Call Recording Might Help Solve Malaysian Airline Mystery

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Call Recording Might Help Solve Malaysian Airline Mystery

April 03, 2014

As the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 continues, officials are trying to glean any clues that they can from the few pieces of evidence that exist on where the flight could have disappeared to. On Monday, the Malaysian Prime Minister made the announcement that the flight had indeed gone down somewhere in the Indian Ocean, and images of floating debris seem to confirm this conclusion.

However, simply determining that the plane had gone down is not enough to solve why the flight crashed in the first place. Now that the audio transcript of the cockpit recordings has been released, call recording technology may be able to help answer that question.

In particular, investigators are hoping that they can use the recordings to help identify the speaker, which could help rule out or confirm the possibility that the flight was hijacked. The final recorded interaction between air traffic control at Kuala Lumpur and MH 370 includes nearly 12 minutes of silence from the cockpit, and is included below:

ATC      1:08:00: Malaysian Three Seven Zero

ATC      1:19:24: Malaysian Three Seven Zero contact Ho Chi Minh 120 decimal 9 Good Night

MH370 1:19:29: Good Night Malaysian Three Seven Zero

Though the sign-off is not unusual by itself, those 12 minutes include enough unaccounted time for the possibility to remain that the plane may have been hijacked before it cut communications. To help determine whether or not this is the case, call recording technology could easily compare other recordings of the pilot from different flights in a side-by-side analysis. From there, it could be determined if the speaker who said goodnight was indeed the pilot, which could give a clue as to whether there was any foul play involved.

Whether or not this method proves successful, call recording technology could still be used in investigations of similar incidents where audio recordings exist, which could help identify individuals as suspects in other cases. Should the flight be found in time to salvage the information from the plane's black box, call recording technology could even be employed to listen for any troubling background noises that could indicate engine problems, a hijacking or another similar circumstance.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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