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Plane debris 'likely' from MH370 that disappeared two years ago

: • Updated Mar 24, 2016 at 11:33 AM

Two pieces of debris found separately by a U.S. lawyer and a South African teen in Mozambique are “likely” from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared more than two years ago while heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The accompanying video (above) provided more details about the findings. CNN has posted a story on its website with more details.

According to published reports, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in China.

The aircraft last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 MYT, March 8 when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff. It disappeared from air traffic controllers' radar screens at 01:22 MYT. Malaysian military radar continued to track the aircraft as it deviated from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula. It left the range of Malaysian military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km) north-west of Penang in north-western Malaysia. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations.

A multinational search effort began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, where the aircraft's signal was last seen on secondary surveillance radar, and was soon extended to the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. Analysis of satellite communications between the aircraft and Inmarsat's satellite communications network concluded that the flight continued until at least 08:19 and flew south into the southern Indian Ocean, although the precise location cannot be determined. Australia took charge of the search on 17 March, when the search moved to the southern Indian Ocean.

On March 24, 2014, the Malaysian government noted that the final location determined by the satellite communication is far from any possible landing sites, and concluded that "flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

The current phase of the search, the largest and most expensive in aviation history, is a comprehensive survey of the sea floor about 1,800 kilometres (970 nmi) south-west of Perth, Western Australia, which began in October 2014. Nothing was found of the aircraft until July 29, 2015, when a piece of marine debris, later confirmed to be a flaperon from Flight 370, washed ashore on Réunion Island. The bulk of the aircraft has still not been located, prompting many theories about its disappearance.

Malaysia established the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the incident, working with foreign aviation authorities and experts. Neither the crew nor the aircraft's communication systems relayed a distress signal, indications of bad weather, or technical problems before the aircraft vanished. Two passengers travelling on stolen passports were investigated, but eliminated as suspects.

Malaysian police have identified the captain as the prime suspect if human intervention was the cause of the disappearance, after clearing all others on the flight of suspicious motives. Power was lost to the aircraft's satellite data unit (SDU) at some point between 01:07 and 02:03; the SDU logged onto Inmarsat's satellite communication network at 02:25 — three minutes after the aircraft left the range of radar. Based on analysis of the satellite communications, the aircraft turned south after passing north of Sumatra and flew for five hours with little deviation in its track, ending when its fuel was exhausted.

With the presumed loss of all on board, Flight 370 is the second deadliest incident involving a Boeing 777 and the second deadliest incident in Malaysia Airlines' history, behind Flight 17.

Malaysia Airlines was struggling financially, which was exacerbated by a decline in ticket sales after Flight 370 and the crash of Flight 17; the airline was renationalised by the end of 2014.

The Malaysian government received significant criticism, especially from China, for failing to disclose information promptly during the early weeks of the search. Flight 370's disappearance brought to public attention the limits of aircraft tracking and flight recorders, including several issues raised four years earlier r— but never mandated — following the loss of Air France Flight 447. A task force set up by the International Air Transport Association, with the support of the International Civil Aviation Organization, proposed that commercial aircraft should report their position every 15 minutes by December 2015. The Malaysian Ministry of Transport issued an interim report on March 8, 2015.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been dubbed one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time.

Several documentaries have been produced about the flight. The Smithsonian Channel aired a one-hour documentary about the flight on April 6, 2014, titled “Malaysia 370: The Plane That Vanished.“ The Discovery Channel broadcast a one-hour documentary about Flight 370 on April 16, 2014 titled ”Flight 370: The Missing Links“

An episode of the television documentary series Horizon titled "Where is Flight MH370?" was broadcast on June 17, 2014 on BBC Two. The program, narrated by Amanda Drew, documents how the aircraft disappeared, what experts believe happened to it, and how the search has unfolded. The program also examines new technologies such as flight recorder streaming and Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), which may help prevent similar disappearances in the future. It concludes by noting that Ocean Shield had spent two months searching 850 square kilometres (330 sq mi) of ocean, but that it had searched far to the north of the Inmarsat "hotspot" on the final arc, at about 28 degrees south, where the aircraft was most likely to have crashed.

On October 8, 2014, a modified version of the Horizon program was broadcast in the United State by PBS as an episode of Nova, titled "Why Planes Vanish", with a different narrator.

The first fictional account of the mystery was Scott Maka's ”MH370: A Novella,“ published three months after the aircraft's disappearance.

The aviation disaster documentary television series Mayday (also known as Air Crash Investigation or Air Emergency) produced an episode on the disaster, titled "Malaysia 370: What Happened?" In the UK, it aired on the first anniversary of Flight 370's disappearance, March 8, 2015.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Barbara Demick and Julie Makinen -of the Los Angeles Times (MCT) contributed to this report.

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