Australia Confirms Zaharie Flight-Sim Route to Southern Ocean

In a posting to a section of its website called “Correcting the record,” the Australian Transport Safety Board today confirmed that the FBI found data on MH370 captain Zaharie Shah’s flight simulator hard drives indicating that Zaharie had practiced a one-way flight into the southern Indian Ocean, as I wrote in a story for New York magazine on Friday. Entitled “False and inaccurate media report on the search for MH370,” the post concerns several claims by Australian pilot Byron Bailey in The Australian, including Bailey’s interpretation of the flight-sim data:

Mr Bailey also claims that FBI data from MH370 captain’s home simulator shows that the captain plotted a course to the southern Indian Ocean and that it was a deliberate planned murder/suicide. There is no evidence to support this claim. As Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement, the simulator information shows only the possibility of planning. It does not reveal what happened on the night of its disappearance nor where the aircraft is located. While the FBI data provides a piece of information, the best available evidence of the aircraft’s location is based on what we know from the last satellite communications with the aircraft. This is indeed the consensus of international satellite and aircraft specialists.

While ostensibly rebutting Bailey’s claims, the ATSB tacitly acknowledges the fact that the flight-sim data was in fact found by the FBI.

524 thoughts on “Australia Confirms Zaharie Flight-Sim Route to Southern Ocean”

  1. @Marc

    Nautical twighlight ends about 25mn before civil twightlight and after civil twighlight (~25mn later) the sun is above the horizon. That’s about fifthy minutes of opportunity.

    But I wonder a satelite was looking there at that specific place and time. For what?

    With 15kts of wind there wouldn’t be swells to be worried about I think. They would be also to small to have been estimated from even low altitude.
    The ocean would have seemed to be a lake IMO.

  2. @Marc

    I agree, you would want to try and ditch along the swell.

    I don’t think you are particularly missing anything iro aeronautical night ending 30 minutes before sunrise but remember, the pilot didn’t know what the weather conditions would be in the landing area. He had to assume a poor visibility worse case scenario, and work in a “factor of safety” to make sure he had adequate lighting. I have seen the Meteosat images of the area, at the time the flight ended – they show there was a good deal of cloud in the area, not 10:10ths, but significant enough.

    The flight path appears to be very carefully arranged to have a Sun elevation of about 7deg at ditching time, which I estimate was 00:34UTC, allowing 15mins for the descent. The flight path is seen to run parallel the advancing Sunrise Terminator. It means that if for arguments sake, he had arrived in the area 30 minutes earlier, the Sun would have been on or just below the horizon, as viewed from sea level.

  3. GE Rijn

    The surface was definitely not like a lake. A steady 15knot wind way out in the ocean, remember. 3 metre swell, more like.

  4. @Ge Rijn

    Appreciate the response. Just a couple of questions on this if you don’t mind responding. Caution : Silly Q ahead

    You said:

    “So the outboard flap will stay in the position the way it was set if hydraulic or electric failure would occure (or after engines and APU shut down).”

    a. Let’s say I pilot the plane, use the outboard flap for lift during take off and forgot to retract it/ or the rotary actuator malfunctions hence leaving it unretracted, my question: is it possible non-retraction would not upset my flight envelope?

    b. If answer is yes, I continue flying without problems but non retracted outboard flap would still come off during ditch later but cause would be unintentional/negligence rather than deliberate, right?

    Additional Q
    c. Can the autopilot system automatically set the flaperons or outboard flap off if it detects possible fuel exhaustion?

    Thanking you in advance.

    I couldn’t but notice that in your response to @david you mentioned corrosion as likely cause for the hole in the Pemba debris. Firstly I think the part in question is made of aircraft aluminium 7075 T6. Despite this aluminium’s vulnerability to marine condition, studies show that it will not corrode to the point of perforation or holing due to:

    1. Seawater ph is about 8 – refer Christian Vagel ‘ Corrosion of Aluminum (pages 336-344) regarding both biofouling and galvanic related Aluminum corrosion


    3.Even if corrosion of aircraft aluminium occurs in marine environs, it is more of the pitting corrosion variety and to reach the stage of perforation or holing as on that Pemba stuff will take years of immersion.

