Plane's disappearance deliberate; investigators conclude flight - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Officials suspect pilots may be to blame for missing plane

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- U.S. intelligence officials say it's possible at least one of the Malaysia Airlines pilots could be responsible for the disappearance of Flight 370.

ABC News reports new information revealed Saturday shows the plane performed "tactical evasion maneuvers" after disappearing from radar last week. Authorities say those maneuvers may have been attempts to evade radar, and only someone would extensive flight or engineering experience could pull it off.

Officials also say they have found no link between the passengers and known terrorist groups. A possibility that cannot be ruled out is whether the pilots were forced by someone else to redirect the plane.

Malaysian authorities searched the home of the lead pilot and co-pilot on Saturday.

The plane disappeared March 8, carrying 239 passengers en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that investigators believe the missing Malaysian airliner's communications were deliberately disabled, that it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew for more than seven hours.

Najib also said Saturday that authorities are now trying to trace the airplane missing for more than a week across two possible "corridors" -- a northern corridor from northern Thailand through to the border of Kazakstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

The announcement Saturday confirms days of mounting speculation that the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board was not accidental.

It means the investigation will now focus on who may have taken control of the plane and why, and that the search area will be vastly expanded.

Najib said that searching in the South China Sea, where the plane first lost contact with air traffic controllers, would be ended. He said the new search corridors were based on the latest available satellite data.

"Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase," he said. "We hope this new information brings us one step closer to finding the plane."

A Malaysian government official says investigators have concluded that one of the pilots or someone else with flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

The official, who is involved in the investigation, says no motive has been established, and it is not yet clear where the plane was taken. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

The official said that hijacking was no longer a theory. "It is conclusive."

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