A l'ère des téléphones intelligents et des réseaux sociaux, la disparition du vol MH370 de Malaysia Airlines soulève une question de plus: pourquoi les passagers n'ont-ils pas contacté leurs proches, comme lors des attentats du 11 Septembre ?

Alors que l'enquête sur la disparition du Boeing 777 avec 239 personnes à bord dure depuis plus de dix jours, cette absence d'appels ou d'e-mails pourrait être un indice.

Face à ce qui apparaît comme l'un des plus grands mystères de l'histoire de l'aéronautique, cela pourrait indiquer que l'avion volait haut ou au-dessus de l'eau.

Ou que les passagers étaient inconscients, en raison par exemple d'une dépressurisation de la cabine.

Selon les experts, plus ils auraient été proches d'un réseau de téléphonie terrestre, plus les passagers auraient eu une chance d'utiliser leurs portables ou autres appareils électroniques.

Mais beaucoup sont sceptiques sur la possibilité d'établir un contact téléphonique et de le maintenir, en vol et à grande vitesse, en particulier en altitude de croisière.

Pour l'établissement du contact entre un téléphone portable et un réseau ("handshake"), il faut en effet un signal suffisamment fort des deux côtés.

Pour le consultant en télécommunications Koh Chee Koon, cette connexion est "théoriquement" possible si l'avion a volé entre 23 000 pieds et 45 000 pieds après avoir perdu le contact avec le contrôle aérien, comme l'indiquent des informations non confirmées.

Mais compte tenu de la puissance limitée des téléphones portables ordinaires, ainsi que l'obstacle constitué par l'habitacle de l'avion, pour une connexion d'une qualité acceptable, "il faudrait avoir de la chance", a-t-il ajouté.

Les avions utilisés lors des attentats du 11 septembre 2001 aux Etats-Unis volaient relativement bas, au-dessus d'une zone couverte par des réseaux de téléphonie mobile.

Et la plupart des appels auraient de toute façon été passés depuis les téléphones à bord, et pas depuis des portables.

Certaines compagnies aériennes ont récemment permis l'utilisation des téléphones portables en vol, grâce à l'installation d'un réseau à l'intérieur de l'appareil. Mais ce service n'était pas disponible sur le vol MH370, selon Malaysia Airlines.

- Analyse de données téléphoniques -

Sans ce système, un téléphone portable ne peut pas être utilisé au-dessus d'environ 500 mètres d'altitude pour un avion de ligne, et ne doit pas être trop loin d'une tour, selon A.K. Dewdney, professeur d'informatique à l'université d'Ontario occidental au Canada.

"Aucun téléphone portable ne pourrait réussir (à se connecter) d'un avion au milieu de l'océan, même à basse altitude", a-t-il assuré.

Et "à une altitude de croisière normale, aucun téléphone portable ne pourrait entrer en contact avec le sol", dans tous les cas, a insisté Dewdney, qui a conduit des recherches sur la question après le 11-Septembre.

Le patron de Malaysia Airlines, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, a expliqué lundi qu'il n'y avait aucune preuve que des passagers aient tenté de téléphoner, tout en notant que des "millions" de données téléphoniques devaient encore être analysées.

Renforçant le mystère, les médias chinois ont raconté que des proches de passagers avaient tenté de les joindre sur leurs portables après la disparition de l'avion et que les téléphones avaient sonné.

Mais pour les experts, cela n'est pas une preuve que les téléphones fonctionnaient.

Même si personne à bord n'a passé d'appel, relever des tentatives de contact entre un réseau et des téléphones à bord -- que certains passagers pourraient avoir oublié d'éteindre -- pourrait donner des indications sur le trajet de l'avion après sa disparition.

Mais pour tracer ces "handshakes", les enquêteurs font face à la difficulté de collecter chaque numéro d'identification des téléphones des passagers, ainsi que les données des opérateurs dans les pays qui auraient pu être survolés, dont certains, comme la Birmanie, ont encore des réseaux embryonnaires.

Après avoir fait demi-tour environ une heure après son décollage de Kuala Lumpur et avoir traversé la Malaisie, le Boeing a probablement survolé une zone couverte par un réseau.

Mais après, les chances de "handshakes" dépendent de l'altitude de l'avion et de sa proximité avec les tours survolées.

"La police traque tout le temps les téléphones portables à partir du dernier appel passé", a noté Ken Dulaney, analyste au cabinet de recherche Gartner. Mais ce n'est possible que si les appareils sont à portée d'un réseau.

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  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving relatives (C) of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 hold placards as they march towards the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO/ GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving relatives (C) of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 hold placards as they gather outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing Tuesday to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO/ GOH CHAI HIN (Photo credit should read GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: Chinese relatives of flight MH370 walk towards the Malaysian Embassy on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: Chinese relatives of flight MH370 sit on a bus waiting to go to Malaysia embassy in protest on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • MH370 Chinese Relatives Make a Protest Against Malaysia

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 clashes with Chinese police outside the Malaysian Embassy on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 clashes with Chinese police outside the embassy in Malaysia on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: Chinese relatives of the flight MH370 walk towards the Malaysian Embassy on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 try to remove a police barricade blocking journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: Chinese relatives of the flight MH370 walk towards the Malaysian Embassy on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 try to remove a police barricade blocking journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 try to remove a police barricade blocking journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk past a police barricade as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 try to remove a police barricade blocking journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 try to remove a police barricade blocking journalists as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Grieving Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk past a police barricade as they gather to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: Chinese relatives of the passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 clash with Chinese police outside the Malaysian Embassy on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 march to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are removed by bus after their protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25, 2014. Scores of angry relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 set out on a protest march to the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on March 25 to demand more answers about the crashed plane's fate. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives Of Missing Flight MH370 Passengers March On Malaysian Embassy In Beijing

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 25: A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 clashes with Chinese police outside the embassy in Malaysia on March 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. Hundreds of protesters, including many relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers, marched on the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing demanding answers from Malaysian authorities about the fate of the flight. The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that new data showed the flight had crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries after hearing the news that the plane plunged into the Indian Ocean at a hotel in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived.

  • A relative of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries after hearing the news that the plane plunged into the Indian Ocean at a hotel in Beijing on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived.

  • Malaysian Prime Minister Announces Flight MH370 Crashed Into Southern Indian Ocean

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 24: Prime Minister of Malaysia (C), Najib Razak leaves after an ad hoc press conference on March 24, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke at the press conference to announce that fresh analysis of available satellite data has concluded that missing flight MH370's final position was in the southern Indian Ocean. French authorities reported a satellite sighting of objects in an area of the southern Indian Ocean where China and Australia have also reported similar sightings of potential debris from the flight that went missing on March 8. (Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)

  • MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (2nd R) and Malaysia's Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (R) walk after a press conference on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on March 24, 2014. The Malaysian Prime Minister on March 24 said that the flight of the missing Malaysian airlines MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) delivers a statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on March 24, 2014. The Malaysian Prime Minister on March 24 said that the flight of the missing Malaysian airlines MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (L) delivers his statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 while Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (R) looks on at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on March 24, 2014. The missing Malaysia Airlines jet came down in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said March 24, as the airline reportedly told relatives it had been lost and that none on board survived. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Malaysian Prime Minister Announces Flight MH370 Crashed Into Southern Indian Ocean

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 24: Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak delivers a statement during an ad hoc press conference on March 24, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke at the press conference to announce that fresh analysis of available satellite data has concluded that missing flight MH370's final position was in the southern Indian Ocean. French authorities reported a satellite sighting of objects in an area of the southern Indian Ocean where China and Australia have also reported similar sightings of potential debris from the flight that went missing on March 8. (Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives of passengers from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave after another meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. Malaysia said on March 23 it had received new satellite images from France showing floating objects in the main search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 23: A man reads messages for the passengers and crew on-board missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 that are displayed outside a shopping mall on March 23, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The search to identify whether objects spotted in the Indian Ocean are related to missing flight MH370 continues for a fourth day, after Chinese authorities posted a satellite image of a large object floating just 120 kilometres from the location of the sighting of two previous objects released on Friday. The search for the airliner entered its third week after it went missing carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Rufus Cox/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 23: Messages for the passengers and crew on-board missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 are displayed outside a shopping mall on March 23, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The search to identify whether objects spotted in the Indian Ocean are related to missing flight MH370 continues for a fourth day, after Chinese authorities posted a satellite image of a large object floating just 120 kilometres from the location of the sighting of two previous objects released on Friday. The search for the airliner entered its third week after it went missing carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Rufus Cox/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 23: A man reads the front page of a newspaper with a headline relating to the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 23, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The search to identify whether objects spotted in the Indian Ocean are related to missing flight MH370 continues for a fourth day, after Chinese authorities posted a satellite image of a large object floating just 120 kilometres from the location of the sighting of two previous objects released on Friday. The search for the airliner entered its third week after it went missing carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Rufus Cox/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Members of the Malaysia Airlines support team say farewell to a Chinese security guard (R) as they rotate from duties with the relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives (C) of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are pictured during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Members of the Malaysia Airlines support team say farewell to a Chinese security guard (R) as they rotate from duties with the relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives (C) of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 arrive for a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • AUSTRALIA-MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-CHINA-TRANSPORT

