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Search for Missing Plane Expanding

The Malaysian government is still leading the search for the missing flight MH370, but the U.S. government’s role is increasing. The White House indicated the U.S. Navy might begin searching a wide area of the Indian Ocean.

Almost a week after the plane went missing, there's still a mystery surrounding Flight 370. Now, the situation is even more perplexing.

First, the search was to the northeast of Malaysia, along the plane’s normal route to Beijing.

But now U.S. officials have disclosed new information. They say the plane may have flown for several hours after its last communication. That final communication was from the pilot, who said, "All right. Good night," as if all were well in his cockpit.

U.S. officials from the NTSB and the FAA who arrived in Malaysia a few days ago are examining the plane’s radar locations. These two U.S. agencies often are called in to help investigate airline crashes in other countries.

"There's nobody better in the world at investigating aircraft mishaps. These are the pros,” said Stephen Ganyard, an aviation consultant.

“The U.S. team was of the view that there were reasonable grounds from Malaysian authorities to deploy resources to conduct a search on the western side of the peninsula Malaysia,” said Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian Transport Minister.

That set up a series of maneuvers in the search; U.S. destroyers were in the Straits of Malacca, near the Indian Ocean, as White House spokesman Jay Carney spoke on Thursday.

“We're looking at information, pursuing possible leads, working within the investigation being led by the Malaysian government… We are consulting with international partners about the appropriate assets to deploy,” said Carney.

Many family members of passengers are frustrated over how little they know. Investigators, including American officials like FAA administrator Michael Huerta, say little, although he told the Italian Financial News Agency Radiocor, "Our engineers are working with international colleagues. Every aviation accident takes time for the technical findings."

Meanwhile, in China and elsewhere, there still is hope for those on board the plane. One sign reads: “We are waiting for you to come home.”
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    Carolyn Presutti

    Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters. She has also won numerous Associated Press TV, Radio, and Multimedia awards, as well as a Clarion for her TV coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, Google Glass & Other Wearables, and the 9/11 Anniversary.

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