A Boeing 777 is set to depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 connects Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Beijing, China on a daily basis. Flight 370 is given authorization to depart 42 minutes after midnight. There are 227 passengers on board, including Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid, ten cabin crew members, and Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
The plane is traveling over the South China Sea at 35,000 feet less than an hour into the voyage. The sky is clear at night, and the weather is pleasant. As it approaches Vietnamese airspace, Flight 370 is told to contact air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The flight controller in Kuala Lumpur wishes good night with no indication that anything is wrong. The planes vanish from radar screens in Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok one minute and forty-three seconds later. This type of positional tracking relies on a signal being emitted by one of the plane’s two transponders, therefore its absence would indicate that both transponders have stopped working, or the system has been manually deactivated by someone onboard. All further attempts to contact and determine the location of Flight 370 have failed. The plane appears to have vanished without a trace.
Flight 370 has been officially declared missing after missing its scheduled arrival time in Beijing by four hours, and the most costly search effort in aviation history is likely to begin as a result of that statement.
The first focus of the search was on the area between the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, where the plane vanished. However, as the Malaysian military provided more information, the search area was quickly enlarged. Long-range military radar, unlike Air Traffic Control radar, does not use transponders to track the position of aerial targets, instead relying on reflectivity. The aircraft diverged from its scheduled flight course with a modest turn to the right followed by a protracted turn to the left, according to data collected by the Malaysian military seconds after contact with Flight 370 was lost.
The plane then flew back towards and across the Malaysian peninsula before making a U-turn near Penang Island.
It stayed on this northwesterly course until it was out of radar range. A international fleet of aircraft and vessels explored the Strait of Malacca, the Andaman Sea, and the Bay of Bengal over the next few days, but there was no sign of Flight 370. Investigators began looking into the plane’s satellite communication records in the meanwhile. Flight 370, like many modern airplanes, had a satellite communications terminal, or SATCOM, to send and receive transmissions to and from the ground. The SATCOM terminal had connected to the satellite network and established a connection with a ground station in Perth, Australia, prior to departure. The station kept a complete log of all incoming and outgoing traffic between it and Flight 370 after that. This is what was in it.
Everything looked to be working well before to the flight’s disappearance over the South China Sea.
The SATCOM communication was then lost at some point during this phase of the trip. The terminal stopped responding for some reason. The terminal, however, sought to reconnect to the network three minutes after the jet vanished over the Andaman Sea.
The SATCOM link was successfully restored, and the flight was not disturbed again for nearly six hours, when the plane crashed due to fuel exhaustion.
Two efforts to reach the plane through satellite telephone were made in the dying hours. Both calls were acknowledged by the SATCOM terminal and would have been routed to the cockpit if they had been answered, but they were not.
There are many theories regarding what happened. Some say that the plane had caught on fire due to lithium-ion batteries in its cargo hall. Some people believe that it’s a result of a terrorist attack but no organisation has yet claimed the attack. There is a theory stating that the plane was hijacked by aliens because the plane hasn’t been found to this day.