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Air France Flight 447

Flight 370: How can an airliner just vanish? Simple.

Flight 370: How can an airliner just vanish? Simple.

If you want to participate in the search for Flight 370, try this. Bring up Google Earth on your computer and rotate the introductory globe until you are looking down at the North Atlantic. A line from New York to London should lie more or less across the middle of the Earth's disk. Zoom in until the "eye alt" — displayed in the lower right-hand corner — is about 260 miles. You are looking at roughly the size of the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Now, it so happens that the North Atlantic route is one of the busiest air traffic corridors in the world, and airliners are strung out along it like beads, often just a few miles apart. There are dozens...

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