Flight MH370: Crew, passengers investigated

Efforts to find Malaysia Airlines plane grow to 25 countries

Efforts to locate missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the 239 crew and passengers on board have intensified to include around 25 countries and a search area ranging from central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean.

Crew, passengers and ground staff are being investigated for possible motives for diverting or crashing the plane after officials confirmed that the systems used to track it were deliberately switched off. However, traditional radar would still have picked up signals from the plane.

Most of these systems, including a transponder, radio and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), have an “off” switch, and every electrical system also has a circuit-breaker, like a fuse box in a house. This would disable the panel of hundreds of buttons above the pilot’s head. Yet if that happened an orange warning light would appear in front of the crew.

Many questions remain. The pilot may not know about every system of communication between aircraft and satellites. Hacking into a plane’s systems would be extremely difficult. And if something was clearly wrong, why did nobody on the plane try to make a phone call? Investigations continue.


[image courtesy oneworld]


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