Were MH370 Searchers Unlucky, or Duped?

Yesterday, officials responsible for locating missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 announced that their two-year, $150 million search has come to an end. Having searched an area the size of Pennsylvania and three miles deep, they’ve found no trace of the plane.

The effort’s dismal conclusion stands in marked contrast to the optimism that officials displayed throughout earlier phases of the search. In August, 2015, Australia’s deputy prime minister Warren Truss declared, “The experts are telling us that there is a 97% possibility that it is in [the designated search] area.”

So why did the search come up empty? Did investigators get unlucky, and the plane happened to wind up in the unsearched 3 percent? Or did something more nefarious occur?

To sort it all out, we need to go back to why officials thought they knew where the plane went.

Early on the morning of March 8, 2014, MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. Forty minutes passed the last navigational waypoint in Malaysian airspace. Six seconds after that it went electronically dark. In the brief gap between air-control zones, when no one was officially keeping an eye on it, the plane pulled a U-turn, crossed back through Malaysian airspace, and then vanished from military radar screens.

At that point the plane was completely invisible. Its hijackers could have flown it anywhere in the world without fear of discovery. But lo and behold, three minutes later a piece of equipment called the Satellite Data Unit, or SDU, rebooted and initiated a log-on with an Inmarsat communications satellite orbiting high overhead. An SDU reboot is not something that can happen accidentally, or that airline captains generally know how to do, or that indeed there would be any logical reason for anyone to carry out. Yet somehow it happened. Over the course of the next six hours, the SDU sent seven automated signals before going silent for good. Later, Inmarsat scientists poring over the data made a remarkable discovery: due to an unusual combination of peculiarities, a signal could be teased from this data that indicated where the plane went.

With much hard work, search officials were able to wring from the data quite a detailed picture of what must have happened. Soon after the SDU reboot, the plane turned south, flew fast and straight until in ran out of fuel, then dived into the sea. Using this information, officials were able to generate a probabilistic “heat map” of where the plane most likely ended up. The subsequent seabed search began under unprecedented circumstances. Never before had a plane been declared lost, and its location subsequently deduced, on the basis of mathematics alone.

Now, obviously, we know that that effort was doomed. The plane is not where the models said it would most likely be. Indeed, I would go further than that. Based on the signal data, aircraft performance parameters, and the available autopilot modes, there is a finite range of places where the plane could plausibly have fetched up. Search vessels have now scanned all of them. If the data is good, and the analysis is good, the plane should have been found.

I am convinced that the analysis is good. And the data? It seems to me that the scientists who defined the search area overlooked a step that even the greenest rookie of a criminal investigator would not have missed. They failed to ascertain whether the data could have been tampered with.

I’ve asked both Inmarsat scientists and the Australian mathematicians who defined the search area how they knew that the satellite communications system hadn’t been tampered with. Both teams told me that they worked with the data they were given. Neither viewed it as their job to question the soundness of their evidence.

This strikes me as a major oversight, since the very same peculiar set of coincidences that made it possible to tease a signal from the Inmarsat data also make it possible that a sophisticated hijacker could have entered the plane’s electronics bay (which lies beneath an unsecured hatch at the front of the business class cabin) and altered the data fed to the Satellite Data Unit.

A vulnerability existed.

The only question is: Was it exploited? If it was, then the plane did not fly south over the ocean, but north toward land. For search officials, this possibility was erased when a piece of aircraft debris washed ashore on Réunion Island in July of 2015. Subsequently, more pieces turned up elsewhere in the western Indian Ocean.

However, as with the satellite data, officials have failed to explore the provenance of the debris. If they did, they would have noticed some striking inconsistencies. Most notably, the Réunion debris was coated completely in goose barnacles, a species that grows only immersed in the water. When officials tested the debris in a flotation tank, they noted that it floated half out of the water. There’s no way barnacles could grow on the exposed areas—a conundrum officials have been unable to reconcile. The only conclusion I can reach is that the piece did not arrive on Réunion by natural means, a suspicion reinforced by a chemical analysis of one of the barnacles by Australian scientist Patrick DeDeckker, who found that the barnacle grew in water temperatures that no naturally drifting piece of debris would have encountered.

