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A Look Back at Flight 370

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Photo Credit: dyn.politico.com
Photo Credit: dyn.politico.com

For over two weeks, imaginations and intellects have been confronted by the ever-evolving Malaysia flight mystery. On Saturday, March 8th, a Malaysian flight took off as usual, with the now questionable intent to fly five hours and eight minutes until it reached Beijing, its supposed destination. However, as the media has endlessly expressed, Flight 370 did not such thing.

Its whereabouts could not even be contemplated at the beginning of its disappearance, as there was no known crash or emergency landing spot anywhere on the globe. For the past two weeks, multiple fields of occupation have worked tirelessly to find clues and answers, still without finding the key to unlocking the captivating tragedy.
It was determined that the plane started its journey normally, as no issues with the jet or anyone on board were expressed to the transponder. 239 people, including passengers and crew members were headed towards Beijing. However, at about 1; 30 AM, the transponder, which allows the aircraft control to track the flight on a radar, had turned off. It has not been concluded whether this was done purposely, or was merely an accident. The plane’s last known location was between Malaysia and Vietnam, somewhere above the Southern Indian Ocean, which is vast and treacherous due to dangerous current and weather patterns in the area.
While the transponder was turned off, military radar tracking was able to reveal that the plane had taken a very sharp turn above the South China Sea, during which, the altitude of the flight dropped as low as 12,000 feet before disappearing off of the radar.
Multiple theories still exist in regard to an explanation of the disappearance. It cannot be conclusively ruled out that intentional actions of either pilot caused the miscommunication, and quite possibly, an eventual crash, while there still may have been a technological issue with the jet that was unable to be communicated to Air Traffic Control.
It is baffling, to many, that a day to day object, so large and so trusted, can be lost in this day and age. Maxine Fenner, a junior, gives her input: “I think it’s kind of scary that we think we are so advanced in technology but we can lose a plane so easily. The whole world is following the news everyday to hopefully hear something good. This confirms a person’s fear of flying”. While the odds are 11 million to one that a person will die in a plane crash, such a heavily-covered accident by the media has sensationalized this tragedy, bringing the idea of death by plane to the forefront of out news-hungry society.
Recently, multiple countries have contributed to the search for the remains of flight 370 after the discovery of Satellite images that depict the plane’s last coordinates were above the Southern Indian Ocean. The US sent a black box locater to hover above the ocean in order to detect any pings from the flight’s black box, which can be detected from up 20,000 feet of depth. However, the conditions of the search were extremely dangerous, and the likelihood of the ability to conclusively locate the remains of the plane has diminished.
On Tuesday, March 25, Malaysia Airlines sent a text message to the families of the 153 Malaysian passengers on the flight, which read: “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived”.
The airlines believe that despite vast efforts by numerous people and a number of clues that could possibly reveal information regarding the story behind the missing plane, there is a certain point where it is time to give closure to the families of the passengers.
New updates and revelations are being made and gathered everyday regarding Flight 370, and the search will continue for multiple reasons. For example, the US holds an interest due to its mysterious disappearance, and the fact that there could possibly by a motive rooted in terrorism behind the mystery. It is also important, if there was a technical issue with the jet, that it be discovered for further improvement on other planes of the same model.