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Entertainment Reporter: It's Time to Forgive Mel Gibson | Main | David Mamet on Politics, Life, Sex, and the Angry Emptiness of Modern Culture
March 13, 2014

US Investigators Suspect Flight 370 Flew For Four More Hours After Last Confirmed Position

Which would have major implications.

Four hours of flight time would mean it could be anywhere in a circle with a diameter of 2,200 nautical miles. It could be in India; it could be in Mongolia; it could be in Japan; it could be in Australia. And of course all the thousands of square miles of ocean around.

But it's more than that: Because pilots don't just shut off their transponders and stop all communications without a reason for doing so.

U.S. investigators suspect that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stayed in the air for about four hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, according to two people familiar with the details, raising the possibility that the plane could have flown on for hundreds of additional miles under conditions that remain murky.

Aviation investigators and national security officials believe the plane flew for a total of five hours, based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing Co. BA engines as part of a routine maintenance and monitoring program.

So, while the plane's transponders and radio were off, its engines were still sending out data to satellites. At least according to the WSJ's sources. And the engines sent out data for four hours past the plane's disappearance.

Which leads to this possibility:

U.S. counterterrorism officials are pursuing the possibility that a pilot or someone else on board the plane may have diverted it toward an undisclosed location after intentionally turning off the jetliner's transponders to avoid radar detection, according to one person tracking the probe.

Terrorism or some kind of skyjacking is not ruled out.

At Hot Air, Malaysian officials dispute these claims, and China is criticizing them on their response to the whole matter.

Via Nidermeyer's Dead Horse... An NPR interview with the WSJ reporter who wrote this story.

He says the new theory being explored is that the plane either landed, or crashed at some later point en route to a planned landing place. (Actually he doesn't clearly say that last "or" clause but it's implied by what he does say.)


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:44 PM

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