Flight Crash Was 'Suicide Mission': Source
Meanwhile, Australia puts search for plane on hold
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2014 6:40 PM CDT
Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines jet, MH370, grieve after being told of the latest news in Beijing, China, Monday, March 24, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

(Newser) – The Malaysia Airlines flight that went down in the Indian Ocean looks a lot like a suicide mission, an official source tells the Telegraph. A team probing the crash believes no fire or malfunction could have sent the plane on its errant course or crippled its communications system for 7 hours. "This has been a deliberate act by someone on board" who had "detailed knowledge" of the plane, said the source, but "nothing is emerging that points to a motive." In other developments:

  • The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has delayed its search due to bad weather, Australia's News Network reports. A 13-foot swell and gale force winds of 50 miles an hour are hitting the region.
  • The UK satellite firm Inmarsat figured out in a day that the flight likely crashed where crews are now searching, but rescue teams didn't know for 10 days—and relatives of passengers are outraged. They called Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government "the real executioners."
  • Inmarsat determined the flight's path in a unique way, receiving hourly signals by satellite and studying waves coming from the plane to determine whether it was getting closer or moving away, CNN reports. It's like the Doppler effect—the difference in sound between a vehicle approaching and driving off.
  • Malaysia Airlines said for the first time yesterday that Fariq Abdul Hamid, a pilot on the flight, had never flown a Boeing 777 before without a check pilot monitoring him.
Click to read about Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak's announcement this morning.

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Mar 25, 2014 10:44 PM CDT
No one who calls themselves a 'Muslim' or believes the 'Koran' should be allowed to fly anything unsupervised - PERIOD !
Edward N
Mar 25, 2014 3:29 PM CDT
Awesome story, Neal! Readers are going to love it! Ok, just to double-check, Neal: you did make all those phone calls and review the scientific data to confirm that this theory might be true or probable or possible before you submitted the piece to the editor, right?
Mar 25, 2014 10:12 AM CDT
"no fire or malfunction could have sent the plane on its errant course or crippled its communications system for 7 hours" This is untrue, say flight engineers, experienced 777 pilots and aeronautical engineers. While there are fail safe systems on planes, there is the slim possibility of a catastrophic system failure, especially if the plane hadn't been inspected recently or properly maintained. It can happen, especially if there's a fire or chemical leak and the humans on board are overcome and unable to manually control the plane. Ask Payne Stewart about this. oh, right… you can't since he and the rest of the humans on board his jet died or were unconscious, without communicating, before their plane flew thousands of mile unmanned, ran out of fuel and crashed. They know this because in this case, the plane was tracked from the ground and chasing jets flew near enough to it see the pilot slumped over.