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Malaysia Airlines Flight Flew Low To Avoid Radar: Report

Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times claims the missing flight dropped to 5,000 feet to avoid radar detection.
Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 17, 2014

More speculation and theories are still emerging about what might have happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. And this theory hints at foul play.

A new report from Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times says the plane plunged to 5,000 feet to avoid radar detection when it disappeared. 

"It's called terrain masking. It's something guys in the military do. ... So did they do it to evade radar? Maybe."

​"Maybe not. The eyewitnesses might be able to pick it up." (Via Fox News)

Still, this new report just adds to the many theories already out there. And many analysts say theories of foul play are unlikely to pan out. 

"The 777 pilots that I've talked to say that would be very difficult to do. So again, possible, but not likely." (Via CBS

A writer for The Sydney Morning Herald agrees, writing, "Flying a Boeing 777 in such a way would be dangerous, putting pressure on the 250 tonnes air frame and possibly causing those on board to be air sick."

But Sidney Dekker of the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University told The Guardian excessive pressure on the frame wouldn't be much of a factor. "The only really relevant effect is a dramatic increase in fuel use – its range would be very much shortened by that."

It's been about a week now since the flight went missing. Authorities say the last words from the plane were, "All right, good night," believed to be from the co-pilot. The plane's crew and several passengers are under investigation. (Via KNXV

Officials know the plane was deliberately diverted at one point to avoid bad weather. It's not clear if investigators are focusing on terrorism at this point. (Via ABC)

The search area includes 11 countries and thousands of miles of the Indian Ocean. More than 25 countries are contributing to the search effort.