MH370, EgyptAir, and the mystery of disappearing planes

Jan 18, 2017, 13:00 IST | mid-day online correspondent

With the search for the Malaysian Airlines plane MH370, that disappeared in March 2014 being suspended, here’s a look at some ill-fated flights that disappeared mid-air. All pics/AFP

MH370: According to a joint statement by Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments, the hunt for MH370 was called off after the search of a 120,000 sq km stretch of the Indian Ocean failed to find the missing plane, the Sydney Herald reported. The next of kin were told that Australian authorities' underwater search had concluded without success. The search had been ongoing for more than two years, the Guardian reported.

"Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology as well as modelling and advice from highly skilled professionals, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," the statement said. The countries remained hopeful that new information would enable the Boeing 777 that disappeared in 2014 with 239 persons aboard to be found in the future.

Photos: 20 deadly air disasters across the world

EgyptAir Flight 804: An EgyptAir plane en route from Paris to Cairo carrying 66 people crashed in the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, 2016 after plunging 22,000 feet and swerving sharply. A few days after the crash an airbus detected signals from the Mediterranean Sea. The signals were emitted by the plane's emergency locator transmitter, a device that can manually or automatically activate at impact and will usually send a distress signal. The signals from the emergency locator transmitter are different from the pings emitted by the "black boxes". The wreckage was recovered from the Mediterranean Sea floor in July. Egyptian officials have suspected terrorism, but no group came forward to claim credit.

MH17: Another Malaysia Airlines plane, carrying 298 people, was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when it crashed in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, about 60 km from the Russian border. All passengers and crew members onboard the Boeing 777-200 died. The crash occurred in the zone of combat between the Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army. Western governments have overwhelmingly blamed Russia for the crash and have held that the aircraft was destroyed by Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists with the help of weapons supplied by Russia.

Germanwings crash: The Germanwings Airbus 320 crashed in the French Alps on March 24, 2015 en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. Investigations revealed that 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had a history of severe depression, had purposefully downed the plane. Budget airline Germanwings said the Airbus plunged for eight minutes but French aviation officials said the plane had made no distress call before crashing near the ski resort of Barcelonnette. It was the first fatal accident in the history of Germanwings, and the deadliest on the French mainland since 1974 when a Turkish plane crashed, killing 346 people.

Bermuda Triangle mystery: There have been numerous reports of planes disappearing in this ‘mysterious’ region. A Douglas DST airliner went missing on the night of December 28, 1948 near the end of a scheduled flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida. The aircraft had around 30 passengers and three crew members. Investigations were inconclusive and the case remained unsolved.

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