If the plane didn’t go south, then where did it go? Not all the Inmarsat data, it turns out, was susceptible to spoofing. From the portion that wasn’t, it’s able to generate a narrow band of possible flight paths; they all terminate in Kazakhstan, a close ally of Russia. Intriguingly, three ethnic Russians were aboard MH370, including one who was sitting mere feet from the electronics bay hatch. Four and a half months later, a mobile launcher from a Russian anti-aircraft unit shot down another Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER, MH17. A year after that, the majority of pieces of debris wind up being discovered by a man who had spent the last three decades intimately involved with Russia.

Whether or not the Russians are responsible for MH370, the failure of the seabed search and the inconsistencies in the aircraft debris should undermine complacency about the official narrative. When MH370 disappeared, it possessed an obscure vulnerability that left its Inmarsat data open to tampering. Having spent $150 million and two years on a fruitless investigation, search officials have an obligation to investigate whether or not that vulnerability was exploited.

636 thoughts on “Were MH370 Searchers Unlucky, or Duped?”

  1. @All

    About the Transkei-piece.
    @ASLM twitter graphics show the round inspection door is on both sides of the inner outboard flap fairing. I assumed it but did not know for sure.
    The smaller oval inspection door at the bottum is not visible in the piece where it should be, for this inspection door is only on the outer side.

    This would mean it’s another right-wing outboard flap fairing part like the Liam Lotter-piece. Adding another right-wing piece to the two confirmed right-wing pieces against one left wing outboard flap piece.
    The other recently found big flap piece is still not identified in any way.
    But it’s also again a big piece of debris.

    I think there’s evidence enough now we should seriously consider a high speed dive impact with all those pieces seperating due to flutter is out of the question.
    It must have been a relatively low speed level impact. Possibly an attempted glide ditching. IMO all debris-evidence points to a scenario like this more and more. With abreaking of the fuselage in one or two places.

    This piece shows again it has been a long time in the ocean. Biofauling plenty. Planting of this piece (and others) is just impossible to conduct and to defend any longer IMO.

    The interpretation and conclusions of the ATSB about the final BFO’s must be wrong.
    It could not have been a high speed dive impact.

    MH370 entered the ocean something like AF447 or was deliberately ditched. But IMO all debris now point to the latter option.

    If all could find consencus on this it would open and restrict a lot of scenarios.

    Hopefully officials confirm matters soon regarding this latest debris finds.

  2. @TBill

    NOT easy to come up with a ghost flight proper now that the southern area has been searched, although I don’t know exactly how magnetic heading could lead to a crash site between 36 and 32S, but much of that has been searched as well.

    You could also think of a terrorist (IS style) scenario where there were at least two hijackers (at least one passenger’s identity has not been clarified) and one killed the other.

    I find it striking that there apparently were hacked logs into Z.’s gmail account from China, the USA and the Malaysian Police (all countries involved into the investigation), but none into the copilot’s. Perhaps the Wechat or gmail content already turned up something, but I wouldn’t expect he would send a suicide message via Wechat or gmail. When Z deleted his harddisk and passwords the day before an MH370 flight, that could also mean he wasn’t sure exactly which flight would be the one.

    Anyways, I had another look into the northern hook route, and I think this one works much better, as it does not involve a return into Sabang radar range:


    Just probably not the full way to UPROB. It also comes at a reasonable ground speed. The Indonesian FIR begins just north off AKINO.

    There seems to be some consensus that MH370 must have passed the 19:41 ring from outside to inside, but if I enter a point around 2N and a heading of 140 (the leg between NIXUL and UPROB I get a BFO of 115, which is within margin of error (111).

  3. This appears like a setup hacking attempt :
    I find it striking that there apparently were hacked logs into Z.’s gmail account from China, the USA and the Malaysian Police (all countries involved into the investigation), but none into the copilot’s.

    If the hackers also could have gotten into his computer and dumped the breadcrumb files to set him up…

  4. Jeff Wise,

    Some of the results were in my report from a year ago. Basically the rms differences were of order 4 knots (1-D), and the correlation lengths were of order order 5 degrees in latitude, maybe twice that in longitude. Basically it says that if one wants to incorporate wind errors into a model, a new value once per hour is about the right frequency. 5 knots is not enough to have a major impact on any of the autopilot modes.

    A big unknown in evaluating wind model accuracy is that the GDAS models ingest ACARS data from aircraft, so the models will tend to be more accurate in regions where lots of flight pass through, and less so elsewhere. The SIO has very few flights going through, mainly Perth to various African destinations, so the model errors could be larger than the estimate above.

