Local pilot says missing flight is sad, rare incident

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - While the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues many people are questioning how a Boeing 777 just disappears?

Officials are now looking into radar indicating that the plane turned back without ever making a distress call.

Former airline pilot and owner of AAA Helicopters Tom Anticola said if a pilot plans to make a U-turn they must first get permission from Air Traffic Control.

“ATC is going to want to know why because it may conflict with other aircraft in the area. So first of all they’re going to ask them why. They just won’t allow it. Then they’ll make the turn which could take some distance,” said Anticola.

Authorities are also looking into why a distress call wasn’t made.

Anticola believes something tragic must have happened very quickly because there are a couple of ways to signal for help.

He explained that a pilot can speak into a microphone and say “mayday” and that alerts Air Traffic Control that there’s a serious problem.

“The other way is you can turn the dial on the transponder to the code 7500 which is high jacking and 7600 which is the code for radio failure,” said Anticola.

The Boeing 777 was on its way from Malaysia’s capital city shortly after midnight Saturday to Beijing. It was carrying 239 people on board. It was last detected on radar at 1:30 Saturday morning.

Another clue that investigators are looking into is an oil slick stretching between six to nine miles in the Gulf of Thailand. Anticola said this could help investigators pinpoint the plane’s black box.

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