AP source: No engine data on plane sent after contact lost with missing Boeing 777

WASHINGTON – A U.S. official says there were no data transmitted on the status of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet’s engines after contact was lost with the plane.

The official said Thursday that investigators are beginning to explore whether the plane may have flown for another four hours after contact was lost, based on the estimated fuel on board and the inability of searchers thus far to find wreckage.

The official said there was information about the Boeing 777-200’s engines sent via a digital datalink along with other information on the functioning of the plane before contact was lost.

The official familiar with the investigation spoke only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak about it publicly.