In the early morning hours of March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370), en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, lost communication with air traffic control during the transition between Malaysian and Vietnamese air space. It then disappeared, along with all 239 people aboard.

The search for the missing Boeing 777 began the next morning in the South China Sea, its last known location before communication was lost, but no crash site or floating debris was found. The search moved to the vast and turbulent southern Indian Ocean where wisps of satellite and military radar data indicated the flight had ultimately ended. The air and sea search lasted 1,046 days, covered an area of 121,000 square kilometers and cost $157 million before it was jointly called off by the governments of Australia, China and Malaysia in January 2017.