Missing plane flew on for hours after losing contact: WSJ

2014-03-13 07:34:07 GMT2014-03-13 15:34:07(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

 

The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. investigators suspect the plane flew on for four hours once it lost contact with air traffic controllers, based on data from the plane's engines that are automatically downloaded and transmitted to the ground as part of routine maintenance programs.

The report raises questions as to why the Boeing 777 would have been flying without contact, and if anyone would have been in control during that time. U.S. counterterrorism officials are considering whether a pilot or someone else on board intentionally disabled the jetliner's transponders to avoid detection and divert it, the report said.

The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday.

The plane was heading northeast over the South China Sea when it disappeared, but authorities believe it may have turned back and headed into the upper reaches of the Strait of Malacca or beyond.

Malaysia civil aviation chief said planes sent Thursday to check the spot where Chinese satellite images showed possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner found nothing, deflating the latest tantalizing lead in the six-day hunt.

(Agencies)

 

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