  5. @Ge Rijn “It must have been a relatively low speed level impact. Possibly an attempted glide ditching. IMO all debris-evidence points to a scenario like this more and more. With a breaking of the fuselage in one or two places. This piece shows again it has been a long time in the ocean. Biofauling plenty. Planting of this piece (and others) is just impossible to conduct and to defend any longer IMO.”

    If you are of the opinion MH370 went South and the pilot was in control right up to the time of the ditching the plane could be in an area between 8°S and 9°S near the 7th arc.
    Three independent drift analyses fit this location and this location fits the BTO’s from 19:41 onwards.

  6. What I understand Ge Rijn is saying is that if debris was not planted and a ditching took place the plane must have come round below Indonesia with a pilot in control to the end.
    If you believe that the pilot was Shah and he certainly does not appear to have shown any suicidal tendencies you would have to think that he would have been trying to land somewhere.

  7. @Nederland
    …Re: WeChat…well it’s starting to look like the impervious cockpit doors, besides an invite for rouge pilot activity, is also a privacy shield allowing cell phone and other activities in an undisciplined cockpit scenario.

  8. @Ge Rijn

    Can it not be the plane lost one or two wings during the dive, and thus there are relatively well preserved wing parts, but only tiny fragments from the interior?


    I think the route above does require APASI und probably DUBTA between IGOGU and AKINO, and the rate of climb at 18:40 in that case is -2000. At a speed of 470 kts I get best BFO results for a leg from TOPIN to UPROB (dropping NIXUL), but with different speeds it’s different.

    And thanks for the 170 heading simulation, I think either 170 or 171 works, 170 requires a slightly lower speed, 171 is what I get from skyvector as a heading towards McMurdo. The point is the final part of the flight is quite restricted if you look for a more northerly route than those in the past, unless one allows further changes of heading, speed etc., but then again that would not be a ghost flight either.

  9. @GeRijn

    I (almost) hate to tell you this Ge Rijn, because it makes me seem such a smart ass, when really I’m as modest as they come, but I never had any doubt about the Transkei piece being RHS. As I said to David, earlier, the most significant aspect about the debris is that most of it is confined to a localized area of the plane. Hence the LH flaperon no-show. A fact that cannot be lost on the ATSB, but they haven’t the nous or the ability to draw the appropriate conclusions. I am now thinking of the RH engine pod being a player in this game. It’s one big old moose of an engine pod and would have caused a lot of damage downstream, in a high speed ditching scenario.

    Interesting to see how confirmation bias is still at work in the corridors of the IG, ie how quick GuardedDon was to jump to conclusions when he said it might be from the LH wing! Without even checking to see if it could possibly have been from the RH side. The IG are still wedded to unpiloted, uncontrolled descent.

  10. @ROB
    So you are saying high speed ditch, which is probably slower than a uncontrolled descent. And then what happens? The right wing/engine hits water first? The left wing is spared the brunt of the impact?

    Intentional ditch fits with the idea of selecting an exact location to ditch, although minimizing debris is another possible objective.

  11. @all

    Over the days since the search was officially suspended I have been asking myself what could possibly happen to trigger a renewed effort. Frankly, I am coming up empty.

    We are all aware of the ongoing analytics both inside the official search and outside i.e. IG, DrB, others here. Debris continues to show up pretty much on a predictable schedule.

    My sense is that drift studies and ongoing analytics are not going to result in a renewed search at least by the parties who funded the original search. I don’t see anyone else stepping up i.e Boeing. Outside the tripartite group of nations no one has any official standing or even encouragement from the tripartite group (Malaysia has backed away from a reward or any other action that could be regarded as even remotely encouraging).

    Anyone have anything positive to say in this regard?

  12. @DennisW, One piece of information that may be of interest is that Patrick De Deckker has told me via email that he has been asked to submit his report to the Australian government by the end of the month, and that he will not divulge any details until the report is made public. I’ve asked him when that might be; he said he’d check and get back to me. If and when he does, I’ll let you all know.

    I don’t interpret this as a guarantee that this report or any reports will actually be issued by the Australian government.

    I agree that in the absence of any further information there is little prospect of a seabed search being resumed, nor do I think that there would be much justfication for such a search, as I’ve previously written.

  13. Time to start outlining a number of hypotheses as to what caused
    MH370 to follow the path it flew.

    Oleksandr Post-ed on December 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM
    …”I agree it appears that MH370 followed waypoints from the time it
    reached the Malacca {Strait}. Moreover, the snapshot of radar image
    indicates that MH370 changed heading according to waypoints. However,
    it also appears that before ~18:00 and after 19:40 it did not follow
    waypoints. Why? “.

