Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared five years ago – and still no answers

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On the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the search for the wreckage has ended – for the present – with no answers. All 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the Boeing 777 are missing, presumed dead. Plans to build a memorial have been put on hold until after the wreck is found.

An official search of the southern Indian Ocean by Australia, Malaysia and China ended in Jan 2017. The countries say an official search would resume only if credible evidence emerges on the plane’s location.

In December Professor Martin Kristensen, an engineer at Aarhaus University in Denmark, published a new mathematical analysis of MH370’s radar and satellite data. As reported by News.com.au, the research appears to indicate that the search was conducted in the wrong place. It puts MH370’s probable crash site off Christmas Island, south of Jakarta. And he speculates the missing aircraft’s new possible track means a hijacker could have “bailed out.”

A private company, Texas-based Ocean Infinity, picked up the search after the official project ended. The company agreed to work unpaid, and would have received a reward of up to US $70 million had it found the wreckage. Ocean Infinity used a deep-sea vessel to survey a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean, and found nothing. The search ended in May 2018.

Flight 370 disappeared on Mar 8, 2014, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane lost contact less than an hour after takeoff, with no distress signal or message sent.

The Malaysian government’s safety report into the disaster in Jul 2018 says the aircraft was probably steered off course deliberately and flown to the southern Indian Ocean. The Bloomberg news service observed that the 449-page report offered little to solve modern aviation’s biggest mystery -- and stopped short of apportioning specific blame. There’s nothing to suggest the plane was evading radar, or evidence of behavioral changes in the crew, according to the report, and significant parts of the aircraft’s power system, including the autopilot function, were probably working throughout the flight.

Timeline of M370 disappearance (CNN Jan 2018)

MH370: Four-year hunt ends after private search is completed (BBC May 2018)

MH370 Was ‘Manipulated’ Off Course to Its End, Report Says (Bloomberg Jul 2018)

Latest search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ends without finding wreckage (USA Today May 2018)

MH370: memorial to the missing is put on hold (Guardian Jul 2018)

Date written/update: 2019-02-15