The mystery of the whereabouts of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is deepening as searchers widen the net into the Indian Ocean.
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For followers of the search, the riddle of where the jet is has parallels with smash TV series Lost in which a flight over the Pacific vanished and crashed on to an unknown island.
Fiction is always stranger to truth, but many regular fliers and expats must be asking what good endless security checks and millions of pounds spent on aircraft technology is worth if a massive jet carry 240 people can simply disappear into thin air.
The truth is the world may never know what happened to Flight MH370 and the mystery will turn into legend over time, just like the disappearance of pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart, who vanished over the Pacific in 1937.
The search comes down to the systems in place in Malaysia and Vietnam, whose airspace was the last confirmed sighting of the stricken jet.
Search for lost airliner
The search area comes down to the range of the Boeing 777 – which is 10,800 miles for a fully fuelled aircraft.
That gives a huge expanse of mainly open seas to cover for the fleet of search ships and aircraft.
US authorities are suggesting that once communications switched off, the jet was known to be ‘pinging’ a satellite for five hours after going off radar.
At a cruising speed of 590 miles per hour, that puts the aircraft somewhere in a 2,500 mile diameter circles from the last logged radar position.
US investigators believe the aircraft’s communications and GPS transponder were deliberately switched off and the course manually changed. Why? No one knows and the world may never know what happened to the ill-fated flight.
The most logical explanation for the aircraft’s fate could be cracks in the fuselage which could lead to a catastrophic failure and the aircraft exploding in the sky.
Malaysian Airlines confirm Boeing had asked they carry out stress tests on their fleet of Boeing 777s, but cannot confirm the physical checks had been made on flight MH370.
Whatever the fate of the aircraft, the way the search has been handled, the ease in which the plane went off radar and the unanswered questions about the plane’s airworthiness add up to a catalogue of errors and conjecture about the safety of commercial flying.
Unfortunately, these may be questions that are never answered.
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