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Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: a timeline

A number of weeks after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing, we take a look back at the major developments in this mysterious disappearance. The Malaysian authorities now believe the aircraft crashed into the Indian Ocean. 26 countries are currently looking for wreckage and potential survivors. Today it is two weeks ago since the flight disappeared.

A timeline of the events of the past two weeks, continuing from our previous article.

Timeline of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Saturday, March 8 to March 14

March 8, 2014 - Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 departed on March 8 at 00:41 pm and was supposed to arrive in Beijing on the same day at 6:30 pm. The airline lost contact with the plane 1-2 hours after take-off. No sign of distress was sent out, and there was no sign of adverse weather conditions. There were two unidentified persons on board, it is not clear whether they had anything to do with the disappearance. The aircraft was last in contract with air traffic control 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the city of Kota Bharu in Malaysia. 

March 9, 2014 - Malaysia Airlines is working with an American company that specialises in disaster analysis. The radar indicates that the aircraft most likely did not followed the scheduled route. Interpol confirms that at least two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft. Researchers say that the possibility exists that the airplane crashed at full speed into the ocean.

March 10, 2014 - The United States completes their analysis of satellite footage but concludes that there is no sign of a mid-air explosion. Dozens of ships and aircraft from seven different countries scour the seas around Malaysia.

March 11, 2014 - One of the unknown passengers who travelled with a stolen passport turns out to have been a young immigrant; his mother was waiting for him at Frankfurt airport.

March 12, 2014 - The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft expands to a larger area from ​​China to India. Meanwhile, five days have passed with no sign of the flight.

March 13, 2014 - An outline of a floating wreck appears in the South China Sea on a Chinese satellite image. The Vietnamese authorities have not been able to find it yet however. Aviation experts say it is possible the aircraft continued its flight for another 4 hours after radio contact was lost.

March 14, 2014 - A satellite company reveals that signs of the flight were picked up 5 hours after the last radio contact. This could mean the plane never crashed; the search is drastically moved to large parts of the Indian Ocean.

Saturday, March 15 to March 21

March 15, 2014 - Research shows that the plane disappeared and intentionally veered hundreds of miles off course. The Malaysian authorities confirm at a press conference that they believe that this was a 'deliberate act' and that the communication systems were intentionally shut down. New information from the satellite suggests that the plane flew toward the west into the Strait of Malacca. Shortly hereafter, the police searches the homes of captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid.

March 16 - A picture is found of Zaharie Ahmad Shah wearing a t-shirt saying 'Democracy is Dead'. A flight simulator is also found in his home. Theories arise that the pilot may have hijacked the plane and crashed it intentionally. The number of countries assisting in the search increases from 15 to 25. At a press conference, it is suggested that the aircraft may have been on ground at the time of the last satellite signal.

March 17 – Another theory suggests that the plane is in Taliban controlled territory off grid.

March 18 - After many days of frustration relatives of the missing passengers decide to go on a hunger strike, because authorities don’t provide enough information.

March 19 - The FBI joins the search for the Malaysian aircraft. They confiscate the pilots' hard drives for analysis.

March 20 - In a remote part of the Southern Indian Ocean, 1,500 miles off the west coast of Australia, two possible wreckages are found. One is 78ft long; the other 25ft.

March 21 – The search for the possible wreckage continues around the coast of Australia, but nothing is found.

Saturday, March 22 to March 26

March 22 - The Malaysian authorities receive information that says a floating object was observed by a Chinese satellite. The object was spotted at the same location where an Australian satellite previously spotted possible fractions of the plane.

March 23 - A French satellite is the third one to spot a possible fraction of the aircraft.

March 24 - An emotional press conference is held, in which it is announced there no longer is any doubt: all 239 passengers of flight MH370 perished in the Indian Ocean.

March 25 - Malaysian Airlines offers relatives compensation of $5,000 per victim.

March 26 - Photos taken by a French satellite are released. The photos show 122 objects that were found in a wreckage field 2,557 km west of Perth. The Malaysia's Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein says this is the 'most credible lead' so far. The search continues.

Written by: Team Flight-Delayed.co.uk