By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Mar 15, 2014
A week after Malaysian Flight 370 disappeared in mid-air without a trace, investigators now believe the flight was definitely hijacked.
As Los Angeles’ KCAL 9 reports, an unnamed Maylaysian official involved in the investigation says hijacking is no longer a theory, it is conclusive. The investigator goes on to say the plane was hijacked by one or more people with aircraft flying experience who cut off communication, turned the plane off course and went off to a destination unknown. Motive has not been established at this time.
The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, is reporting Malaysian military radar provides new information that human hands were at the controls. According to the Times’ sources, after the aircraft disappeared from civilian radar, about one hour after takeoff, Malaysian military radar appears to show the plane changing course to the west, then climbing to 45,000 feet—above the altitude limit for a Boeing 777. Then, the Times reports, the military radar track shows the plane climbed to a higher altitude and flew toward the Indian Ocean.
Some investigators believe minutes before the plane changed course, a hijacker tried to conceal the plane’s location by disabling key communications equipment. A datalink that transmits messages about the jet’s performance and engines shut down, and so did the transponders which send controllers detailed information about a plane’s speed, altitude and position.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that in order to turn off the transponder and data transmissions, someone would have had to disable a circuit breaker behind an overhead panel in the cockpit.
Based on information from civilian and military sources, the search area has now expanded to 1,000 miles to the west in two areas of the Indian Ocean.
The whereabouts of the plane remains unknown.