Lessons to be learnt from lost plane

Lessons to be learnt from lost plane

My government didn't get everything right. Yet other parties, too, must learn from MH370 - and make changes.

Nobody saw this coming, nobody knows why it happened, and nobody knows precisely where it is. That, essentially, is the story of Flight MH370 - at least for now.

The disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on March 8 has been one of the most extraordinary events ever to befall Malaysia and one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

On a routine flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, moments after air traffic controllers in Kuala Lumpur handed the flight over to their counterparts in Ho Chi Minh City, the plane's communications systems were disabled. MH370 went dark.

Instead of heading to Beijing, the plane made a sharp turn across peninsular Malaysia, travelled north up the Straits of Malacca, made a ­U-turn south over the coast of Sumatra and ended in the southern Indian Ocean, halfway to Antarctica.

Little wonder that words commonly used to describe MH370 include "bizarre" and "unprece­dented".

Also unprecedented are the techniques used to search for the plane.

In the absence of contact via normal aircraft communications, the international investigation team, which includes the world's best avia­tion experts, was forced to turn to satellite "handshakes", mathematics and sophisticated techniques never before used to find a missing aircraft.

The team managed to identify where flight MH370 ended, and it has narrowed down a search area off Western Australia.

Yet, despite the efforts of the world's brightest minds and best militaries, the search area remains huge. Finding the plane will be neither quick nor easy.

This tragedy has caused terrible anguish for the families of those on the plane.

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