Four-Year Search for Missing Flight MH370 to End Soon

The Boeing 777 airliner vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 people aboard.

The initial search for the plane, coordinated by Malaysia, China and Australia, was called off in early January 2017 after the three-year investigation was unsuccessful at explaining what happened to the doomed flight.

So far, the only evidence of the jet is debris collected from Indian Ocean islands and on the east coast of Africa. At least three plane parts found have been confirmed as coming from the missing plane.

In October, Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Department announced that it had hired Ocean Infinity, a Texas-based seabed exploration firm, to search for MH370 on a “No Find, No Fee” basis.

Ocean Infinity started a new search for MH370 January 22. The company allotted 90 search days to look for the plane, which have been scattered over several months due to bad weather. However, that will all come to an end on May 29.

Several theories have emerged over what could have happened to the ill-fated plane.

On a episode of “60 Minutes Australia” last week, a panel of aviation experts accused the pilot, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah, of purposefully killing the 239 people aboard in a murder-suicide.

In 2016, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull similarly speculated that it was “very likely that the captain planned this shocking event.”

However, on Tuesday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) defended its claims to the contrary: that the plane was out of control before it crashed and it was, therefore, an accident.

During a Tuesday parliamentary hearing in Canberra, Australia, ATSB Chief Technical Officer Peter Foley, who led the organization’s search for the missing plane, said, “I can say with great confidence that we considered every piece of evidence that we had at the time in an unbiased fashion.”

“We have quite a bit of data to tell us that the aircraft, if it was being controlled at the end, it wasn’t very successfully being controlled,” Foley said.

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Photo: Young peregrine dreams of flight

Is this juvenile peregrine literally dreaming of flight? I’m not an avian mindreader, so call the title poetic license – but soon she will take to the sky. Photographer DeeDee Gollwitzer writes of the scene:

Soon this young falcon will spread her wings and fly to become one of nature’s fastest, finest flying machines. This should occur by the end of this week. It will begin with a hop – jump and progress to longer hops and longer jumps until her wings can sustain her in flight.

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Passengers On Deadly Southwest Flight Receive $5,000 Checks

At least some passengers aboard a deadly Southwest Airlines flight have received $5,000 checks with “sincere apologies” from the carrier.

The airline issued the payments after a Tuesday flight from New York City to Dallas was rocked by an engine explosion in midair, killing one passenger. The crippled jet made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. 

In a letter accompanying the checks, Southwest said the payment was a goodwill gesture for the ordeal, CNN reported.

“We value you as our customer and hope you will allow us another opportunity to restore your confidence in Southwest as the airline you can count on for your travel needs,” the letter said, according to recipient Kamau Siwatu. “In this spirit, we are sending you a check in the amount of $5,000 to cover any of your immediate financial needs.”

Siwatu was among three aboard the flight to confirm receiving the letter. They also got a $1,000 voucher for travel on Southwest.

The company verified the report, telling HuffPost in an email on Friday: “Ours is a company and culture built on relationships. Many of the Customers on that flight have flown with us before. We can confirm the communication and gesture are authentic and heartfelt.” The airline declined further comment.

Aviation attorneys told USA Today on Thursday that passengers could likely collect millions of dollars in legal damages from Southwest.

Metal fatigue on a fan blade that snapped in the engine is suspected to be the culprit. Broken parts smashed into the fuselage, breaking a window, and a passenger who was partially sucked through the opening died from blunt impact.

Southwest had previously balked at the engine manufacturer’s recommendation for quicker inspections of the fan blades, The Associated Press reported.

This article has been updated to include comment from Southwest.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Mother And Daughter Skipped Doomed Russia Plane Flight For Jewish Seminar

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