Cases

The Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

  • Location: South China Sea, Between Malaysia and Vietnam
  • Date: March 8, 2014
  • Aircraft: Boeing 777-200IGW
The Motley Rice aviation team represents families of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 victims, and is investigating the legal responsibility that the companies involved may have to them.

Sept 3 2015

Case Update:  France declares wing part is from MH370

French prosecutors confirmed that a wing part found on La Réunion Island was from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The almost seven-foot long wing piece was found in French overseas territory and was flown to aviation experts for testing. In the statement made on Sept. 3, 2015, it was finally confirmed that three numbers found on the wing part corresponded to the serial number of an MH370 flaperon.

While the search and investigation are ongoing, Motley Rice aviation attorney and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General, Mary Schiavo and aviation attorney and former pilot navigator Jim Brauchle have discussed the search, the technology features on the plane and the reported stolen passports, among other topics, with various news outlets. Read more here.

Download the Motley Rice aviation brochure in Chinese

*Motley Rice attorneys have associated Chinese speaking co-counsel for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 clients.

About the Disappearance of Flight MH370

At approximately 2:40 a.m. (UTC) on Saturday, March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control and disappeared from radar over Vietnam-controlled airspace carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members. The flight departed shortly after midnight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, en route to Beijing, China. Chinese officials confirmed that the aircraft never entered Chinese airspace.

Reports indicate that the aircraft’s ACARS system stopped transmissions at 1:21 a.m. on March 8, two minutes after the pilots’ last verbal communication with the ground. Inmarsat, a British satellite operator, was able to show that MH370 continued to ping for at least six hours after it left Malaysian airspace, indicating that the plane continued to fly. Malaysian authorities added that military tracking radar indicated that MH370 made a sharp turn over the South China Sea as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca and then changed altitude and flew as low as 12,000 feet. 

“If we have a scenario where something happened, the plane made a dramatic turn and dropped from 35,000 feet to 12,000 feet, this scenario would fit what a pilot would do in the event of a catastrophic onboard event, such as a rapid decompression, a fire, an explosion. That's what you would have to do, descend, get down and turn around and try to get back to an airport that could accommodate an ailing plane," said aviation attorney Mary Schiavo in a CNN report.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Case History

August 5, 2015
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirms that the debris found on La Réunion is a piece of the missing Flight MH370.

July 29, 2015
Residents of La Réunion Island off the coast of Madagascar discover a wing fragment that appears to be a part of a Boeing 777 and possibly a part of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished 17 months prior. Investigators use this new evidence to determine new coordinates for a potential crash site.

September 5, 2014
The search area for MH370 has been refined to an area of approximately 60,000 sq. km (23,166 sq. miles) about 1,100 miles off the west coast of Perth, Australia. The search will use contracted ships to conduct a meter-by-meter survey of the search area starting at the end of September and may take up to one year to complete. Countries assisting in the search to date include Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, U.K. and the U.S.

June 4, 2014
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued a request for bids for a company to conduct a deep-water search, under the ATSB’s direction, for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Click here for the draft ATSB contract for the proposed search.

May 27, 2014
Malaysian authorities released data from communications between satellites and the missing aircraft only after the passengers’ families pled for the information to be made public. Some aviation analysts have been critical of the release, claiming it lacks information that would allow third parties to independently review the data. 

May 1, 2014
Malaysia’s Acting Minister for Transport, Hishammuddin Hussein, made a press statement and released information regarding Flight MH370 (Source: The Straits Times):

March 24, 2014
Two objects were spotted in the Indian Ocean, kicking off a massive multi-national search for the aircraft in that area.

Contact an Aviation Attorney

If you or someone you know is interested in seeking legal recourse following the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, please contact Motley Rice aviation attorney and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo or aviation attorney James Brauchle by email or call 1.800.868.6456.

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