The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has largely turned up more mysteries than answers. While the aircraft, which was carrying 239 passengers, is believed to have crashed far off course in the Indian Ocean around eight hours after it departed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, there was no evidence of its wreckage there even a month on after the disappearance. Instead, investigators have had to rely on radio pings and information from radar to track MH370's unexpected course.Investigators believe that someone may have tampered with the aircraft, as most of the systems keeping it in contact with its airline were turned off shortly into the flight. The plane also appears to have been deliberately steered off course, though it remains unclear what led to these events. As time passes, investigators believe that it will be harder to find debris from the plane as it's scatted by the ocean's currents, but the hunt still continues for signs of its wreckage and what led to its disappearance.
Apr 19, 2016
The Australian government confirmed today that two items of debris recovered on a beach in Mozambique are from Malaysian Airlines 370, the airplane that mysteriously disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board. It is only the second time that a piece from the missing aircraft was positively identified by an official government source.Read Article >
The two items were found on a beach in Mozambique about 137 miles apart. One, later identified as a segment from the right wing of the plane, was found in December 2015. The other, a piece of the horizontal stabilizer from the tail section, was found in February 2016. The latter piece is stenciled with "NO STEP" in a style consistent with Boeing 777s and Malaysian Airlines. Both are "almost certainly" from MH370, the Australian investigators say.
Mar 9, 2016
The UN's aviation agency has announced new regulations that will allow for airplanes to be tracked in real-time, two years after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) governing council adopted the measures on Tuesday, with ICAO council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu saying they will help "ensure that similar disappearances never occur again."Read Article >
MH370 vanished from radar shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8th, 2014. The Beijing-bound plane had 239 passengers and crew members on board. A piece of wreckage from the aircraft was found off the coast of Réunion last year, and Malaysian authorities released a progress report on their investigation yesterday, though it is still not clear what caused the plane to crash.
Nov 11, 2015
The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 with 239 people onboard last year spurred a worldwide effort to create a better system to track civilian flights. On Wednesday, some of that effort bore fruit. A UN committee agreed to allocate a portion of the radio spectrum for global flight tracking to prevent future disappearances.Read Article >
Aug 5, 2015
Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has confirmed that the plane debris discovered last week on Réunion Island is indeed from Malaysia Airlines 370, the flight that disappeared mysteriously last year with 239 people onboard. Razak also said that he was committed to doing whatever was necessary to find out what happened to the flight. The announcement was made today following analysis of the recovered plane wing part at a military laboratory.Read Article >
As reported by Bloomberg, the debris is the first physical evidence of the aircraft that went missing in March of 2014. A stenciled number on the piece of wreckage also corresponds to a Boeing 777 component, officials said Friday. MH370 is the only Boeing 777 known to have crashed in the southern hemisphere, and the only 777 aircraft currently unaccounted for.
Jul 29, 2015
Multiple reports now indicate that a weather-battered aircraft section found earlier today on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean is part of a flaperon — a control surface that acts both as a flap and an aileron — from a Boeing 777. The only Boeing 777 that is presently unaccounted for is Malaysia Airlines 370, which has been missing since it disappeared from radar in March of 2014 with 239 people aboard. Today's news appears to be the strongest evidence yet of the airliner's fate.Read Article >
The debris was found far west of officials' original search zones for MH370's wreckage that had been guided by satellite data transmitted from the aircraft before its disappearance, but there could be a simple explanation: ocean currents have undoubtedly moved any floating debris from the plane in the year and a half since its crash. Unfortunately, this also means that the component may not do much to help investigators zero in on where the rest of the plane can be found.
Mar 8, 2015
Precisely a year ago, on March 8th, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 mysteriously disappeared over the Straits of Malacca. There's still no trace of the Boeing 777-200 or its 239 passengers and crew, but an exhaustive 584-page report released today reveals that the battery powering one black box's locator beacon expired over a year before the incident.Read Article >
The old battery means that crews searching the southern Indian Ocean likely wouldn't have picked up a signal from the black box even if they were floating right over it. In the weeks after the disappearance, crews searched hastily to try and find a black box before the batteries ran out of power. They're required to last at least 30 days after a crash.
