Wonderful Engineering

Mathematicians Finally Find Out What Happened To MH370

The MH370 take us back to the bleak afternoon of March 8th, 2014 when a Malaysian Airline carrying 239 people disappeared into thin air. Quite literally. The aircraft lost all communication with air traffic control and as news flashed across TV channels, no one could quite figure out just where the plane went.

Since that day, researchers put their heads together to figure out what might have been the Boeing’s fate that led to its disappearance. A few have these scientists claim to have the answer that everyone is groping for. Through mathematical modeling and simulations, 5 possibilities have come to surface, which entertain one single end product: the plane crashed into the Indian ocean.

The simulations render that aircraft may have vertically nosedived into the ocean. The calculations estimate that a nosedive is what could give the aircraft speeds for it to sink under water within one minute, disconnecting its contact with the world. This could be one reason why no wreckage was discovered on the surface of the ocean.

The simulations were created with the plan crashing at various pitch angles and angles of approach. US Airways Flight 1549’s gliding approach during the Miracle on the Hudson was also studied as a possibility. The wreckage simulated in these might lead to MH370’s ubiety.

The paper released by the researchers explains: “Aviation experts generally agree that how the airliner enters the water determines its breakup, which then yields major clues and directions of the search operations.”

Goong Chen, who led the research says, “The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until someday when its black box is finally recovered and decoded, but forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.”

The paper also sheds light on the significance of simulation and modeling for flight safety procedures in the coming years. “We show how computational mathematics and mechanics can help us understand the physical nature of an aircraft emergency water landing, how to model and compute it, and how this knowledge is helping safe civil aviation,” it writes. The paper promises to be a possible explanation for the unfathomable disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft and its unfortunate passengers, and a way forward in computational analysis of viability of aircraft emergency procedures.