The Malaysian government said today that the plane's crew switched off the transponder BEFORE the last communication of "All right. Good night." That means the hijacking started about that time. It took a week for them to release this critical information that changes the entire debate.
Pilots on routine flights do NOT turn off their transponders to avoid radar detection. Nor do they deviate from a set course when flying through clear air. That is abnormal. Such an action should have indicated to flight controllers a serious flight issue post- 9/11. The controllers should have alerted their superiors of a possible hijacking who should have contacted their Air Force and advised other civilian air controllers in other countries along the planned flight path.
That information was known a week ago. The Malaysian officials should have searched the pilot's homes at that point when they knew the plane had not exploded and had kept flying for several more hours, even if they didn't know WHICH direction it went. Instead, they just did a search today!
The Malaysian government is looking like the Keystone Kops in its investigation of the disappearance of Flight 370. They are either the most incompetent investigators or they are hiding information from the international community whose citizens' were on that flight - including three Americans.
Since Americans are also missing on that flight the FBI and State Department should also be on location in Asia meeting with Malaysian investigators. The U.S. should also have teams meeting with the authorities of surrounding countries including China and India to determine WHERE that Boeing 777 is today. That plane has 239 people (less the number of hijackers) who wanted to go to China--not to some real life version of "LOST."
If I was an American on that flight I'd want my government involved ASAP. These countries don't have an NTSB like we do. It's somebody's brother-in-law in charge!
Now we are told that the flight could have taken two courses - one going north far over land (up to northern Russia - perhaps to meet Edward Snowden?). The other course would take it south over the ocean where the end is a watery grave unless it went to an island with an airstrip.
If the signals from the 777's engines continued for several hours then the search is being done in all the wrong places. The search is too close to the flight's origin instead of the thousands of miles the plane could have gone while the signals were being sent.
They should be searching for Fligth 370 starting near its maximum range which is at least 2,000 miles from where it stopped communicating. A plane traveling at 550 mph over four hours would have flown no less than 2,000 miles, even with course changes.
Wherever it ended up Flight 370 is probably somewhere toward the end of its fuel range and the point where last signal was received from the engines.
Stay tuned. This is indeed a "Bermuda Triangle" mystery. This should make it clear that we need to upgrade our international aviation system for our own safety!