March 8, 2014: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER, departs Beijing for Malaysia but never lands, triggering the costliest search in aviation history. After five years, there are little results and still many questions.
On Sunday, just shy of the five-year anniversary, family members gathered at a solemn remembrance ceremony in Kuala Lumpur where pieces of debris from the missing flight went on display for the first time publicly.
Five-years of investigation has found nothing to explain the reason MH370 vanished, where the aircraft is, or where her 239 passengers are. The jetliners black-boxes and bulk of the debris have yet to be recovered and will surely contain the whole story if salvageable.
Malaysia has expressed its recent willingness to re-start the search after it was suspended last year for a second time. Companies like Ocean Infinity are analyzing the latest data to determine the next steps with OI already stating that they are ready to try again once Malaysia accepts.
France has opened an independent investigation into the mystery but have yet to release any official findings. The French investigation began shortly after Malaysia released their final report, which failed to identify new leads aside from minor search adjustments based on raw satellite data.
Numerous experts interviewed by MH370Latest said they believe the aircraft was hijacked by either the captain, first officer or someone on board with cruel intentions.
Curiously, two Iranian nationals had boarded MH370 using forged passports, discovered after investigators looked over the passenger manifest in the hours after. International police agency INTERPOL later said both men had zero links to terrorism and neither had a criminal record, a dead-end.
“The most likely people that did this would be either the pilot or the co-pilot … Neither of them are gonna call mayday or squawk 7700 or do any of those things,” said aviation expert and retired fighter pilot Jock Williams during our interview.
A year earlier, Canadian aviation legend Pierre Jeanniot said MH370 had all the hallmarks of a deliberate event. “There’s a deliberate interruption in electricity in a very reliable piece of equipment [Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System or ACARS] that provides some degree of knowledge of the whereabouts of the airplane,” he said.
“These two things were obviously a deliberate attempt to divert the airplane.”
Since the disappearance, investigators have confirmed that MH370 veered dramatically off course after entering Vietnamese airspace going in a northerly direction, turning west and then south towards the Indian Ocean.
Investigators analyzed satellite data from Inmarsat and based search deployments on pings sent and received from the aircraft as it flew towards the Indian Ocean, way off course. It ended up off the western coast of Australia where it ran out of fuel, flying for about 6.5 hours after first being reported missing.
OI was unable to find any debris or remains after scouring 112,000 square-kilometres of the Indian Ocean last year. The search area was based on satellite data that focused on part of an area known as the Seventh Arc.
Recent acoustic analysis by Cardiff University showed that MH370 most-likely impacted the water just north of where OI had been originally searching.
“The locations of signals found do come with high uncertainty but still require further detailed and careful analysis,” said Dr. Usama Kadri, who led the research.
The mystery of MH370 has changed aviation forever but there will more changes to come once we determine the cause of the disappearance. “Pilots remain vigilant professionals. That will not change. Until we understand what caused the event we cannot know what changes, if any, are warranted,” said Captain John Cox during our first-ever interview.
Williams, meanwhile, reassured MH370Latest and the flying community that the Boeing 777 is a safe airplane. “Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with the Triple 7,” he said.
Without the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, more wreckage or a bombshell nobody expects, there is no way to confirm whether it was a malicious act, technical fault or an emergency that turned into a disaster the flight crew couldn’t handle.
“It is a global concern that extends to a larger question of aviation safety, a matter that is relevant to our lives every single day as our loved ones, our friends, colleagues and even as we ourselves take to the skies,” a statement from Sunday’s event said.