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Latest developments on #MH370 Malaysian aircraft. Nothing conclusive.

15/03/2014

Investigators believe the missing Malaysia Airlines jet COULD have been hijacked and steered off-course.

 A Malaysian government official said people with significant flying experience COULD have turned off the flight’s communication devices, meaning the plane could have flown for up to six hours after it was lost by satellite. 

 The representative said that hijacking theory was now ‘conclusive’, and police are now believed to be searching the home of one of the pilots. 

While Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was seized, he admitted ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.

It is not yet clear where the plane was taken, however Mr Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have headed to one of two possible flight corridors.

One possibility is the northern corridor, which stretches from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, while the other is the southern corridor from Indonesia to the Southern Indian Ocean.

 
The aircraft’s fuel reserves mean it could have travelled as far as Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Australia in the other direction.

Mr Razak said authorities have not ruled out any possibilities in the international search for the plane and the 239 people on board.

The Boeing 777’s communication with the ground was severed just under one hour into the flight on March 8 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 

It has now been confirmed the plane turned back and crossed over the Malaysian peninsula after setting out on a northeastern path toward the Chinese capital. (Unclear but this seems to have come from American sources, thus pushing Malaysia to make some comment. China has also been active in pressing the Malay administration.)

Experts say signals from the plane shows it then continued flying for at least five hours in an unknown direction. The plane’s messaging system and transponder were both deliberately cut off and with them all hopes of further tracking the plane. 

 American officials had been briefing Friday that the investigation was looking at ‘human intervention’ – one source even said it may have been ‘an act of piracy’.

The disabling of the  Boeing 777’s transponder and messaging system occurred around 12 minutes apart. Such a gap would be unlikely in the case of an in-flight catastrophe and gave authorities the clearest indication to date someone on-board was behind it.

The motive of the hijack is still not clear. No demands have been made and no groups have publicly claimed involvement in the disappearance.  

Some experts have said that pilot suicide may be the most likely explanation for the disappearance, as was suspected in a SilkAir crash during a flight from Singapore to Jakarta in 1997 and an EgyptAir flight in 1999.

 

Malaysian authorities and others will be urgently investigating the backgrounds of the two pilots and 10 crew members, as well the 227 passengers on board.
Indeed Prime Minister Najib said they would be examined in his public statement.

 

 

Malaysia has come under fire for what has been described as a ‘pretty chaotic’ search, with China saying the overall search effort has consequently been mired in confusion after a series of false alarms, rumors and contradictory statements.

 

Meanwhile, the hijacking news will renew focus on the two pilots at the helm of the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.

 Police in Malaysia have said they are looking at the psychological background of the pilots,  Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, their family life and connections.

 Malaysian officials and friends of the pilots have told MailOnLine this week that there are no reasons to suspect either the Captain or co-pilot of having personal problems that would have resulted in them taking control of the aircraft.

 The only known blot  on co-pilot Fariq’s character appears to be the time 2011 when he invited two South African women into the cockpit when he and another officer flew a jet from Thailand to Malaysia.

In the days since the flight went missing, it has emerged that Shah was so passionate about flying he has is own flight simulator at home.

 As the search continued for the missing Boeing 777, military radar suggested the plane was deliberately flown towards India’s Andaman Islands.

 Two sources familiar with the investigation said an unidentified aircraft – which investigators believe was flight MH370 – was plotted by military radar following a route between navigational waypoints.

 This indicates that it was either being flown by the pilots or someone with knowledge of those waypoints, the sources said.

 
The last plot on the military radar’s tracking suggested the plane was flying towards India’s Andaman Islands, a chain of isles between the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, they said.

 

 

 

 

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