Aida Zabidi

When I woke this morning to have my best friend, a PR officer at Malaysian Airlines, cancel on our breakfast date due to last minute work - I didn't think much of it, not until I read the news about MAS's missing airline, MH370.

I remember feeling my heart sink - in this day and age, where flying is so common, it's something that hits very close to home - and the thought of the missing passengers and crew were heartbreaking. I remember being glued to Twitter, following the instant updates as they came - plane signal spotted, minutes later to have that debunked, speculations about a crash off one of the Vietnanese islands, debunked again... And then with the stupid statements.

People questioned the competency of the pilots, the safety and regulation of the aeroplane. The pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was an experienced pilot with over 18000 hours logged flying. The plane had 7.5 hours of fuel for a 6 hour flight. And MAS is well known for their strict regulations and maintainence of their aircrafts (safety record can be viewed here) - the Boeing was still way beyond it's expiry date of 20 years.

As of 9pm tonight, there is still no confirmed news, the flight is still classified as missing, speculations are running rife and the rescue teams are still out there and searching. 

Please stop the speculation and please do not share any information that does not have a verified source. So many of us out there are following news reports closely, friends and family of those affected onboard. Imagine knowing someone on the plane and have your heart leap in hope, only to have that feeling dashed moments later. 

For those who are criticizing the lack of announcement and confirmation, please realize that the airlines will not make a statement until there is evidence. The Air France crash of 2009 was not classified as a crash until three days after it went missing, and it was 5 days before the first bodies were found, and almost two years to get the wreckage and full recordings of the incident out. The plane was reportedly cruising when it disappeared from the signals, and there was no evidence of unusual weather activity. 

For the moment, please just pray for the safety and the best outcome of this case. In this day and age, it could have been any one of us, anyone we knew. Please keep them in your prayers.
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