Civil Air Patrol joins search for missing Malaysia airplane

TULSA - The Malaysian airline flight 370 is still missing after disappearing from radar more than a week ago. 

Now, search experts across the nation including agencies in Oklahoma are hoping cell phones will help narrow the search. 

Joe Cavett, aircraft search and rescue specialist with the Oklahoma Civil Air Patrol, says cell phone transmissions could pin-point the the location of the missing plane. While airlines require that passengers turn off their cell phones during flight, the wing commander says for the purpose of finding flight 370 he hopes someone ignored the rule. 

"In this case, we're hoping someone didn't follow the rules and will release some cell phone information for them to track...the radar and cell phone forensic team can look at raw data from the radar centers across the world and we can also look at cell phone pings to determine the location and track the aircraft," Cavett said. 

Cavett says, in many cases,  the technology has helped to track missing aircrafts within 60 feet of the crash site, but says this search and rescue mission is a challenging one. 

"The lack of information or even the lack of motive for why the airplane disappeared is really hampering the search...this search is going to be difficult for them because of the sheer area they have to search," Cavett said. 

Because plane experts like Cavett believe there was no distress signal sent before the plane vanished, search experts don't have the information necessary to track the plane using the traditional technology.

"That creates a huge area to search and they are literally searching for a needle in a hay stack," Cavett said.

Cavett says the task at hand for agencies is hard, but is hoping that new evidence will lead to a discovery.  

 

 

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