Malaysia Airlines Jet May Have Turned Back Before Vanishing

Officials say they’re now investigating whether the jetliner may have first turned back before vanishing Saturday.
Posted at 8:11 AM, Mar 09, 2014

As the six-nation hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continues, officials say they’re now investigating whether the jetliner may have first turned back before vanishing.

"We looked back at the recording and that is possible indication that the aircraft turned back.” (Via CNN)

Turning a plane around without telling air traffic control is unusual, at best — and that raises questions of whether the pilot was actually in control. Investigators said Saturday said they hadn’t ruled out terrorism as a cause. (Via Fox News

Adding to the speculation — two of the passengers listed on the plane’s manifesto weren’t on board the flight. Both said their passports had been stolen. (Via Malaysia Airlines

The plane lost contact at what should have been one of the safest phases of its flight. Of all fatal accidents, officials told reporters just 9 percent of them happen at that altitude. (Via CBS

Not to mention, the Boeing 777 has a nearly flawless safety record — the one major exception being the fatal Asiana Airlines crash this summer. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Laurent ERRERA, USA Today) 

Of course it’s all speculation at this point and authorities have cautioned against jumping to conclusions. Still, it's a mystery why the Boeing 777 would have otherwise lost contact considering there was no bad weather and  no distress call from the plane. 

The Vietnamese government reported Saturday its air force had spotted two large oil slicks between 6 and 9 miles long off the coast. Authorities suspect the slicks might be from the missing plane — leaving family members of the passengers to fear the worst. (Via Business Insider)

They're waiting for news at a hotel in Beijing. Authorities told them to have their passports ready if a crash site is discovered. (Via NTDTV) 

The U.S. Navy has sent both a warship and a surveillance plane to search for the missing plane. The State Department has confirmed, of the 239 people on board, three were Americans.