AP: No Data After Contact Lost With Missing Plane - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

AP: No Data After Contact Lost With Missing Plane

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A U.S. official says there were no data transmitted on the status of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet's engines after contact was lost with the plane.
The official said Thursday that investigators are beginning to explore whether the plane may have flown for another four hours after contact was lost, based on the estimated fuel on board and the inability of searchers thus far to find wreckage.
The official said there was information about the Boeing 777-200's engines sent via a digital datalink along with other information on the functioning of the plane before contact was lost.
The official familiar with the investigation spoke only on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak about it publicly.

Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities are again expanding the search area for the missing jetliner.
Malaysia's transport minister says it's possible the plane could have flown for several hours after its last contact with the ground.
The Wall Street Journal quotes U.S. investigators as saying they suspect the plane remained in the air for about four hours after its last confirmed contact. They cited data from the plane's engines automatically transmitted as part of a routine maintenance program.
But the transport minister says Malaysia contacted Boeing and Rolls Royce, the engine manufacturer, and both said the last engine data was received about 23 minutes before the plane lost contact. Still, he says investigators have been unable to rule anything out yet and have requested radar data from India and other neighboring countries.
Planes were sent today to search an area off the southern tip of Vietnam.

Chinese satellite images reportedly showed three floating objects there, but the searchers spotted nothing.  (AP)

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