Two years ago Boeing 777 captain Simon Hardy calculated the most likely position of MH370’s undersea remains using only established facts and mathematics.
The Australian-led international search for the lost Malaysia Airlines 777, however, may be suspended in December just short of that position unless existing plans are amended.
Hardy’s proposed position, and the methodology that determined it, has been widely published, both in Flight International magazine in January 2015 and a month earlier on the web via FlightGlobal.com.
Most theories posted to the web – especially related to serious subjects like this – usually attract massive peer criticism and public comment, but Hardy’s has faced no criticism, just requests for clarification.
It has, however, attracted great interest, and he has met the Australian Transport Safety Board at their request more than once to talk about it.
He has now posted a spoken explanation of his methodology to YouTube, so if you want to test your mathematics and geometry, go there.
Hardy’s calculations put the resting position of MH370 just outside the planned area for the multinational search effort, close to its southern end. So the methodology that the official search team used produced results that are pretty close to the predictions Hardy reached independently.
Here is the ATSB’s explanation, posted on 21 September, as to why they will not look in Hardy’s predicted position even if the remainder of the planned search fails to find the aircraft:
“At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometre search area.”
The ATSB makes the intention clear: “It is expected that searching the entire 120,000 square kilometre search area will be completed by around December 2016.”
Hardy’s calculations put the MH370 wreck just outside that area, and they cannot be defined as “new evidence” because the ATSB knows about them already and has decided, without explaining why, not to search there.
By December the arrival of the southern hemisphere summer will have made the search much easier.
Hopefully the search team will find the aircraft remains within their planned search area. But what if they don’t?
If the ATSB won’t go there, Hardy is considering crowdfunding to extend the search for a few weeks into the area indicated by his work.
13 thoughts on “MH370 search to stop just short of Hardy’s predicted position”
Given the supposed ability of satellites to see small items in great detail I don’t understand why a more concentrated look can’t be made in the area highlighted in your article. Simarly back tracking the flaperon back from Madagascar to the crash site would seem possible given the right satellite photos. The objects don’t move very far each day so looking a few days apart due to clouds would seem reasonable.
Dear Captain Hardy:
As an FAA Commercial Pilot & Instructor, I’ve spent over the years, some considerable time studying and filtering through various news conferences, public data, and the experts’ interpretation of MH 370’s flightpath, communications, equipment, radar returns, Inmarsat interpretations, I applaud with great enthusiasm your and some of your colleague’s tireless work to independently think, calculate and plot the likely location of MH 370. There is NO QUESTION that the search area Captain Hardy should be searched vigorously. There is little if any question in my analytical mind that Captain Hardy has clamped down close if not spot on to the best possible location for solving this time-tried tragedy and loss. The agencies including the ATSB are poised to finally solve this, and God knows it’s time before further deterioration.
You’ve done much more than an analysis, and it’s people like you, Captain Hardy, we need more in the World like. I often wonder what gave you that cherished perseverance; however, you’ve given countless hundreds of family members the notion that the aircraft will be found, one day, and the truth will be further exposed, most likely, exactly as you have unraveled what you could (which is quite substantial). Your approach to training seems exceedingly positive as does your hope for safety in the skies.
My personal hope is I could one day thank you on behalf of those who come to follow you, and those whose lives you’ve touched by such tireless and generous work. You are much more than a leader amid your natural humility–you are the Pilot’s Mentor and then some. I’m honored at a distance to know just a tad of your extraordinary work, and I pray one day to meet you and learn more from you.
Has Simon Hardy considered the possibility that the alternative route on the FMC was programmed to a waypoint in the South Atlantic (PIBED) or even a lat/long waypoint (2490S) for example?
If an alternative route was entered and executed a fuel calculation would have been produced for each waypoint and then a TOD and end of descent could have been entered into the FMC that would have allowed a low speed descent to a low altitude.
(Retired 767 Captain)
Hello David, is all well with you? We miss your words of wisdom!
All best wishes for a happy Christmas!
Thanks Nigel – the same to you.
I’ve been quiet for a while but will soon be back, be assured of that!
What a shame that Captain Hardy’s amended search are will not be searched. Fugro’s ship was so close to his suggested search area while it was scanning in the ATSB defined search area. Now really, the cost of checking Captain Hardy’s suggested coordinates would be negligible within the grand scheme of things. The decision not to search there when they were practically next door already is in itself a tragedy. It boggles the mind to try and come to a rational explanation for their decision. So sad for the poor relatives of the victims of this disaster.
Hopefully Captain Hardy will be successful in raising the required funds via crowdfunding to have have Fugro scan his suggested area. Even if he gets the funds and the area is searched without success, hopefully the funding will continue in order to search the newly defined search area of 25,000 square kilometres, just north of the northernmost tip of the current defined search area (see new possible search area the ATSB has defined and admitted to being the most likely resting place of the fuselage, after yet another examination of the satellite handshakes)
Yes, Hello Robert, I agree. I was stunned to hear they are not going to search in Captain Hardy’s new calculated area and as you say they were so close to it anyway. Reminds me of the film Dumb and Dumber.
(Unbelievable!) See my further comments posted today 24th December 2018. Kind Regards, Andrew.
Searching should allow an significant area for a margin of error. Then there is the consideration that the data piece used to construct the 7th arc wouldn’t have been from at sea level but maximum altitude, perhaps when the airplane electrics shut down after loss of power. Allowing for glide time in warm enough conditions would create a circle up to around 100nm or slightly more from the estimated position on the arc. So every location estimate becomes a sizable area in itself to search. A circle with a radius of 135nm creates a search area of over 53,000 nm2.
In any case it seems all of Mr Hardy’s and others’ calculations are based upon the pure estimates, nothing to do with maths or satellite operations, that either there was no-one alive on the plane or whoever might have been in control had pre-selected a route. Hence I suppose the pure guesses as to constant speed and heading.
After the given aerial gymnastics from Igari to Penang, north of Aceh and another about turn, of course that isn’t in keeping with the suggested earlier plan. Although there may be some kind of a case made for the constants after Aceh, for example from that there was no need to avoid radar detection anymore, nevertheless the reliance upon the constants means these routes placed upon the arcs are no more than guesses.
I think that is likely the best explanation for that the official decision gave that there was no new, credible evidence. These routes issued are largely guesses, there could be many and it is an indescribably immense haystack out there.
Just one thing of which I can assure you: Hardy’s havigational calculations are purely mathematical. You can dispute the assumptions from which he applied the mathematics, but not the mathematics itself.
The data on which theories are based, whether Hardy’s or the ATSB-led consensus, is sparse. The essential is that MH370 is found, so good luck with the remaining search.
I write from Melbourne Australia. Any way of contacting Captain Simon Hardy? I would love to support and encourage him that I agree with him and that some how or other his new search area will be searched and the wreckage will be found. I saw 60 minutes here in Australia yesterday 23rd December 2018. I was stunned that Tara Brown the presenter did not ask the obvious question we all wanted asked and all wanted the answer to; and that is : Will the new search area calculated by Captain Hardy be searched? The present search area assumes the plane went down in an uncontrolled dive, whereas Captain Simon Hardy rightly concludes that the plane was glided in for some further considerable distance in a controlled deliberate ditching which puts the search area further on or further south. I am equally stunned that the ATSB and various Government heads and agencies are NOT interested in searching in the new area which Captain Simon Hardy suggests. (Talk about Dumber and Dumber.) Kind Regards to all and to David Learmount. Merry Christmas.
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