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Old 07-07-2014, 15:58   #616
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
Next question. How far would a Boeing 777 glide from 6,000 feet?
Depending on configuration, a both engines out glide from 6,000 feet would yield a distance of about 10 nautical miles. Glide speed has to be above 270 knots indicated air speed to keep the ram air turbine (RAT) providing electrical and hydraulic power required for the "all electric" B777 to continued in controlled flight.

Regards,
Stew
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Old 07-07-2014, 20:38   #617
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Ok for this to fit Inmarsat's ping rings, the Aircraft would be doing about 200kts (IAS), possible asymmetric flight, with some flaps, and would end up in the water just off west Java.

Using: Figure 18: BTO ring solutions for 9M-MRO from ATSB Report of 26 June 2014
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:36   #618
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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Depending on configuration, a both engines out glide from 6,000 feet would yield a distance of about 10 nautical miles. Glide speed has to be above 270 knots indicated air speed to keep the ram air turbine (RAT) providing electrical and hydraulic power required for the "all electric" B777 to continued in controlled flight.

Regards,
Stew
Thanks stew. That was just a passing thought anyway. Once I realised it was that low, I started wondering why it was that low, that's all.
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Old 08-07-2014, 14:18   #619
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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Ok for this to fit Inmarsat's ping rings, the Aircraft would be doing about 200kts (IAS), possible asymmetric flight, with some flaps, and would end up in the water just off west Java.

Using: Figure 18: BTO ring solutions for 9M-MRO from ATSB Report of 26 June 2014

I agree with your assessment with one exception. Based on flying the X-Plane B777-200ER, the aircraft can be flown single engine at 200 KIAS at the gross weight MH-370 would be when passing Saucy without flaps. In fact, I have flown it down to about 196 KIAS flaps up without issue.

Regards,
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:43   #620
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Dear Members,

Thanks to one new member who signed up to make a post slandering me, the Chief Admin has closed the thread (I am just sneaking in to post this while she's not looking!).

Unfortunately, that has removed my public access to the independent investigators who have been kindly answering my queries as they arise. Not a problem, as I can contact them via email, but it does mean that I no longer have a safe place where I can copy any remarks I do make, so that when others do twist what I said others can go straight to the source to verify my comments.

I'd like to offer my thanks to the members who have supported me through this. Before I sign off, I'd like to say that the last week has been a very positive one for me. I think I have dealt with the fear and guilt that whacked me in the face like a cricket ball when I finally did open up.

One more question... does anyone know where I can see an accurate flight path of the Jeddah - KL route? And does it use NOPEK as a waypoint? Answers by PM, I guess...

Also, if you have anything NEW and constructive to say, let us know. We can temporarily reopen the thread for constructive developments.
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Old 09-07-2014, 23:08   #621
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Thak you to Stewball5 for the following response:

Quote:
Ii think I remember that you wanted to know if SVA 2798 from Jedda to Kuala Lumpur went through the NOPEK waypoint. I went to flightaware.com and could only find the March 1, 2014 flight. The flight history is available at the URL below.

URL: Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV) #2798 ✈ 01-Mar-2014 ✈ OEJN / JED - WMKK / KUL ✈ FlightAware

The flight did not go through NOPEK per the route below.

OBRO1C OBROD T532 KODIS L883 ALRIK N569 LOTOS UN569 TOKRA N0511F330 G652 DATBU N0512F350 G652 TULBU M628 TOLDA L555 TOTOX M086F350 P574 UDULO M085F370 P574 MMV N0501F370 P761 IDASO M086F370 N571 GUNIP N0498F370 R467 AGOSA

Hope this addresses your question.
Thank you. That rules that sighting out then. I hadn't even realised it flew via Muscat. That's a relief for me, since I have been entertaining the worry that it went down closer to us (and that military convoy).
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Old 12-07-2014, 22:48   #622
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Reported PM From Blackkettle - Subject: Research on Your Sighting ~ Volacanos/Fires/DHL Cargo

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Hi again,

Thanks for the PM spam unlock! Below is the message Id planned to post on the forum in case you hadnt known of or considered the items touched on. With the talented variety of members that have contributed to your sighting thread I also figured someone might also have additional insights, first hand regional experience, or research gateways that were otherwise unavailable to myself. If the forum opens again and you feel this post would contribute, feel free to add it. Either way I wasn't sure you'd known of or considered some of the findings herein so I felt impelled to share them with you....

