The recent disappearance of the Malaysian budget airlines, Air Asia Flight 8501, during its commute from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, on Sunday has spurred another reason to panic.
It marks the third largest aviation disaster in the history of Malaysian Airlines. The airbus A320 had 162 passengers on board including 16 children and seven crew members and lost contact with the air traffic control room in Jakarta while above the Java Sea after 42 minutes of taking off. The pilot had contacted the control room reporting bad weather and was asked to move up to 34,000 feet from 32,000 feet. No clue of the missing plane has been found and the Malaysian government is investigating the case with all possible courses of its disappearance. The darkness and bad weather have reportedly disrupted the search and rescue operations. Given the earlier incidents of the missing planes, the sudden vanishing of the airbus has triggered too much speculations and conspiracy theories. The bright red and white aircraft appeals to people on a budget and is cheap mostly preferred by the locals.
For Malaysian aviation, 2014 has been a rough year. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on the early hours of March 8 during its trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. It triggered a massive and the most expensive search operation in aviation history with 28 countries involved in the rescue operations. But despite all efforts, no traces of the plane were found. On July 17, another Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 commuting from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukraine killing all the 298 passengers on board. It crashed near Grabove in eastern Ukraine. The US and Ukraine accused the pro-Russian rebels of shooting the plane down using a surface-to-air missile which they denied and in turn put the blame on the Ukrainian authorities. The apparent loss of lives in the tragedies has enraged the relatives of the victims leading to many unofficial theories.
A former French airline director of the now defunct Proteus Airlines and writer, Mark Dugain, has claimed that the US military may have shot down the plane MH 370 due to the fear of a September 11 style attack on the military base and covered it up later. Dugain said that the plane crashed near the military base in the British territory of Diego Garcia. He also says that there have been deliberate efforts to “hide the evidence” as there was no way a 63 metre long object could vanish without a trace in the present technological world. The US government has repeatedly denied all the allegations of conspiracy theories saying that the plane had not come anywhere near it. Dugain also revealed that he had been warned by a British intelligence officer of taking “risks” by looking into the fate of MH370.
The aviation industries always guarantee high standard safety and security measures. But errors do happen and the authorities should be alert looking out for all possible miscalculations. The US has deployed highly advanced tracking technologies like the drones and bombers to target the terrorists in the hit list. Therefore it is impractical and unrealistic to digest the theories of sudden vanishing of the airplanes; America has evidently washed its hands of the disasters.