The Search For MH370 Has Officially Been Suspended

It’s amazing to think that MH370 disappeared almost three years ago. The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-200 with 239 people onboard, and was bound from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane disappeared from radar shortly after leaving Malaysian airspace, and the rest is a mystery.

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Well, in the meantime Chinese, Australian, and Malaysian authorities have worked together to search 120,000 square kilometers, and their search has come up mostly empty. So they’ve now called off the underwater search for MH370. Per the joint statement:

“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft. The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness.”

Voice370, a support group for family members of those aboard the flight, released a statement to express their disappointment:

“Commercial planes cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace. Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves.”

I can see both sides here. Three pieces of debris have been found and have been officially linked to MH370, while another four pieces are believed to be linked to the plane. They were all found off the coast of Africa, an area that the search teams have searched extensively. However, it’s anyone’s guess whether there is even a major part of the plane left, and where it’s located.

Even if the investigation continues and several more parts of the plane are found, it’s questionable whether that would lead to any answers. At the same time, the thought of letting a plane disappear in this day and age is shocking.

So I imagine it’s a sad day for families and friends of the MH370 victims. For now there’s no closure or hope or wreckage being found, though who knows, at some point the investigation may be opened up again.

Comments

  1. “They were all found off the coast of Africa, an area that the search teams have searched extensively.”

    The bulk of the search has been nowhere near Africa…

  2. Why in the world is it not mandatory for a $100M+ piece of equipment to have constant GPS tracking?? Blows my mind

  3. Conspiracy theories may suggest that it will probably be linked to 1MDB as well. Remember there are 26 nations involved and no one speaks the truth.

  4. I really feel for the families, but they can’t search forever. Obviously, it would be beneficial for airline safety to be able to determine the cause of the crash, there is a point when they have to call it a day. In all likelihood, someone will stumble upon it at some point in time.

  5. @ Brian L: I think we are at the limit of our technology. Your statement was most likely uttered about the Titanic, but with new technology was eventually found. Of course the time frame was about 80-90 years later. Eventually it will be found but only when we have grown our technological abilities.

    Scott

  6. The crazier thing is that there’s nothing stopping a 777 captain from pulling a similar stunt tomorrow. Another $150 million could get wasted for no reason. No safeguard against this.

  7. So what has changed for aviation since this disaster? How about live streaming flight data? It needs to be done and I’m sure someone will figure out how to do this or something similar.

  8. We spent years and many millions searching, and NOTHING has changed. This could happen again today.

    MH370 disappeared in 2014. Which airlines have equipped their planes with constant streaming of flight data?

    The 777 flown, had the ability to be sending a lot more data and more frequently than it did. It didn’t, because the airline didn’t subscribe to those optional features. As usual, the bean counters think about this quarters expenses and profits rather than the right long-term solution.

    This should no longer be optional. Data streaming from aircraft should be considered a primary asset with cutoff of it signalling alarm for immediate search and locate. Locator beacons should be required to be have MUCH bigger battery capacity to last longer. We should work toward the point where extensive searches like AF447 and MH370 are no longer entirely blind, and thus entirely focused on locating the Holy Grail of the black boxes.

  9. Many valid points made so far.

    It is utterly incomprehensible that a large commercial passenger plane could fly undetected for around 6 hours with no tracking whatsoever. We live in an age of highly sophisticated satellite technology which surely holds data and imagery from that fateful night. (But to release any information would supposedly reveal techniques otherwise secret to nations and companies contracting to them). Planes should be tracked and traceable at any time, whether airborne or on the ground.

  10. @Stvr: Interesting that your concern is about the money, not the hundreds of people who died…

    And to everyone else, yes it would be useful to get the flight data, but HOW useful? Not very I’d imagine. Even if there’s an unknown fault with the plane, it hasn’t reappeared in the last three years (and the decades before the incident) so what are the odds of it happening again? The main other reasons to continue would be to assign blame (I personally don’t care) or find bodies (unlikely to happen and there are much more useful things to spend that money on).

  11. Tracking data is important so that when this happens again, we don’t spend $100M and three years looking for the plane – we know right where to go :S

  12. Flew DPS to KUL on Malaysian on Jan. 8. Hour into the flight one of the pilots comes out and sits across from me in J. A bit unshaven with sunglasses. So that means now 1 pilot on the flight deck. A bit unnerving especially since as soon as the one pilot came out the reaming announced we would be encountering turbulence. I thought maybe he was sick but he didn’t cough or otherwise show any signs of being ill and felt well enough to use the entertainment system and eat some bread and have something to drink.

    Also, it appears Malayisan may not be dry. It sure looked like some white guy asked for and got a drink menu and then had several glasses of what seemed to be wine. Maybe its alcohol on demand?

  13. @Dave, MH is definitely not a cry airline. Flown them in F and had Champagne and both outbound and inbound, unfortunately they don’t serve Dom anymore.

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