    Ocean Engineering
    1 September 2014, Vol.87:10–15, doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2014.05.003
    A review of studies on corrosion of metals and alloys in deep-sea environment by
    Pierluigi Traverso and Elisa Canepa

    4.Finally corrosion preventive treatment is standard procedure for airlines as per FAA guidelines:

    Pages 13-15

    So what is the cause, I dunno but I can vouch it ain’t corrosion induced by biofouling or even galvanic . My guess is that those perforations are due to impact forces from something metallic.


    Gobsmacked by the Sandilands thingy. But a close second reading shows he is still leaning to a pilot theory only that the authorities in that country are pussyfooting around with semantics. So I think the core of @jeff’s revelation remains intact. Just my two cents.

  5. @Rob

    Even from low altitude offcourse.
    Your right wing ditch in a big swell is off the hook with this information.
    Just take it in and adjust your scenario according to new facts and evidence emerging I suggest.
    Theories and scenarios have only use as long as they are not being overthrown with new facts and evidence.
    Apart from your piloted flight and ditching scenario yours are IMO.

    Leaving a subject only because valid or opposite arguments are given have never brought progress or solved a problem.

  6. @ROB hi rob I’ve got a question for your controlled Ditch scenario. If you were going to glide a plane down onto water would you wait until the fuel had run out or ditch just before it did so you had some power left to better control the landing. I wonder if it was the latter how that would affect the final partial handshake. Just wanted your oppinion. Cheers

    Ps I think we’re both from the UK

  7. Those of us who have been chasing truth for answers should be grateful for this explosion of contextomy.

    Regardless of the semantics, what lies underneath is invaluable. As I understand it, a tremendously brave individual has passed proof of information not released to the public, regarding the investigation of MH370 as overseen by the Malaysian police.

    Whatever the outcome, it has certainly rekindled constantly needed world attention, to further expose the major lack of accountability in this investigation.

    I think it is important to show respect for anyone willing to come forward with inside information, of MH370 or the investigation, and honestly against something they know is not.

  8. @Wazir Roslan

    As I said I’m not a pilot. I worked with the KLM mostly on engines but had some overall education on planes structure and workings too.

    A pilot could answer your questions probably far better than me.

    What I know is flaps and it’s hinges actuators are designed to take certain force limits that depend on air speeds.
    Above a certain speed it’s not save to deploy a flap. The structure won’t take it.

    So leaving an outboard flap deployed would exceed its structural limits above a certain speed. I assume it would just break off.
    And offcourse it would affect greatly the performance and flight enveloppe due to enormous drag and disruption of airodynamics among other things.

    I assume if something like this would occure an alarm would set off and it would be reason to immediately find an airport to land.

    I think it’s impossible flying cruise speeds with your outboard flaps deployed. But a pilot would know for sure.
    It would certainly not go unnoticed by a pilot in flight.

    About the auto-pilot setting flaps off if detecting fuel exhaustion I think not. It would be highly unpleasant I assume for a pilot if that would happen in such a case.
    But again; a pilot will have a better answer.

    About corrosion on the hinge.
    I think it is an alu/magnesium alloy.
    I don’t know for sure. But it must be corrosion. I suspect barnacles have a role in this.
    As suggested before the two holes might be pre-fabricated for a special reason.
    I saw (and posted) a photo of a intact hinge on a outboard flap which seems to show a hole in the same place.

  9. @robster

    Hi robster. Yes I’m from the UK. Tonbridge, in fact. Dennis figured out I was British, because I seem such a pessimist! Actually, I think I’m not such a pessimist. it’s because Americans are such insufferable optimists, that we Brits seem pessimistic by contrast!

    You bring up a very interesting, and I think, important point. I now think he would have wanted to reserve enough ⛽ fuel for a descent under power, to make sure he had adequate hydraulic pressure for extending the flaps, so he flew as economically as he could after the FMT, to make sure he had 15 minutes or so worth of fuel to idle the engines during descent. The fuel measuring is very accurate on the B777, to enable close monitoring. In addition, he could transfer fuel between wing tanks if necessary. He couldn’t be sure how long the APU would run after the LH engine expired (wouldn’t be common knowledge among pilots, imo) and the RAT would be useless for extending the flaps.

