Missing Malaysia plane MH370 said to be traced to sea off Australia

KUALA LUMPUR - The last satellite transmission from a Malaysian airliner missing for a week has been traced to the Indian Ocean off Australia, far from where searches have taken place, Bloomberg news agency reported on Saturday.

Quoting a person familiar with the analysis, the Bloomberg report said a path from Malaysia to the ocean off Australia would have taken as much as 3,000 miles, about the maximum distance the Boeing Co. 777-200 could have flown with its fuel load.

Flight 370 may have flown beyond its last known position about 1,000 miles west of Perth, and that location may not be an indication of where the plane ended up, said the person, quoted by Bloomberg. He spoke on condition of not being named because of the sensitivity of the information.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. today in Kuala Lumpur, his first on Flight 370 since the day it disappeared.

Bloomberg also quoted Mr Peter Gibson, a spokesman for Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority, as saying he wasn't aware of the new information putting Flight 370 near Perth and that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority would have jurisdiction of the search if the plane did end up in the area.

Investigators have also found that someone in the cockpit of the Boeing Co. 777-200 programmed it to turn away from its intended path to Beijing after turning off a device identifying the jet to radar, said the Bloomberg report quoting another person in the US government familiar with the probe.

The Malaysian Airline System Bhd. jet vanished a week ago with 239 passengers and crew members on board while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.