Leading aviation experts examine one of the greatest airline mysteries of all time in the premiere special What Happened to MH370? at 9.30pm Sunday on Seven.
On close examination of the evidence, investigators are confronted with a shocking theory for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
On March 8 2014, MH370 is on an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing. At 1:19am, the pilots acknowledge a radio call from Malaysian controllers with a routine reply – “Good night, Malaysian 370”. Those are the last words ever heard from the cockpit. Within minutes, the plane’s transponder cuts out and the aircraft disappears from radar.
The mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777 and all 239 people on board, including six Australians, immediately captures the world’s attention and a massive international search is launched. Finding out what happened and why is crucial for the entire aviation industry, but experts have little evidence to go on. Hoping to narrow down the enormous search area, investigators scrutinise every possible source of information about the plane’s flight path, looking for clues about its final location.
What they discover is shocking. Military radar reveals that shortly after the last radio call, MH370 made a sharp turn off course. Even more startling is that a detailed analysis of the plane’s satellite log reveals the Boeing 777 then continued to fly for seven hours.
This timeframe leads the Australia Transport Safety Board to theorise the plane flew on autopilot until it ran out of fuel, and from this theory extrapolate a search area that stretches over 60,000 square kilometres of the southern Indian Ocean.
The aviation industry is faced with an unprecedented mystery. What happened in the minutes after the final radio transmission? Why did the plane change course? Who disabled the plane’s transponder, and why? And perhaps the most troubling – if there was an emergency on board, how could the plane have continued to fly for so long?