I don't know, but doesn't that suggest that the pilots deliberately shut off communication? Who were the pilots?
All the crew members on board the plane were Malaysian. The pilot of the missing plane is Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old with 18,365 flying hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981. The first officer, Fariq Ab Hamid, has 2,763 flying hours. Hamid, 27, started at the airline in 2007. He had been flying another jet and was transitioning to the Boeing 777-200 after having completed training in a flight simulator.I see that Drudge — with the teaser "Unprecedented Mystery — is linking to this Reuters article quoting Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the head of Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority, using that phrase. But my first link, which goes to CNN, says "it's not unprecedented" and:
In June 2009, Air France Flight 447 was en route from Rio De Janeiro to Paris when communications ended suddenly from the Airbus A330, another state-of-the-art aircraft, with 228 people on board. It took four searches over the course of nearly two years to locate the bulk of Flight 447's wreckage and the majority of the bodies in a mountain range deep under the Atlantic Ocean. It took even longer to establish the cause of the disaster.But that incident wasn't the same when it comes to the utter lack of communication. When Air France Flight 447 went down, the pilot was in communication and was saying "Damn it, we’re going to crash… This can’t be happening!"
IN THE COMMENTS: Larry J said:
No, it doesn't suggest the pilots deliberately shut down communications. There's this widespread myth that the first things pilots do when there's an emergency is to reach for the radio. Nope, the rule is fly the plane, work the problem, navigate and then communicate.He also observes that the Air France Flight 447 recording is probably "from the cockpit voice recorder, not an external radio communication."
There are several possibilities for why they didn't communicate. One, some sort of catestrophic failure occurred so quickly that they didn't have the time or opportunity to communicate. Possible causes of that include (but are not limited to) a bomb going off in the plane or an extremely rare mechanical malfunction that tore the plane apart. An example of that was the Air Lauda 767 accident back in 1991 where a thrust reverser deployed in flight. Total electrical failure (also extremely rare) could prevent them from communicating but that's unlikely to cause the plane to crash.