========================================

Saucy,

My first post here. I've followed this thread carefully and like many others here wish to commend you for both coming forward and deciding to keep your visual encounter with this mysterious aircraft contained in this thread. Brave, wise, and prudent. Kudos.

Here's why I posted...

Something I've been haunted by is your observation that the plane "glowed orange", with a rather "steady" glow. I keep wondering what extraordinary conditions could cause that to happen if it were indeed MH370. The only thought that even came close to working in my mind was perhaps an explosive breach (or two) in the fuselage whereby a (lithium ion battery fire) fire was reflecting off the inner engine housing and wing and back onto the outer fuselage. But that seems unlikely to have caused a steady "glow" - i.e. one that didn't "flicker" anyway, ant it certainly wouldnt illuminate the whole aircraft. The same goes for a passenger cabin fire where all the windows would perhaps be lit red. It seems unlikely, and in any case, fire most often flickers, at least a little anyway. It doesn't generally "glow" in "steady" manner.

One explanation that occurred to me would be the phenomena of St. Elmo's fire, a well know and often observed condition in which a luminous electrical discharge appears on a ship or aircraft due to thunderstorm or volcanic activity in the area they are passing through

Google: https://www.google.com/#q=St.+Elmos+Fire+phenomena
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...+fire+aircraft

That said, St. Elmo's fire generally takes on a blue or violet color, so my next thought was how could a largely white aircraft (with red and blue stripes and grayish underside) look orange? One occasional aspect of the St. Elmo's fire phenomena, as it pertains to jet aircraft anyway, is that the intakes of jet engines experiencing a St. Elmo event often glow ORANGE. In the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) , chapter 7-5-8 (Flight Operations in Volcanic Ash), section D, item #4 states:

"At night, St. Elmo's fire or other static discharges accompanied by a BRIGHT ORANGE glow in the engine inlets." (See this page for a graphic and more: https://www.asme.org/engineering-top...ng-for-trouble).

That made me wonder if there any volcanic activity in the region at the time. As it turns out... yes there WAS, but not perhaps close enough for ash to have been in the skies in sufficient quantities at your location for St. Elmos fire (but waitmore on that below). MT. SINABUNG in Northern Sumatra is only 50km WSW of Madan and has been erupting throughout 2014. On March 6th, 2014 it released a minor eruption described on the Smithsonians Global Volcanism web site as:

"Based on wind data, satellite images, and webcam images, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-7 and 9-11 March ash plumes from Sinabung rose to altitudes of 3.7-4 km (12,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW. Ash plumes drifted 35-165 km SW and W during 6 and 9-11 March."

See the report at:
http://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=261080#March2014 (click on Weekly Reports, then March, the scroll to the dates in question)

And heres a March 6th, 2014 NASA satellite photo:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Nat...w.php?id=83314



The daily volcanic activity reports for that entire week in March list aviation conditions near and in the vicinity Mt. Sinabung as "RED" meaning:

"Eruption is imminent with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere likely OR eruption is underway or suspected with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, ash-plume height specified, if possible".

A collection of text files of the daily reports for the dates in question can be accessed at: ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/gen/vaac/2014/ (the page loads slowly so wait for the links to show).

Even with all that however, it's clear that the main concentration and directional movement of the ash plumes were a good 500km south of your position on the 6th to the 8th though. They could have assumedly drifted northward of course but thats still quite distance and perhaps too far away for ash concentrations significant enough to trigger widespread St. Elmos fire phenomena. That doesnt rule it out either. Like smoke from fires, ash can probably drift in thermal layers driven by wind over great distances.

Also, in addition to the Mt. Sinabung eruptions in early March, there were widespread wildfires throughout central Sumatra that were so intense the smoke dropped atmospheric visibility dangerously low during early March. NASA captured images of this smoke on March 7th: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Nat...w.php?id=83304



BUT THEN... the BIG AHA moment happened for me You mentioned in post #606:

"The whole thing was just glowing. I could see where the windows should have been (and I did think it was a passenger plane from its shape) but the whole hull just appeared to be one plain surface, as though they'd been painted over..."

I thought, Bingo! Most commercial CARGO AIRCRAFT DO NOT HAVE WINDOWS. AND... there is one company in particular who not only has been doing a great deal of business in SE Asia of late but has been increasing their infrastructure and services in Indonesia in particular since 2012 (See: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/busin...-in-indonesia/ )

That company is DHL, and the bulk of their fleet are large Boeing & Airbus airliners that are all painted a BRIGHT YELLOW/ORANGE... with NO WINDOWS. A Google image search for DHL Aircraft results in hundreds of images of their fleet in a variety of lighting conditions.