    The 00:19 logon was deliberately set up to give the impression the fuel had run out at that point, but I don’t think it had quite.

    The primary intention was deception, all the way through, even the sim red route falls into this category, imo.

  10. @DennisW

    Just my little joke, Dennis. We Brits have got a lot to thank you Americans for. Saving the day in WW1 and WW2, the Marshall Plan, selling us Polaris and Trident, at knock down prices, to name but a few.

  11. @GeRijn, @Rob
    I also like to hear the opinion of @RetiredF4 on this.

    You would nor care about a 15kt wind when you intend to die anyway. Not much chance for positioning and maneuvering with two dead engines either. .

    Landing on water is not in the textbook of a land pilot. You will have a hard time to get one, used to put the rubber on the concrete, to try his luck on floats. It would not be the challenge a pilot seeks, it would be an nightmare.

    This assessment counts for a guilty guy. It looks different when this rare occasion happens, where the shit hits the fan and no other choice is available. That is the time to use all the skill and expierience to master the situation, like Sully did.

    If MH370 ended in the SIO and the evidence, which I do not see yet, points to a low energy impact looking like a ditching, then it was one of those rare occasions where an aircraft showed that it liked flying more than crashing.

    My take is, that after the FMT no live soul was on board. Ihave neither prove for that nor evidence, it’s just my gut feeling.

  12. @ROB

    Yes, Americans are insufferable. We regard it as a birthright.

    I live in California, and we have a lot in common with the UK including virtually identical GDP’s.

  13. @Rob

    ”I have seen the Meteosat images of the area, at the time the flight ended – they show there was a good deal of cloud in the area, not 10:10ths, but significant enough.”

    Do you have a link ?

  14. @ROB
    Do you see the extraordinary difference between a man with a bio like Captain Shaw and the actions of one you describe?

    This is “James Bond”-like stuff you casually imply toward a man who was a husband, a father, a grandfather with a full time job he had for 30+ years.

    Your implication of his covert actions would have required planning. Would you please outline his plan inclusively of all you believe it to be, starting with your reiteration of motive?

    Would you also include an explanation if you think the premise of action was hiding the plane to never be found?

    In your assumption, why would he care if the plane was found and was it part and parcel of his murder/suicide or was the murder/suicide part and parcel of stealing a plane and flying it to oblivion?

    This is a sincere request to better understand a scenario from the pilot did it “camp”. We may disagree, but conflicting opinions can help us learn.

  15. @All

    Whether one ‘likes’ it or not, there is one, and only one, scenario that fits the facts as we understand them to date and requires minimal cherry picking. Perhaps more importantly and significantly, the ‘Shah as lone actor/perpetrator’ scenario also is the one simplistically believable imagined simulation that does not require all manner of absurd and extremely unlikely situations to have been required to have occurred on board.

    Where ALSM comes up with this rubbish about the working condition of Z’s simulator I know not. But considering he’s the same guy who took great pains to ‘voodoo science’ the flaperon into a ‘flutter’ explanation, one can expect all manner of fabricated excrement to spew from his mouth in defense of Zaharie.

    Victor finally seems to be heading in the correct direction. Fariq’s phone suggestive of him being still alive (all others by now deceased or unable to attempt phone calls) and a ‘zoom’ near IGARI to diminish the threat as quickly and effectively as possibly (remember the early reports)…this is some of the cherry picking still required.

    Dennis, your understanding of the human psyche and your woefully defecient insight into psychopathic behavior is, well, do you still live with mom and dad?


    ALSM should be asked to source his quite unique knowledge about how Z did and did not struggle both internally and externally with his flight sim. Zaharie’s posts in this regard hardly divulge the insight and detail Mr. Exner claims to have knoowledge of.


