How does a Boeing 777 disappear?
Published: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
For the better part of three weeks, the entire world has been both fascinated and dumbstruck by Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which departed Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, enroute for Beijing, China, but never arrived. Since then, countries from around the world have helped search for the ill-fated airline and many have questioned how, with today’s technology, an airplane the size of a Boeing 777 can disappear without, as of yet, a trace. As of this publication, the plane has been missing for 25 days.
A Boeing 777 is the world’s largest twin jet engine. It has a typical seating capacity of 314 to 451 passengers and a wingspan of over 200 feet. To put it plainly, the Boeing 777 is a massive plane, which makes the plane’s disappearance even more baffling.
It is the facts and events surrounding the plane’s disappearance that has kept the story in the world’s consciousness far longer than it ever would have had the plane simply crashed and a debris field been found. We now know that the plane intentionally had its transponders turned off, veered far off course to the point of making a U-turn and also descended and flew at well below the 35,000 feet cruising altitude it ascended to after takeoff, with some reports saying it cruised as low as 12,000 to 15,000 at its last known location. Allegedly, the plan flew on for five hours after its last contact with air-traffic control.
Most officials are now of the belief that the airliner crashed into the Indian Ocean, well off its course. No debris field from the crash has been found and searchers are having a tough time searching the area because of its long distance from any land and its bad weather and rough seas. The “black box” from the plane has yet to be found and will send out pings only for another few days. If the plane isn’t found by then, it’s a possibility it may never be found, something that just seems impossible.
As is usually the case with any mystery such as this, conspiracy theories abound. Was the plane hijacked? Were the pilots suicidal? Was it a mechanical issue that caused the plane to act so erratically? Until the wreckage can be found, it is impossible to say. That hasn’t stopped people from speculating, however. Some believe the plane was flown into a Taliban-controlled region and landed safely, while other say terrorists took control of the plane and crashed it. But why fly the plane so far out of the way to crash it? The same question can be asked to those who theorize the pilot or pilots were committing suicide. There was plenty of ocean in which to fly the plane into on the plane’s regular route. It didn’t need to be flown six hours out of the way to be crashed. Other conspiracy theories are even more of a reach, including some who believe the plane was “cloaked” somehow and is invisible to the naked eye or that aliens somehow swallowed up or hijacked the plane.
The fact of the matter is, until the wreckage is found, we may never know what happened to Flight 370. And while speculating about its disappearance may be interesting, let us not forget those who, barring a miracle, died on the plane and the families they left behind. The agony they must be going through while they await word on the fate of the plane has to be unbearable. It is the victims and families that are the biggest losers in all of this. It is because of that that we must continue to exhaust all resources in finding out what exactly happened on that fateful flight. That we haven’t been able to do so despite all the world’s technology is nothing short of mind-boggling.
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