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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid