Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Malaysia Ends Search in South China Sea, Shifts Focus to Central Asia or Beyond Indian Ocean

  @ibtimesau on

Malaysian authorities are apparently setting aside the hijack angle of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 with no less than Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak declaring on Saturday afternoon that the Boeing 777 aircraft was deliberately deviated by the pilot, co-pilot or someone with knowledge of aviation.

With this angle, Malaysia ended its search efforts in the South China Sea and will focus the search on two locations. One is far north such as Kazakhstan in Central Asia and the other is beyond the southern Indian Ocean.

The investigating team reached that conclusion based on the last signal from the plane picked at 8:11 am of Saturday, March 8, almost seven hours after ground control lost contact with the aircraft.

Mr Najib said the investigation indicate the jet's disappearance was not accidental, but deliberate because one of its communication system was disabled as the jet flow over Malaysia's northeast coast, while the second system, a transponder, stopped broadcasting data such as its location, altitude, speed and other information at 1:21 am.

Read also:

Vietnamese Navy Hasn't Located Yet Wreckage of Missing Malaysian Airline Jet

Empty Nester Queensland Couple Among the 7 Aussie Passengers Aboard Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

Malaysian Flight 370: Stolen Passports Used by 2 Passengers Raises Possibility of Terrorism Involved

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Fate of Missing Jet Still Unknown; Oil Slick,  Floating Debris Not from Boeing 777

Malaysian Airline Flight 370: Interpol Says Disappearance of Boeing 777 Jet Unlikely a Terrorist Attack as It Identifies 2 Iranian Men as User of Stolen Passports

Malaysian Flight 370: Airline's Share Prices Takes a Nosedive to 1/10 of March 2004 Value After Jet Disappears

Malaysian Flight 370: Tech Expert Downplays Ringing of Missing Plane Passenger Cellphones; Holder of Stolen Italian Passport Posted Selfie in FB Before Boarding Ill-Fated Flight

Malaysian Flight 370: Chinese Satellites Observed Suspected Crash Area Between Malaysian, Vietnamese Waters

Malaysian Airline Flight 370: Investigators Study Possible Link of Ughur Chinese Passenger With Flight Simulation Training, Search Homes of Flight Crew

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Islamic Organisations Criticise Use of Witch Doctor to Locate Missing Jet

Subsequent military radar data indicated the jet changed course and flew across Malaysia, headed for the Indian Ocean. The plane appeared to have reached 45,000 feet, which is beyond the approved altitude limits for a Boeing 777-200, and then it descended unevenly at an altitude of 23,000 feet as it approached Penang, the New York Times reported, quoting a person familiar with the data.

With this new leads, the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet said it would search for the missing plane beyond the Bay of Bengal. Colonel Steven Warren, Pentagon spokesman, said that a P-8 Poseidon aircraft and a guided missile destroyer, the USS Kidd, would be searching the much larger area of the Bay of Bengal and the northern portion of the Indian Ocean.

Given the pursuit of deliberate deviation angle, police officers searched on Saturday afternoon the residence of the plane captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, to seek and take evidence that could aid their investigation.

Join the Discussion