Pilots Investigated During Search For Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Photo Courtesy: CNN

(CNN) — Malaysian police have searched the home of flight 370’s pilot and co-pilot.

CNN says police wouldn’t comment, but officers were seen taking bags from the co-pilot’s home.

“All right, good night.”

Those are the last words heard from the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, said Zulazri Mohd Ahnuar, Malaysian civil aviation officer.

Who said them? Was it the captain or his first mate? Or someone else in the cockpit with them? Since MH 370 went missing , there have been more questions than answers, including about the pilots.

Malaysian investigators are refocusing their attention on the passengers and crew. They now believe that the plane’s diversion was a matter of deliberate action by someone on-board.

Information from international and Malaysian officials indicate that the Boeing 777-200ER passenger jet may have flown for more than seven hours after last contact with the pilots.

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Search Widens

A week after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished, the investigation shifted to passengers and crew after data showed the plane deviated due to deliberate action, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday.

“Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation on crew and passengers aboard,” Najib told reporters. “Evidence is consistent with someone acting deliberately from inside the plane.”

Najib stopped short of calling it a hijacking, saying investigators have not made a final determination.

“Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, we are investigating all major possibilities on what caused MH370 to deviate,” he said.

Kazakhstan to Indian Ocean

In addition to the shift in focus, investigators have expanded search areas exponentially, and are no longer combing the South China Sea, the Prime Minister said.

Crew also searched the Straits of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean, but now data point in a different direction.

“The plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian ocean,” he said. “The investigation team is working to further refine the information.”

The passenger jetliner disappeared on March 8, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people aboard. It’s unclear who took the plane or what the motive was.

“Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft communications … system was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East Coast of peninsular Malaysia,” the Prime Minister said. “Shortly afterward, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.”

Hopes of hijacking

Relatives held out hope that their loved ones will be found.

“It looks like there is increased possibility of a hijacking,” said Li, 31, whose husband is among the passengers. “Whatever the reason for the hijacking is, I hope they will not harm the passengers. They’re our loved ones.”

Though it’d lost communication, military radar showed the jetliner turned back, flew west over the peninsular in Malaysia, and either turned northwest toward the Bay of Bengal or southwest into the Indian Ocean.

“Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane,” he said.

The plane’s last ping to a satellite was on March 8 at 8:11 a.m. Malaysian time, he said. Its precise location at the time was unclear, but it departed from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. the same day.

Investigators are using such signals to try to determine how long and far it flew after it went incommunicado.

Intense speculation

Theories on what happened have evolved every day, complete with satellite images with purported wreckage released by a Chinese agency, and later debunked by Beijing.

“There has been intense speculation,” Najib said. “We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world. But we have a responsibility to the investigation and the families to only release information that has been corroborated.”

Hours before the Prime Minister’s announcement, U.S. officials told CNN the flight made drastic changes in altitude and direction after disappearing from civilian radar. The changes raised questions on who was at the controls of the jetliner when it vanished.

The more the United States learns about the flight’s pattern, “the more difficult to write off” the idea that some type of human intervention was involved, an official familiar with the investigation said.

Befuddling mystery

CNN has learned that a classified analysis of electronic and satellite data suggests the flight likely crashed either in the Bay of Bengal or elsewhere in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister said some those areas have been searched.

Taken together, the data point toward speculation of a dark scenario in which someone took control of the plane for some unknown purpose, perhaps terrorism.

The jetliner was flying “a strange path,” a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. The details of the radar readings were first reported by The New York Times on Friday.

Malaysian military radar showed the plane climbing to 45,000 feet soon after disappearing from civilian radar screens and then dropping to 23,000 feet before climbing again, the official said.

The question of what happened to the jetliner has turned into one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, befuddling industry experts and government officials.

11 comments

  • Skillpot

    Listen up! It has been 7-days, now, and I have not heard one word about how the 239 cellphones were turned off! I know it is possible, because it has happened to me while in Huntsville Hospital! BUT, but, why has this not been mentioned? WHNT, feed this back to CNN, and give us an update with the answer!

    • Skillpot

      Finally, last evening, I heard comments about the cellphones, on the Judge Jeanine show (FoxNews)! Comments may have been made on CNN, but that outlet has been off my viewing, since Nov 2008!

  • patrick blackwell

    Great point Janos!!! The possibility of highjacking or terrorism if you prefer is looking more and more likely.

  • becky

    I have been watching CNN and I have a question they have been showing the UTUBE VIDEO and if the capt is talking about heating and cooling why was it necessary to set right in front of the simulator or the cockpit just seems odd to me. Cause in away that is showing everyone how the plane is set up

    Thank you

  • B

    Yep…. CNN has all the answers you will ever need. Keep asking them and they will sure enough continue to feed you B/S. Their about as trust worthy as Hillary Clinton.
    But anyway there isn’t much explanation, outside of a hijacking unfortunately, possibly a worst case scenario accident or some sort of major malfunction/human error. Regardless, prayers remain with the friends and family of the crew, and passengers!

  • Bill

    The only theory that takes into account all the data thus far is that a homicide (or homicides) took place inside the cockpit shortly after take-off. That would explain all the strange pieces of the jig-saw puzzle: diverting the plane to the area of the Indian Ocean’s deepest depths, total cutting off of all communications, steep ascent and sharp descent (to asphyziate and kill off alarmed passengers and crew trying to smash their way into the cockpit). Evasion, concealment, and destruction of incriminating evidence are hallmarks of the criminal mind. The murderer(or murderers) would have to be suicidal and familiar with the intricacies of flying a Boeing 777. Not a pretty picture, but given the depravity of the human heart, entirely within the realm of possibility.

  • B

    My concern would be that the plane was “hijacked”, passengers exacuted (hopefully not, but highly possible). But if the plane isnt found crashed somewhere and its not looking like it will be… Where is it, Who has it, and what are their plans? Another large terroristic attack, like a large plane packed tight with explosive or maybe biological weapons? But if that is indeed the plan, then why hijack a plane loaded with passengers, pilots themseleves will tell you there are much easier ways to steal a plane….. Its a very currious situation to say the least. But I like believe there is still hope for the passengers and crew to be alive, but more than likely being held hostage somewhere, If the erratic flying didnt starve them of oxygen while decending, then ascenting…..

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