    Keep fighting the good fight. Denial can be quite the coping mechanism when confronted with an ugliness one is simply incredulous too. However, the NOK deserve the TRUTH.

  16. @Susie Crowe

    This isn’t a court of law, Susie. I’m sorry if you don’t like what I’ve said on this forum. What I’ve been doing is adding a touch of practical realism to the discussions. As Jeff remarked earlier, its odd how some people seem to want to construct a defence for the patently inexcusable. The evidence points to Z as the perpetrator. I don’t think anything additional will help you learn, as you put it.

  17. ir1907

    Re the Meteosat images: I don’t have a link, but I think it may have been Wazir, or David who posted here about a week ago. I will troll ( bad choice of word, perhaps) back to see if I can see who it was.

    Apologies, but I’m old school, and not particularly user-friendly when it comes to computers.

  18. @Matt

    “…well, do you still live with mom and dad?”

    No, they both passed on some time ago. Mom did live with me for awhile. Being a primary care-giver is a drag, BTW.

    I have no formal training as a psychologist although I do a fair amount of “life coaching” and tutoring. My opinions of Shah as a suicide and mass murder perpetrator have been gleaned from third parties.

    It is far more likely that Shah was acting out his desire to be a patriot, and rebelling against an obviously corrupt Malaysian regime. The facts which work against that theory and favor suicide are:

    1> When Shah knew he would run out of fuel before being able to safely land, he apparently made no attempt to communicate his position to maximize the potential for survival via search and rescue.

    2> Why did he not activate an ELT.

  19. ir1907/ALL

    Does anybody have the link for the Meteosat images taken of the SIO?

    Thanks in advance.

  20. @DennisW: “Why did he not activate an ELT.”

    Because he was killed between IGARI and BITOD.

  21. @Gysbreght,

    You said:

    “@DrBobbyUlich: As far as I know, there is no Autopilot/Autothrust mode for constant TAS.

    You are correct. I meant to say IAS, not TAS. Either Mach number or IAS can be manually set using the Mode Control Panel. My conclusions regarding constant air speed not fitting the satellite data still stand.

    @Gysbreght, @Trond,

    Gysbreght said:

    “The primary radar evidence clearly shows that the autopilot was off after IGARI. There is no evidence that it was engaged later. Those data show the hands of a ham-fisted ‘pilot’ who evidently didn’t know how to use the autopilot.

    The IG excuse is that B777 pilots normally fly by autopilot, but there is no evidence that a B777 pilot was at the controls after IGARI.”

    Trond said:

    “In the MH370 case one has to handle the calculations as if the wheel was being externally controlled with steady mechanical movements. It was only during the climb at Igari human hands looked to be in control. Shortly after that and for the rest of the journey no hands steered the plane.”

    I had the same initial reaction when I first saw the ATSB radar track. Since then I have formed a different opinion. I believe a considerable part, if not all, of the ‘waviness” of the post-diversion track is due to the lack of correction of radar range due to aircraft altitude. That is, I think this plot assumes the entire measured radar range is in the horizontal direction. For relatively nearby targets, the horizontal error this introduces is considerable since the aircraft may be at FL350, or about 6 NM. In other words, an aircraft passing nearly directly overhead would be plotted at 6 NM horizontal range (a rough circle centered on the radar location). This effect causes curvature in the plotted track centered on whichever radar is being used in the plot, and this changed with time. Therefore one can get “waviness” in the combined plot even when the aircraft is flying a straight path.

    I also believe there is evidence of precise waypoint flight during the radar track. For instance, the track goes to VAMPI and then to MEKAR along N571. In addition, the track passes over a point a few miles south of WMKP (Penang) that is a standard arrival point for that airport. To me these facts indicate the autopilot was being used to navigate during most of the radar track.


    You said:

    “@DrBobbyUlich: Back in July 2014, I proposed a true track that goes BEDAX-180T, which would be identical to a GC route to the South Pole. The route requires a late turn or a loiter north of Sumatra. It crosses the 7th arc at 34.3S.”

    Please show us the details of this route. The only True Track routes I have found which are consistent with the satellite data are at ~186 degrees. I do not think a 180.0 degree True Track route will fit the 19:41 to 00:11 data.

    You also said:

    “If there was a cell connect near Penang (which I believe occurred), that would imply high speeds and low altitudes for at least part of the trip that was captured by radar. Depending on how long the plane was flown under these conditions, significant fuel might have been consumed, leaving less available fuel for the trip after 18:22.”

    I agree. There is a possibility of a significant descent and ascent occurring during the radar track. However, the very high measured average speed from 17:21 to 18:22 implies that a slow-down to 250 knots at low altitude is very unlikely. If a descent occurred during this time, the airspeed remained high (~LRC, not Holding), as you said, and this would substantially increase fuel consumption.

  22. Bobby Ulich writes:

    “I believe a considerable part, if not all, of the ‘waviness’ of the post-diversion track is due to the lack of correction of radar range due to aircraft altitude.”

    The slant range effect was proposed (I think by VictorI) to explain a feature in the DCA radar track near Kota Bharu, where MH370 passed only a few miles from the DCA primary radar. Here, the military primary radar is almost certainly located at Bukhit Puteri, near Gong Kedakm (WMGK). The closest that MH370 came to this radar was when it was at KADAX, 31 nm distance at around 17:37, and there are some waves in both speed and track angle that peak at that time. Now, the path from KL to IGARI also passes at a distance of 31 nm, but in the opposite direction. (I’m eyeballing to get these distances). If the slant range explanation were correct, then one should see similar “waviness” in the DSTG track angle and ground speed plots around 17:07. No such modulation is seen.

    How good is the DSTG’s filter at reproducing known data? I’ve updated my Feb 13, 2016 document (available at my index of documents here – it’s called RADAR)

    to compare the DSTG ground track angle and speed reconstruction with the ADS-B data. Basically, the filter seems to recover quite quickly whenever there are speed or direction modulations, so I think the waviness in those plots is real.

  23. Gysbreght:

    You asked way back in this thread, was it the FBI or the RMP? The answer is: the leaked information used by JW was from a non-FBI document. The FBI may have assisted the RMP (speculation only), but the leaked document was not an FBI document. It originated with the RMP. More about this will emerge eventually. Sandilands is correct about that. He wrote:

    “However, the important question arises, why was this presented to the gullible as an FBI report (the FBI has no interest in locating the sunk wreckage) when it was a Malaysia Police report?”

  24. Why would any experienced B777 captain want to, or need to, play [ . .let alone practice] a simulated flight track on FSX? Nothing could possibly be learned from doing so that wasn’t already known.

    In fact the functionality available on the 777 FMC would allow any track to be simulated at any time [ . . a spare few minutes during a routine flight for example], with very much greater precision. It would take moments only to set up and view the result, and moments to discard too.

    Lest it is seen to be difficult or complicated, have a look at this link, as a demonstration of how straightforward it would be, and how easy it is to modify a current flight plan en-route. A few button presses and it is done.

    The SIM data is yet another red herring.

  25. @Brian Anderson, It might indeed seem strange that a 777 line captain would want to play with a flight simulator, yet Zaharie not only manifestly did but shared his passion on YouTube. Go figure. What’s more, it now appears that he simulated flights up the Malacca Strait, then turning left and flying to fuel exhaustion in the SIO. Why did he do that? I cannot tell you.

    @airlandseaman, The two big questions raised by Sandilands’ post are 1) Is there any evidence behind his assertion that the Malaysians found the flight sim data on their own, without help from the FBI, and 2) Is the involvement or non-involvement of the FBI in any way germane to the central import of my New York piece, namely the Zaharie flew a simulated route very similar to that believed taken a month later by MH370, and that Malaysia later covered it up?

  26. Jeff:

    There is solid evidence the report came from the RMP, not the FBI. You are correct that it is more or less irrelevant in terms of the substantive findings (assuming the RMP did a good job). However, it is relevant in terms of how that source error was used by the RMP to deny that it (the apparent simulated path to the SIO) happened at all. They could deny it happened because the FBI did not, in fact, leak the document(s) as stated by you and many others. Read the official denial and parse the words carefully.

