According to current plans, and if no new information comes to light, the Australian Transportation Safety Board says it will suspend the MH370 search indefinitely on 2 January 2017. The Chinese have already stopped their search.
For those who understand aviation operations, here is a final blast of the raw information that Capt Simon Hardy established through his mathematical and geometric examination of known data. If you’re new to this story, scroll back to to the previous one to establish what that data was.
Below is a diagram showing the tracks Hardy reckons MH370 followed. This is according to his calculations.
Now follows a flight plan which delivers the track Hardy worked out. This flight plan was fed into a Boeing 777 full flight simulator. Be patient, because it’s a long trip and the FP covers four pages of A4 (and that leaves out the calculations for a proposed diversion to Learmonth in Western Australia, on the grounds that the simulator will reject a flight plan without at least one planned alternate).
“I deduced a route mathematically using my technique, which has no relation to how much fuel was on board. Months later I used an airline system and entered this route to see where the aircraft would run out of fuel. Inputting the actual MH370 takeoff fuel of 49.1 tonnes – and allowing the system to do the usual route flight levels and speeds – resulted in a predicted fuel starvation within 12sec of where it should, after 7h 38min.
“The document that follows is an Airline Operational Flight Plan, the kind that thousands of pilots are using in flight right now.
“On long flights of 13 hours it will rarely be out by more than a few minutes and a few hundred kilos of fuel at the destination, once the actual takeoff time has been written in.
“This plan shows the aircraft running out of fuel 1min 48sec before the 7th arc (-175kg), using one turn point ANOKO, and one track of 188degT that was derived from my technique.
“The time the ATSB propose for the 777 to run out of fuel is 2min before the
7th arc (the error is just 12sec after 7h 38min).
“Aircraft Weight and fuel on board are correct as per MH370’s load sheet. Fuel
consumption is as 9M-MRO, although this [simulator] is a different 777 adapted to perform exactly the same.
“Initial Flight level is FL370 instead of FL350 but a cruise time of less than 30min before transponder failure and unknown levels is so short as to make little difference. Simulator system constraints mean once it turns west it must be at ‘even’ flight levels, hence the climb toFL380.
“Winds are forced to zero as they were unknown at the time. Ratio of times 60/90 shows as 60/86. I postulated in December 2014 that this may be due to increasing headwind as we travelled towards 6th arc. This was later proved to be correct! Application of winds will take the result away from 12 seconds
error to 2min error. This is still an astounding result and is only true
for the route inputted, and for the take off fuel of 49.1 tonnes”
End of quote.
The ATSB has all Hardy’s work including this FP.
Here are the four sheets that make up the flight plan.
Hardy welcomes comment and questions via this blog.
The minutes are ticking away to the ATSB’s suspension of the search, even as the arrival of the southern hemisphere midsummer makes searching easier. The aviation world, and all those associated with MH370, wish them luck during these last weeks.