|Quoting na (Reply 151):|
While that is right, there are few places where a 777 could land in that region, especially at night. A midsized and well lit place is the minimum - for a well-trained pilot. And those are easily known.
I agree that a runway with an absolute minimum of 1200-1500 metres in lenght and 30 metres in width is required, not to mention a good weight tolerance. I don't have any knowledge to say how many of such airfields are in the range of that particular aircraft with that particular fuel and weight configuration and flight profile, but my guess is that there are hundreds.
My reasoning for doubting if the aircraft has crashed is simple. Given the new information about the A/C appearing as a PSR target an hour and twenty minutes after the SSR target disappeared, it's clear to me that the plane is in a flyable condition, eg no fuel leak, no fire, no in-flight breakup. Whether any of the people on board were alive and conscious or not, is not known of course. Again the evidence to support either theory is thin and circumstantial.
|Quoting liquidair (Reply 166):|
i think this is most likely scenario- something knocked out comms and eventually lead to incapacitating the crew.
I'm going with fumes of some sort from a fire in radio comms- because 1hr20mins is a long way to fly with a fire.
although that still doesn't explain lack of communication as turn was initiated- whatever happened, i don't think it was violently catastrophic.
I find this plausible, however in this case, 1) while the transponder and radio equipment malfunctioned, the autopilot must have stayed operational and 2) the crew would still have been able to use crew oxygen and gotten lower than FL320 (which is what the PSR data seems to suggest) in a hurry to get back to the ground on the suspicion of an on-board fire. A possible explanation is that even with oxygen supply, the fumes disabled the eyesight of the crew as well, rendering them incapable of action.
If this is the case, the entire search effort is in the wrong part of the planet. We have the loadsheet and operational flight plan with fuel figures in KUL
, we have the estimated fuel burn figures, we have the estimated track of the aircraft based on the last SSR position and the PSR track, and we have the upper wind charts for the period. It should all add up to a vector that points to a possible area where the aircraft might have impacted the ocean after fuel starvation (I'd estimate somewhere between the southward projections of the southern tip of the Indian peninsula and the eastern tip of the Horn of Africa.
Given the size of the possible area, the oceanic currents and the fact that more than four days have passed, it's obviously going to be like finding a needle in a haystack.