KUALA LUMPUR: Everyone with an internet connection, even you, can help authorities find the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which disappeared over open sea. Thousands of people have volunteered to comb through a part of the plane’s search zone with the help of detailed satellite online images posted by DigitalGlobe, a Colorado firm that has the world’s one of the most advanced commercial satellite networks.
For the Malaysia Airlines plane’s disappearance, DigitalGlobe set its subscription service in motion to emergency managers, which gives online access to satellite images before and after the incident. The firm’s website which has satellite pictures of everything floating in the ocean has crashed, as many are volunteering their time and effort to digitalglobeblog.com to find the missing plane. Crowdsourcing is the Internet phenomenon where they gather information from public and their social media postings.
What happened with Malaysia Airlines MH370? Following is a brief timeline of events related to Malaysia Airlines MH 370.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12
- The search expands for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 to areas stretching from China to India, as authorities try to answer what happened to the aircraft with 239 people on board vanished in thin air, five days ago.
TUESDAY MARCH 11
- Vietnam asks southern coasts fishing boats to help in the effort but declares that there’s little hope of a positive outcome.
- The search area expands to the Malaysian peninsula itself, its west coast, and an area at the north of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, all way far than the flight’s route.
- Reports emerged of Beijing deploying around 10 satellites for finding the plane.
- About 40 ships and 34 aircraft were being used to search in the seas off Vietnam and Malaysia.
- China Airlines disclosed that a terror threat was made against the Beijing Capital International Airport a few days before the flight’s disappearance.
- Reports from Malaysian police confirmed that the two men traveling with a stolen passport is not associated with any terrorist organizations. They were Iranian who was allegedly migrating to Germany and had entered Malaysia using their own passport.
- A Colorado-based company put “crowdsourcing” to work in search for the missing plane, asking Internet users to comb through images of more than 1,200 square miles of open seas for signs of wreckage.
MONDAY MARCH 10
- The search radius doubled to 100 nautical miles around the point where MH370 disappeared.
- China angry with Malaysia, saying the investigation needs to be speedy.
- Malaysia Airlines shares lose around 18 per cent on the first trading day after the plane went missing.
- Malaysia sends ships to investigate a possible sighting of a life raft, but a Vietnamese vessel that got there first, finds only flotsam.
- Malaysia’s chemical analysis did not find any link between oil found at sea and the missing plane.
- The US Navy joins the operation, sending a second destroyer.
- The mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 continues to the third day; No sign of any mid-air explosion.
- Fearing a possibility of a bomb explosion, seven countries continue rescue operation in the seas around Malaysia and Vietnam with dozens of ships and aircraft.
- New reports emerged among Chinese media claiming that passengers’ mobile phones were ringing when their relatives called. The calls, however, were never received.
- According to Azharuddin Abdul Rahmanthe, Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority chief, a possibility of a hijack cannot be ruled out.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9
- 6:30pm Malaysia Airlines confirmed that plane had a broken wing tip due to a minor collision with another aircraft but it was fully repaired and cleared to fly.
- 5:15pm Search area widened after radar shows flight might have turned back from its scheduled route to Beijing before it disappeared.
- 5pm Interpol discovers two passports recorded as lost or stolen in its database being used by passengers and starts examining additional suspect passports.
- 1:30pm A pilot flying 30 minutes ahead of the missing plane, said he had made contact with the flight before it vanished but heard no Mayday or distress call.
- 10am Malaysia Airlines fears worst and started working with U.S. company that specializes in disaster recovery. Investigation focus of inquiries only of a plane disintegration possibility in mid-flight
- Sunday morning: Search resumed at first light in the morning.
SATURDAY, MARCH 8
- Midnight: Two oil slicks spotted by Vietnamese air force planes which were believed to be from the missing plane.
- 6pm Malaysia’s Transport Minister denied that any wreckage has been found and confirmed the location of the plane was still unknown.
- 5.40pm Malaysia’s transport Minister activated the military, air force and Navy and requested assistance from China, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia.
- 5.30pm Vietnamese media said the plane had crashed into the sea between Vietnam and Malaysia. The report was not confirmed and was denied later.
- 3.31pm China sent two maritime rescue ships to the South China Sea to help search and rescue the missing aircraft.
- 3.25pm Details about the plane’s pilot released. He was a 53-year-old Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a pilot since 1981 and had a total flying hours of 18,365 hours.
- 3pm Vietnam confirms the plane vanished in its airspace.
- 6. 30 am Malaysia Airlines flight due to land in Beijing.
- 5.40am Airline loses contact with the flight after takeoff. No distress signal. Weather clear at the time.
- 3:41 a.m Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Flight departs. On board the flight are 227 passengers and 12 crew members.