It finally happened – one of my greatest traveling fears – I lost my wallet in a foreign country.
Maybe it was the sleep deprivation after more than 20 hours en route, maybe it was the chaos of wrestling with my squirmy 15-month-old, or maybe I’m just that absentminded, but I somehow managed to leave my wallet on the plane after a 14-hour flight from Washington Dulles to Beijing.
I realized it when we were at the baggage claim – far too late to turn around and go back to the gate. Before we left the airport, I contacted United’s baggage services, which had someone check around my seat on the plane for the wallet, without success. I also filed a claim with the airport’s lost and found. But I left the airport that day thinking it was gone forever. What a pain.
This Boeing 777-200ER (reg number: (9M-MRO) is suspected to be the one flown on Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 | Photo: Thomas Becker
Originally posted March 7, 2014 4:40pm PST. Last updated March 8 3:00pm PST.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a Boeing 777-200ER (airplane reg: 9M-MRO) has most likely crashed 153 miles off of Vietnam’s Tho Chu island. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants) and 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities.
The location information comes from the Vietnamese Navy, using radar telemetry that is most likely accurate. Also, a 12-mile oil slick discovered in the area also points to the idea that the Boeing 777-200ER was lost here.
“An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft,” Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said. “We have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search.”
Flight path of flight 370. Image: FlightRadar24.com
The flight, operating Kuala Lumpur (airport code: KUL) to Beijing (airport code: PEK), disappeared and “lost contact” with the airline. The plane lost contact approximately forty minutes in to the usually six-hour flight. Originally reports stated that the aircraft went missing two hours after departure, but the Malaysian defense ministry confirms this not to be true.
Malaysa Airlines has confirmed that the captain of flight 370 started with the airline in 1981 and has logged 18,365 flying hours, while the first officer joined in 2007 and has 2,763 hours logged.
At this point, it will likely be a while until there is official confirmation that the aircraft did crash into the water, and much longer after to determine what exactly happened.
The United States Navy has also joined the search, sending the USS Pickney (a destroyer) and a P-3C Orion in to the area to assist.
The airline has requested that people around the world pray for the passengers of MH370. “Malaysia Airlines humbly asks all Malaysians and people around the world to pray for flight MH370,” they stated in a press release.
This story will be updated…
An Air Koryo Ilyushin IL-62 in Beijing, ready for boarding. Photo by Bernie Leighton.
To fly on an Ilyushin IL-62 in 2012 is not something many people would think of doing, let alone going to the lengths I did to enjoy the privilege.
On October 20, 2012 after months of planning, amounts of Euro cash that had bank-tellers convinced I was a spy; a lovely jaunt to Beijing on Air Macau and a visit to Datangshan, I was standing at the check in counter for Air Koryo in Terminal 2 at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). Oddly, and unfortunately for collectors of rare boarding passes, flights to Pyongyang are issued on Air China stock.
Chinese police, and politeness didn’t really allow me to capture the sight of the sheer amount of cargo the North Korean people were taking back but it was the contents I found more curious than the volume. A cursory search of the bindles and exposed boxes showed mostly flat-screen TVs and other completely civilian commercial goods.