    If anyone (including Oleksandr) would like to hear a theory in answer
    to his question,I’ll outline it in about 16 hours time.

  14. @TBill

    Yes, I am definitely saying high speed ditch. Bearing in mind no one has ever ditched an aircraft the size of a B777 before purely with the intention of sinking it without trace – which I do think was his intention. This would have been the most difficult part of the whole enterprise, no doubt. I saw Sully’s ditching again (there was a program on BBC TV last night, called “City in the Sky” which concentrated on the approach and landing side of things). Pilots now train in simulators for double engine failure after takeoff situations, and attempt to make the nearest landing strip – extremely hairy, at the best of times. An unexpected crosswind just before landing can ruin your day! Sully’s plane lost its LH engine during the ditch, which was a violent event even considering it was a relatively calm river. The deceleration was obviously severe, not quite carrier deck landing level, but severe nonetheless.

    I think the RH engine pod dug in, possibly was detached and rotated outwards beneath the wing. The LH wing took very little of the initial impact, the plane pivoted around the RH wing, the LH wing rose in the air, the nose slammed into the water, and the LH wing slammed back, neatly breaking off a piece of the LH outboard flap trailing edge.

  15. @DennisW

    Difficult to say how it’s is going to pan out at this stage. Dr Bobby could possibly be our “great white hope” if he gets his weather data to narrow down the CTH crossing point, who knows? Looking at it long term (after your and my lifetimes, probably) underwater drone technology is going to advance to the level where a search could be resumed at a fraction of the cost of the ATSB’s.

  16. @Dennis W “Anyone have anything positive to say in this regard?”

    There may be some hope to learn more if someone were to conduct some investigations similar to those suggested by Hank on January 25, 2017 at 6:38 PM. (Excerpt: “…you might want to really investigate the story of how DSTG, Inmarsat, and the other players actually worked together and why assumptions were made. Even more, why not test several sets of assumptions to test sensitivity of the result.)

    Generally, it is probably a reasonable assumption that someone, somewhere has knowledge that would help define an end-point or at least give some reliable information on what happened and why. (It will take bribery, coercion, treats, luck …. to spring that free.) I think the ‘missing information’ is in someone’s head, not in the data.

    @buyerninety “If anyone (including Oleksandr) would like to hear a theory in answer to his question, I’ll outline it in about 16 hours time.”

    I am certainly interested since this is very key to the path analysis. For example – since it may be possible that Shah was flying the aircraft for the last several hours with the knowledge that this was his last act – how do you know that he was not performing a few aileron rolls and loops as a ‘last hurrah’. Difficult to model that but not difficult to image how he might loose a flap in the process.

  17. @DennisW
    The only thing I know is positive is private search interest (MChillit effort).

    Dr Bobby U has a case.
    Victor/RGodfrey of course has a solid case for NZPG from COCOS.

    In order to analyze future cases, we would need to know some basic info such as radar, waypoints available in MH370 FMC, magnetic heading corrections, behavior after discontinuity, etc. I do not see any willingness or interest by MY to make hidden facts more public. This sends the message that MY is not interested in finding the plane, and most likely that is true.

    If that is true, I do not see any basis for official gov’t searches. This uncooperative attitude by MY also suggests intentional diversion is likely. Countries have the preogative to control information, so that is fine, but that’s part of the reason we only have a partial “mystery” here.

  18. DennisW, you mention drift studies.
    I recently talked of three independent drift studies. They were Météo France’s drift analysis which talks of latitudes from 9°S to 23°S and the other two are Brock McEwen’s and Geomar’s drift analyses which are inside this range of latitudes.
    IMO Shah was definitely flying the plane and if the plane was under his control right up to a ditching there is no way he would not be trying to get to an airfield which means he is up near Java. If he had been immobilised late in the flight, i.e. say after the time of a scheduled Beijing landing, the plane could be further South anywhere down to 23°S.
    If what Ge Rijn says is correct “it must have been a relatively low speed level impact. Possibly an attempted glide ditching” then IMO Shah had to be in control to the end and the plane is most surely up between Java and Christmas Island near the 7th arc. There is no way Shah was suicidal.
    I agree with you that just having independent drift studies is not likely to result in a renewed search but there is other things that could help build the case for a search up near Java that needs to be articulated.

  19. @TimR/Shadynuk/TBill

    I agree with your various comments, but unless a whistleblower comes forward with very specific information, I don’t see how this will go anywhere.

    Maybe. I certainly hope so.

