News / Asia

US Official: Missing Malaysian Plane May Have Flown 4 Hours After Last Contact

The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Terengganu and a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conduct a coordinated air and sea search for a missing Malaysian Airlines jet in the Gulf of Thailand, March 12, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Operations Specialist 1st Class Claudia Franco)
The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Terengganu and a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conduct a coordinated air and sea search for a missing Malaysian Airlines jet in the Gulf of Thailand, March 12, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Operations Specialist 1st Class Claudia Franco)
VOA News
A U.S. official involved in the search for the missing Malaysian plane says the jet may have been flying four hours after it disappeared from radar screens.

The official said the jet was sending out a pinging signal -- a sign it was trying to communicate with a satellite. He said the plane may have flown another 4,000 kilometers after controllers reported it missing.

The United States is expanding its search for the plane into the Indian Ocean -- far west of its intended flight path.

Aircraft and ships from 12 countries are looking for the Boeing 777, but so far have found nothing to clear up the mystery. Authorities have ruled nothing out, including a massive technical failure, terrorism or the possibility that the pilot wanted to commit suicide.

The U.S. says the search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet may be extended to the Indian Ocean, far to the west of the last confirmed contact with the aircraft carrying 239 people.

Watch related video by VOA's Pam Dockins:

Malaysia Plane Disappearance Is One in Series of Aviation Mysteriesi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Pamela Dockins
March 13, 2014 11:38 PM
The Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared on Saturday with 239 people on board is one in a series of aviation incidents that have puzzled investigators over the years. VOA's Pam Dockins takes a look at some of them.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday there was new information -- though not necessarily conclusive -- that the Boeing 777 may have veered far off course from its intended flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and headed toward the Indian Ocean.

Carney said the U.S. was consulting with other nations involved in the massive effort to find the jetliner to see what ships and aircraft could be deployed to the Indian Ocean to expand the search operations.

Searchers looking for the missing Malaysian passenger jet over vast expanses of water in Asia have been stymied for six days.

Aviation Mysteries

  • 1937: Amelia Earhart disappears during flight over Pacific, no trace of plane found
  • 1996: TWA Flight 800, en route to Paris from New York, explodes over Long Island, questions remain over cause
  • 1999: EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into Atlantic while headed to Cairo from New York;   US questions if pilot comments indicated suicide mission
  • 2009: Air France Flight 447 goes down over Atlantic while traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crash report indicates pilot confusion
Theories abound on what might have happened to the jet Saturday, from a terrorist takeover of the plane, to a catastrophic malfunction of the aircraft, to pilot suicide.

Malaysian Transportation Minister Hishamuddin Hussein rejected reports that Flight 370 continued flying for several hours after its last known contact and said that Chinese satellite images purporting to show debris from the aircraft in the waters south of Vietnam proved to be another fruitless lead.

"We deployed our assets but found nothing," he said.

Handout photo provided by China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application shows satellite image taken from space, illustrating objects in a "suspected crash sea area" in the South China Sea on March 9, 2014, thought to possibly be from the missHandout photo provided by China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application shows satellite image taken from space, illustrating objects in a "suspected crash sea area" in the South China Sea on March 9, 2014, thought to possibly be from the miss
x
Handout photo provided by China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application shows satellite image taken from space, illustrating objects in a "suspected crash sea area" in the South China Sea on March 9, 2014, thought to possibly be from the miss
Handout photo provided by China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application shows satellite image taken from space, illustrating objects in a "suspected crash sea area" in the South China Sea on March 9, 2014, thought to possibly be from the miss
Hishamuddin said Malaysia Airlines (MAS) asked plane maker Boeing and engine manufacturer Rolls Royce about purported data showing the plane could have flown an extra 4,000 kilometers over four hours.

"Since today's media report, MAS has asked Rolls Royce and Boeing specifically about the data. As far Rolls Royce and Boeing are concerned, those reports are inaccurate."

The report by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday cited the belief of U.S. officials based on data that is automatically sent by the plane's engines to the ground.

Passenger nationalities, Malaysia Flight MH370Passenger nationalities, Malaysia Flight MH370
x
Passenger nationalities, Malaysia Flight MH370
Passenger nationalities, Malaysia Flight MH370
The Chinese satellite images emerged Wednesday, with state media saying they showed three fairly large objects near the plane's original flight path toward Beijing. But Hishamuddin said Malaysia later contacted the Chinese Embassy, which said the images were released by mistake and did not show any debris from the plane.

He said the Boeing 777 plane was "fit to fly," with its last inspection in February and its next one not due until June.

He also praised the ongoing search effort, which involves more than 80 ships and aircraft from 12 countries looking in an area that covers 93,000 square kilometers on either side of Malaysia.

"The overwhelming support and unprecedented effort on a multinational level, that is something that we should be very proud about, though we need to find the aircraft," he said.

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid