CHRIS BUCKLEY and KEITH BRADSHER
March 16, 2014
SEPANG, Malaysia — A signaling system was disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to Malaysian air traffic control without hinting at any trouble, a senior Malaysian official said Sunday, shedding new light on a question important to determining why the plane turned far off its planned route and disappeared over a week ago with 239 people onboard.
Malaysia’s defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, offered the detail a day after the country’s prime minister, Najib Razak, ended days of hesitant, sometimes contradictory government statements about the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared over a week ago. Mr. Najib acknowledged on Saturday that military radar and satellite data showed the plane had probably been deliberately diverted by at least one person onboard and flown far off its intended route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Now Malaysia is coordinating a 25-nation effort to find the plane, and to work out why it went so far off course. The sequence of the pilot’s actions and communication has been a focus of intense scrutiny, especially whether the signaling system, ACARS, was disabled before or after his last verbal message.
This article was posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm