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Archive for Saturday, January 6, 2007

Pilot of missing jetliner changed flight path

January 6, 2007

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— A jetliner with 102 people aboard that disappeared after encountering 80 mph winds over northern Indonesian waters twice changed course, an official said, as authorities widened the search Friday for the Boeing 737.

A U.S. National Transportation Safety Board team arrived to help investigate the apparent crash of Adam Air Flight KI-574, which disappeared from the radar Monday near the Sulawesi coastal town of Majene without issuing a mayday.

Three Americans - Scott Jackson, 54, and his daughters 18-year-old Lindsey and 21-year-old Stephanie, of Bend, Ore., - were on board.

The plane left Indonesia's main island of Java for Manado on Sulawesi but altered course and turned westward halfway into the two-hour trip after being warned of rough weather near the city of Makassar, said Eddy Suyanto, head of the search and rescue mission.

But when it ran into winds of more than 80 mph over the Makassar Strait, it changed course again, bringing the plane eastward toward land, then disappeared from the radar, he said.

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