The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ passenger jet, Flight 370, remains one of the biggest aviation mysteries of all time. The crew and passengers onboard the flight tragically vanished on March 8th, 2014 – and while there have been a few clues arising from its disappearance, what actually happened to the voyage remains shrouded in guesswork. Here are some interesting facts about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to help clue you in.
1. The plane was on route to Beijing, China.
2. Transponder tracking was lost when the plane flew over Vietnam.
Strangely, the transponder onboard the 370 switched off as the flight cruised across Vietnam’s airspace, prompting the military in Malaysia to start tracking the plane themselves. They tracked the flight turning around across the Malay peninsula before losing contract around 2:22 am.
3. The plane was assumed lost and searches began immediately.
Over the days following Flight 370’s disappearance, crews scoured the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, with no clear debris from the flight found until March 24th. Both the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the UK Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed that the plane was last likely flying to the west of Perth, Australia, close to where it is assumed to have crashed.
4. The search for debris continued for almost three years.
While investigations into the waters surrounding Flight 370’s disappearance continued to find occasional debris and even potential evidence of historic radio signals, officials called off the search as of January 2017, meaning the hunt for the missing flight had taken almost three years to complete – and, inconclusive.
5. The official conclusion is that the plane crashed – but no one’s sure why.
Statements by the Malaysian government and corroborating evidence – while scarce – confirms to the best of our knowledge that Flight 370 crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, offshore from Australia. However, the reason for the crash is still unclear. Studies into fuel loss, too, have proven inconclusive.
6. Two passengers held illegal passports.
Investigations into the passports held by Flight 370’s passengers proved at least two people onboard held false passes – giving rise to concerns the flight might have been hijacked by terrorists. However, any links to terrorism proved inconclusive – and there’s still no evidence of foul play. It’s thought the two men faked their identities to seek asylum.
7. The sudden flight path change was decided upon from inside the plane.
A curious piece of information came to light from Malaysian government research in 2018, when officials stated that the decision to change Flight 370’s course was made in the cockpit, suggesting the pilots decided to veer off-course. However, we might never know exactly why that decision was made.
8. The main pilot was in training.
Flight 370 was controlled by Fariq Hamid, who was in fact on his last training flight before getting certified to run passenger flights for real – he was supported by his trainer, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a senior captain on the airline.
9. 239 people died as a result of the disaster.
Flight 370 was carrying a total of 239 passengers, with 12 of them being crew. The majority of non-crew were of Chinese origin.
10. We’re still not sure if it was an accident or an evasive maneuver.
The lack of concrete evidence and information regarding 370’s disappearance means we will probably never know exactly what happened. Did the pilot fly back to avoid a hazard, or was the move intentional? All we know for certain is that innocent lives were lost on that fateful day.
FAQs about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
Was Malaysia Flight 370 attacked by terrorists?
No – at least, there’s no evidence to suggest this was the case. Two men with fake passports onboard were not linked to terrorist organizations and were believed to be seeking asylum.
Did they ever find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?
No – while debris was found scattered across the Indian Ocean, the full plane was never recovered – and neither were the bodies of people on board.
How long did the search for Flight 370 take?
The search for Flight 370 began in March 2014 and was called off in January 2017 – just under three years.
Do you know any interesting facts about Malaysian Airlines Flight 370? Share them in the comments below!