The Mystery Flight: Malaysian Airline Flight MH370

Malaysian Airline System DC-10-30 (9M-MAW/234/46959) | Airline taking flight | August 10, 2013 | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It was March 8, 2014, when 239 people boarded the Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 with absolutely no idea that their flight would be taking a very unexpected turn. The Malaysian airline departed from Kuala Lumpur Airport on route to Beijing, China, making its way over Cambodia and Vietnam on schedule and with no delays.1 While the airline was in flight, within an hour after takeoff, the airline went completely off radar; after that, no one knew what happened to flight MH370.2 Neither pilot nor co-pilot of the plane reported any problems to air traffic control during the beginning or throughout the remainder of the flight to Beijing. To this day, many do not know whether the pilots of the flight had anything to do with the disappearance of the airline.3 Research tells us that within less than an hour, Flight 370 lost all contact with air traffic control with absolutely no explanation. The last message ever heard from the airline was the pilot or co-pilot saying, “Good night Malaysian, three seven zero.” Then, one hour later after the final message sent to air traffic control, the airline went completely off military radar. In order for the flight to go completely off radar, the flight must have taken a different route or flown four hours more than scheduled. And according to the final radar image, the airline was last seen going the opposite direction from the original route.4 After being informed that the flight did in fact change its route to Beijing, many began to suspect that the airline was hijacked, either by a passenger or possibly by one or both of the pilots. Many also began to suspect that there was a possibility that the airline carried lithium batteries during the flight. Lithium batteries can cause any plane to catch on fire within the cargo and potentially cause the flight to crash land or land in airports that were not on route to the destination. This theory of Flight 370 made researchers believe that the airline did catch on fire due to lithium batteries and therefore caused the captain to change route, land in the nearest airport, and potentially go missing on the way to the nearest airport.5

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Crash Map | Search map for airline flight | April 9, 2014 | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In 2014, Australia took responsibility for searching for the airline in the Indian Ocean with just the slightest idea where the airline might have crashed, landed, or sunk. Within the week of Australia’s search for the airline, the search widened by over 3 million square miles.6 After months of rigorous searching, debris of the plane was found in the water. It was on July 29, 2015, when a flap of the airline’s wing was found, miles away from where Australia’s search team was searching, on Reunion Island. The plane’s part was found by a group of volunteers cleaning a beach on St. Andre.7

Debris Alone May Not Solve Mystery of Malaysia Flight 370, Experts Say | French police carrying a piece of debris from the airline | July 30, 2015 | Island of Reunion | Courtesy of The New York Times

So, with the discovery of the flap, it leaves many wondering, where is flight MH370? How did the flight manage to crash, sink, or land with absolutely no clue as to how it did so? By December of 2015, the Australian search team widened the search even more. As of May 2016, three pieces of the airline have been found, and all in different places in the sea. But unfortunately enough, there has not been any more discoveries of the plane since then.8 After the pieces of the plane were found, the Malaysian government declared the disappearance of MH370 an accident with no survivors.9 The plane has yet to be discovered.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-8FZ | Airline taking flight | November 9, 2013 | Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It was March 8, 2014, when the souls of 239 people became one of the greatest mysteries of all time. The story of the Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 will always have society wondering what exactly happened to the flight and where is it located. And for every time the story of the Malaysian Airline Flight is told, people are going to be left thinking of all the possible theories that might have caused the disappearance of the plane. Until the mystery of the airline’s disappearance is solved, all 239 souls will finally be able to rest in peace and their families will no longer have to mourn over the mysterious deaths of their loved ones.

