One of the greatest mysteries of aviation history happened on March 8, 2014. Four years ago Malaysia Airlines MH370 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane left its programmed flight path and headed south towards the Indian Ocean. During the last four years, several search teams have tried to locate the missing plane, but up to now, it hasn’t been found.
The Malaysian Boeing 777 with 239 passengers on board disappeared from ground station radar screens but flew on for another six hours. Nobody knows what happened during this time. The last known location of MH370 was somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean near Australia. A few parts of the plane were washed up on Africa’s east coast and on islands in the Indian Ocean
Australia, China and Malaysia have taken part in hi-tech search operations that covered a total area of 120,000 square kilometres and cost $200 million. Now, another search is being conducted by an American firm.
Investigators speculate on what may have happened on board MH370. Some experts state that there may have been some kind of mechanical failure while others consider a sudden loss of oxygen in the cabin and cockpit. Officials do not rule out the possibility of the pilot crashing the plane deliberately in unknown waters.
Aviation inspectors say that it is important to find out what happened to MH 370 in order to prevent such an accident from happening again.
- aviation = the science of flying an airplane
- conduct = carry out
- consider = think about
- cover = stretch = reach from one place to another
- deliberately = on purpose; if you really want to do something
- disappear = here: to be lost; not seen
- firm = company
- flight path = the course an airplane takes
- ground station = here: building that watches and has contact with planes
- head = to go in a certain direction
- inspector = person who checks to see if something is done the way it should be
- investigator = person who has the job of finding out what caused the accident
- hi-tech = with the best and most modern technology
- locate = to find out where something is
- loss = to lose something
- mechanical failure = an object or a machine on board the plane did not work the way it should have
- official = person in a high position in an organisation
- oxygen = element that is in the air and which we need to breathe
- possibility = here: something may have happened
- prevent = stop from happening again
- programmed = here: the course it should have taken, according to flight computers
- radar = machine that uses radio waves to find where something is and watch its movements
- several = some
- speculate = to guess about the possible causes or effects of something without knowing all the facts and details
- sudden = something happening quickly
- unknown = not known
- wash up = when something drifts from the open sea to the coast