    Royal Australian Air Force Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams speaks to the media after returning to Pearce Air Base at Bullsbrook, 35 kms north of Perth on March 23, 2014 following the continuing search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The sighting of a wooden pallet and other debris that may be linked to the Malaysian passenger jet raised hopes on March 23 of a breakthrough in the international search for the missing plane. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are pictured inside a room (C) during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives (C) of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are pictured during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Wen Wancheng (L), whose son was on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, speaks to the media after relatives met again with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. Malaysia said on March 23 it had received new satellite images from France showing floating objects in the main search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 23: Hotel security officers guard at an entrance door of a hotel room set aside for relatives of the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Lido Hotel on March 23, 2014 in Beijing, China. The search to identify whether objects spotted in the Indian Ocean are related to missing flight MH370 continues after Chinese authorities posted a satellite image of a large object floating just 120 kilometres from the location of the sighting of two previous objects released on Friday. The airliner went missing nearly two weeks ago carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Wen Wancheng (L), whose son was on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, speaks to the media after relatives met again with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. Malaysia said on March 23 it had received new satellite images from France showing floating objects in the main search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Members of the Malaysia Airlines support team say farewell to a Chinese security guard as they rotate from duties with the relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives (C) of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave after a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Journalists wait for Chinese relatives of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 outside the hall, during a meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. The Australian-led search for flight MH370 was ramped up on March 23 after a plane spotted unidentified debris in the Indian Ocean, following fresh Chinese satellite images showing a large floating object in the same remote region. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

    Chinese relatives (C) of passengers from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leave after another meeting with airline officials at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 23, 2014. Malaysia said on March 23 it had received new satellite images from France showing floating objects in the main search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the Indian Ocean. AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • AUSTRALIA-MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-CHINA-TRANSPORT

    A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion takes off at RAAF Pearce Base to join the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Perth on March 23, 2014. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said there was 'increasing hope' of finding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, after a plane spotted unidentified debris including a wooden pallet in the Indian Ocean search site. AFP PHOTO / POOL (Photo credit should read Matt Jelonek/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 23: Chinese relatives of the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 wait for the latest information at Lido Hotel on March 23, 2014 in Beijing, China. The search to identify whether objects spotted in the Indian Ocean are related to missing flight MH370 continues after Chinese authorities posted a satellite image of a large object floating just 120 kilometres from the location of the sighting of two previous objects released on Friday. The airliner went missing two weeks ago carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

  • AUSTRALIA-MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-CHINA-TRANSPORT

    Sargent Samuel Carson prepares meals for crew on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion as they search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean on March 22, 2014. The Orion under took a four-hour journey to search an area approximately 2,500 kms southwest of Perth, two hours on station searching at about 400 feet above the ocean, and then a four-hour return. China released on March 22 a new satellite image of a large floating object possibly linked to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, boosting search efforts as anger with the pace of the operation boiled over among Chinese relatives in Beijing. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Rob Griffith (Photo credit should read ROB GRIFFITH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Members of Japan's disaster relief team wave off a Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft as it prepares to take off from the RAAF base Pearce to commence a search for possible debris from the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 24, 2014 in Perth, Australia. French authorities reported a satellite sighting of objects in the southern Indian Ocean where China and Australia have also reported sighting potential debris from missing flight MH370. Ten aircraft from Australia, China, the United States, New Zealand and Japan will engage in the search today, approximately 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth. The search for the airliner entered its third week after it went missing carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Members of Japan's disaster relief team wave off a Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft as it prepares to take off from the RAAF base Pearce to commence a search for possible debris from the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 24, 2014 in Perth, Australia. French authorities reported a satellite sighting of objects in the southern Indian Ocean where China and Australia have also reported sighting potential debris from missing flight MH370. Ten aircraft from Australia, China, the United States, New Zealand and Japan will engage in the search today, approximately 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth. The search for the airliner entered its third week after it went missing carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: A Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft crew member wipes clean the windshield of the aircraft prior to departure from the RAAF base Pearce to commence a search for possible debris from the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 24, 2014 in Perth, Australia. French authorities reported a satellite sighting of objects in the southern Indian Ocean where China and Australia have also reported sighting potential debris from missing flight MH370. Ten aircraft from Australia, China, the United States, New Zealand and Japan will engage in the search today, approximately 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth. The search for the airliner entered its third week after it went missing carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Disaster relief team leader Masahiko Kobayashi (L) greet Japanese air force Commander Hidetsugu Iwanasa after his AP-3C Orion landed at RAAF Pearce Base to join the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 23, 2014 in Perth, Australia. The Orion of the Japanese Air Force has arrived to join the search to identify whether two large objects spotted via satellite in the Indian Ocean are related to missing flight MH370. The airliner went missing two weeks ago carrying 239 passengers and crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (Photo by Rob Griffith-Pool/Getty Images)



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