  27. Jeff:

    BTW… I don’t buy Sandiland’s suggestion that there was any deliberate intention on your part to mislead anyone. I assume it was an honest mistake. Like you pointed out, the error had little to do with the substance. I do have reservations about any inference that the sim data necessarily implies Z did anything wrong. I’m hearing good arguments for and against that connection. The RMP did not believe there was a connection.

  28. @airlandseaman, Distinctions without difference. Whether or not the Malaysians’ crafted their denial in such a way to merely mislead rather than outright lie (for what it’s worth, they did lie when they said they never gave their report to anyone) their credibility is zero at this point. I think you and I and everyone agree that in their conduct of the investigation they have abdicated their responsibility to the flying public and the interest of safety demands that the investigation be taken over by an internationally sanctioned body.

  29. @Ge Rijn

    Thank you for your very thorough reply and explanation about the Dordrecht Hole theory. And thank you for putting it in layman’s terms 🙂 Maybe he made it there, maybe he tried and failed. Regardless, you have done a good enough job convincing me of at least his plan to attempt to do this, so that I am now leaning more towards this than any other theory, particularly given the new sim evidence.

    FTR I had always been in the lithium-battery fire camp coupled with unsuccessful pilot recovery at the end. Now I have something new to believe in 🙂

    So I appreciate your comments and the others that also added in for/against this theory.

  30. Jeff:

    Don’t get me wrong. I also believe they were lying and deliberately trying to mislead. Not the first time. I concur with your assessment, though I doubt there is much chance the investigation responsibility will change.

  31. @airlandseaman, Worth noting that the new chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Greg Hood, has told the West Australian newspaper that the source of the flight-sim data was indeed the FBI: Unless documentary evidence to the contrary emerges I think the default view should be to take him at his word.

    Of course as you note this is all arcane quibbling, as you and I are on the same page about what really matters.

  32. @sk999,

    You said:

    “The slant range effect was proposed (I think by VictorI) to explain a feature in the DCA radar track near Kota Bharu, where MH370 passed only a few miles from the DCA primary radar. Here, the military primary radar is almost certainly located at Bukhit Puteri, near Gong Kedakm (WMGK). The closest that MH370 came to this radar was when it was at KADAX, 31 nm distance at around 17:37, and there are some waves in both speed and track angle that peak at that time. Now, the path from KL to IGARI also passes at a distance of 31 nm, but in the opposite direction. (I’m eyeballing to get these distances). If the slant range explanation were correct, then one should see similar “waviness” in the DSTG track angle and ground speed plots around 17:07. No such modulation is seen.”

    You are actually proving my point.

    As explained in the caption for Figure 2, the path from KLIA to IGARI is based on secondary radar, not primary radar. It is essentially a plot of GPS positions transmitted back from the aircraft. Therefore there is no slant range effect. That is why it is a straight line with no waviness. The remainder of the flight track is based on primary radar and appears to be affected by slant-range error.

  33. @Jeff: if Mr. Zaharie was such a serious sim hobbyist, then, of all the pilots in the world, wouldn’t he be among the most likely to have perfectly innocent save points on his computer?

    Also: can you state with 100% confidence that the 6 save points to which you refer were the ONLY save points on his hard drive on the night of March 7, 2014? If you can’t, then the headline “suicide route” is irresponsible. Because we don’t know how many save points have been filtered out – either unintentionally, or with intent to frame – before this data reached our eyes. It’s as simple as that.

  34. @ Jeff,

    I’m not denying that Z liked to play with his FSX sim. That is a given. What I am questioning is the need simulate a flight up the Malacca Strait then turn left towards the SIO in order to test/check/practice anything. He wouldn’t learn anything that he didn’t already know, and could easily test on a real FMC anyhow.

    What evidence is there that the track from Point #3 to Point #4 is a continuous function, let alone a Great Circle?

  35. Jeff:

    Look at the July 27 ATSB Update. ( Note how the ATSB characterizes the source. Under the section: “Media reports about MH370 Captain’s flight simulator”, it is stated:

    “On Friday 22 July 2016, there were several media reports regarding so called FBI investigation into the MH370 Captain’s home flight simulator.”

