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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Pilot spoke to ground control after systems shutdown

Someone, possibly one of the missing plane's pilots, spoke to air traffic control after the flight's signaling system had been deliberately disabled.

By Kate Stanton
Crew members on board a P-8A Poseidon assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 man their workstations while assisting in search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, over the Indian Ocean, March 16, 2014. UPI/Eric A. Pastor/US Navy
Crew members on board a P-8A Poseidon assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 man their workstations while assisting in search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, over the Indian Ocean, March 16, 2014. UPI/Eric A. Pastor/US Navy | License Photo

With 25 countries now on the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, combing land and sea for any sign of the missing plane, Malaysian officials have started to turn their attention to MH 370's pilots.

A senior Malaysian official said Sunday that one of the plane's pilots -- either Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, or co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, or an unknown person -- spoke to traffic control after the plane diverted from its flight path and after its signaling system had been disabled.

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"All right, good night," someone reportedly told air traffic control.

“This will tell you something…because this is something not normal that the pilot would do,” Malaysian Air Force Maj. General Affendi Buang said of the mysteriously calm last words.

U.S. intelligence officials have already been looking into the possibility that one or both of the plane's pilots are responsible for its disappearance. Authorities began searching Shah's home on Saturday.

[NY Times, NY Post, CNN]

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