MH370 may have been located in ocean 1500 miles WSW of Perth

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Good morning:

New Development:

Satellite images from March 16 show 2 objects floating in the ocean approximately 1500 miles WSW of Perth, Australia. The largest object is about 80 feet long and might be part of a wing. Two reconnaissance aircraft, including the P-8A, went to the area but were unable to locate the floating objects and had to return to Perth. Poor visibility, bad weather and the onset of darkness made it difficult to see anything.

The good news is they spotted something with radar.

USA Today is reporting,

The objects, found in satellite imagery, are “of reasonable size and probably awash with water,” John Young, general manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said at a press conference in Canberra, Australia’s capital, on Thursday.

/snip/

Earlier, the crew of the Poseidon told ABC News that their aircraft was getting radar hits of “significant size” in water’s beneath the surface near the objects but that it was too early to tell if these hits were related to debris from the missing plane.

“This is a lead, this is probably the best lead we have right now, but we have to find them, see them, assess them,” Young said of the objects.

A Norwegian merchant ship has reached the area and is searching it.

Given the currents in the area, the objects in the satellite image will have drifted to a new location.

The Guardian reports:

Prof Alexander Babanin, director of the Centre for Ocean Engineering, Science and Technology at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, said that the search was taking place in an area of deep ocean and strong currents, where waves can reach up to six metres in stormy weather.

He noted that floating debris could have been carried 100km away from their position in the satellite photographs, an estimate based on looking at average conditions.

Fragments could be spread over 50km or so, and material suspended beneath the surface could be carried perhaps even further, because ocean currents can be stronger than wave-induced currents, he said.

/snip/

Charitha Pattiaratchi, a professor of oceanography at the University of Western Australia, told Reuters that the search area covered an ocean ridge known as Naturalist Plateau, a large sea shelf about 3,500 metres (9,800ft) deep. The plateau is about 250km (150 miles) wide by 400km (250 miles) long, and the area around it is close to 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) deep.

“Whichever way you go, it’s deep,” he said

19 Responses to MH370 may have been located in ocean 1500 miles WSW of Perth

  1. Trained Observer says:

    Off Topic: This is sickening. I’m often suspicious of couples (often featured in local press as warm/fuzzy families) who load up with adoptive kids after having a slew of their own. Some truly are well-meaning. Others, such as these, are perves.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/re-homing/adopted-girl-i-was-re-homed-after-reporting-dads-alleged-n57671

  2. Good morning.

    It’s now 9:12 am EDT.

    9 pm in Kuala Lumpur and Perth.

    The searchers did not find anything during their daylight search and there is a possibility that the 79-foot-long object spotted by the satellite may have sunk out of sight.

    There also is a possibility that the unidentified object may have been a shipping container that fell off a ship during a storm. I regard this possibility to be unlikely because containers are not that big.

    Nevertheless, I’ve read estimates that as many as 10,000 shipping containers are lost every year. I would not be surprised to discover that a significant percentage of them were stolen and reported as lost at sea.

    Another possibility is currents have carried the object beyond the area searched by the planes and the Norwegian container ship.

    Bad weather and poor visibility have complicated the search so it’s possible that the object is still on the surface and will be found after the weather clears.

    Patience, cooperation and perseverance are required.

    Wouldn’t hurt to pray either.

    • towerflower says:

      One of the things I didn’t know about until recently is that the Indian Ocean has a “garbage dump”. I knew the Pacific Ocean had one but not the Indian. These garbage dumps are caused by the ocean currents in which debris is caught in and it accumulates causing a large floating garbage dump in the ocean. From what I heard, the debris spotted is close to or might be caught in the current that causes this dump so keeping an eye of this dump might produce some debris in time. But until they find something, anything, and then utilize the known currents to backtrack it’s path it will be a needle in the haystack to locate the jet’s final resting place.

      Other speculation I can debunk is the exchange between the co-pilot and controller for the last time. It is not unusual at all for controllers and pilots to be friendly over the air so telling a controller “good night” or a controller telling a pilot “have a good flight” is not unusual and way too much was read into that exchange.

  3. towerflower says:

    Ed, First I have been an Air Traffic Controller for longer than I can to say, both in the military and the FAA. Next, you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Air Traffic Control uses two different types of radar. One is used in Terminal environments (basically located near airports) in which they control airspace from basically 18,000′ and below. They utilize both primary and secondary radar. Primary radar is just a slash (-) that shows up on radar. The STARS system that the US uses in most of their terminal facilities gives you the ability to tag a primary target–meaning we can have the computer track the slash and input the callsign, destination, an assigned altitude, and type aircraft. The computer systems will figure out the airspeed and will display that with the target, the only thing we cannot receive or know for sure is the actual altitude of the plane but if I assigned 8,000′ ft to it I can put in A080 as a reminder to me that was he assigned altitude.

