Unsolved mystery of missing flight MH375 and what you can do to help the search

Malaysian civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman gives latest updates on MH370

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared shortly after midnight on Saturday 8th March 2014. The Boeing 777 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:41am local time on Saturday and was due to arrive in Beijing at 06:30am local time. But it jumped off radar and lost all communication at 01:30am over the South China Sea. The Boeing 777 is considered as one of the most popular and safest jet, but this incident has compelled us to think otherwise. The MH370 was reported to be carrying around 239 passengers and other crew members.

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Probable cause of disappearance

It might seem like an act of Houdini, but a number of speculations and theories are circulating all around regarding the disappearance of this airplane.

  • Terrorist act – It was reported that 2 individuals on board the MH375 had made use of stolen passports, one Italian and one Austrian, to board the plane. This might be a planned act all along from a terrorist agency. Adding fuel to the speculation is the fact that, officials had received an anonymous warning stating, terrorists were targeting Beijing’s international airport.
  • Serious mechanical malfunction – There are numerous conditions and aspects a aircraft has to withstand while cruising at high altitude. The air pressure inside is significantly higher than that outside. Even the temperature difference is astounding. The aircraft under such condition travels at a speed of around 1,000kmph and even a minor glitch can prove to be catastrophic.

But being said that, even the above mentioned mishaps would have generated ample debris that the rescue team could have discovered easily. In case of serious malfunction, the transponder present in the cockpit relays a distract signal which would have been received by the staff at the ATC. The hijacking of the MH370 can’t be plausible either, as it could have dodged the radar only by flying the plane below radar, but the Boeing 777 being a 200 x 209 feet aircraft, it could never have escaped unnoticed.

 

Reasons for not finding any evidence

The aircraft disappeared in the South China Sea that varies widely in depth and is prone to fast-moving currents that could easily carry debris more than 50 miles a day. In this region, the water is as shallow as 300 feet or as deep as 3,000 feet. At such a depth, the ocean is dark and the temperature is as low as 40 degrees. GPS signals are not that effective in salt water and the acoustic signals that are sent from the plane’s emergency beacon could be faint.

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Steps adopted for the search and rescue mission

Efficient search crews from around 10 countries are scanning 10,500 square miles to search for any survivor or any possible debris. They are sending crews to the most likely impact point, where they are lowering listening devices into the ocean and are attempting to pick up the signals from the “pinger”, which is attached to the plane’s two black boxes. Debris from the Malaysia Airlines might have been pushed miles from the impact point already by wind and ocean currents.

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The real reason behind the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines, can only be answered with time. The search and rescue crew are working hard and support has been rendered from a number of countries and provinces to further speed up the process.

 

 What you can do to help the search

The company DigitalGlobe based in Longmont Colorado has trained cameras from its five orbiting satellites on the Gulf of Thailand region where Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last known location was.

The images will be made available for free on Tomnod, which will crowdsource the search by asking the public for help analyzing high-resolution images for any sign of the missing airliner

The imagery has already been uploaded to the Tomnod website – and the want people to help with scaning the pictures, where each pixel equals half a meter, and tag anything that looks suspicious.

Algorithms will then determine which areas have the most tags, and in-house experts will then follow up on any leads generated by the system.

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