AirTalk for March 10, 2014

Criminal enterprise or tragic accident? Mystery of missing Malaysian jet intensifies

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MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Passengers check in for a Malaysia Airlines flight from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur at China's Beijing Airport on March 10, 2014. Malaysia said a missing airliner carrying 239 people may have inexplicably turned back as authorities launched a terror probe into the plane's sudden disappearance, investigating suspect passengers who boarded with stolen passports.

Questions still linger over why a Malaysian jetliner carrying 239 people vanished on a flight between Kuala Lumpur to Beijing over the weekend. A few clues including a large oil slick found in the ocean near Vietnam and a yellow object that looked like a life raft turned out to be false leads and there is still no sign of the Boeing 777 aircraft.

Investigators are looking into the identities of all passengers on board and have identified one man who was traveling on a false passport.

International investigators haven't ruled out any possible causes of the accident, including terrorism, but Taiwan's national security agency dismissed reports that an anonymous tip they received last week warning that terrorists were targeting Beijing's international airport was connected to the disaster.

Answers to what happened to the jetliner are likely to remain a mystery until wreckage from the crash is found, which could take years.

How do investigators start piecing together what happened to the jet? What are some leads that investigators are pursuing? Is it possible that a mechanical malfunction brought down the jet? How does a huge aircraft completely vanish from the radar with no distress signal?

Guest:  

Captain Ross "Rusty" Aimer, former United Airlines pilot and CEO of Aero Consulting

Brian Michael Jenkins, Terrorism Expert and Senior Advisor to the President of the Rand Corporation


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