Investigators from the Malaysian government, the FBI, and Interpol have been working together to determine what exactly happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
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.”
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.
Based on satellite data, the plane appears to have made a turn up the Strait of Malacca around the time it lost contact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As of Sunday, authorities determined that the plane’s disappearance was a result of a deliberate action.
Investigators are looking into every member of Flight 370’s passenger list and crew, determining who on board the plane had flight experience.
China’s ambassador to Malaysia said Tuesday background checks on the Chinese nationals aboard the missing plane have found no links to terror.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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