Last Words From Cockpit Get Second Look

'Good night' believed to be said by co-pilot
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2014 4:32 AM CDT
Updated Mar 17, 2014 8:15 AM CDT
Malaysia's acting minister of transport Hishamuddin Hussein, second from right, speaks during a press conference yesterday.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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(Newser) – The last words from the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370—"All right, good night"—are getting a second look. Investigators yesterday revealed they were spoken after one of the plane's communications systems had already been deliberately switched off, but Malaysian officials backpedaled on that timeline today. The AP reports that Malaysia Airlines' CEO today said it's thought the co-pilot uttered the words, which experts say went against standard radio procedures and will likely be examined for signs of psychological stress, reports Reuters. The latest chronology, per the Guardian and the Crikey blog: The last ACARS transmission came at 1:07am. The system is designed to transmit every 30 minutes, meaning it was turned off sometime before 1:37am. The words were said at 1:19am. At 1:22am, the plane's transponder last communicated with radar, and is believed to have been turned off shortly thereafter. More:

  • But investigators are looking beyond the cockpit as well, notes Reuters, and are in the process of carrying out background checks on the plane's 227 passengers. One name being specifically mentioned: that of a 29-year-old Malaysian aviation engineer. Experts say Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat would have had the knowledge needed to fly the plane, and a police official confirms "we are looking into Mohd Khairul as well as the other passengers and crew."
  • Some 26 countries have now been asked to evaluate radar and satellite data in the search for the missing plane, which is now believed to have flown on either a northern or southern arc from its last known location, the BBC reports.
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says that in response to a request from Malaysian authorities, his country has agreed to take the lead in the southern vector search for the "ill-fated aircraft."
  • But according to reports in the Malaysian media, sources say data collected points to the northern corridor, and investigators are looking for disused airfields in the area capable of taking the Boeing 777.
(Read more Malaysia Airlines stories.)

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