Investigators from several countries remain puzzled over Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s disappearance without a distress call. According to CNN, new evidence suggests that Flight MH370 flew over the Indian Ocean for 4-5 hours after its last transmission, although government and airline officials have denied this evidence, according to USA Today.
Sadly, there have been numerous airline disasters throughout history that share similar aspects of the recent Malaysia Airlines disaster, including these four famous accidents.
TWA Flight 800
One of the most debated and controversial airline disasters, TWA Flight 800 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on July 17, 1996 shortly after take off, killing all 230 passengers and crew. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that the plane was brought down by an explosion in the left wing fuel tank, although many eye-witnesses report a different story. According to CNN, numerous eye-witnesses reported a streak of light moving rapidly toward the plane in the moments before it crashed. These accounts have led many to believe that TWA Flight 800 was brought down by a missile, although that has never been proven.
EgyptAir Flight 990
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is far from the first accident to have conflicting reports. According to CNN, Egyptian Airlines Flight 990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 1999, killing all 217 passengers and crew. The controversy occurred when the NTSB ruled the crash intentional because the co-pilot was heard reciting a prayer several times prior to the crash. Egyptian investigators ruled the crash an accident. Today, public opinion still varies regarding the cause of the crash. With the current state of the Flight MH370 investigation, the speculation of an intentional crash, whether through terrorism or pilot intent, remains a possibility.
Air France Flight 447
One of the most comparable accidents to Flight MH370 is Air France Flight 447, an Airbus 330 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 passengers and crew. Flight 447 was missing for two years before its flight data recorder, a crucial piece of evidence in determining the cause of aviation accidents, was recovered from a depth of two miles. The crash remained a mystery until the flight data recorder was analyzed. According to Popular Mechanics, Flight 447 was brought down by a series of mistakes and misfortunate events. The plane flew through a storm system, which iced over the air speed sensors, but pilot error was also a critical factor.
Air Canada Flight 143
Air Canada Flight 143 is known as the “Gimli Glider,” a legendary 767 piloted by Capt. Robert Pearson and First Officer Maurice Quintal that made it safely to the ground after running out of fuel at over 35,000 feet. According to National Post, Air Canada Flight 143 lost engine power, which generates not only the plane’s thrust, but also the electricity. With the loss of both engines, the plane began descending at rapid rate of 2,000 feet per minute. A fuel measurement miscalculation when loading the plane with fuel resulted in the loss of engine power, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association (AOPA).
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