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March 18, 2014

Mystery of missing Malaysian plane deepens


More than a week has passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared overnight flying between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, China. The Malaysian government says it was deliberately diverted and new evidence casts suspicion on the pilot and crew. Reports confirm the pilot attended the trial of a leading jailed political opposition figure just hours before the flight.

A longtime friend says yes, Captain Zaharie had anti-government views, but he was not a zealot.

“He’s just a normal, typical Malaysian who has his own political beliefs. But to say he’s obsessed, I don’t think so. He’s a professional. He wouldn’t endanger the passengers,” said Mohd Othman.

A vast area is now being searched by teams from 26 countries with particular focus on two possible flight paths, including one that stretches north into Central Asia.

The last voice message from the aircraft was from the co-pilot, who said, “All right, good night,” at 1:19 a.m. local time. But that transmission was 12 minutes after the plane’s data signaling system either shut down or was disabled, further adding to the mystery.

Warm up questions
  1. Where is Malaysia?
  2. Where is the Indian Ocean?
  3. How do planes keep in touch with people on the ground when they are in the air?
Discussion questions and writing prompts
  1. Do you think that the pilot or crew was involved with the plane’s disappearance?
  2. How do you think the Malaysian government is handling the situation? Is there anything else they could be doing better? Explain your answer.
  3. Do you think that it is possible that the passengers are still alive?
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