Finding MH370: 'Head for Home'

Questions for the experts

Questions for the experts regarding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Expert input on the questions below could help validate/refute assumptions or enable the analysis to be refined. Comments are welcome.

Aviation & avionics

  1. What aerodromes feature on the shortlist of “adequate aerodromes” for a 777 diversion from IGARI-BITOD area? Is the Penang, KL, Ho Chi Minh list correct and would it be reasonable to select KL as preferred alternate?
  2. From the onset of a major malfunction, what is a reasonable timespan to expect for pilots to interpret alarms, run through checklists, reach decision to divert and initiate turn?
  3. What rate of turn / bank angle would be employed for a 777 in event of diversion at TAS ~483kt?
  4. Is it plausible that the DIRECT TO option would be selected, routing the aircraft directly to aerodrome waypoint?
  5. After route discontinuity, does FMS revert to constant heading or constant track; magnetic or true; and is the reference heading being perpetuated “last track” or “aircraft head, inclusive of wind correction angle”?
  6. If no change was made to speed settings, what speed mode would it be in and would Mach number change as fuel was depleted?

Radar experts

  1. Is the list of primary surveillance/approach radars complete? Are there other radars that should have been capable of primary detection of flight paths modelled here?
  2. How confident should be we that a solid (continuous) detection would be made by these radars over their stated range, assuming that they were operational at the time and radar records have been preserved?

Meteo experts

  1. A data array from weather archives (temperature, wind direction, wind speed) with maximum periodicity and resolution for FL350 (or closest available) for the period 18.00 UTC 7th March 2014 to 00.00 UTC 8th March 2014 for grid from 7N to 45S, and 85E to 105E would enable further refinement of the flight path model.
  2. A sea-level (MSL+10m) wind data array from weather archives with maximum periodicity and resolution for area 42S-47S; 85E-92E covering the period 00.00Z 8th March 2014 to 00.00Z 25th March 2014 would enable refinement (by experts) of the reverse-drift model.

BTO/BFO modeling experts

  1. Please point out any factual misstatements or misunderstandings in my discussion of the satellite data and its interpretation. I will be only too pleased to correct them.
  2. From which satellite data (version) and with what method were the NTSB-attributed “possible routes” and their implicit range arc derived?
  3. If the path models turn out to be correct, what technically-feasible explanation could account for the pattern of BTO errors observed?

Oceanographers & drift modelers

  1. I hope that this theory will re-ignite interest in the debris at 45S and that the expert reverse drift models already performed will be released.
  2. I also hope that professional oceanographers, with superior methodology expertise and datasets will improve upon the “amateur” efforts provided here.
  3. How feasible is drift to Reunion from inferred debris origin/end point? What is the most likely landfall area for debris originating from this area?

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