You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Missing Malaysia jet was steered off course by cockpit computer

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Investigators say the first turn that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took that led it off course was due to a computer system entry that came from the cockpit, a finding that's bolstered arguments the plane was purposely diverted.

The flight path of the plane, which was headed to Beijing, was altered via navigational instructions that were fed into the Flight Management System, the computer package that's in the cockpit and that responds to pilot directions, NBC News reported.

Investigators still don't know exactly when the direction to turn west and head toward the Indian Ocean was input into the FMS. But the fact that the data was entered at all indicates that somebody had to do it — and that the somebody who did it was knowledgeable about plane operations, NBC News said.

The New York Times reported that some analysts think that whoever inputted the data into the FMS actually added a navigational waypoint.

"Pilots do that in the ordinary course of flying if air traffic controllers tell them to take a different route, to avoid weather or traffic," The New York Times said. "But in this case, the waypoint was far off the path to Beijing."

The plane disappeared more than a week ago.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.