Two Pilots Say They Can Find MH370. All They Need Is $5 Million

Two years ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board. What then grew into humanity’s largest, most expensive search operation has also been among its most frustrating and beguiling. Investigators have found only one real bit of evidence, a wing flap that washed up on the shores of Réunion, near Madagascar. It was pretty useless. Because it spent nearly 500 days bobbing around on the ocean’s surface, all it indicates is that the plane crashed into the water. Likely to the east.

The search for MH370 has centered on a 46,000 square mile patch of the Indian Ocean, about 1,200 miles due west from Perth, Australia. Investigators, led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, chose that area based on intricate and innovative calculations, turning the last contact with the Boeing 777 into a rough guess as to where it hit the water. So far, search parties have covered more than 70 percent of the region and found zero sign of the missing plane. (They did discover a 19th-century shipwreck, though, which is pretty cool.) Once the 46,000 miles are covered—likely this summer—they’re going to call it.