  20. @Dennis – Exactly, and IMO assuming it’s on the floor of the SIO and not in some hangar in Central Asia, the only sufficiently specific location info would be a radar or satellite trace of its final few minutes.

    @Tim — sorry, but if MH370 made a controlled landing and Shah was piloting it, I don’t see how you think it’s evident he was trying to get to an airfield just because you believe was “not suicidal”. There appear to be too many controlled maneuvers and too many passed opportunities to support your idea [even if we imagine a whole cascade of mechanical issues. We don’t in fact know if GeRijn’s inference about a controlled ditching is correct — but there seem to be enough pieces now for analysis [assuming the French are willing to let go their plaything]. If it were ditched in a deliberate manner, we might have better evidence that Shah was controlling it. But until that is established, we have mostly negative evidence that he did control the last hours of flight.

  21. @ lkr “There appear to be too many controlled maneuvers and too many passed opportunities to support your idea”
    Could you explain what you mean, thanks.

  22. @Tim — Sorry, just going out the door, so no time for a lengthy reply. But pick any of a number of threads on this blog over the past 3 years. And any that discuss the navigation from the first turn in the SCS, flight over the Malay-Thai border region [which we still lack radar data for], and especially the leg from Penang [where he could have landed] — the latter discussed in detail on this thread.

    You can believe as you wish, but this was not a ghost flight from the beginning, or one plotted by hypoxic pilots [or strangely altruistic pilots who refuse to ditch in protected waters next to shore to avoid harming snorkelers].

    So, out the door. I’m sure others can pick this up if they choose.

  23. @Jeff

    I agree on the inadvisability of not extending the search as you know. The greatest failure relative to the search exercise, IMO, is the general failure of the analysts to recognize that the power of the ISAT data lies in its ability to exclude, not to predict.

  24. @Phil
    Thank you. So I think that says DrBobbyU is OK if his path looks a lot like IG group path in that vicinity.

    I believe TimR sees a political negotiation scenario with plan to land in Java/Jakarta, unless something went horribly wrong, it somehow continued South as a ghost flight. Otherwise it fell in the water short of Java.

  25. @TBill@all

    The simple truth is that if a terminal prediction can only be falsified by an unsuccessful search, then it is a non-starter. My sincere belief is that people generating spreadsheets at this point in the search history are wasting their time.

  26. TBill, thank you for explaining the scenario as I see it, you are right on the money.
    My aircraft engineering background does not really help me make a decision on whether the aircraft ditched based on the evidence available but I agree with Ge Rijn that
    common sense tells me that on balance I consider the plane was under pilot control and it is highly likely it ditched under pilot control and by default was up near Java.

  27. Time: Your ‘by default’ seems to be the equivalent of ‘presto’, but perhaps you’ve already made your argument in threads I missed.

    My gloss on your telling is that Shah would never deliberately kill himself, let along the passengers and crew, but wasn’t able to read his fuel gauge. O something.

    Was running a high-stakes political game but couldn’t devise an end game or land just about anywhere other than Malaysia as a statement.

    If there is evidence for your construal it would be in Indo radar, which we’ll never see.

  28. @TimR

    there is also another very important technical fact corroborating that area, rate of descent according to BFO is much lower (= more realistic) compared to ATSB proposed area that was searched

  29. A circumstance occured which resulted in the flightcrew of MH370 turning the
    aircraft back towards Malaysia.
    (We will bypass discussing the ‘circumstance’ for the time being.)
    Both WMKL and WMKC airports would be closed by any time MH370 could reach them
    them, and their ground services unavailable (including Rescue and Firefighting
    Services). WMKP was the nearest open civilian Malaysian airport, suitable to
    land a 777, with available Rescue and Firefighting Services.

    The turn back after IGARI would likely have been actioned by the flightcrew
    manually steering the aircraft in a left turn, which means cutting across M765.
    The Malaysian eAIP stipulates;
    RAPID DESCENT, TURN-BACK OR DIVERSION IN OCEANIC AIRSPACE IN THE KUALA LUMPUR FIR. Initial Action If unable to comply with the provisions of paragraph
    to obtain a revised ATC clearance, the aircraft should leave its assigned route
    or track by turning 90 degrees right or left
    whenever this is possible. The
    direction of the turn should be determined by the position of the aircraft
    relative to any organized route”…

    “ Subsequent Action An aircraft able to maintain its assigned level should acquire and
    maintain in either direction a track laterally separated by 15 NM from its
    assigned route or track
    and once established on the offset track, climb or
    descend 500 FT (150 M).”

