3.14.2014

5 UN-VARNISHED QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS ON MALAYSIAN FLIGHT 370


1. WHERE THE HELL IS THIS PLANE?

As evidence grows that the plane could have flown for hours after losing contact with air traffic control, the search area too has grown: It now includes the Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea, Strait of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean.

That could be anywhere from India to Australia, a stretch of the globe so vast that only the luckiest of breaks would turn up the missing plane. "This is an impossible task," said Peter Goelz, former National Transportation Safety Board managing director. "They've got to narrow it down more."

2. HOW CAN A BIG ASS PLANE JUST DISAPPEAR LIKE A PUFF OF SMOKE?

It doesn't. It -- or its pieces -- are somewhere. It doesn't help that Flight 370's flight path is unclear and that the search areas include vast waters and sparsely populated jungles and mountains.

But its apparent disappearance is made even stranger by the fact that the jet was laden with massive amounts of technology, including a transponder, UHF and VHF radios, automatic beacons, GPS and computer communications systems, as well as the cell phones of the passengers and crew.


3.  COULD THIS PLANE HAVE LANDED ON GILLIGAN'S ISLAND?

One theory U.S. officials are considering, according to that Wall Street Journal report, is that someone might have taken the plane to be used for some other purpose later. So it's theoretically possible that the plane could have landed at a remote airstrip where it's being hidden. (AHA)

But there are some big holes in that theory. The 777 is a big plane. It requires, at minimum, nearly a mile to land. And, says Quest, there's the matter of getting it someplace without setting off alarm bells. "You can't just fly a Triple 7 and not have a radar trace," he said. One senior U.S. official, citing information Malaysia has shared with the United States, told CNN that "there is probably a significant likelihood" that the aircraft is on the floor of the Indian Ocean.

4. WHAT'S UP WITH THE STOLEN PASSPORT THING?

Interpol says it has identified the men as Iranians Pouri Nourmohammadi, 18, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, 29, and Malaysian investigators say neither of them has any apparent connection to terrorist organizations. Stolen passports don't necessarily indicate terrorism. In fact, passengers flew without having their travel documents checked against its lost-and-stolen passport database more than a billion times in 2013, according to Interpol. Among the reasons someone might use a stolen passport: to immigrate to another country, to export goods without being paying taxes or to smuggle stolen goods, people, drugs or weapons.


5. IS THIS THE FIRST HUGE PLANE TO JUMP OFF THE RESERVATION?

No. Perhaps no disappearance proved as vexing as Air France 447, which went down after departing Rio de Janeiro on June 1, 2009. It took four searches and almost two years before the bulk of the wreckage and majority of bodies were recovered. The voice and data recorders weren't found on the ocean floor until May 2011.

20 more answers on CNN



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