Beijing/Kuala Lumpur: Boeing, the maker of the Boeing 777 flown by Malaysia Airlines that disappeared over the South China Sea, today said it was assembling a team of experts to provide technical assistance to investigators.
"Boeing is assembling a team to provide technical assistance to investigating authorities," the Seattle-based company said in a brief statement on its website.
"Boeing offers its deepest concern to the families of those aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370," the statement added.
The Boeing 777 is considered to be one of the most popular and safest jets by aviation experts.
The plane carried 227 passengers, including five Indians and an Indian-origin Canadian, and 12 crew members.
Malaysian Airlines said the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was piloted by a veteran.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old Malaysian, has 18,365 total flying hours and joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981, the airline website said.
The first officer is Fariq Ab.Hamid, 27, a Malaysian with a total of 2,763 flying hours.
Meanwhile, CNN, quoting experts said they were not optimistic about the situation following the crash.
"It doesn't sound very good," retired American Airlines Captain Jim Tilmon told CNN's "AC360." He noted that the route is mostly overland, which means that there would be plenty of antennae, radar and radios to contact the plane.
"I've been trying to come up with every scenario that I could just to explain this away, but I haven't been very successful."
He said the plane is "about as sophisticated as any commercial airplane could possibly be," with an excellent safety record.
"The lack of communications suggests to me that something most unfortunate has happened," said Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the US Department of Transportation.
"But that, of course, does not mean that there are not many persons that need to be rescued and secured. There's still a very urgent need to find that plane and to render aid," she said.
There is one recent blemish for the Boeing jet: An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 carrying 291 passengers struck a seawall at San Francisco International Airport in July 2013, killing three people and wounding dozens more. It is unknown if mechanical failure was involved, the report said.
The Boeing 777 is capable of flying nearly 11,700 km non- stop. Its two Rolls-Royce Trent 875 engines each have 33.8 tonnes of thrust, allowing the plane cruise at Mach 0.84, or nearly 1,000 kph.
Boeing has delivered 1,030 of the planes since United Airlines starting flying the first one in 1995.
First Published: Saturday, March 8, 2014, 18:36