Mystery Surrounds Fate of Malaysian Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on 8 March 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in China. The flight last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 MYT, 8 March (17:19 UTC, 7 March) when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff. The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens at 01:22 MYT. Malaysian military radar continued to track the aircraft as it deviated from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula. It left the range of Malaysian military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km) north-west of Penang in north-western Malaysia. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations.
A multinational search effort began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, where the flight’s signal was last seen on secondary surveillance radar, and was soon extended to the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. Analysis of satellite communications between the aircraft and Inmarsat’s satellite communications network concluded that the flight continued until at least 08:19 and flew south into the southern Indian Ocean, although the precise location cannot be determined. Australia took charge of the search effort on 17 March, when the search moved to the southern Indian Ocean. On 24 March, the Malaysian government noted that the final location determined by the satellite communication is far from any possible landing sites, and concluded that “flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.” The current phase of the search, the largest and most expensive in aviation history, is a comprehensive survey of the sea floor about 1,800 kilometres (970 nmi) south-west of Perth, Western Australia, which began in October 2014. Nothing was found of the aircraft until 29 July 2015, when a piece of marine debris, later confirmed to be a flaperon from Flight 370, washed ashore on Réunion Island. The bulk of the aircraft has still not been located, prompting many theories about its disappearance.
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