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‘US Navy won’t act without evidence’

US-Navy-300x168PETALING JAYA: The United States Navy should have certainly obtained concrete evidence on the missing MH370 before heading to the Indian Ocean, said Malaysian defence policies observer Lam Choong Wah.

Lam, a senior fellow at Research for Social Advancement (Rafsa), said the US Navy would not have headed to the Indian Ocean if they were not confident that the Malaysia Airline Boeing 777-200, which vanished on March 8, could be there.

“Without any leads, it is just a waste of time and money to deploy ships there. They certainly have obtained some concrete evidence,” he said.

Lam said the plane was built by one of the US companies and they might have certain ways to interpret the ping transmission from the plane which Malaysia did not have.

US Navy dispatched its guided missile destroyer USS Kidd and P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane to the Indian Ocean towards the far northwest of the peninsula after the White House confirmed receiving new information about the ill-fated flight yesterday.

US investigators said Boeing 777 jetliner’s communication system continued to “ping” a satellite for several hours after disappearing on the civilian radar screen at about 1.30am near the Malaysia-Vietnam airspace boundary.

The jet, which took off from KLIA at 12.40am on Saturday, carried 239 passengers and crew on board and was en route from KL to Beijing.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the “ping” operated in a kind of standby mode and sought to establish contact with a satellite or satellites.

According to a US investigator, the transmissions were comparable to the plane saying “I’m here, I’m ready to send data.”

Yesterday, Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein denied the existence of such a transmission, but the White House spokesman had since reaffirmed its existence.

Flying altitude a crucial factor

US officials are probing the possibility that a pilot or someone else on board may have intentionally shut down the jetliner’s transponder to avoid radar detection before diverting it towards an unidentified location.

Lam said one way to ascertain whether the plane had been hijacked was to verify its flying altitude after it went off from the radar screen.

“The flying altitude of every commercial flight varies in height by 1,000ft. If a plane is flying at 30,000ft, another will fly at 29,000ft.

“Malaysia Air Force chief Rodzali Daud had told Berita Harian that MH370 had turned back and flew at 29,500ft, but denied it later.

“But if MH370 was indeed flying at 29,500 feet, that is something very unusual.

“Yes, you won’t bump into another plane by flying between the 1,000ft layer, but that is very dangerous.

“That could mean somebody has turned off all communication devices in the plane,” he said.

He urged the authorities to make public the plane’s Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) transmissions which would have relayed the airliner’s messages to the ground.

Lam also said there was hardly any chance that MH370 could have landed safely in an undisclosed location because the Boeing 777 needed a well-equipped airport to make a safe landing.

“Boeing 777 needs a 1.5km runway and air traffic control service. These facilities are only available in major airports.

“If a pilot tries to land in an airport without these facilities, the plane will be damaged in the process,” he said.

Click the link: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/03/14/us-navy-wont-act-without-evidence/

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