    Centers operate airspace typically 18,000′ and above and to operate in this airspace it requires an operational transponder, why? Because their system only follows secondary targets that they get from an operating transponder. Shut off or have a transponder go bad for whatever issue and the airplane will go into what we call “coast” It will track for a couple of sweeps and display CST (coast) and it will no longer display altitude and it will drop off the controller’s screen. Since you like 911 conspiracies, think of what the hijackers did, they shut off the transponders to make them invisible to the centers but the terminal facilities can and did still track them.

    There is no radar over large expanses of open water, like the oceans. Controlling aircraft there is done by time. So much time has to pass before another aircraft is allowed to occupy the same intersection at the same altitude. Aircraft will give position reports as they pass by these intersections so that the times can always be updated and since there is no VHF radio coverage over the ocean it is done via the ACARS system and HF. A long range radar system will go out 200 miles but typical terminal facilities have shorter ranges. Radar coverage will “weaken” when you get to it’s limits, you might no longer pick them up at lower altitudes regardless whether they have a working transponder or not. There can also be “blind spots” caused by large buildings (as in height) and the terrain…..meaning mountains.

    GPS in the aviation community is currently only used for navigation purposes and not radar tracking. The FAA and NASA are currently trying to develop the next satellite based system using real time tracking of planes using GPS, it is called NexGen and it is still many years from being implemented and does not exist yet, so in other words Satellites do not track airplanes for controllers.

    As a controller, I can say it is quite possible for a terminal controller to ignore a primary target going across their screen if they didn’t have any planes near it for it to be a factor for their concern (calling traffic). Military units would track any unknown target, especially if ATC doesn’t call them to let them known of an aircraft with a malfunctioning transponder, coming into their airspace and that would cause many nations along the northern route to scramble their jets to investigate, there is no way China nor India would just let a jet come into their country’s airspace without sounding an alarm.

    As a controller, my theory has been, that the jet suffered some sort of decompression or most likely smoke in the aircraft. Smoke from an electrical fire makes more sense since there were a series of failures to the avionics and radios. The pilot quickly programmed in a new heading to the closest airport that could handle their jet. Oxygen would not be turned on since oxygen and fire don’t mix well. With all the toxic types of materials on an airplane people would be quickly overcome by the fumes and pass out and die. I have heard that pilots have smoke hoods but that gives you only a couple of minutes. An airplane at 35,000′ getting down to the surface takes longer than a few minutes. With the pilots and everyone else overcome by fumes the airplane would continue on it’s last programmed heading and continue until it ran out of gas and went into the ocean. It is also possible for there to be a smoldering type of problem which would produce the smoke but not the increasing flames of a spreading fire.

    As a Controller who also worked on 911 that fateful day I’ll be glad to discuss that too. But just because you don’t understand a system doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible or plausible.

  4. ed nelson says:

    Get real people, state of the art” airliners don’t go off radar or any other dar… Satalite… GPS… whatevah!

    The whole deal is a big ruse!

    No way that any 777 757, or WTF ever got off any flight plan to nowhere… !

    That’l be the day when some yahoo will abscond with a billion dollar machine, I mean: The money angle is more than a billion, just figure in the costs… the costs of… insecurity/ costs that will make the whole flight industry zoom in expense!

    This thing will be found out to be a stunt! like taking down twin towers was… ??!!. Yeah I said that!!

  5. bettykath says:

    If the debris found off the coast Australia is the plane, it looks like the pilot speculating on a fire or something similar might be right. It looks like the pilot was able to line up for a landing at Lankawi airport before losing consciousness. The plane continued on until it went into the ocean off the coast of Perth.

  6. CessnaDriver says:

    The area where the debris was “found” is in or near the footprint of the antipode of the Bermuda Triangle. Just saying.

  7. I have mixed emotions because, if the plane crashed into the sea, everyone on board must be dead.

    I feel bad for the families, even though I know that knowing their loved ones are dead is better than not knowing and constantly wondering.

    I have experienced that and it is the worst emotional pain I have ever felt.

    • towerflower says:

      If it was a decompression event you would quickly loose consciousness’ and they would not have experienced the horror of a crashing plane. If there was smoke they would also succumb quickly due to all the toxic materials on board. Whatever happened you know it went quickly due to the fact that no one had a chance to make or try to make a phone call from either cell phones or on board phones.

  8. towerflower says:

    I hope that the weather clears enough so that they can get some real searching done. Then if it does happen to be parts of the plane then the hard work begins by figuring out the currents and how far some of this debris may have traveled in the days following it’s disappearance.

    Reports also have them repositioning some commercial satellites to the area for other scanning. They won’t say much about these photos so it must have been from military type of satellite.

    • masonblue says:

      Interesting, thank you, towerflower- Crane-Station here. (He is on an errand and I am using his screen, mine being repaired!)
      wondered about that, never occurred to me- military, of course!
      *ppalmtoforehead^

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