Final Words From Missing Jet Have Changed
Search chief warns wreckage may never be found
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2014 4:53 AM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2014 7:34 AM CDT
Former Australian defense chief Angus Houston briefs the press on the search.   (AP Photo/Greg Wood, Pool)

(Newser) – Weeks after the last words from the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 fueled speculation on the missing jet's fate, Malaysian authorities have suddenly changed their version of the last words. Instead of "All right, good night," authorities now say the final transmission was actually "Good night Malaysian three seven zero"—a more standard and formal signoff from the pilot or copilot as the plane left Malaysian airspace, the Guardian notes. More:

  • While the change is unlikely to have any impact on the investigation, the unexplained discrepancy "speaks to credibility issues, unfortunately," says a CNN aviation analyst. Former FAA chief of staff Michael Goldfarb agrees. "We haven't had a straight, clear word that we can have a lot of fidelity in," he says. "We have the tragedy of the crash, we have the tragedy of an investigation gone awry and then we have questions about where we go from here."

  • In Australia, meanwhile, the man coordinating the Indian Ocean search says the hunt is the "most challenging" of its kind ever seen and it could be weeks before there are results, the BBC reports. "It's not something that will necessarily be resolved in the next two weeks," says Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who heads a new joint agency center managing the search.
  • The search chief also suggested that the plane may never be found—or at least not for decades, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. He compared the search to the hunt for a warship sunk off the coast of western Australia during World War II and not found until 2008. "There were eyewitnesses who saw the ship disappear over the horizon but it took us about 60 years to find HMAS Sydney on the bottom of the ocean," he said.
  • With at least 11 planes now in the search zone—where little more than fishing gear and jellyfish has been found—authorities are worried that the busy skies could cause another crash, the AP finds. Houston says a modified Boeing 737 will be deployed soon to serve as an air traffic controller for the search area and prevent a mid-air collision.

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