March 8th, 2014: a day to remember, a day to mourn, a day to wonder. The day when a 777-200 dropped off the face of the earth, only leaving behind a few pieces of debris that are only thought to be linked to Malaysian Airlines flight 370.
The flight was flying a normally scheduled flight, Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew. The Boeing 777-200ER that was operating the flight departed Kuala Lumpur at 1AM but unfortunately never reached its destination.
Radar contact with the 777 was lost only an hour into the flight. The Malaysian radars picked up the aircraft making a sharp turn to the West and over the Andaman Sea.
After multiple different countries came together with 345 personnel and 19 ships to search the 1,800,000 square mile area that was believed to be the crash site, nothing turned up.
It wasn’t until July 2015, more than one year after the disappearance, that part of the flaperon was found on the island of Réunion. More objects that are thought to be debris from MH370, began showing up on islands around the Indian Ocean as well.
Since the reports of possible debris thoughtful 2015, there has been no major breaks in the search. However, Australian officials released that a flight plan, which was identical to the possible path MH370 flew, was recently recovered on a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of the missing aircraft. Canadian air-crash investigator Larry Vance, stated on an Australian TV show that based on the new facts about the simulator, and by studying the flaperon piece recovered from the water, the aircraft most likely went through a “controlled landing” in the ocean. “Somebody was flying the airplane into the water,” Vance mentioned on the Australian television show 60 Minutes.”
“The force of the water is really the only thing that could make that jagged edge that we see. It wasn’t broken off. If it was broken off, it would be a clean break” Vance reported.
According to 60 Minutes, the captain of MH370 tried hiding his simulator flight by cleaning out his hard drive. The show also mentioned that the Malaysian government knew about the simulator route but chose to ignore the information and to praise their pilot.
The new discovery of the pilot’s planned simulator route leads the investigation to be ruled as a possible pilot suicide, which would explain why the flaperon was found deployed. No onboard system could control that mechanism, leaving the pilot as the only possibility of deploying the flaperon.
On the contrary, the Australian Transport Bureau released a statement of their own, “Extensive testing on Boeing’s simulator shows that after running out of fuel, the aircraft stays airborne for several minutes and descends at various rates in a (wave motion).” This wave motion would cause the aircraft to impact the water in such a way that it would look as if someone manually landed the aircraft.
Search and recovery operations are still underway with plans to suspend the search in October or November of this year.