Thursday, September 18, 2014

Missing jet had changed course

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—The Malaysian military has radar data showing the missing Boeing 777 jetliner changed course and made it to the Malacca Strait, hundreds of kilometres from the last position recorded by civilian authorities, according to a senior military official.
The development injects more mystery into the investigation of the disappearance of Saturday’s flight—and raises questions about why the aircraft was not transmitting signals detectable by civilian radar.

Malaysian air force chief Gen. Rodzali Daud was quoted as saying radar at a military base had detected the airliner at 2:40 a.m. near Pulau Perak at the northern approach to the strait—a busy waterway that separates the western coast of Malaysia and Indonesia’s Sumatra island.
“After that, the signal from the plane was lost,” he said.
A high-ranking military official involved in the investigation confirmed the report and also said the plane was believed to be flying low.
Authorities earlier had said the plane, which took off at 12:20 a.m. and was headed to Beijing, may have tried to turn back to Kuala Lumpur.
But they expressed surprise that it would do so without informing ground control.
The search for the plane initially focused on waters between the eastern coast of Malaysia and Vietnam—the position where aviation authorities last tracked it.
No trace of the plane, which was carrying 239 people, has been found by than 40 planes and ships from at least 10 nations searching the area.

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