Oct 4, 2014
Six months ago, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared with 239 passengers on board after departing from Kuala Lumpur. After an initial frantic search to find the Boeing 777's black boxes before their batteries petered out, rescue crews called off efforts and began a major undertaking to map the seafloor. Now, four months later, those maps are complete, and the search is beginning anew this month as three ships plan to scour the search area for debris by dragging a sensor device just 330 feet (100 meters) above the seabed at a speed of seven miles per hour, according to the Associated Press.Read Article >
The device, known as a towfish, is equipped with sonar to produced detailed imagery of the ocean floor, and they are tethered to the ships with six-mile cables. They also have jet fuel sensors on board, and crews can lift the devices and attach a video camera to investigate regions of particular interest.
May 27, 2014Read Article >
Australian analysts still believe the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, but the country's naval vessel Ocean Shield is set to abandon its search on Wednesday after a fruitless search — a week before authorities will open up the hunt for the missing craft to private contractors. In the meantime, experts are combing through today's data in an attempt to find a clue as to flight 370's fate.
May 6, 2014
The notoriously cost-sensitive air travel industry will have to upgrade its standard flight recorder equipment if new rules proposed in Europe are adopted. Published today by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), these require an extension of the minimum signal broadcasting time of Underwater Locating Devices (ULDs) from 30 to 90 days, giving search and rescue teams more time to do their jobs, as well as a longer locating range. Additionally, the current minimum of two hours of cockpit audio recording would be extended to 20 hours, covering the full duration of most flights in and out of the continent. The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) regulation would come into effect from the beginning of 2019, along with a prescription that it does not record to "obsolete" magnetic wire or tape. Large aircraft would be subject to the 90-day ULD requirement from 2018.Read Article >
The core motivation for this change has been explicitly cited as the the tragic flight of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, whose wreckage remains undiscovered somewhere in the Indian Ocean. It's impossible to say whether a flight recorder equipped with a longer locating signal might have made recovery of the plane possible by now, but there's no denying that it would have improved the chances of doing so. While the most direct lessons of the MH370 crash may never be learned, Europe's safety watchdog is taking a proactive step toward applying the most obvious ones. As to the likelihood of these proposals being adopted, the EASA sounds fully confident that the European Commission will implement the required amendments, describing it as a matter of "when", not "if."
May 1, 2014
Malaysia's Transportation Ministry has published a preliminary report on flight MH370, reiterating that the plane that went missing in early March is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean after disappearing from communication systems and veering far off course shortly into its journey. The report concludes with a recommendation for avoiding such situations in the future: implementing a tracking system that could follow planes in real time.Read Article >
The ministry isn't actually about to implement this, however. It's instead recommending that the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization — an agency that helps to develop aviation best practices — begin to conduct its own examination of the potential benefits of creating a standard for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft. Malaysia is effectively shifting the responsibility for safety practices over to the agency, though it isn't necessarily the only one to blame either. High costs have made tracking systems an unpopular option, despite being feasible for some time now.
Apr 14, 2014
Day 38 of the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 sees a change in strategy from the multinational team tasked with uncovering its remains. Angus Houston, chief of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, has today announced that the next phase in the search will begin "as soon as possible" with the deployment of a Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle. The drone — which has already been in testing to prepare for its deployment in the Indian Ocean — will map out the ocean floor using sonar, scanning an area of 40 square kilometers every 24 hours.Read Article >
Narrowing down the likely location of the MH370 wreckage has been an immense challenge, owing to the vastness of the area in which the plane may have crashed. A recent set of four signals that may have come from the airplane's black boxes has helped this effort, and today Air Chief Marshal Houston has noted the discovery of an oil slick in the vicinity as well. Because the oil slick is both "down-wind and down-sea" from the location of the detected pings, it could corroborate the searchers' present estimates. Samples of it have been collected and will be analyzed over the coming days.
Mar 24, 2014
More than two weeks after the plane disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, investigators have concluded that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 crashed in the southern corridor of the Indian Ocean. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the news at a press conference called together after an emergency meeting was held for relatives of those aboard MH370.Read Article >
According to Razak, "a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort" was employed to verify the flight's fate. That analysis and other calculations were carried out by British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat. "This is a remote location far from any possible landing sites," Razak said. "It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean." The airline has dispatched a text message to impacted families stating that "MH370 has been lost" and "none of those on board survived." According to Razek, MH370's last position was in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia.
Mar 16, 2014
Malaysia has requested help from an additional 11 countries in the search for MH370, the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight that mysteriously disappeared after takeoff over a week ago. There are now 25 countries involved in the search effort, including the US, France, China, Australia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, and others in Asia.Read Article >
"The search was already a highly complex, multinational effort," Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a briefing today. "It has now become even more difficult."
