UPDATE: Australia checking 2 objects in search for plane

UPDATED Thursday, March 20, 2014 --- 4:46 a.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Australia's prime minister says objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted on satellite imagery.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament in Canberra on Thursday that a Royal Australian Airforce Orion has been diverted to the area to attempt to locate the objects. The Orion is expected to arrive in the area Thursday afternoon. Three additional aircraft are expected to follow for a more intensive search.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Sunday, March 16, 2014 --- 8:16 p.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Aviation and security experts are baffled by the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner.

Authorities say when someone at the controls calmly said the last words heard from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, one of the Boeing 777's communications systems had already been disabled. That's adding to suspicions that one or both of the pilots were involved. Whoever spoke did not mention any trouble on board.

Investigators are also examining a flight simulator confiscated from the home of one of the pilots and digging through the background of all 239 people on board, as well as the ground crew that serviced the plane.

Authorities say someone disabled one of the plane's communications systems about 40 minutes after takeoff. Around 14 minutes later, the transponder that identifies the plane to commercial radar systems was also shut down. The fact that both systems went dark separately offered strong evidence that the plane's disappearance was deliberate.

The search area now includes 11 countries over which the plane might have flown. There are 25 countries now involved in the operation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
UPDATED Wednesday, March 12, 2014 --- 4:50 p.m.

BEIJING (AP) -- China's official Xinhua News Agency says a government website has images of suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

The report says the satellite images from the morning of March 9 appear to show "three suspected floating objects" of varying sizes.

The report includes coordinates of a location in the sea off the southern tip of Vietnam and east of Malaysia.

The report says the largest of the suspected pieces of debris measures about 24 by 22 meters.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Tuesday, March 11, 2014 --- 11:07 a.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- The Malaysian military says it has radar evidence showing the missing Boeing 777 jetliner changed course and made it to the Malacca Strait, hundreds of kilometers (miles) away from the last location reported by civilian authorities.

The development injects new mystery into the investigation of the flight's disappearance.

Local newspaper Berita Harian quoted Malaysian air force chief Gen. Rodzali Daud as saying radar at a military base had detected the airliner near Pulau Perak, at the northern approach to the strait.

A high-ranking military official involved in the investigation confirmed the report on Tuesday and also said the aircraft was believed to be flying low.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Sunday, March 9, 2014 --- 8:03 a.m.

PARIS (AP) -- Interpol says no country checked its database that held information about two stolen passports that were used to board an ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people on board.

In a sharply worded criticism of shortcomings of national passport controls, the Lyon, France-based international police body said information about the thefts of an Austrian passport in 2012 and an Italian passport last year was entered into its database after they were stolen in Thailand.

The Malaysian Boeing 777 disappeared Saturday less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing.

Interpol said in a statement it was investigating all other passports used to board flight MH 370 and was working to determine the "true identities" of the passengers who used the stolen passports.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Sunday, March 9, 2014 --- 6:11 a.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's air force chief says that military radar indicated the missing Boeing 777 jet may have turned back, but declined to give further details on how far the plane may have veered off course.

Rodzali Daud told a press conference Sunday that "there is a possible indication that the aircraft made a turnback," adding that authorities were "trying to make sense of that.

Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the pilot is supposed to inform the airline and traffic control authorities if he does return, but that officials had received no such distress call.

The plane vanished from screens early Saturday morning en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board.

Meanwhile, Malaysian aviation authorities are investigating how two passengers were apparently able to get on the aircraft using stolen passports.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Sunday, March 9, 2014 -- 6:14 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal safety officials say a team of experts is en route to Asia to be ready to assist in the investigation of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared with 239 people on board.

The team includes accident investigators from National Transportation Safety Board, as well as technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.

The Boeing 777-200 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The safety board said in a statement Saturday the team was sent now because of the travel time involved even though the plane hasn't yet been found.

The board said that once the plane is found, International Civil Aviation Organization protocols will determine which country will lead the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Saturday, March 8, 2014 --- 6:53 a.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Vietnamese air force planes have spotted two large oil slicks that authorities suspect are from a Malaysian jetliner that went missing early Saturday.

A Vietnamese government statement says the slicks were spotted off the southern tip of Vietnam. The slicks were each between 10 kilometers (6 miles) and 15 kilometers (9 miles) long.

The statement said the slicks were consistent with the kinds that would be left by fuel from a crashed jetliner.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared from radar screens with 239 people on board en route to Beijing.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Saturday, March 8, 2014 --- 6:45 a.m.

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Vietnam air force planes spot 2 oil slicks suspected to be from missing Malaysian jetliner.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Saturday, March 8, 2014 --- 5: 11 a.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- The CEO of Malaysia Airlines says there is no indication that the pilots sent a distress signal before their Beijing-bound Boeing 777 disappeared from air traffic control screens over waters between Malaysia and Vietnam.

Search and rescue crews across Southeast Asia are scrambling to find the plane that carried 239 people.

China's Xinhua (shin-wah) News Agency, citing a local Vietnamese media report, says a Vietnamese search and rescue official reported that the last signals had been detected from the plane from about 220 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Vietnam's southernmost coastal province of Ca Mau. But there was no contact with Vietnamese controllers.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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