Day 11: NY TIMES: Lost jet’s path seen as altered via computer

This graphic released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Tuesday, March 18, 2014 shows an area, left bottom, in the southern Indian Ocean that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on. Manager of AMSA response division John Young has identified their search will cover a massive 600,000-square kilometers (232,000-square miles) area, saying it will take weeks to search thoroughly. (AP Photo/The Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

This graphic released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Tuesday, March 18, 2014 shows an area, left bottom, in the southern Indian Ocean that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on. Manager of AMSA response division John Young has identified their search will cover a massive 600,000-square kilometers (232,000-square miles) area, saying it will take weeks to search thoroughly. (AP Photo/The Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON — The first turn to the west that diverted the missing Malaysia Airlines plane from its planned flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carried out through a computer system that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems, according to senior American officials.

Instead of manually operating the plane’s controls, whoever altered Flight 370’s path typed seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee-high pedestal between the captain and the first officer, according to officials. The Flight Management System, as the computer is known, directs the plane from point to point specified in the flight plan submitted before a flight. It is not clear whether the plane’s path was reprogrammed before or after it took off.

Read the full report

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