), and not include any kind of built in, always-on, hard-wired tracking device. Especially in this day and age. We're just talking about pinging tiny little packets of positional data every few minutes.

  • Re:Watch out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quenda ( 644621 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:26AM (#46491915)

    Whatever country the hijackers are from better watch it because US bombs will be coming there way (especially so if the country has oil or other natural resources)

    So we learned nothing from the 2001 US bombardment and invasion of Saudi Arabia then?

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:29AM (#46491929)
    I would disagree on that matter. For starters, a suicide might be to provide insurance money for one's family (a la Death of a Salesman), or to protect a state secret ( a la every spy-related work with a poison pill or similar device). More realistically, though, someone may be in a great deal of suffering due to an inoperable condition, and one's loved ones would likely feel better knowing that the one they care about isn't suffering anymore.
  • Re:Tracking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:35AM (#46491965)

    How would you guarantee such a tracking device resists all possible sabotage efforts?

    That kind of mindset seems to be common in Slashdot. "If something is not completely perfect, it's completely useless." Many times comes up in security-related articles.

  • by Idou ( 572394 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:36AM (#46491975) Journal
    How hard would it be to make this plane "reappear" as another plane with a flight destination of New York City? It would seem like a legit flight (might have to make another plane disappear, but you have already seemed to master that trick once).

    Of course, by then you have had time to retrofit the plane with your crude nuke you have put together (hell, you have the entire space of the 777 to fit the thing, so it could more primitive than the trinity test. . . ). You could then deviate the flight only at the very last minute to the best possible position to detonate for maximized damage (fighter jets would have no time to respond).

    Probably being paranoid here, but why else would you need a 777 that could only be used for a short time before being discovered?
  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @10:43AM (#46492027) Homepage

    Which is a fair point, but it could still broadcast it's GPS location and altitude every five minutes. If I rent a $20,000 dollar car from Hertz it lets them know where I am with their car. Why airlines let planes costing hundreds of millions fly around the globe absent similar technology is surely a little strange?

  • by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @11:08AM (#46492201) this airliner is deflecting discussion from Russia, the Ukraine, and the Crimea.

    Just sayin'....

  • Re:Watch out (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chewbacon ( 797801 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @01:39PM (#46493319)

    "What country is that?" "I dunno, but let's free the shit outta it!" :KABOOM!:

    Look at our ever-climbing debt ceiling. Our government hasn't learned shit.

  • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Saturday March 15, 2014 @05:37PM (#46494869)

    BULLSHIT. I don't care how much fucking pain you're in. You want to end your own life? Fine, go right ahead. I believe everyone has the right, and God knows I understand the appeal. I've been there. It's not so much the pain, which is bearable, as the lack of joy or any pleasure in your work, your friends, or your family, and the prospect that it will never end. In that situation, suicide becomes a rational decision.

    But even when things were at their darkest, I never lost sight of one fact: the fact that killing myself was in the end a purely selfish act, and one that would cause a tremendous amount of pain and suffering and trauma. For my friends and my family when they found out, for the people who would find my body hanging by a rope, for the people who would have to go through my things and figure out what to do with them... it was the quickest and easiest way to relieve the suffering, but I never thought for a moment that there would be anything remotely noble about going through with it.

    But if killing yourself is selfish, how much more selfish is it to kill 233 other people- the people who put themselves in your care, in your trust? That's not selfish, that's outright malicious. There is something deeply fucked up, purely malicious, and wholly evil about someone who, in the process of killing themselves, takes other people with them. It's one thing if your life is so fucked up you just want out. But just because you're miserable, what the hell gives you the right to deny other people their happiness? The poor bastards from Iran who just wanted to have opportunities abroad that they didn't have at home, and used those stolen passports... if this was a pilot suicide, no matter how much pain he's in, what gives him the right to deny them their dreams, to take them from their friends and family? If this is in fact a pilot suicide, then I hope there's a Hell, and I hope it's got all nine levels like in Dante, because this guy should straight to the lowest fucking level, the level for people who commit treachery, and there's no amount of suffering that would be too much for a crime like that.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell