March 13th, 2014
08:53 PM ET

Report: Malaysia Airline Flight 370 communications shut down separately

(CNN)- Two U.S. officials tell ABC News that the two communications systems on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were shut down separately.

A source tells ABC that indicates the plane was not taken down by a catastrophic failure, meaning it could very well have been a deliberate act.

The two communications systems are the data reporting system, which they believe was shut down at 1:07am, and the transponder, which transmits location and altitude, was shut down at 1:21 am.

"This had to have been some sort of a deliberate act," aviation analyst for ABC's World News John Nance told CNN's Erin Burnett, adding that it's "likely a human-being was pulling circuit breakers at a sequential time."

Officials: Malaysian plane may have flown long after last contact

This latest information comes on the heels of a senior U.S. officials telling CNN that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have flown for four to five hours after its last contact.

Officials now believe the plane may have made it to the Indian Ocean - the complete opposite direction of where the search was headed Wednesday.

Malaysian authorities believe they have several "pings" of plane data that were transmitted to satellites in the four to five hours after the last transponder signal.

Authorities believe during that time the plane could have flown towards the Indian Ocean.

But like everything else in this mystery, no one is really sure.

The search area and flight path of Flight 370 is not clear. But what is certain -is the Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane around 1:30 a.m.

Malaysian officials at first said the plane u-turned, flying for about another hour.

Chinese officials on Wednesday released satellite pictures showing what might have been plane debris. But no evidence of debris was found and that theory was dismissed.

Filed under: Aviation Industry • International • News
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. DownSideofFame

    2 weeks in, no sign of Malaysian airliner – intense search off Australia turns up zero
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    March 23, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  2. Paula

    Ms. Burnett was insensitive in remarks made to pilot and reporter Miles O'Brien, regarding the recent loss of his left arm. To say to a man on national TV, who a month ago lost his arm, " You seem so normal", is the height of stupidity. It as well seems to be a violation of the spirit of CNN's HR disability policy.

    Losing ones arm does not make one abnormal. It makes them unlucky.

    March 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  3. earl rogers

    have we heard any cell phone calls from the passengers? If not, why not?

    March 14, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • chirong wang

      During take off, passengers were advised to turn off the electronic instruments. After passengers were allowed to use the electronic equipment, could sudden surge in the usage create large amount of signals or statics over the plane metal frame that disable the plane's communication system.

      March 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  4. earl rogers

    How come no one heard any cell phone calls from the aircraft during all this? Are the authorities searching know airfields?

    March 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  5. Pat

    I got my answer on CNN today -Ashleigh Banfield's show. Transponders are turned off when they're on the ground so they won't track on radar. You are right, Jill.

    March 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  6. Jill

    Maybe transponders have on/off functionality so they can be disabled when they are on the ground & not in flight? I'm not sure what system communicates with these transponders but maybe it would be overloaded if every single plane- including those not in flight- were continually communicating with it?

    March 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  7. ted

    That plane is in Sri Lanka.

    March 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  8. Pat

    On 9/11 the transponders on at least some of the planes were shut down, making it difficult to track the planes. I would have thought that this would have been corrected, so that a transponder could not be shut off – so that they would automatically transmit data. Why wasn't this taken care of? Why would anyone want to allow a transponder to be shut off on a commercial plane? I could understand it on a military plane, but why on a commercial one?

    March 13, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Reply

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