According to the details released by the airline, the flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities.
The aircraft was regularly transmitting ADS-B data until contact was lost over the Gulf of Thailand, when the wide body cruising at 35,000 feet at 474 knots in reportedly good weather. The radar coverage in that area is good so as that of Flightradar24.com’s affiliated receiving stations.
The crew did not broadcast any emergency radio call and the plane simply “vanished” as if a catastrophic failure did not give the pilots the time to inform the Air Traffic Control that they were going down, something that seems to rule out the possibility that MH370 experienced an engine problem or was hijacked.
As a large Search And Rescue operation is underway in the area the news that two used stolen passports were used to board MH370 is fueling speculations that the Boeing B777 may have exploded mid-air because of a bomb.
Indeed, based on the details currently available, an explosive decompression caused by an unknown factor (bomb, missile, airframe collapse, etc.) seems to be the most likely root cause of the crash.
Still, this is no more than speculation until further details surface but it may take days, or weeks to collect data and recover Flight Data Recorders.
The chopper was followed later on the same day (at 18.22 LT), by a Russian unspecified unmanned aerial vehicle nased in Abkhazia, intruded the Georgian airspace and flew over the village of Khurcha, near Zugdidi, on the country’s eastern side, near the Black Sea.
A squadron of U.S. Air Force F-16s from Aviano deploying to Poland in response to Ukrainian crisis.
Twelve F-16s and 300 military will deploy next week to Lask air base in central Poland, for a combined exercise with the Polish Air Force.
According to the Polish Minister of Defense Tomasz Siemoniak, the exercise was initially scheduled on a much smaller scale, but it was enhanced following the crisis on Poland’s eastern border.
U.S. F-16 deploy quite regularly to Poland. In May 2013, six F-16s and 150 men from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 176th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Truax Air Force Base deployed to Lask to train integration and interoperability with the Polish F-16s, Su-22s from 21 AFB in Świdwin and MiG-29s from 23 AFB in Minsk Mazowiecki.
Blue Angels “Fat Albert” doing a low passage over the Drill Platoon.
Another interesting flyby, once again by a heavy plane: the Blue Angels, Marine Corps’ C-130 Hercules, known as “Fat Albert” flies over the Silent Drill Platoon at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, on Mar. 4.
The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon, often referred to as “The Marching Twenty-Four”, that performs a unique silent precision exhibition drill whose purpose is to exemplify the discipline and professionalism of the U.S. Marines.