Update: lost Malaysia Airlines flight path altered by computer
A missing Malaysia Airlines flight may have been diverted from its original path via computer.
Flight 370 has been missing since March 8.
The first turn to the west that diverted the missing Malaysia Airlines plane from its planned flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carried out through a computer system that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems, according to senior American officials.
Instead of manually operating the plane’s controls, whoever altered Flight 370’s path typed seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee-high pedestal between the captain and the first officer, according to officials. The Flight Management System, as the computer is known, directs the plane from point to point specified in the flight plan submitted before a flight. It is not clear whether the plane’s path was reprogrammed before or after it took off.
Investigators, first voiced by Malaysian officials, believe that the plane was deliberately diverted and suspect foul play. Increased focus has been placed on the plane’s captain and first officer.
On Saturday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters that his government believed that the plane had been diverted because its transponder and other communications devices had been manually turned off several minutes apart.
This is currently the 10th day of the search.
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