ATW Editor's Blog

Getting answers to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370


The terrible wait for more information on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777-200, continues. Little remains known days after the sudden disappearance of the aircraft.

The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people onboard, appears to have been routine until it vanished from radar less than two hours into the flight, over the seas close to Vietnam and in good weather conditions.

There was no emergency call from the flight crew and no transponder signal has been received.

This points to a catastrophic event and officials will be looking at the potential for sabotage, an act of terrorism, or some type of major structural failure.

The first priority remains locating the aircraft. Every effort is being put into the search mission.

The Boeing 777 has an excellent safety record. It has become a much-admired long-haul workhorse of airlines round the world, highly respected for its unmatched efficiency, reliability and safety performance.

Malaysia Airlines has a very good safety record. The flag carrier began in 1947 as Malayan Airways, then became Malaysia Airlines in 1987. Its most serious crash was back in 1977, when one of its 737s was hijacked and crashed, killing all 100 people onboard.  Its last fatal accident was in 1995 when a Fokker 50 crashed on approach, killing 34 people.

One thing is certain; whatever the fate of Flight 370, the answers ultimately will be known. Speculation will not provide those answers. The tragic mystery of Flight MH370 will be solved by the dedication and expertise of the international air transport industry, which always comes together and spares no effort to establish and understand the root cause of an airliner event. No timeline will be put on that mission - for evidence of that, look to the 2009 Air France A330-200 crash - because knowing what happened is the right thing to do for the friends and relatives of the passengers and crew onboard. It is also how the global airline industry has advanced safety standards to be far higher than those of any other transportation industry.



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