You are here:

World News/Missing Malaysian Jet Aircraft


I got to thinking what would happen if a jet aircraft of United States origin disappeared off the radar screen somewhere enroute to lets say Malasia, what would happen? Don't we have AWACS always flying in the air somewhere (everywhere) all the time? What about orbiting satelites, military and otherwise, would there be any attempt made by the American aircraft owner/operator to contact any such agencies (those who control these satelites) to "get a fix" on the last known coordinates of the missing airliner?

Would the nearest floating United States Air Force "Carrier" be alerted and jet aircraft be launched in search of the "missing" US jetliner? Isn't there a federal law against air-piracy, and made enforceable by overt actions taken by the US military complex? How long would a civilian American aircraft have to be missing before a general alarm would be sounded at the nearest US military airbase, and jets "scrambled" to investigate the sudden dissapearance of a US airship filled with presumably US citizens?

Please don't tell me that I check all my rights and privledges (and protection) as a US citizen upon arrival and entrance aboard any transcontinental aircrafts flightdeck?


If a US airliner disappeared,  the event would be relayed by the airline's dispatchers and operations centers by the FAA to appropriate military authorities and the airline would have the last known location.  The military would use appropriate measures to investigate.

No - we do not  have "AWACS always flying in the air somewhere (everywhere) all the time."  

Aircraft carriers are part of the U.S. Navy not the Air Force and no, jets would not necessarily be scrambled

Yes, hijacking is prohibited by U.S. and international (ICAO) law.  In the U.S. we have a law called posse comitatus which limits the use of the military so it depends on whether or not military forces will be involved.  Primary agency involved is the FBI.

Hope this helps.

World News

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


James Bruno


Diplomacy and foreign affairs. How government decision-making takes place. Interactions of the White House, State Dept., Pentagon, Congress and CIA in formulating policy. How governments deal with each other. Area expertise includes Afghanistan, Indochina, Europe, Cuba. Served in Guantanamo. Currently a member of the Diplomatic Readiness Reserve and Standby Response Corps.


23-years as a diplomat with the U.S. State Dept. Previously at the Defense Dept. Prior to joining government, worked as a journalist with major news organizations.

CBS-News, UPI; various newspapers. Published novelist: PERMANENT INTERESTS and CHASM.

M.A. - U.S. Naval War College
M.A. - Columbia Univ.
B.A. - George Washington Univ.

Awards and Honors
Various in government.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]