Mar 15, 2014
The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight last Friday appears to be the result of deliberate action. That's according to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, speaking to reporters earlier today. Najib stopped short of using the word "hijacking," but instead stated that "evidence is consistent with someone acting deliberately from inside the plane," CNN reported.Read Article >
Mar 14, 2014
New radar evidence has increased the possibility that foul play was involved in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, according to a report from Reuters. The publication cites two sources close to the investigation as saying military radar-tracking evidence suggests the plane was deliberately flown northwest towards the Indian Andaman Islands.Read Article >
An unidentified aircraft that may be MH370 was following a route between navigational waypoints that many flights take when heading to the Middle East and Europe. Reuters says the route suggests whoever was in control of the flight had aviation training. As the last confirmed position was about 90 miles off the east coast of Malaysia, the military tracking suggests the flight turned sharply west following the loss of communication with air traffic control. It supposedly headed towards a waypoint called "Vampi," which is used by planes following route N571 to the Middle East, and then onto the "Gival" waypoint, south of the Thai island of Phuket, before heading northwest towards waypoint "Igrex," which would take it over the Andaman Islands on route P628, used by airlines to fly towards Europe.
Mar 13, 2014
Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal say that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 maintained contact with satellites for several hours after disappearing from radar, raising new questions about where the missing 777 wide-body airliner may be. The aircraft had been on a scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing before vanishing from air traffic controllers' screens just 40 minutes into the flight last Friday.Read Article >
The revelation complicates a mystery that has already confounded investigators and experts for nearly a full week, an eternity by search-and-rescue standards for large aircraft. Flight 370's transponder — the device that delivers flight and altitude information to air traffic controllers — was originally believed to have simply stopped working when the flight was presumed to have crashed in the Gulf of Thailand. Now, with evidence that the aircraft's satellite communication (SATCOM) system was online for roughly four hours after the loss of radar contact, the search area is much larger — WSJ notes that it could've remained in the air for some 2,200 miles based on the 777's cruising speed, taking it as far away as Pakistan. Among other things, SATCOM can be used to send periodic diagnostics to ground crew, but investigators say that the airliner's periodic pings contained no actual data.
Mar 12, 2014
Five days ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished into thin air. With no distress calls and no warning signs, a Boeing 777 aircraft carrying 227 passengers simply disappeared. Just 40 minutes after the plane departed Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with members of 14 different countries on board, it abruptly vanished from radar screens. And as of today, a massive search consisting of over 40 ships, 34 aircraft, and 10 orbiting Chinese defense satellites have yet to find any trace of the plane.Read Article >
If Flight 370 had broken apart or exploded in midair, there should be some debris, but none has been found so far. An oil slick which could have come from a crash didn’t contain any jet fuel, while a supposed life raft turned out to be a moss-covered top of a box. "We have not found anything that appear to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft," Malaysian authorities said Monday, telling families to prepare for the worst.
Mar 12, 2014
Authorities have yet to locate Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously lost contact with air traffic control on over the weekend, but a satellite operator in the US hopes that crowdsourcing could help find it. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Colorado-based DigitalGlobe has sent two of its satellites to survey the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, targeting areas that haven't been covered by other satellites or where inclement weather could have hindered previous attempts. The company is also looking at the Strait of Malacca, after (disputed) reports yesterday suggested that the aircraft could have traveled far off course. The company's images should be available online by early Wednesday, where volunteers will be able to help scan them.Read Article >
The images will be published on Tomnod, a crowdsourcing site where users help identify debris from natural disasters or other incidents. After DigitalGlobe published its first satellite images on Monday, the site saw an unprecedented influx of traffic — more than 500,000 unique visitors within 24 hours — forcing it to reboot its servers. According to DigitalGlobe senior manager Luke Barrington, 100,000 users scanned the first images, collectively examining each pixel 100 times over.
Mar 8, 2014
AFP reports that a Malaysia Airlines flight headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing this afternoon, having lost contact with air traffic control. The Boeing 777-200 is said to be carrying 239 passengers. According to the airline, Flight MH370 left Malaysia shortly after midnight local time, only to disappear a few hours later. It was meant to land in China at 6:30 Saturday morning local time.Read Article >
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft," said the airline in a prepared statement on Facebook. An image provided by FlightAware shows the craft last tracked in southern Asia: