Malaysian Officials Expand Search Area
False Leads Show Fallibility of Today’s Technology
The three significant leads that officials had in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner that disappeared Saturday failed to pan out, and underscore the fact that, despite the wealth of safety and emergency equipment on the plane, modern technology is unquestionably fallible.
Indeed, Malaysian authorities said Monday that no debris from the missing plane has been recovered even though a massive air and sea search has been under way for days.
Lab tests showed that the 12-mile or 20-kilometer-long oil slick sighted after the disappearance contained no jet fuel. What was thought to be a lifeboat in the Gulf of Thailand was the lid of a large box, according to the Vietnamese navy. Additionally, what was believed to be a composite inner door and a piece of the 777’s tail were “logs tied together,” according to a statement by Malaysian authorities.
The Boeing 777 disappeared from air-traffic control radar less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur Saturday morning. Its last-reported position was over the Vietnam side of the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand.
The aircraft was flying at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet in good weather. The usual causes of plane crashes include mechanical failure, bad weather, and pilot conditions. As experts have noted, planes don’t typically vanish or fall out of the sky absent sabotage or another catastrophic event.
None of the aircraft’s transmitters appear to have sent a distress signal before the jet disappeared.
Commercial airliners also have emergency locator beacons that are activated by impact on land or water, but Malaysian aviation regulators say that these transmitters have not been sending signals.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)