Still no answers in the mysterious disappearance of missing jet - KMSP-TV

Still no answers in the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Air 370

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

It's been nearly a week since a Malaysian Airlines jet went missing after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The jet disappearing from radar and vanishing from the sky.

Authorities still do not know what happened to flight 370. New information released on Thursday indicate the plane may have flown for up to four hours after it lost contact with air traffic controllers.

The search area has expanded from North of Malaysia to Vietnam and to the entire Indian Ocean.

There were more than 200 passengers on board the flight when it vanished after the planes transponder was turned off.

A local aviation expert said the new information released Thursday opens up all sorts of theories into what happened to the flight.

Malaysian Airlines flight 370 was supposed to be bound for Beijing but now the search stretches into the Indian Ocean.

"I did a rough calculation and it sounds like the area where the plane could have gotten to is something like 12 million square miles. That is mind boggling," said Robert Mittelstaedt.

Aviation expert Robert Mittelstaedt said the entire aviation community is baffled by the new information suggesting that the plane's engines sent data to satellites for four to five hours after the transponder was turned off.

"That is what is so bizarre, and leads everyone to believe that the airplane was either still flying somewhere, or it handed landed somewhere, but it still had electrical power, so the system was still sending out signals," he said.

But there's little evidence and a plethora of theories ranging from a plane malfunction, pilot suicide, or even terrorism.

"If someone wanted to pull off something highly visible and say, "hey why don't we steal an airplane and all its passengers, and take it somewhere, and land it" that would be very scary thing," he said.

As the search widened the question investigators still can't narrow down is whether this was an accident or a deliberate act.

"Until you find the wreckage or location of the airplane, and have some clues anything anybody says is nothing but theories," he said.

Mittelstaedt said it's too early to draw any lessons from the missing flight. He said the aviation industry will likely look for ways pilots can stay in contact continuously while flying over the ocean.

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