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updated: 3/14/2014 4:03 PM

10 facts on Malaysia plane disappearance

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  • Fariq was contemplating marriage after having just graduated to the cockpit of a Boeing 777.

    Fariq was contemplating marriage after having just graduated to the cockpit of a Boeing 777.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Missing plane conspiracies

Daily Herald News Services

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has generated dozens of theories on where it is now, from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, and how it vanished. Here are some facts about the disappearance that might help you decide.

1) The last contact with Flight MH370 last communicated with air traffic control on March 8 east of Malaysia

2) 57 ships and 48 aircraft from 13 countries were involved in the search Friday.

3) China reports searching 27,000 square miles of the South China Sea.

4) India is using heat sensors to search around the Andaman Sea islands, more than 1,000 miles west of the plane's last know position.

5) A Boeing 777 needs at least one mile of runway to land, experts say. The international airport in Port Blair, the regional capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, has a runway that is long enough to accommodate a 777.

6). The Boeing 777's transponder can be shut off by turning a knob on a 2 inch by 5 inch box in the cockpit panel. The transponder shut off an hour after takeoff, about a dozen minutes before a messaging system on the jet quit.

7) With the amount of fuel on board, the plane could have flown four hours after last contact, stretching anywhere in a large swath of South and Southeast Asia.

8) 239 people were on board the Boeing 777 headed to China.

9) The pilots are Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. Zaharie joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and had more than 18,000 hours of experience.

10) Fariq has drawn the greatest scrutiny after the revelation that in 2011, he and another pilot invited two women boarding their aircraft to sit in the cockpit for a flight from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur.

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