North America

U.S. passenger on Malaysia jet recalled as ‘wonderful man’

50-year-old Philip Wood, was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 DALLAS — A mother and father in north Texas confirmed that their son was among those on the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished early Saturday, two hours into a scheduled six-hour flight.
 
The son, identified as 50-year-old Philip Wood, was on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 when it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand in the South China Sea. The jet was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
 
“Do you want to know how it feels to lose a son at the age of 50?” said Sondra Wood, Philip’s mother, on Saturday. “It’s devastating. But, I know in my heart that Philip’s with God and I plan to be there with him because I have a deep faith in my God.”
 
His mother, of Keller, Texas, said she was enduring her loss through the help of loved ones.
 
“I will see him again one day,” she said.
 
Wood works as a technical storage executive at IBM Malaysia and was transferred to a job from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia where the flight originated. He was one of three Americans on the flight.
 
Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor announced 20 of their employees also were on board the flight. Twelve of the employees were from Malaysia and eight were from China.
 
The disappearance of the jet well into its flight Saturday morning has led aviation experts to assume that whatever happened was quick and left the pilots no time to place a distress call.
 
“We’re coping,” said Aubrey Wood, Philip’s father. “It’s been tough.”
 
Other family members expressed their thoughts and addressed media on Facebook.
 
“Philip Wood was a wonderful man,” wrote Elaine Wood, Wood’s ex-wife, at about noon Saturday on her Facebook page from Keller. “Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now.”
 
James Wood, Philip’s brother wrote thanks to those who offered comfort.
 
“I am blessed to have been able to see my brother just a week ago,” he said.
 
Wood’s mother confirmed he was in North Texas to visit family.
 
One of his former professors and mission partner at Oklahoma Christian University where he graduated said Wood never stood still.
 
“He loved traveling, meeting new people and seeing new things and experiencing new things,” said Bill Goad, executive vice president at Oklahoma Christian University.
 
Two large oil slicks were spotted Saturday by the Vietnamese air force. There was no immediate confirmation that the slicks were related to Flight MH370, but the government said they were consistent with the kind of slicks that would be produced by the jet’s two fuel tanks.
 
After the oil was spotted, authorities suspended the air search for the night.
 
On Sunday, a low-flying plane spotted an object in waters off Vietnam that could be a piece of the jet. Vietnamese officials said they believe the object is one of the plane’s doors, according to local media reports.
 
Military ships and aircraft from a half dozen nations continued searching for the Boeing 777 on Sunday. The U.S. Navy has provided the USS Pinckney, a guided-missile destroyer that carries two MH-60R helicopters, and a P-3C Orion with long-range search, radar and communications capabilities.
 
Contributing: Calum MacLeod, Thomas Maresca and John Bacon, USA TODAY; the Associated Press.

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