    “ Before commencing a diversion across the flow of adjacent traffic,
    the aircraft should, while maintaining the 15 NM offset, expedite climb above
    or descent below levels where the majority of aircraft operate (e.g., to a
    level above FL 400 or below FL 290) and then maintain a level which differs
    by 500 FT (150 M) from those normally used. However, if the pilot is unable or
    unwilling to carry out a major climb or descent, the aircraft should be flown
    at a level 500 FT above or below levels normally used
    until a new ATC clearance
    is obtained.”

    This answers why MH370 offset far to the right of M765, and acts to suggest
    that MH370 initially adopted a flight level 500 feet above or below 35,000.
    It suggests why MH370s left turn, though of course not 90 degrees, was as sharp
    as the flightcrew could make it (across M765).
    The flightcrew may not have elected to offset the full allowed 15Nm. (The actual
    turn may have been widened as a result of the flightcrew increasing speed before
    the turn commenced.)

    When MH370 reappeared on radar, it was roughly 10 to 14 Nm to the right of M765,
    but the distance from M765 had decreased by the time it passed to the north of
    Kota Bharu (which suggests that any large offset had not been programmed into the
    In the second picture of appendix K-2 of the document ‘Folder Appendix (1).pdf’
    the flightpath of MH370 is represented passing underneath Penang Island.
    If only that part of the flightpath line as it initally appears above ‘mainland’
    Malaysia is extended, it can be seen that the line is pointed to aim very close
    at waypoint KENDI.
    Waypoint KENDI, in laymans terms, is the final lead-in to Penang airport runway,
    if a landing from the southwest, rather than from the northeast, is the intention.
    (Landing in the early hours of the morning from the southwest basically overflys
    only water before the touchdown, whereas landing from the northeast would overfly
    parts of Penang Island that are residential and/or light industrial areas.)
    If an offset to the magnitude of 10+ Nm was being actioned by the autopilot,
    such an offset should have been expected to have been observed when MH370
    arrived in circa-Penang airspace.
    Although it is possible that MH370s autopilot could have been programmed by a
    member of its flightcrew to follow other waypoints on its flightpath to circa-
    Penang airspace, it is most likely that KENDI was the final waypoint that the
    flightcrew actually intended to have MH370 fly to.
    Therefore, if we consider that KENDI was the waypoint that the aircraft was
    flying towards, then any programmed offset in operation of 10 to 15 Nm (to the
    right of the aircrafts path to KENDI) would have caused MH370s actual flightpath
    to pass roughly above Penang airport runway, or pass over the middle of Penang
    Island. The represetation of MH370s flightpath in appendix K-2 supports a
    conclusion that MH370 passed perhaps 3 to 5 Nm from KENDI – therebeby either
    suggesting a small offset being in operation, or no offset at all.
    (Note; I believe the scale depicted on the second picture in appendix K-2 may
    be incorrect, and there are several other reasons why the flightpath may be
    inaccurate, but the position of the flightpath is sufficiently correct to
    deduce that operation of a large offset is not evidenced.)

    (More to follow in a later post, due to this forums cite URL limit per post.)

  30. @Buyerninety

    Interesting thoughts. IMO especialy this:

    “Therefore, if we consider that KENDI was the waypoint that the aircraft was
    flying towards, then any programmed offset in operation of 10 to 15 Nm (to the
    right of the aircrafts path to KENDI) would have caused MH370s actual flightpath
    to pass roughly above Penang airport runway, or pass over the middle of Penang

    The co-pilot’s phone was only picked up by a station near Georgetown which is more north in the middle on the East-coast of Penang north of the airport.
    Suggesting the plane entered Penang from the north-east passing it over land and not south over sea like you discribe above.
    Your flight path till Penang makes good sence in this regard IMO.

  31. @buyerninety
    Your scenario touches on another apparent Malaysian “state secret”…namely what waypoints and other parameters that the MH370 FMC had available. ALSM advises me however that IG believes from ATSB that the magnetic heading tables were 2005 basis.

    Seems to me MH370 might have made liberal use of lateral offsets. We have the expected IGARI offset, the apparent NILAM offset, and I may propose a COCOS offset if it helps me with ping ring matches.

    Unfort I don’t think FS9/PSS777 has lateral offset capability – I’d have to ask Victor but I don’t see it in there. I’ll have to graduate to FSX/PDMG model.

Comments are closed.