Flight MH370: Ten years of the largest air mystery haunting hundreds of families

Ten years are now completed 8 March 2024 since its disappearance. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared on 8 March 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members and the plane remains extinct despite the most extensive marine research in world history. This is why it has been recorded as one of the greatest mysteries of aviation worldwide. ‘We lost contact’ In the last decade, two words have haunted Li Eryou: “We lost contact”. It was the words Malaysia Airlines said to him when the plane of flight MH370 disappeared, in which Yanlin’s son was on board. “For years I have been asking what do you mean by “lost contact”? It seems to me that if you lose touch with someone, you should be able to reconnect with him,” says Mr. Li speaking to . He and his wife, farmers from a village south of Beijing, cannot understand what happened to this flight that has been left as one of the biggest flight mysteries. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 disappeared from radar screens, while performing flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, at the time it was to enter Vietnam airspace. He then abruptly changed direction and all electronic communications were discontinued. He returned, first over Malaysia, and then came out into the remote southern Indian Ocean until he was considered to have run out of fuel. The largest and most expensive research operation ever organized lasted four years, but no trace of the missing aircraft was found. Thousands of oceanographers, aeronautical engineers and amateur detectives have studied the flight’s fragmentary data, trying to calculate where his journey ended. “I will continue to travel to the end of the world to find my son” For the families of the occupants these were 10 years of unspeakable grief and struggle to continue the investigation to finally find out exactly what happened with MH370 and why. To date, little debris has been detected on the eastern coast of Africa, mostly. These are parts of the aircraft’s wing, eroded by the sea, that cannot give information about what happened and why the aircraft was lost. Everything was located about 16 months after the aircraft disappeared. Mr Li Eryou has traveled around the world. He says he exhausted all his savings by travelling to Europe and Asia, as well as to beaches in Madagascar, where debris from the lost plane was found. As he says in the British medium, he wanted to feel the sand in the place where his son might have washed up. He remembers shouting while in the Indian Ocean, Yanlin that he was there to take him home. “I will continue to travel to the edge of the world to find my son,” he says. Yanlin was one of 153 Chinese passengers on the flight. His parents are among the 40 families who refused settlement payments from the Malaysian government and have filed legal lawsuits in China against the airline, the aircraft manufacturer and the other parties involved. Yanlin’s parents now live in a rural area of Hebei Province, China. Most of their income went to pay for their children’s school and never had money to travel. Their son, Yanlin was the first man in their village to go to university and the first to get a job abroad, working in Malaysia for a telecommunications company. He was returning to China for a visa appointment when the flight disappeared. Last Sunday 500 relatives and other citizens gathered in a shopping mall near the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, for the “memory day”. Grace Neythan was taking the final exams to enter law school in the United Kingdom when flight MH370 disappeared. Anne’s mother was on the plane. Today she is a lawyer with her own office in Malaysia and a mother of two young children. On her memory anniversary in Kuala Lumpur, she remembered that she was holding her mother’s picture at her wedding and how missing her advice on her two difficult pregnancies. The theories about what happened on flight MH370 There are many theories about what happened on that flight. The investigation carried out after the aircraft disappeared involved 60 ships and 50 aircraft from 26 countries and lasted from March 2014 to January 2017. It was repeated in early 2018 for five months by a private US-based company, Ocean Infinity, using unmanned submarine aircraft to scan the bottom. The lack of compelling information has fueled many theories, some quite savage, about what happened to the MH370 aircraft, from being hijacked until it was shot down. French journalist Florence de Changy has written one of the 100 books published for the fatal flight. He claims the entire assumption that the plane turned and went south is fake. He believes that the debris found does not come from Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines. She raises questions about the cargo on the aircraft and her book claims that it may have been shot down by American aircraft over the South China Sea because of this load. The pilot, maneuvers In a new BBC documentary, titled “Why Planes Vanish”, two French aerospace experts, the one experienced pilot, used a flight simulator to represent the sharp turn Boeing 777 made over the South China Sea, immediately after last contact with Malaysia’s control tower. They concluded that this could only be done by a skilled and experienced pilot. The fact that this was done just as MH370 moved from Malaysian airspace to Vietnam airspace suggests that the pilot was trying to hide the maneuver. And that he knew that he would spend enough time until the Vietnam control tower reported that the plane had not yet contacted them. There are other theories such as that all occupants suffered hypoxia after decompression or that a sudden devastating fire or explosion interrupted communications and forced the pilots to return. However, the idea that one of the pilots deliberately drove the plane and all its passengers to a water death is also difficult to accept. No pilot had a history that could explain such an energy. All these speculations have burdened families. “I would not wish that to my worst enemy,” says Jaquita González, the wife of Patrick Gomes, the supervisor in flight at MH370. From the beginning the Malaysian government was criticised by families. First that he did not act quickly to locate the aircraft from military radar. And later, for her apparent reluctance to approve further investigations, after Ocean Infinity’s last operation ended in mid-2018. The company offered to continue the search without finding, without pay, but needs government approval. Some Malaysian officials recognize that the government could have done more. The country has been going through a period of extraordinary political turmoil in recent years. Then there was the pandemic, a huge distraction of attention that also prevented families from carrying out their annual memorial. Transport Minister Anthony Lowe promises families that he will do what it is to find the plane that was lost. He announced that he is now discussing with Ocean Infinity the possibility of continuing the search later this year. “I just want the plane found. At least then I can let my husband rest in peace. Right now I haven’t done anything for him, you know, to give him a memorial. I cannot, because we have nothing tangible from him,” said Jaquita González, the wife of Patrick Gomes. On Memorial Day for the 10 years since the aircraft disappeared a large painting was placed, in which people could write messages, hope, support or grief. Li kneeled to write a message to Yanlin’s son and then sat with tears in his eyes and looked at it. “Son, it’s been 10 years,” he wrote. “Your mom and dad are here to bring you home. 3 March 2024”. Information from BBC Photo source: Reuters

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