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Aircraft. 10 years since the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

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For exactly a decade, civilian and military investigators from several countries, experts, journalists, professional searchers and amateurs have been trying to solve the greatest mystery in the history of aviation. What happened to the Boeing 777 to Beijing with 239 people on board, which lost contact shortly after takeoff on March 8, 2014? Despite the passage of 10 years, only hypotheses remain.

It was exactly midnight on March 7-8 when the first passengers started boarding the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH370 standing on the tarmac at the airport in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). A total of 239 people from 15 different countries occupy the seats, including 227 passengers. 27 minutes later, the machine receives permission to taxi, and after another 13 minutes, the air traffic control tower allows it to take off.

SEE ALSO: They have 298 passengers of the Malaysian plane on their conscience, and now they are fighting in Ukraine

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Last contact

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What happens next is described in detail in the media over the following years. Exactly 42 minutes after midnight (in Poland it was March 7, 5:40 p.m. – ed.), flight 370 to Beijing takes off from runway 32R. After 19 minutes, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah announces that he has reached flight level 350, i.e. a cruising altitude of approximately 11,000. meters. As CNN writes, at 1:19 the plane leaves Malaysian airspace and enters the airspace Vietnam. Then the last recorded words from the cockpit are spoken: “Okay, good night.” It is most likely said by the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid.

Two minutes later, the plane’s transponder – a device that automatically sends information to the ground to identify the plane, as well as its altitude, speed and course – stops transmitting. Between hours 1:21 and 1:28 Boeing changes course, and at 1:30 MH370 disappears from civilian radars – the machine is then over the Gulf of Thailand, between Malaysia and Vietnam. Another radar contact occurs at 2:15. Military radar pinpoints the plane over the islet of Perak in the Strait of Malacca – hundreds of miles off course. According to Malaysia Airlines, at 2:40 they receive information that flight MH370 is not on the radar.

Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 PAP

For a decade, the subsequent events have been one of the biggest, if not the biggest, secrets in the history of aviation. Why did the plane change course, what happened to the machine? After years of an extremely expensive investigation, questions remain and authorities say they want to resume the search.

Search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane

As The New York Times reminds us, initially the search was conducted mainly from the air – 334 flights were carried out, covering a huge area of ​​4.4 million square kilometers. Then came the underwater search, conducted by teams from AustraliaMalaysia and China, where most passengers came from. Almost 120,000 were searched. square kilometers of the ocean floor (this is more than the surface Bulgaria – ed.). They were completed only in 2017, although not entirely, because the Malaysian government continued to act under pressure from the families.

While the plane itself was not found, debris believed to be from the missing plane was found on the coast of continental Africa, as well as Madagascar, Mauritius, the Réunion and Rodrigues islands. There are about 20 of them in total. The largest, washed ashore on the French island of Réunion, there is a large fragment of a Boeing 777 wing, probably from MH370. As “The New York Times” writes, in 2016, Australian authorities confirmed that another fragment of the wing, washed ashore in Tanzaniacomes from the missing machine – and this can be confirmed thanks to the identification numbers.

One of the fragments that investigators believe may come from MH370FAZRY ISMAIL/PAP/EPA

Missing plane MH370. Theories – what happened

There are many theories about what happened to the missing machine. Some of them were examined during the investigation – such as lack of fuel, emergency landing at sea, loss of control of the machine, or kidnapping. The extensive report published after four years of searching also does not provide a clear answer as to what might have happened on board.

Kok Soo Chon, head of the aviation incident investigation team, was quoted by Thr New York Times as saying that the available evidence – such as manually taking the plane off course and turning off its transponder – “compellingly points” to “unlawful interference,” which could suggest that the plane was hijacked. The report also described all people on board, including the pilots. Their financial situation, health condition, and even the tone of the men’s voices in radio messages and their gait when they went to work that day were examined. No irregularities were detected, concludes The New York Times.

In January 2015, Malaysia officially classified the disappearance of the Boeing 777 as an “accident”which opened the way to paying compensation to the victims’ families.

Disappearance of MH 370. Will there be a new investigation?

10 years after its disappearance, Malaysia is willing to reopen the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim spoke about it last Monday. “We have taken the position that if there is compelling evidence that the case should be reopened, we will certainly be happy to reopen it,” he told a news conference in Melbourne during a summit of Australia and the ASEAN group of Southeast Asian countries. – Whatever needs to be done, we will do – Reuters quotes him as saying.

SEE ALSO: The authorities ask Interpol for help in hunting down a stand-up comedian. It’s about a joke about a missing plane

New York Times, CNN, Reuters

Main photo source: FAZRY ISMAIL/PAP/EPA

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