Five Major Discoveries Since Flight MH370 Disappeared

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared is the new Netflix documentary series that delves into the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

The redeye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing took off on March 8, 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board. But shortly after takeoff, the flight vanished from radar screens and was never seen again.

The shocking disappearance made headlines and generated a global search for answers that never came. Despite extensive searches, the jet has yet to be found, and the incident has been plagued with conspiracy theories since day one—three of which are explored in MH370: The Plane That Disappeared.

The series also features interviews with family members, scientists, journalists, and people who refuse to give up hope of an explanation.

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared
On March 8, 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 vanished during a flight to Beijing and was never seen again. The disappearance is now being explored in the new Netflix series "MH370: The Plane That Disappeared." Above is a still from the documentary. Netflix

Netflix has stated that the docu-series, made up of three, hour-long episodes, is "an opportunity to keep alive the memory of those who were lost in one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time and to keep pushing for answers."

Though no answers have ever been given as to what happened to the flight, there have been several findings made throughout the years.

Newsweek has everything you need to know about what discoveries have been made about Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 since it disappeared.

Five Major Discoveries Since Flight MH370 Disappeared

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared
The above still from "MH370: The Plane That Disappeared" shows a press conference held after the plane disappeared. No answers have ever been found regarding what happened on the flight in 2014, though there have been several discoveries made in the years since. Netflix

Narrowing the search

The first piece of debris from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was found in July 2015 on the French island of Réunion, about 3,700 kilometers (2,299 miles) west of where Australian authorities were searching in the Indian Ocean.

Twenty-six more pieces of debris were found washed up in Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius over the next 18 months, but only three pieces were actually positively identified as coming from the plane.

The locations of this debris were used to narrow the search area in the Indian Ocean, eliminating some other locations that had been previously thought to be potential crash sites.

Uncontrolled descent

A study of the wing flaperon that washed up in Réunion and a piece of the right wing flap found in Tanzania showed, according to investigators, that the plane had not undergone a controlled descent.

Simulated flight

A 2016 Malaysian police force document, published by New York Magazine said that the flight's captain, Zaharie Amad Shah, had conducted a simulated flight into the southern Indian Ocean several weeks before the disappearance.

Malaysia turned over hard drives that Shah used to record sessions on a home-built flight simulator to the FBI. They were able to recover deleted data points that had been stored by the simulator program, with the simulation's endpoint reportedly being located around 900 miles from the estimated location of the plane crash.

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared
Several pieces of debris from the Malaysian Airline MH730 film have been found since the flight vanished. One piece is pictured above being carried out of the ocean in a scene from "MH370: The Plane That Disappeared."

Murder-suicide reports

In 2018, a team of investigators appeared on Australia's 60 Minutes to claim that Shah "deliberately evaded radar" and crashed the plane in a murder-suicide.

Martin Dolan, who led the team's search conducted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, told 60 Minutes: "This was planned, this was deliberate, and it was done over an extended period of time."

Dolan rejected the possibility that a terrorist group was behind the incident. "If this had been a terrorist event, it's almost invariable that a terrorist organization will claim credit for the event. There was no such claim made," he said.

"He was killing himself; unfortunately, he was killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately," said Larry Vance, a Canadian air crash investigator. "There is no reason not to believe that the pilot did not depressurize the cabin to incapacitate the passengers."

Shah's family has denied these allegations.

Madagascar debris

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared
A further investigation into the Malaysian Airlines flight 370 is reportedly set to begin as early as this summer. Above is a still from Netflix series "MH370: The Plane That Disappeared." Netflix

A large piece of debris washed up on Antsiraka Peninsula's South Beach in Madagascar in March 2017 but was taken home by a local fisherman who did not realize what it was and kept it in his garden for five years.

British engineer Richard Godfrey and US-based MH370 expert Blaine Gibson believe the damage to the debris, which is reportedly from the plane's Boeing landing gear door, indicates a deliberate attempt to down the aircraft.

"The combination of high-speed impact and extended landing gear shows a clear intent to hide the evidence of the crash," Godfrey wrote in a December 2022 blog post. "The realistic possibility that the landing gear was lowered shows both an active pilot and an attempt to ensure the plane sank as fast as possible after impact.​"

New Investigation Into Flight MH370

The governments of Malaysia, Australia and China called off the search for flight 370 in January 2017.

An American company, Ocean Infinity, then received permission from the Malaysian government to continue searching. Their investigation was inconclusive.

The marine robotics company has given friends and family of the plane's passengers new hope, however, as they have confirmed that a new search is expected to begin.

Oliver Plunkett, CEO of Ocean Infinity, told Newsweek in a statement: "We remain interested in returning to the search for MH370 and are actively engaged in trying to make this happen.

"At this stage, we are unable to say definitively when a new search will take place as discussions are ongoing and there is still much work to be done. We are hopeful that our experienced team and marine robotics will be instructed later this year or in 2024."

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared is available to stream now on Netflix.

Update, 3/9/23, 9:55 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett's statement.