Missing MH370: Foreign media anchor on D-G's 'unprecedented mystery' comment

Missing MH370: Foreign media anchor on D-G's 'unprecedented mystery' comment

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - The annals of aviation history will likely record the disappearance of MH370 as an incident unlike any other. No large aircraft has ever totally flown off the radar without a single trace for so long.

Most foreign news reports yesterday on the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 anchored on comments by Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, who described the incident as an "unprecedented aviation mystery".

"There is no record of big planes simply disappearing, although they may take some time to find," the New York Times reported in a "Question and Answer" article on the disappearance of MH370.

The closest thing to the MH370 mystery was the tragic 2009 incident involving Air France Flight 447, which plunged into the Atlantic Ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

"A few pieces of debris from Air France Flight 447 were spotted floating in the Atlantic a day after the plane crashed," the article said.

Many key parts of the aircraft were only found in 2011 and the final report on the crash was issued a year later.

Steve Marks, a United States-based aviation lawyer who has represented families in two previous cases where an airliner plummeted from cruising altitude, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying there could have been a mechanical problem that caused the pilot to be unable to report the problem, with the aircraft being lost on radar as a result.

However, he said the failure of all communications from MH370 made it "the most mysterious" crash in his recollection.

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