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Captain Retracing Malaysia Flight Asks 'Pray for 370'

ABC News(BEIJING) -- Retracing the flight of the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is a quiet and eerie trip.

The half-full flight, a red-eye to Beijing, has been renamed flight 318, but its routine and route were the same -- providing a sense of what the passengers on the missing plane likely experienced before it disappeared.

It left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at 12:35 a.m. the same as the ill-fated plane did on March 8. That first hour when flight MH370 was heading to the moment where it vanished would have been busy. Within minutes of takeoff the seat belt sign went off, allowing passengers to move around the aircraft. Drinks were served and the captain made the usual announcements, including a welcome in English and Malay. The flight crew was bustling through the plane attending to passengers.

Flying through the night, hearing only the drone of the plane, flight MH318 reached a point after 40 minutes where someone in the cockpit of flight MH370 said "All right, goodnight" to air traffic control in Malaysia. That was the last time the plane was ever heard from. A few minutes later was the time someone turned off MH370's transponder.

The Boeing 777-200 was now over the Gulf of Thailand, heading towards Vietnam's airspace. Vietnam's air traffic controllers never made contact with flight MH370.

Two hours before landing in Beijing a hot breakfast was served on flight 318, a meal passengers of flight MH370 likely never saw.

Upon landing in Beijing, the pilot's usual announcement had a somber twist.

"Welcome to Beijing and please pray for 370," the captain said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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