If the missing plane Flight MH370 landed after being hijacked is unknown. However, Malaysian official have told AP that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 was hijacked. “Malaysian authorities have concluded that a passenger jet missing since last week was hijacked and deliberately steered off course, a government official involved in the investigation told The Associated Press,” reported the Washington Post on March 14, 2014. “It’s conclusive,” the Malaysian official said.
Friday’s information provided by Malaysian authorities that the plane was hijacked is also being reiterated by U.S. officials. “It’s looking less and less like an accident,” said one U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly. “It’s looking more like a criminal event.”
On Friday, one week after the disappearance of Flight MH370, Malaysian as well as U.S. officials said that the airplane did continue to fly after the transponder had stopped transmitting.
A second U.S. official commented that the path of the Malaysian Airlines plane was unusual after it disappeared from radar. The senior official said that the plane reached an altitude of about 45,000 feet and “jumped around a lot.”
The Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) is a two-way onboard computer system which sends and receives data to a satellite. Even though the stream of data from the plane to the satellite stops, the satellite can still send data to the plane.
If a plane crashes, all communication between the plane and the satellite seizes instantly, which does not apply to MH370.
“It is very possible for you as a pilot in the cockpit to turn off the ACARS system,” said a third U.S. official under the condition of anonymity. “If you knew what you were doing in the cockpit, you could shut off ACARS transmission.” What cannot be controlled from the cockpit is the satellite’s ability to detect that the plane is still there.
“The detection of the plane but the refusal to receive a response indicates that someone was manually in control of the flight.”
According to Mikael Robertsson of FlightRadar24, a Stockholm-based flight service that sells its tracking data to airports and airlines, the signal to the transponder of the plane was lost at 1:21 a.m. when it was flying at 35,000 feet. Robertsson assumes that even though the “B777-200ER can fly up to about 16 to 18 hours,” since the flight was supposed to be just for six hours, the plane was probably fueled for only seven to eight hours of flying time.
The flight departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:41 a.m. local time and went off the radar in less than an hour, which would have given it potentially six hours of fuel.
“That gave it the capacity to have landed or crashed anywhere between Mongolia in the north to Australia to the south, or from the west coast of India to hundreds of miles east of the Philippines.”
The question of whether the missing plane Flight MH370 was able to land or not is unknown or not being made public since this is a “politically sensitive investigation.” The New York Times reported on Friday that “the plane continued to maneuver as if under control from the cockpit” and changed altitude several times. Malaysian military radar showed it climbing to 45,000 feet and then dropping to 23,000 feet as it approached the Malaysian island of Penang. The investigation into the background of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members continues.
Update on the missing Malaysian plane, Flight MH370: Watch Saturday's press announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak saying that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had been deliberately diverted from its planned flight path.
announcement by Malaysian official.