Malaysia Airline’s missing MH370 flight has captured the headlines here in the United States, and across most of the world. The Boeing 777 was carrying 239 passengers on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo, Japan, when it completely vanished. Malaysia Airlines have established that the aircraft was diverted intentionally, as opposed to crashing as a result of bad weather or a malfunction. The whereabouts of the pilots and passengers of flight MH370 are currently being investigated by the airline and authorities, although the sequence of events which resulted in the plane’s disappearance still remain unknown.
Perhaps the biggest mystery is why we still don’t know what happened to flight MH370. The 240-foot Boeing 777 airplane will fit up to 451 passengers, and is equipped with all of the radar technology and communications devices which we would expect from a modern airplane. Despite these safety and security precautions and the hundreds of military radars used widely across the Middle East, flight MH370 has now been missing for 12 days and there are still no definitive answers.
However, based on the limited amount of information which is available, there have been various theories over exactly what happened to flight MH370.
The plane flew south
The missing Malaysia Airlines flight could have flown south towards the Indian Ocean, and on towards Australia. The plane’s last satellite “ping” suggested that it was operational for up to six hours after it left Malaysia’s radar zone, and experts have claimed that the plane will have flown south to avoid being picked up on any radars for this amount of time.
There was an accident
72% of airplane crashes result from mechanical failure or pilot error, so it’s more than likely that a fire or break down caused the MH370 to attempt a crash landing. However, no debris or crash site has been found, and the plane’s transponder – which sends out analytical information to nearby radars – was switched off.
Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and Co-Pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid have both been closely investigated since the MH370 plane’s disappearance. Authorities have confiscated a flight simulator from the pilot’s home, and although neither man is under direct accusation, it is worth remembering that the plane was deliberately steered off course, and had its location equipment disabled.
The plane hid in the shadow of another
Certain aviation experts have hinted that the plane flew through territories like India and Afghanistan closely to another plane, the Singapore Airlines SIA68. The latest data from the SIA68 suggests that the missing MH370 maneuvered itself behind the other plane and followed it for fifteen minutes. The MH370 could have then branched off anywhere along the SIA68’s route to Spain.
There was a struggle on board
Even though the MH370 very gradually turned off course, it is reported to have erratically altered its altitude before radar lost sight of the plane. The missing Malaysia Airlines flight was travelling at an altitude of 45,000 feet, well above its recommended height, before later dropping to dangerously low altitudes. The pilot may have been attempting to disorientate hijackers and prevent a terrorist attack.
These theories are just a handful of many, and with each passing day the pressure to find a definitive answer increases. The families of over 200 passengers have been left in the dark since the incident, with questions still being asked over what happened, where the plane is now, and whether or not the passengers are alive.
What do you think happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight?