WSJ: Missing Malaysia Flight Sent Out ‘Pings’ For Hours After Disappearance

Malaysia Flight

The Wall Street Journal has the latest on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Communication satellites picked up “pings” from the plane for hours after it disappeared from radar screens.

The final satellite ping was sent from over water, at what one of these people called a “normal” cruising altitude. The people declined to say where specifically the transmission originated, adding that it was unclear why the transmissions stopped. One possibility one person cited was that the system sending them had been disabled by someone on board.

The automatic pings, or attempts to link up with satellites operated by Inmarsat PLC, occurred a number of times after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s last verified position, these people said, indicating that at least through those hours, the Boeing Co. 777 carrying 239 people remained intact and hadn’t been destroyed in a crash, act of sabotage or explosion.

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If the plane remained airborne for that entire period it could have flown more than 2,200 nautical miles from its last confirmed position over the Gulf of Thailand, these people said.

On Thursday, meanwhile, the international search for the plane zeroed in on areas far west of the plane’s last known location.

Read the whole thing. Right now they’re still just speculating about what might have happened. This new evidence suggests that possibly other communications systems may have been purposely disabled. They don’t know if the plane was hijacked or if it crashed. They just don’t have enough information even after all these days.

Here’s video of the Journal’s Jason Bellini explaining the transponders, when the Malaysian Airlines flight stopped sending signals from the transponder, and what it could mean.

Also at the Journal are stories of the last moments of some of the 239 passengers before boarding the doomed flight. One IBM executive, Philip Wood, had his days mixed up. He would have missed his flight but his girlfriend contacted him to remind him, telling him “Go rush love.” How very sad, I’m sure her words will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Update: More information has come in overnight. The investigation has shifted to India based on the data sent out with those automatic pings.