Flight MH370: Pilots Investigated, Search WidensBy: Tina Volpe - March 16, 2014
It is day ten and still no definite answers on the disappearance of Flight 370, while families and friends sit impatiently waiting to learn the fate of this plane and its 239 passengers and loved ones.
The plane departed for an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing at 12:40 a.m. on March 8. The plane communications stopped at 1:20 a.m., and the jet went missing.
On Saturday, however, there appears to be new information as the Prime Minister of Malaysia stated, “Someone deliberately diverted Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and shut down communications with the ground, and the jetliner continued flying for six hours.”
This brought about a shift in focus of the investigation, pointing to the crew and passengers of the plane, and expanding the search to a now 4,000 mile radius.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statement also meant the flight path of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to Beijing could have strayed as far as the southern Indian Ocean or northwest to Kazakhstan, complicating the work of search crews who already have been scouring vast stretches of ocean for clues to this aircraft’s disappearance.
Police on Saturday told CBS News that the homes of all of the jetliner’s flight crew were searched after being under surveillance for the last few days. Authorities have said they will be investigating the pilots as part of their probe, but have released no information about how they are progressing.
“Clearly the search for (Flight) MH370 has entered a new phase,” Najib said at a televised news conference.
Experts have previously said that whoever disabled the plane’s communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience. One possibility they have raised was that one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide.
Today, 25 countries are involved in the continued search, scouring every possible area the plane could have flown.
The biggest parts of the plane’s passengers were Chinese, and the Beijing government is under pressure to give relatives some definite news of the plane’s fate. In a statement after Najib finished speaking, Beijing urged “Malaysia to expand and clarify the search areas based on the latest information and step up search efforts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qing Gang said. “We ask Malaysia to involve more countries in the search.”
Image via YouTube