No one knows what happened to flight MH370 which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on the early morning of March 8th. The Malaysian Airlines (MAS) plane suddenly disappeared from the radar screen and lost all contacts with Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 1.30am, which was about 45 minutes into its flight.
Somewhere over the South China Sea, off the coast of Vietnam, the Boeing 777 jetliner carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members just vanished. There was no distress call, no indication of any danger or malfunction of any kind. Nothing. Search parties from Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and a number of other countries had been trying to locate it for the past 48 hours without success.
Image courtesy of The Star Online
This incident must be one of the most puzzling mysteries of the year! Why puzzling?
1. The Boeing 777 is one of the safest planes in the world today. Except for a botched landing that killed 3 people in San Francisco in 2013, there have never been any crash fatalities. And MAS has one of the best safety records of all airlines in Asia.
2. The most dangerous part of a flight is during the take off and landing. But this incident happened during the safest phase of the flight that is, while it was cruising!
3. The plane did not run into any violent storm. The weather was perfectly fine!
4. There was no distress calls from the pilot. Given that the plane was cruising at that time, the pilot would have plenty of time to report any mechanical malfunction or problems. Even in the unlikely scenario where both of the plane's engines shut down, the plane could still glide for about 20 minutes, giving the pilot lots of time to radio for help.
5. The plane's inbuilt tracker (known as flight transponder) should automatically update its location to Air Traffic Control but in this case, it did not! The transponder data mysteriously showed no change in altitude or course.
6. A sudden bomb explosion due to terrorist activity would explain why there was no distress call and no update on the transponder device. An explosion at such an altitude would cause the plane debris to spread out over a wide area but so far, no debris has been found.
7. Even if it's due to terrorism, why up to now, no one is claiming responsibility?
8. The plane could possibly being hijacked, but then again, why would anyone want to hijack a plane and dive it into the sea? Wouldn't the hijackers land it at the airport so that they could voice their demands?
9. There were reports that the plane did an unusual turn back moments before it disappeared from the radar screen but why would the pilot not made a distress call in such a case?
So many questions and no definite answer. For now, there are only theories and speculation. You can read up on more of the theories on what happened to MH370 flight HERE.
Meantime, I pray that the search parties from all the different countries will be able to locate the missing plane soon. If no survivors are found, this will rank as the deadliest airline disaster since November 12, 2001.