Experienced commercial pilot Chris Goodfellow, writing at Wired:
We know the story of MH370: A loaded Boeing 777 departs at midnight from Kuala Lampur, headed to Beijing. A hot night. A heavy aircraft. About an hour out, across the gulf toward Vietnam, the plane goes dark, meaning the transponder and secondary radar tracking go off. Two days later we hear reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar, meaning the plane is tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the Strait of Malacca.
When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and searched for airports in proximity to the track toward the southwest.
Fifteen years ago, that wouldn’t have been possible. In my mind, it’s an elegant demonstration of how the spread of geographic information has changed the world for the better.