by Megan Haymond
As day ten of the search for the Malaysian 777 quickly approaches, authorities have come to no new conclusions on the whereabouts of the missing plane. On March 7, the plane went missing on its journey from Malaysia to Bejing. The flight reportedly had no extra fuel on board than the usual 6-hour flight range. The search now includes 25 nations and is focusing on surrounding waters, assuming the plane flew south considering both Pakistan and India have no reports of the plane showing up on radar. However, officials are still investigating areas of Indonesia, Northern Laos, and Central China.
The latest news on the search has led to inquiries about the pilot’s motives. The planes signaling system was disabled prior to the last time the pilots spoke with air traffic control. This leads many to believe that the pilot and those in the cockpit were responsible for the disappearance because the pilot should have mentioned troubles with the signaling system to air traffic control, but since he did not it seems most probable that this disappearance was planned. Malaysian officials are now searching the premises of the pilots home looking for evidence as to why and where the plane has been taken. Commander William Marks of the United States Navy told BBC, “Essentially, it’s like looking for a person somewhere between New York and California. It’s that big.” Marks sent in two guided-missile destroyers to aid Malaysian authorities in their search.
The New York Times writers Chris Buckley and Keith Bradsher noted in an article reflecting the order of events on the plane, “The sequence of events does not rule out the possibility of someone taking control of the cockpit and forcing the pilot to disable the system, say good night to air traffic control and turn off the transponder. But if that is what happened, it means the hijacker would have had to seize the cockpit in the first 26 minutes of the flight.” This only increases beliefs that the pilot is at fault. Discovering the motive and reason behind the disappearance will help the authorities narrow down the possibilities of locations.
The desire for safety of all those involved has heightened nerves over the fate and location of the plane. Hydrated humans can survive roughly thirty to forty days without food; however, that length of time varies for each person. Malaysian officials asked countries to do background checks on passengers to discover if any were previous pilots or if motive could be found. The cargo of the flight has not demonstrated dire concern for terrorist attacks or any danger that would alarm investigators.
After the pilot’s final communication with air traffic control, evidence demonstrates a sharp turn, which further indicates the possibility of a planned hijacking. However, some officials such as John Lindsay, the former head of British Airways, quelled the nerves of many by offering hope saying, “It would be a possibility that the aircraft is on the ground transmitting those signals.” That statement has led many people to exercise assured hope the passengers are still alive. However, the theories behind the location and reasoning of this disappearance have changed drastically as new evidence has come to light and some evidence declared false. Therefore those reading and viewing stories over the topic must exercise caution because everything is still theory.