I would say this is a distraction of major proportions by all concerned, but to what end???
As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, attention is turning to the onboard technology that allowed the plane itself, rather than the pilots, to communicate with the ground.
Even if an aircraft’s transponder has been disabled, its most basic systems, such as the engines, can also send status information back to ground stations, including the engine manufacturer or the airline. Investigators have now determined that some of these systems were still active on Flight 370 hours after it initially lost contact with air traffic controllers. The question is whether this low-level data is enough to provide new insight on where the plane may have gone.
Meanwhile, a satellite operator offered a glimmer of hope Friday when it confirmed it had received “ping” signals from MH370. The company, Inmarsat, said it might be able to use the angle of the incoming transmissions to calculate MH 370’s position relative to the satellite. (Here is the news release from the company.)
Sources: Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia and news reports. Chico Harlan, Richard Johnson and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post.