Missing Malaysia Airlines jet

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Type of Event Other - Missing aircraft
Location of Event South China Sea
Date of Charter Activation 11 March 2014
Charter Requestor China Meteorological Administration
Project Management China Meteorological Administration

Description of the Event

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared from radar on 07 March 2014. The jet was carrying 239 people (12 crew and 227 passengers) and has yet to be found despite a multi-national search.

The aircraft departed from Kuala Lumpur at 16:41 UTC and was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at 22:30, but Vietnamese air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft at 17:30 (01:30 local time).

An international search began for the aircraft in the South China Sea, the last known location of the jet, but four days later no sign of the aircraft had been found. The search area has since been expanded to the Malacca Strait, on the western coast of Malaysia. And on 15 March the search shifted to as far as the Indian Ocean.

There has been much speculation regarding the fate of the aircraft. No debris has been found and though several oil slicks have been investigated it was determined that they were not from the aircraft. Two passengers aboard the jet were under suspicion, following an investigation that revealed that they were using stolen passports, but Interpol has since dismissed any terrorist connections for the two passengers.

No distress signals have been received from the plane and it remains unknown what happened. It has been noted by investigators that it is very unusual for an airliner to simply disappear in such a manner.

Both naval vessels and aircraft from at least ten different countries are participating in the search. Satellite imagery is now being employed to search for any evidence of the plane, both before and after it disappeared. China is utilising ten of its satellites to image the search area. The United States imaging corporation, DigitalGlobe, has started a crowdsourcing campaign in which over two million volunteers have studied DigitalGlobe images of the area.

More than 20 countries are participating in the search and the latest reports indicate that the plane turned back after take-off and passed over Malaysia and then headed toward the Indian Ocean. Evidence suggests the plane flew for several hours after communication with air traffic controllers was lost. Satellite images have revealed suspected debris in a number of locations, and the search is currently focused on an area in the southern Indian Ocean where satellite images have uncovered several large objects. Whether these objects are related to the missing aircraft remains to be seen.

As of 24 March 2014, the search remains ongoing.

Images and/or Image product Delivered under the Charter

Suspected oil spill of missing aircraft
Oil spill found in Strait of Malacca

Source: Landsat-8

Acquired: 15/03/2014

Copyright Landsat-8 data and products © USGS (2014) - All rights reserved
Map produced by National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), China Meteorological Administration (CMA)

 

Possible debris of missing aircraft
Possible debris found in Strait of Malacca

Source: TerraSAR-X

Acquired: 13/03/2014

Copyright TerraSAR-X © German Aerospace Center (DLR), 2014 Airbus Defence and Space / Infoterra GmbH
Map produced by National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), China Meteorological Administration (CMA)

 

Suspected oil spill of missing aircraft
Oil spill found in the South China Sea

Source: Terra ASTER

Acquired: 09/03/2014

Copyright ASTER data and products © USGS 2014 - All rights reserved
Map produced by National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC), China Meteorological Administration (CMA)