Plane of ambiguity
The disappearance of the Boeing 777, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, with 239 people on board, has raised several unsettling questions. The uncertainty of an irrevocable tragedy aside, the fact that no trace of it has been found till date, ever since it vanished from flight radars on 8 March, has left an indelible twitch in the precision-loving world of aviation, aeronautics and aerodynamics. Technological mystery notwithstanding, the scientific community, particularly the continents of commerce that airplanes traverse in the service of capital, are afraid and unsure, in fact, flabbergasted and terrified. Whether the jet turned west while flying over Gulf of Thailand when it should have flown straight north from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, a routine flight path really, or whether it was piloted and flown to a yet unidentified region, ostensibly for a heinous purpose like terrorist attack or a high-profile abduction for future bargains, remain unresolved. On the surface, a search operation spanning over three million square miles has been undertaken, with international governments, rescue forces, engineers and aviation giants pitching in to do their bit and unspool the tangled mess of facts, but with practically no decipherable clues on hand. Theories abound: was the plane’s trajectory changed via computer commands? Was the plane hijacked and transferred to an undersea bunker in Indian Ocean? There is little that can be said with certainty as of now, before one of the biggest search operations in the history of aviation throws up anything conclusive. Evidently, Flight 370 has begun drawing parallels from popular culture, such as Tintin comics, or the 1937 disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the glamorous American aviation pioneer. But what is truly baffling is that in this age of satellite navigation and sending rockets to Mars, it is the good old Earth that has stumped us once again.