One of the most tragic incidents happened on March 8, 2014, when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 carrying 239 people went missing, never to be found again. The investigations to find the missing plane were in vain. Not even one victim of the crash was found, and this gave rise to theories as to what actually happened to the airplane.However, two hours after takeoff the plane turned back towards Malaysia and carried on towards the Indian Ocean. The military radar lost site of the plane as it was flying over the ocean. No communication was possible with the aeroplane since communications had been turned off by someone in the plane or may have malfunctioned due to some sort of power failure. No distress call was received, and no bad weather reports were obtained. The final communication from the plane was an automated satellite communication signal but it was no help. The signal contained no information as to where the plane was. The plane had disappeared!These fragments ignited more search operations but again, they came up empty handed!
How and where did the MH370 disappear?Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 bound for Beijing, China from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Flight left the airport at 12:41 am on March 8, 2014. On board were 239 people including 12 crew members, 150 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, 7 Indonesians and others from France and US. The plane had no faults, in fact, almost an hour after takeoff the plane communicated with ground control. The words were, “Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero.” These were the last words from the plane. No one suspected a thing as the voice seemed calm and relaxed and nothing was going wrong.
Was the Plane on Autopilot?Further investigation reports revealed that the plane was turned back towards Malaysia manually, but the authorities are not sure who did it or why. The investigation report states that the specific manoeuvre the plane did to turn back was done manually.
Search for the MH3709 countries contributed to the search operation at the start with the help of the FBI and Interpol. 40 ships and 34 aircraft were dedicated to this search operation. However, there was no specific point to start from and the search operation was a failure. The vast waters seemed to be the biggest challenge for the search group. With time, the search area widened and eventually, 26 countries were contributing to the search but had no luck. 2 months after the incident, Australia, China and Malaysia agreed to search under water. However, they also discovered little. On January 29, 2015, almost a year after the plane went missing, the Malaysian Government declared the incident as an accident.
The MistakesA report from CNN pointed out the mistakes of the authorities in keeping track of the plane and to go out searching for it. The time between the last voice communication and distress signal was 5 hours and 13 minutes. Such a long period and no one tried to make contact with the plane during this time. Also, it took 5 hours for the search teams to move out after the plane disappeared. These were not only mistakes highlighted by CNN for MH370 but were also part of numerous other violations of protocols.
The Little That was FoundAlthough the searches were huge and vast, what little that was found of the plane were fragments and those fragments happened to wash up on the coasts. A total of 3 wing fragments of Boeing 777 were found. These were at the Indian ocean coasts in Madagascar, Reunion Island and Tanzania.
The FrustrationFamilies of the missing people aboard MH370 became frustrated and launched their own search operations. They were mainly focused upon the coast of Madagascar where one of the fragments was found. More than $140 million was spent on the search operations and nothing was found. The government became frustrated and had to call off the investigations. However, other private searches did continue. The last search conducted by the Malaysian government was in January 2018. This search was also a dead end like the others. According to the Malaysian Prime Minister, the search will resume only if more evidence is found.
What we know so far about the MH370
- The plane communicated only twice after takeoff. The first one was voice communication just an hour after takeoff, “Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero.” The second one was a satellite communication signal just before it disappeared.
- No distress signal was sent by the plane and no communication attempt was done.
- Communication systems had been purposefully disabled.
- Two hours after takeoff, it deviated from its route. It turned back towards Malaysia and carried on towards the Indian Ocean where it disappeared.
- The plane was turned around manually.
- 3 wing fragments of the Boeing 777 have been found till date.
- Authorities have confirmed that the airplane had no technical faults.