    “…so Called FBI investigation…” is code for: it was not really an FBI investigation, but we prefer not to clarify where it actually came from, so we’ll go along with the “so called FBI…” label.

    Next it is stated:

    “This type of scenario is not new and has been reported in the media previously.”

    Yes, the scenario is not new, and it (the basic scenario) has been previously reported. But it has not been previously reported that the RMP found the evidence of a possible SIO simulation, not the FBI. Moreover, the specific coordinates found were not previously reported to the public.

    It appears that diplomacy trumps clarity again.

  36. @Brian Anderson, You wrote, “What evidence is there that the track from Point #3 to Point #4 is a continuous function, let alone a Great Circle?” This is a question that I, too, very much would like to know the answer to. To be clear, I myself am unsure what to make of this latest development. We know too little right now either to treat this information as a smoking gun or to discard it as something easily explained away.

  37. @JeffWise.

    Well Jeff, you and Victor and Mike are the only ones who know what “the mystery point is”, and you three are the only ones to have all the other data fields for all the points (which you can’t release), so, if you say “To be clear, I myself am unsure what to make of this latest development.” how the hell do you expect anyone else to ?
    What is the point of this game ?

  38. @Ge Rijn. Thanks for the photo and the Comoros 777 correction. With the irregular holes, chunks gone and the cavities I agree that corrosion is likely. I would agree that it is magnesium except that Boeing says they do not use it in the 777 and Wasir Roslan has his eye on 7075-T6.

    @Wazir Roslan. As you say 7075-T6 is susceptible to sea water corrosion. One reference you quote addresses Deep Sea…I have not accessed that but assume that highly oxygenated and agitated surface water would be, in comparison, particularly corrosive. This and the electrical contact (likely) with the conducting carbon fibre could also separate this from previous experience you mention. Best await the ATSB report?

    @Ditching discussers. Rob mentioned a swell of 3M amongst a discussion on waves. There can be swell on a calm day having traveled distances from wind systems afar. When there are wind and waves locally the swell can be higher and in another direction.

    Sullenberger had the advantage of fuel for an APU (ie flaps and hydraulics) and calm water.

  39. @Jeff

    I don’t think there is anything more to know relative to the significance of the simulated SIO path. Its very existence speaks volumes. To those who say it might yield to some innocent explanation I say “hogwash”. It is deviation from a Malaysia Airlines network route that does not represent a diversion one would take for any conceivable legitimate reason.

    Unlike Brian and you, I have absolutely no interest in whether the route was a continuous function or a great circle or a loxodrome. Why would anyone possibly care in the context of the planning significance this route represents (assuming it is the real deal as stated)? I also have no interest in the missing mystery point or the other data fields. Again, it is in the “who cares” category.

    I have no concern about whether the data came from the FBI. Frankly, I was suspicious of that connection from the get-go based on what I know about their capabilities and lack thereof. The FBI would be near the bottom of my list relative to performing forensics on a hard drive. Kicking down doors, yes. Hard drive forensics, no.

    The ATSB has it correct. This simulated route provides no information relative to a specific search location.

  40. @Gysbreght

    you said:

    “Because he was killed between IGARI and BITOD.”

    What is anyone supposed to make of a statement like that? Am I supposed to ask why you can make the statement with such confidence or how do you know that?

    I am not going to play that game.

  41. @Rob. As I understand you a pilot in a ditching could first simulate the 7th arc logon, the IFE non-logon and switch off the ELT but how could he be so well informed? It was some time later that assessment of the satellite data was found to contain enough information to even confirm he went south. How could he have known this and that the data could be used to track him?
    (As prescient as this and he might have divined that there would be trouble locating the site anyway, as has happened, so why fuss?!).
    An unlikely alternative I have mentioned is that he ditched successfully at nigh on fuel exhaustion and the APU then started….but then that would be on the 7th arc (having saved fuel in his descent)less five miles (for the sea level logon), so in theory within the current search area.

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