Missing Malaysia Airplane – What We Now KnowBy: Tina Volpe - March 10, 2014
The Malaysia Flight MH370 and its disappearance is getting stranger every day – how does a huge Boeing 777 just disappear without a trace?
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took off at 12:41 am from Kuala Lumpur on the morning of March 8, but lost contact with air traffic control an hour later and disappeared from radar. When it disappeared from radar it was at 35,000 feet about 140 miles off the coast of Vietnam.
No trace of the plane and the 239 people on board has been found and few details about what could have happened to the plane have been released.
Experts have all kinds of theories, but no real clues and what has been determined as a possibility is as follows:
As far as a hijack situation, investigators are “not discounting” the possibility, but there is no evidence pointing to it.
Another terrifying possibility, is a group of Chinese separatists called the “Chinese Martyr Brigade” that claimed responsibility for the incident.
The separatist group has not provided many details about the fate of the plane itself, and officials remain skeptical of the claim, local news reports said.
The other possibility, as a radar recording indicates, is that the plane may have turned back toward Malaysia after taking off, but the pilots made no such indication on the radio.
Evidence of oil slicks spotted off the Vietnam coast were thought to be signs of the downed plane, but tests have come back showing they had nothing to do with the aircraft and were not related to the disappearance. Same with a piece of debris discovered and thought to be from the plane, also proved to be unrelated.
Another pretty strong possibility could be terrorism, because two passengers used stolen passports, one from Austria and one from Italy, to board the flight. The two individuals who used the stolen passports were identified on CCTV footage and described by a Malaysian official as “not Asian-looking.”
As of Monday, March 10, nothing more has been officially defined as the cause of the disappearance and it is all still a mystery.
As of today, nine countries are now searching for the plane or any sign of it, including Vietnam, China, Singapore, Indonesia, USA, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The U.S. Navy has sent the 7th Fleet’s USS Pinckney, carrying two search and rescue helicopters and a maritime surveillance aircraft.
The search team consists of 40 ships and 34 aircraft looking for evidence or any trace of the flight, including debris or wreckage in an area that is 100 nautical miles around the west coast of Malaysia.
The plane was a Boeing 777-200 with a clean flight history; Malaysia Airlines has a good safety record, according to the Flight Safety Foundation. The pilot is Zahari Ahmad Shah, 53, who is a veteran pilot and joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981. He had over 18,000 flying hours.
So what happened?
Image via YouTube