Malaysia Airlines MH370: What all could have happened?

Mar 10 2014, 19:23 IST
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Mystery surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people aboard deepens. (AP) Mystery surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people aboard deepens. (AP)
SummaryMystery surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people aboard deepens.

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane with 239 people aboard deepened today with multinational search teams still unable to find the debris from the missing aircraft after over two days.

What could have happened?

* Structural failure of airframe or engines

But given the plane’s long history and impressive safety record, experts suggest this is unlikely.

* Rupture due to constant pressurisation and depressurisation of cabin for takeoff and landing

But such a rupture is not likely. The 777 is usually flown on longer distances, with many fewer takeoffs and landings, putting less stress on the airframe.

Bad weather

But all indications show that there were clear skies.

Pilot disorientation

The pilots could have taken the plane off autopilot and somehow went off course and didn’t realise it until it was too late. But the plane probably would have been picked up by radar somewhere.

Failure of both engines.

But sources said the plane could glide for up to 20 minutes, giving pilots plenty of time to make an emergency call.

* Hijacking

* Deliberate pilot suicide

* Accidental shoot-down by some country’s military

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