Remembering MH370: Where Do We Stand 10 Years On?

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER 9M-MRO takes off.
Photo Credit: Laurent ERRERA, Soerfm, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today marks a decade since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished into thin air. Carrying 239 people, the Boeing 777 inexplicably deviated from its course and disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014.

Despite extensive searches, the wreckage has never been found, leaving families without closure. Unanswered questions remain for both families and loved ones, and for the industry.

MH370’s disappearance has had a profound impact beyond the immediate tragedy. We review the lessons learned by the aviation industry, the enduring effects on those who lost loved ones, and potential paths forward.

Strengthening Aviation Security

While the cause of MH370’s disappearance remains a mystery, the incident has prompted significant changes in aviation security protocols. Here are some key takeaways:

Enhanced Tracking: Prior to MH370, real-time tracking of aircraft over vast ocean stretches wasn’t mandatory. Now, airlines are required to implement systems that provide more frequent position updates, particularly over remote areas.

AHeneen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cockpit Security: Concerns were raised regarding the possibility of deliberate action by the pilots. This led to stricter regulations regarding access to cockpits during flight, with airlines implementing two-person mandatory crew rules in the cockpit.

Communication Protocols: The incident highlighted the need for improved communication procedures between airlines, air traffic control, and search and rescue teams in case of emergencies.

These changes reflect the industry’s commitment to preventing similar tragedies. However, the lack of definitive answers makes it difficult to completely eliminate the possibility of human intervention or unforeseen technical malfunctions.

Photo Credit: Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas via Wikimedia Commons
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Unanswered Questions & Families Without Closure

For the families and loved ones of those onboard MH370, the pain remains raw. The absence of a final resting place and the unanswered questions surrounding the cause of the disappearance create a constant state of limbo.

The lack of closure makes it incredibly difficult for families to grieve properly. Memorial services have been held, but without a physical grave or wreckage site, the grieving process remains incomplete.

The decade since its loss has been marked by raised hopes and frustrations. Debris confirmed to originate from MH370 has washed ashore in the intervening years. The first piece was found on Reunion Island in 2105 – 16 months after the loss.

Subsequent wreckage items then washed ashore at points along the East African coast – Mozambique, South Africa, Mauritius, Zanzibar, Madagascar, and Tanzania.

This sparked renewed hope and then subsequent frustration when no further leads emerged.

Many families continue to advocate for renewed search efforts, clinging to the hope that answers might finally be found.

The psychological toll on those who lost loved ones on MH370 is immense. Their stories serve as a stark reminder of the human cost of such tragedies.

The Path Forward: Renewed Searches

The question of whether to conduct renewed searches remains a contentious issue. Recent advancements in underwater exploration technology could potentially offer a renewed focus on previously unexplored areas.

Texas-based Ocean Infinity has proposed a “no find, no fee” search using advanced sonar technology, offering a potential solution without upfront financial risk for Malaysia.

A second US private operator Deep Sea Vision is also expected to formalize a search proposal later in the year.

Mounting costs and the sheer scale of the potential search area present significant logistical hurdles. A renewed search would require international cooperation and a clear focus on the most promising areas based on current data.

Ultimately, the decision on renewed searches rests with the Malaysian government. However, the families deserve a chance at closure, and any credible possibility of finding answers should be explored.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER lost as MH370 in 2014.
Photo: Boeing 777-200ER 9M-MRO. Laurent ERRERA ,CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MH370’s Legacy

While the fate of MH370 remains a mystery, its legacy is undeniable. It has led to significant advancements in aviation safety protocols, reminding us of the importance of continuous improvement.

More importantly, it serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of such tragedies and the enduring pain inflicted on those who lose loved ones in unexplained aviation disasters.

As we mark the 10th anniversary, the search for answers continues, driven by a commitment to safety, the pursuit of truth.

The anniversary brings with it the enduring hope of giving closure to the families who have suffered unimaginable loss.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
6 Min Read
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