The Plane Truth: Malaysian Airlines Search Suspended


Alice Yang and Elizabeth Wang

As of Tuesday, January 17, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been suspended. According to officials involved in the search, the hunt will not continue until credible evidence regarding the plane’s location has been found.

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing on March 8, 2014. It was heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport when, according to military radar, it veered sharply west and disappeared. Investigators believe that it next swung south around Indonesia and cut through the Indian Ocean. 294 people were on board.

Twenty pieces of debris potentially from the plane have been discovered along the coast of Africa and presented to investigators. Only three pieces, however, have been formally identified to have been part of Flight 370. Families who have lost their loved ones needed more closure from the event than a few pieces of plane debris.

Thus, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has persisted for nearly three years. Over 200 million Australian dollars have been spent on this search effort. 120,000 square kilometers of open ocean have been examined with no trace of the plane. The so-far unsuccessful search, however, is now officially over.

The effort to find the missing jet cost $160 million, the most expensive search in aviation history. Not only have the governments lost patience, but also the funds needed.

The suspension of the hunt led to contrasting views among many. K.S. Narendran, the husband of a victim on board Flight 370 expressed his disappointment and anger at the officials responsible for the search. He believes that they made a promise to the families of the lost passengers and are now reneging.

However, others saw the cessation to be the right decision. Ethicist Professor Singer looked at the situation logically. He affirmed that it is possible to save a life from malaria for approximately $3,000; thus, the money spent on the search, if redirected, could have saved more than 50,000 lives. He concludes his claim by questioning, “Would anyone think that finding the plane is more important than that?”
For three long years, the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane has dragged on. In the absence of fresh leads or money, the hunt for Flight 370 is now officially over. Unfortunately for the families who were affected by the disappearance of their loved ones, many will not find the closure they need.