A senior military official has indicated the Malaysian military has radar data displaying the missing Boeing 777 jetliner had changed course and had made it to the Malacca Strait, which is hundreds of kilometers (miles) from its last position which was recorded by civilian authorities.
This development adds more of a mystery into the investigation of the sudden disappearance of Saturday’s flight destined for Beijing which may have attempted to turn back to Kuala Lumpur for some unknown reason, but it’s a surprise to authorities the pilot would do so without first informing ground control.
A local newspaper Berita Harian quoted Malaysian air force Chief Gen. Rodzali Daud as stating a military base’s radar had detected the airliner at 2:40 a.m. and it was near Pulau Perak at the northern approach to the strait, which is a busy waterway separating the western coast of Malaysia and Indonesia’s Sumatra island.
Chief Gen. Daud was quoted as saying, “After that, the signal from the plane was lost.”
The report has been confirmed by a high-ranking military official who is involved in the investigation and who also stated that the plane was believed to being flying low. The official spoke on conditions of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
The plane according to authorities took off at 12:20 a.m. for Beijing and that it may have attempted to turn back to Kuala Lumpur but why didn’t the pilot inform ground control?
Initially a search for the plane was focused on the waters between the eastern coast of Malaysia and Vietnam which was the position aviation authorities had last tracked the plane. The search of more than 40 planes and ships from at least 10 nations searched the entire area and there was “no” trace of the plane, that carried 239 people.
Earlier today, there was a statement by Malaysia Airlines stating the search and rescue teams have expanded their scope to the Malacca Strait. In an earlier statement it said the western coast of Malaysia was “now the focus,” but the airline subsequently said that phrase was an oversight. It didn’t elaborate. The search remains on both sides of the country according to civil aviation Chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
Writer of this article is Barbara Kasey Smith and it is based on an AOL.Com article – Associated Press.
AOL.Com (Associated Press)