Tech UPTechnologyWhat happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

Just after midnight on March 8, 2014, at exactly 0:41 local time, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing. The 12 crew members and 227 passengers were traveling on the Boeing 777. The flight began its journey normally, but forty minutes after takeoff, in the airspace of Vietnam, the plane disappeared from the radars and showed no signs of life again.

An hour after it should have landed, Malaysia Airlines announced the disappearance of the aircraft with all the people on board. The last radar contact with the plane had taken place 300 km south of the Thổ Chu Islands, in the Gulf of Thailand. Rolls-Royce, manufacturer of the plane’s engines, confirmed that it had continued to receive, every thirty minutes and for five hours, ACARS communication (a radio communication and surveillance system that allows automatic control of the state of the plane in flight). That meant the aircraft continued to fly for about four hours after disappearing from radar . In fact, the British company Inmarsat, with satellites in the Indian Ocean area, confirmed that the plane’s antenna continued to send signals every hour for at least six hours after the transponder stopped broadcasting .

In search of the missing flight

At that time, a multimillion-dollar international search and rescue operation began that would last four years. During the first days, a dozen countries, including China and the United States, deployed their ships in the area where contact had been lost with the intention of finding some remains of the plane; nothing was found. A year later, the Prime Minister of Malaysia presented the investigation report. Sure enough, the plane disabled all communication systems, turned around in the direction of the Strait of Malacca and continued to fly south for several hours before disappearing .

The search did not stop and all kinds of human and technological means were used: marine echo sounders, underwater acoustic detection boats, underwater robots, satellites… Again, nothing. Just over a year later, what appeared to be the flaperon (combining the functions of flaps and ailerons) from a Boeing 777 appeared on Reunion Island . It was from Flight 370. Over the years, a few other remains have continued to be found: a tourist found a large piece on a beach in Mozambique; a rear stabilizer was found on Pemba Island (Tanzania), and wreckage was also discovered on Mauritius. In July 2018 Malaysia submitted a report listing all wreckage found off the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, Reunion Island and Mauritius , all in the western Indian Ocean.

the mystery continues

What really happened? It was an accident? A terrorist attack? There have been many hypotheses and more conspiracy theories that have been considered throughout all this time. Among the most reasonable are those that point to some kind of technical problem: the ACARS messages revealed anomalies that could have caused cracks in the fuselage; or a fire in the hold caused by a load of more than two tons of batteries, which contained 221 kg of lithium; a short circuit in the plane’s oxygen system or a sudden drop in oxygen levels that left passengers and crew unconscious… But none of them realize that the plane changed course . That is why the possibility of a kidnapping or a terrorist attack has been considered (it was found that some passengers had used stolen passports ), or as The Atlantic magazine published after its own investigation, a murder-suicide committed by the captain of the plane. . William Langewiesche, a journalist specialized in aviation, assured that he had relevant information about the dark personal moment that the commander of the plane was going through, and about a suspicious flight simulator that he had in his house . According to Langewiesche, the pilot was able to ascend to 12,000 meters to depressurize the cabin , the passengers fainted after the oxygen in the masks ran out, he changed course and flew until the plane fell at an undetermined point in the ocean after consuming the fuel. Of course, this hypothesis does not explain very well how he got rid of his co-pilot.

More flowery explanations are those that advocate the existence of a second Bermuda triangle or that it was an Israeli intelligence plan gone wrong , as they planned to crash the plane into a building and blame Iran. And the most curious thing is that according to a survey conducted by Reason magazine, 5% of Americans believe that the plane was hijacked by aliens.

In any case, to this day and despite all efforts, we still do not know what happened. So great is the desperation for answers that on March 3, 2019, then-Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said his government was open to further proposals from any company that wanted to revive the search for Malaysia Flight 370. Airlines.

Reference:

AAVV (2016) SAFETY INVESTIGATION REPORT: Malaysia Airlines Boeing B777-200ER (9M-MRO) por The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370

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