Again, disappointed at ATSB basing the search area on an uncontrolled ending despite the flaperon and other things pointing to intentional flight / controlled ditching, and hoping that when this search comes up empty they will search where a controlled glide ending would put the aircraft.
I didn't think this was well covered in the program.
I can think of a few reasons.
1. The Southern Ocean isn't like the Hudson River - it has massive swells so a controlled 'landing' is unlikely and may not be that different to uncontrolled
2. I find it hard to accept the aircraft would fly dead straight for 6hrs, and then the pilot would take control
3. If I recall from many moons ago the 7th Inmarsat signal was incomplete and consistent with loss of all power
4. If you did accept that the pilot controlled the aircraft for another 80miles, they could presumably also turn the aircraft somewhat which probably expands a possible search zone by 100x or so, making it an even more improbable search task
1- When the Ocean expert said 3-4 meter swells on that day, I think it was the 777 pilot that said still could be successfully ditched. The Canadian investigator still said it could remain in large pieces (engines off, one wing off and possibly one wing even connected). Regardless of if it broke up or not after impact, the controlled glide v dive debate is regarding determining the impact area and hence where to search. Doesn't matter if it broke up or not upon impact, how far it flew is more important in locating it.
2- Why not? The auto pilot flying a heading for most of the flight before the pilot hand flies the landing is the norm anyway, no?
3- RAT would deploy and provide enough control to steer it down and then flare before the belly flop.
4- Correct. Worst case scenario... Glide starts at max cruise speed from max 777 altitude in any direction, straight, left, right, u-turn - massive area to cover right there. IIRC the 777 pilot said he glided it for 88nm over 9 mins... I reckon it could stretch farther than that... Let's say 100nm + in any direction, so a 360 degree radius from that final ping, plus a few extra miles to cover debris drifting in currents on the way down = massive search area!
I wonder if it's worth this search company dropping an old engine core or landing gear 6kms or so down to the sea floor just to check if their good toys can even pick it up... under silt...
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388