Malaysia Denies Jet Flew 4 Hours After Signal Lost

'WSJ' report said data had been transmitted from plane's engines

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 13, 2014 4:54 AM CDT | Updated Mar 13, 2014 6:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – The mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has become even more baffling: US investigators believe the plane flew on for four hours after its last contact with air traffic controllers, meaning it could be anywhere in a huge area ranging from India to Australia to the southern tip of Japan, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that cites "two people familiar with the details." But Malaysia's transportation minister wasted no time in quashing the WSJ report; calling it "inaccurate," he claims that both Boeing and Rolls Royce (the maker of the engines) also deny it, and says no transmissions were received from the plane after it lost contact, CNN reports.

The Journal's sources say aviation investigators base their belief on data automatically transmitted from the Boeing 777's engines to the ground. An aviation industry observer had already thrown cold water on the report, noting that it was "almost unbelievable" the plane could have flown for that long without being spotted or picked up by any radar. Vietnamese and Malaysian authorities, meanwhile, have found no trace of debris where satellite images indicated there could be floating pieces of the plane.

Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Children read messages and well wishes displayed for all involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370 on the walls of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A Vietnamese Air Force crew member looks at a map  during a mission to search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand.
A Vietnamese Air Force crew member looks at a map during a mission to search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand.   (AP Photo)
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