  1. Samuel Davey et al., Bayesian Methods in Search for MH370 (Springeropen Singapore, 2016), 7.
  2. Samuel Davey et al., Bayesian Methods in Search for MH370 (Springeropen Singapore, 2016), 7.
  3. Jenthro Mullen, “Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: What we know and don’t know,” CNN News, March 13, 2014, https://www.cnn.com/
  4. Missing Malaysia plane MH370: What we know,” BBC News, January 17, 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news.
  5.  Ruwantissa Abeyratne, “Flight MH370 and the Lithium Battery Theory,” Air Cargo World, May 2014.
  6. “Malaysia Airlines search: Jet already had turned before co-pilots ‘good night’ message,” Fox News, December 3, 2015, ” href=”https://www.foxnews.com/world/malaysia-airlines-search-jet-already-had-turned-before-co-pilots-good-night-message”>https://www.foxnews.com.
  7. Missing Malaysia plane MH370: What we know,” BBC News, January 17, 2017, https://www.bbc.com/news
  8. Lindsey M Bier, Sejin Park, and Michael J. Palenchar, “Framing the Flight MH370 Mystery: A Content Analysis of Malaysian, Chinese, and U.S. Media,” The International Communication Gazette, no. 2 (2018): 158.
  9. “Experts have confirmed that the debris found on Reunion Island last week was that of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 that went missing last year, Malaysia’s prime minister said Wednesday,”Malaysia Prime Minister, August 5, 2015, Associated Press, 2o15, Associated Press Video Collection, streaming video, 1:46, EBSCO (AN 16aaa4d0-387b-45fb-8d9b-73e660291a38).

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This Post Has 99 Comments

  1. I remember hearing about this incident on the news when this first occurred. I didn’t really know much about what took place other than the airplane disappearing, so it is very interesting that there are so many theories as to what may have happened. The possibility of this plane being highjacked is a very scary thought, but what’s even scarier is the thought of the plane catching fire and disintegrating into ashes. Overall, this was a really good article and the unsolved mystery of this flight and its passengers gives me chills.

  2. This is such a sad story and it’s frustrating that we won’t ever seem to find an answer. Plane crashes are very rare but when they happen, it’s scary and tragic nonetheless. Personally for me, the most realistic explanation is the lithium batteries as stated in the article. The plane was catching on fire, and the pilots tried to land on the nearest airport and had to change their route, but unfortunately couldn’t make it.

  3. I feel that the families of the 239 passengers that boarded the plane that day never received the closure they deserve because of how suspicious the disappearance was. With the theories that have arose due to never finding any passengers or other debris from the plane besides the three pieces found, it’s hard to know the truth of what actually happened March 8th of 2014. Hopefully one day the mystery disappearance of the Malaysian flight MH370 is resolved and the families of the victims can find peace.

  4. Traveling by plane is one of the safest ways to travel in this day. but there is no way to travel without risk.
    what happened to the Malaysian plane was very sad. more sadness is that the families of passengers waited a lot to find out the fate of their loved ones. hope for all safe flight In the future.

  5. The Malaysian airplane disappearance is one of the most mysterious events that is still talked about today. It is hard to speculate what exactly happened to the airplane, but different theories have been formed. I feel sorry for the 239 lives that have been lost due to the disappearance of the plane. I am glad that some parts of the plane have been discovered. I hope that the families can rest easy, now that the Malaysian government declared the plane disappearance an accident.

  6. It’s so strange how this plane just disappeared and we have no idea what happened to it. I’ve heard many theories of possible explanations but I hope one day we are able to find out what really happened to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and so that the families of all those people can finally have closure in knowing what went wrong. The article was very well written and it was overall very engaging.

  7. Natalie Thamm

    This is a really well done article and the author did a good job of telling the story and keeping me engaged throughout. The story of the missing plane is most definitely baffling because there does not seem to be any logical way that a plane with 239 people on it can just disappear from the face of the earth (more or less) without being recovered in some capacity.

  8. This incident gives me chills. All the theories that surfaced about what happen to this plane was so alerting to me. Many conspiracy theorists had a field day with this as well as I can recall. It must be so troubling for those that lost people on that flight to know that the debris could not give them any answers or any peace.

  9. It is just so scary to think about where these souls could be, granted if they are still with us here today. I can not even begin to fathom what the families of these individuals have gone through over the past few years. I do think about this case often; I used to sit and watch videos of the news reports from when this case first came out and tried and piece together just where and how this could have possibly happened. But do not even get me started on the conspiracy theories, I can not handle all the possibilities and “entities” that the internet thinks could have possibly taken over the plane. Either way, I hope these souls are resting peacefully somewhere. Maybe one day we will get to unfold what happened that fateful day.

  10. This was a great article and I liked the selection of photos, it added a great visual to the story. The mystery on how this flight never made it to Beijing may never be determine or understood. One thing that is certain is that cause for the loss of 239 souls may never be found and that their families might never have closure.

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