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The Mysterious Disappearance of Flight MH370

one of the biggest mysteries in the history of aviation

By JojoPublished 23 days ago 5 min read

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370's disappearance is one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. On March 8, 2014, the plane vanished, leaving the world puzzled and grieving. This report will explain what happened to Flight MH370, from its last moments in the sky to the search efforts that followed.

The Flight:

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was a Boeing 777-200ER, one of the safest and most reliable planes in the world. It was scheduled to fly from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to Beijing, the capital of China. On board were 239 people: 227 passengers and 12 crew members.

The passengers came from many different countries, including China, Malaysia, and Australia. There were families, businesspeople, and tourists on board. The flight crew included Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, an experienced pilot with over 18,000 hours of flying time, and First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid, who had more than 2,700 flying hours.

Takeoff and Early Moments:

At 12:41 a.m. (local time) Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Everything seemed normal as the plane climbed to its cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The weather was clear, and there were no signs of trouble. The plane was in contact with air traffic control and other aircraft in the area.

At 1:01 a.m., MH370 crossed into Vietnamese airspace. Kuala Lumpur Air traffic control handed over communication to Ho Chi Minh City. The pilots confirmed this handover and continued their flight smoothly. Everyone on board expected a routine journey to Beijing.

Last Contact:

At 1:19 a.m., about 38 minutes after takeoff, the plane sent its last voice transmission: "Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero." This message came from the cockpit and was directed to Malaysian air traffic control as the plane prepared to enter Vietnamese airspace. Shortly after this transmission, the plane disappeared from civilian radar screens. It was as if MH370 had simply vanished into thin air.

The Disappearance:

After the last contact, MH370's transponder, a device that communicates the plane's location to air traffic control, was turned off. This made the plane invisible to civilian radar. However, military radar continued to track the plane for a while longer. It showed that MH370 had made a sharp turn westward, heading back over the Malaysian Peninsula and then out over the Andaman Sea.

The Search Begins:

When the plane did not arrive in Beijing as scheduled, a search operation was launched. Initially, the search focused on the South China Sea, where the plane was last seen on civilian radar. However, as more information became available, the search area expanded to include the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean:

Experts believed that the plane might have flown for several more hours after it lost contact. They based this on data from satellites that had been in contact with the plane. The plane's final satellite "handshake" came at 8:11 a.m., suggesting that it might have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. This area is incredibly remote and deep, making the search very difficult.

Theories and Speculations:

The disappearance of MH370 has led to many theories and speculations. Some believe it was a hijacking, while others think it was a technical failure or a deliberate act by someone on board. Here are some of the primary theories:

1. Pilot Suicide: Some experts think that the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, might have deliberately crashed the plane. They point to his home flight simulator, which had routes plotted into the southern parts of Indian Ocean. However to support this theory, there is no strong evidences.

2. Hijacking: Another theory is that the plane was hijacked. This could explain why the transponder was turned off and why the plane changed course. However, no group has ever claimed responsibility, and no demands were made.

3. Mechanical Failure: Some believe that a technical failure caused the plane to lose communication and eventually crash. However, the sudden and sharp turn made by the plane seems unusual for a mechanical failure.

4. Fire or Decompression: A fire or sudden decompression might have incapacitated the crew and passengers, causing the plane to fly on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed.

The Search Efforts:

The search for MH370 has been one of the most extensive and expensive in aviation history. It involved many countries, including Malaysia, China, Australia, and the United States. Ships, underwater drones, and planes were used to scour the ocean for any sign of the missing plane.

1. The Initial Search: The first phase of the search covered a vast area in the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea. When no wreckage was found, the search moved to the southern Indian Ocean.

2. The Underwater Search: Using sonar technology, search teams mapped the ocean floor in a 120,000 square kilometer area. They were looking for any sign of the wreckage. This phase of the search lasted for more than three years.

3. Debris Finds: In July 2015, a piece of debris from MH370 was found on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. This was a significant discovery as it confirmed that the plane had indeed crashed in the ocean. Over the next few years, more pieces of debris were found on beaches in Madagascar, Mauritius, and other places in the Indian Ocean.

4. Private Search: After the official search was called off in January 2017, a private company, Ocean Infinity, continued the search. Using advanced underwater drones, they covered an additional 112,000 square kilometers. Unfortunately, they did not find any more wreckage.

Impact on Families

The disappearance of MH370 has had a profound impact on the families of the pilots, crew members & passengers. They have experienced immense grief and uncertainty, not knowing what happened to their loved ones. Many families have criticized the handling of the search and investigation, feeling that more could have been done.

Changes in Aviation

The disappearance of MH370 has led to several changes in the aviation industry to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. Here are some of the major key changes:

1. Improved Tracking: Airlines are now required to track their planes more frequently, especially over remote areas. This means that a plane's location will be reported every 15 minutes, instead of the previous 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Better Communication: New rules require planes to have systems that can send emergency signals even if the transponder is turned off. This will help locate a plane quickly in case of an emergency.

3. Enhanced Black Box Technology: There have been improvements in black box technology, such as extending the battery life of the underwater locator beacon. This will make it easier to find the black boxes after a crash.

4. New Satellite Systems: New satellite systems have been developed to provide more accurate and reliable tracking of planes. These systems use GPS and other technologies to ensure that planes are always visible to air traffic control.

Conclusion

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 remains one of the most mysteries in the history of aviation. Despite extensive search efforts and numerous theories, the exact fate of the plane and its passengers remains unknown. This tragic event has highlighted the need for better tracking and communication systems in aviation to prevent such a disaster from happening again.

Understanding the story of MH370 is important for several reasons. It reminds us of the need for constant improvements in technology and safety standards. It also shows the importance of international cooperation in search & rescue efforts. Most importantly, it keeps the memory of the 239 people on board alive, as we continue to search for answers and closure for their families.

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Comments (2)

  • Shisui21 days ago

    In-depth explanation 👍

  • PP23 days ago

    Owwo

JojoWritten by Jojo

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