Was the hijacker of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 able to escape detection by flying into a part of the Indian Ocean that isn’t covered by radar? That’s the question being investigated after a senior official in the Indian military revealed that they only sparingly check the radar systems in that area.
Initially it seemed impossible that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 carrying 239 people, could have disappeared without anyone noticing, but it turns out this modern age of surveillance isn’t as constant as we thought. On March 17, an Indian official admitted that they rarely monitor the radar systems that Flight 370 likely passed through.
Flight 370: Did Radar Systems Miss It?
One of two proposed flight paths the disappeared plane could have taken extends from Indonesia to the Indian Ocean. If Flight 370 did fly through this area, then there’s a good chance that Indian radar systems didn’t even pick it up, a senior military official told CNN.
The official revealed that the radar systems covering the Andaman and Nicobar Islands aren’t as closely watched by the Indian military as others. That leaves open the possibility that the systems did not notice the plane as it crossed through the area. If Flight 370 flew along that proposed southern corridor, then there’s a good chance that it did so through this “black hole” in the Indian Ocean.
The possibility that Indian radar systems missed Flight 370 is frightening, because if they had picked up any sign of the jet, the plane’s flight path, timetable, and search area could be so much more focused.
Malaysia Flight: How Did It Go Missing?
Unfortunately, what was really a perfect storm of circumstances allowed this Boeing 777 to vanish into thin air.
Besides a black hole in radar monitoring, the plane may have also dropped its altitude to a meager 5,000 ft. in order to avoid any further detection.
The aircraft’s communication devices were reportedly also disabled at the perfect moment to ensure that the shutdown would go temporarily undetected. The plane’s transponder and date transmitting system were turned off as Flight 370 crossed the air traffic border between Malaysia and Vietnam. “He found the perfect moment when he wasn’t in control by Malaysia or Vietnam,” Mikael Robertsson, founder of Flightradar24, told the New York Times. “He was, like, in no-man’s country.”
The search for Flight 370 continues, but authorities are obviously at more of a disadvantage as time goes on.
— Andrew Gruttadaro