The Latest In The Search For Still-Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

More than a week after a plane carrying 239 people disappeared, officials are focusing on the pilots and crew. Here’s the latest as of 11:30 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Investigators from the Malaysian government, the FBI, and Interpol have been working together to determine what exactly happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

A message for pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, captain of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, at a memorial event. Samsul Said / Reuters

The plane vanished from civilian radar screens after reaching an altitude of 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Thailand on March 8.

Twitter: @flightradar24

Fariq Ab Hamid, 27, the plane’s co-pilot, was the last to communicate with air traffic control. The message was “All right, good night.”

A Japan Coast Guard member studies a map with two Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency pilots in the Coast Guard’s Gulfstream V Jet aircraft. Edgar Su / Reuters

The last confirmed signal from the plane was sent to a satellite, but it was seven hours after it disappeared from radar, coming in at 8:11 a.m. local time.

A man watches a large screen showing different flights at the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 13. Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Based on satellite data, the plane appears to have made a turn up the Strait of Malacca around the time it lost contact.

An Associated Press graphic shows the expanded search effort for Flight MH370. AP

The turn that diverted the plane from its route was programmed into a computer system, most likely by someone in the plane’s cockpit, according to a report in The New York Times, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

A Malaysia Airline Boeing 737-800 plane taxis by main terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Mar. 16. AP

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced at a press conference Saturday that in light of recent developments, authorities expanded both search areas for the plane and investigations of the jetliner’s crew and passengers.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (center) with Malaysia’s minister for transport Hishamuddin Hussein (left) and director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, on Saturday. Via Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

The search for the missing plane is now focused on two corridors, hundreds of miles apart, on a vast arc stretching from Kazakhstan in Central Asia to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein shows two maps with corridors of the last known possible location of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane. Damir Sagolj / Reuters

There’s also a possibility that the plane was lowered to an altitude of 5,000 feet, too low to be picked up by radar.

A member of a rescue team in the Strait of Malacca. Stringer/Indonesia / Reuters

As of Sunday, authorities determined that the plane’s disappearance was a result of a deliberate action.

Crew members on board a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon man their workstations while assisting in search operations for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean. Us Navy / Reuters

Earlier, there was concern that not one, but two Iranian men had made it on to the flight with stolen passports.

Twitter: @cnnbrk

The two men who boarded the flight with stolen passports have now been cleared of any suspicions of being tied to terrorist groups.

Handout / Reuters

Investigators are looking into every member of Flight 370’s passenger list and crew, determining who on board the plane had flight experience.

Passengers on board Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER Flight MH318 as it cruises toward Beijing over the South China Sea. Edgar Su / Reuters

China’s ambassador to Malaysia said Tuesday background checks on the Chinese nationals aboard the missing plane have found no links to terror.

A relative of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight shows a paper reading “Hunger strike protest, Respect life, Return my relative, Don’t want become victim of politics, Tell the truth” in Beijing on Mar. 18. Andy Wong / AP

Investigators have searched the homes of both the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and co-pilot, Fariq Ab Hamid, 27.

 

On Tuesday, U.S. officials said an initial search of the pilots’ personal computers and e-mails found nothing to indicate any planned deviation in the aircraft’s route.

The officials said they had also reviewed cockpit conversations between the plane and air traffic controllers and found nothing suspicious or anything to explain why the aircraft changed course.

Neither the pilot nor the co-pilot asked to fly together, reducing the possibility that the two pilots coordinated a plan to hijack the flight, officials said.

A Japan Coast Guard studies a map with a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency pilot in an aircraft customized for search and rescue operations. Edgar Su / Reuters

Flight simulators were reportedly found in the homes of two crew members: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and a flight attendant who was also on board.

Malaysia’s Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein answers questions during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 16. AFP/AFP / Getty Images

After analyzing Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s activity on the flight simulator, investigators did not find anything that might suggest he was practicing how to make an aircraft undetectable.

The simulator also did not help explain the path the plane might have taken after it went off the grid. x-plane.com

WNYC created a map, which shows every runway within 2,200 nautical miles from the jetliner’s last known position that is at least 5,500 feet long, the required length to safely land a Boeing 777.

project.wnyc.org

News of the plane’s change in direction has given the families of the missing passengers and crew hope that they may still be alive — as well as new fears about what condition they’re in if the plane didn’t crash.

Students watch as a group of artists put the finishing touches on a painting on a school ground in Makati City in the Philippines. Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

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