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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Brainiac

How to hide a 777

And other recent highlights from the Ideas blog

As the saga of Malaysian Airlines’ missing flight MH370 unfolded over the last two weeks, some details began to suggest that, for unknown reasons, the plane had been intentionally diverted from its original flight path. The possibility raised the question: How hard would it be to commandeer a 777 airliner, fly it hundreds or thousands of miles, and land it without being discovered?

I called John Hansman, professor of aeronautics at MIT and director of MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation. “The probability that an airplane could be hidden in a random airport is pretty low,” he said, adding that he thought it was far more likely the plane crashed into the ocean.

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