EgyptAir, MH370, and the mystery of disappearing planes

A massive search is underway for wreckage of the EgyptAir plane that crashed into Mediterranean Sea with 66 people on board on Thursday. A look at some ill-fated flights that disappeared mid-air. All pics/AFP

EgyptAir Flight 804: The search for EgyptAir Flight 804 is on after reports that the plane's wreckage had been found turned out to be false, prompting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to demand an "intensified search". There were no signs of survivors after the Airbus A320 "swerved and then plunged" into the Mediterranean. The plane, on its fifth journey of the day, was travelling at 37,000 feet when it disappeared from radar. It had made a stop in Tunisia before flying to Paris.

MH370: The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared nearly two years ago with 239 people onboard. The aircraft left Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the wee hours of March 8, 2014 for Beijing and was declared as having “ended in the Southern Indian Ocean and all lives lost”. A massive search operation was held in the Indian Ocean, and there have been numerous reports of debris possibly belonging to the flight being found, but nothing concrete has come out yet.

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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