MH370 Search: All Hope Lost? Black Box Silence Sparks Fear; Pilot Tried to Make Last Urgent Call
By Reissa Su | April 14, 2014 1:35 PM EST
Malaysian authorities believe that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was being thrown around like a fighter jet after it lost contact with ground control officials in an attempt to avoid radar detection.
REUTERS/Australian Defence For
The Australian Navy ship HMAS Success (front) performs a Replenishment at Sea evolution with the Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Lekiu, providing it with more fuel during the continuing search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, in the southern Indian Ocean in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force on April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Australian Defence Force/Handout
Malaysian military investigators said the plane may have reached 13,700 metres which is 3000 metres above its usual altitude before going down to 1500 metres. This latest follows the thorough and ongoing search in the Indian Ocean as fears escalate that the batteries in the plane's black box may have run out.
The "fighter jet" manoeuvres indicate that Flight MH370 may have been intentionally trying to disappear and avoid radar signals, according to sources close to the investigation. In an interview with the Sunday Times, the source said the missing aircraft may have been flying low at "very high speed" to avoid radar.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had 239 people onboard including the crew. It was headed to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 but it never reached its destination and mysteriously disappeared.
Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas said search crews have been looking for any signs of the plane for 37 days. The battery on the plane's black box is supposed to last for 30 days. However, officials are hoping it will extend up to 40 days. Fears of the battery dying out were triggered when search crews noticed that it has been at least four or five days since they detected strong pings.
The HMS Echo, a Royal Navy vessel, has arrived to join the international search efforts as crews continue to work around the clock to find signs of debris or wreckage from the plane. HMS Echo is currently in the southern Indian Ocean to help in the underwater search for the black box.
Did the pilot make one last urgent call?
According to a report from the New Straits Times, the missing plane's co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid may have made an urgent call which had abruptly ended. However, the call was apparently received by the telecommunications sub-station in Penang state. The source of the information said the pilot made the call when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was flying low near Malaysia's Penang Island.
The telecommunications tower has established the call that the pilot was reportedly trying to make. The unnamed source said the call may have been cut off because the plane was moving away from the tower.
It was not clear who the pilot was trying to call as the source declined to release more information, according to the report. The pilot's cousin, Nursyafiqah Kamarudin, said that if he did make a call, the pilot would have called his mother since they were very close.
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