Their interactive website (See: http://www.dhl.com/worldmap/intro.html#/IDN/performance ) states that they currently fly 179 flights per week, or 25 PER DAY into and out of Indonesia. One their six Indonesian "Gateways" is at MEDAN, where they have 11 offices. They also have one office Banda Aceh, on Sumatras northern tip, so presumably may fly into there on a regular basis too.

Unfortunately Indonesian DHL flights apparently do not appear on flight tracking websites like Flight Aware and Flight Radar 24 so I haven't been able to search for flights that may have crossed your track around the time of your sighting.

Does this potentially conjure up interesting possibilities as to what you saw?

With all this in mind, one could easily imagine a scenario like this:

A DHL Cargo Airliner lands in Medan on a routine run. After unloading and reloading for the next flight, they take off in the middle of the night for a destination somewhere to the North or Northwest and pass through ash and smoke which compromises but does not yet effect their engines from normal operation. After passing well north of Sumatra (or west / northwest, whatever) while climbing to cruise altitude they develop an engine problem due to the ash/smoke taken into the turbines while leaving Medan and begin trailing black smoke. They turn around and begin descending into Banda Aceh for an emergency landing and pass over you heading southward at 8000 or so feet and descending.

Remember too that many pilots will turn on their landing and wing lights during an emergency descent for safety and visibility. With some airlines this may also be on the emergency procedures checklist. A DHL aircraft that is all YELLOW/ORANGE to begin with would certainly light up considerably in a dark sky with landing and wing lights on. An additional St. Elmo's fire phenomena, even if very minimal, would only further increase the luminosity of the aircraft had there been some drifting of the daily Mt. Sinabung ash plumes in the vicinity at the time.

I searched for evidence of this, or some indication of the atmospheric state at the time. As it turns out, there are serendipitously a few unrelated press photos taken near sunset of some fisherman near Banda Aceh on March 7th, and lo and behold the sky indeed seems very, very hazy and full of some considerable particulates of some kind...

See the photos under "Fishing Activities in Lampulo" toward the bottom of this weblog page: http://plpwowwow.blogspot.com



And on this page (down in the middle of the page) is another March 7th photo of fishermen on Gampong Jawa beach near Banda Aceh: http://blogs.pjstar.com/eye/2014/03/...rch-7-10-2014/

The skies in these photos do indeed seem very "ashy" or "smoky".

Atmospheric particulates might also explain the orange glow you saw to the south. When I lived on west Maui, the lights of Honolulu, which are some 126 km away, could rarely be seen across the horizon. But when smoke from Kiluea would occasionally blow NW over the islands, a distinct spike of light from Honolulu would light the sky so brightly you could almost read by it. Bandah Aceh was the same approximate distance from your track on the night(s) in question. Since Banda Aceh is a city of nearly a quarter million, and the photos I've seen on the web of the city at night show what appears to be a good deal of sodium vapor street lamps this glow could have easily taken on an orange tint. With the heavy particulates in the air around the region at the time, as witnessed in the March 7th fisherman photos referenced above, it probably wouldn't have been an unlikely phenomena for the city to cast glow that was quite prominent from well out along your track. And had an aircraft been descending into the airport there for an emergency landing, it would of course dovetail well with your observation the plane in question appeared to be heading toward a rendezvous with that glow.

Another interesting thing to note is that the official Jeppesen Approach Plate for Banda Aceh indicates approaches from the north from waypoint Anoko which is just north of Nopek and passes very near to it if a route directly to Banda Aceh is taken from Anoko. The Approach Plate also indicates that all preferred landings there are on runway 170, or from the north. If youre not familiar with Approach Plates, every airport has been assigned one of these approach/departure maps and its customary for pilots carry either hard copy or digital catalogs of them on all flights so the official approach and departure protocols and proper flight pathways can be correctly followed to and from the runway(s).

You can view the official Banda Aceh Approach Plates in this PDF: http://saripedia.files.wordpress.com...banda-aceh.pdf (See page 2 for the Anoko recommendation of a northerly approach).

The graphic below overlays the flight vectors for the area onto your track map. The Anoko waypoint and the Banda Aceh Airport ("Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport" or code "BTJ") are circled red. DHL or not, if a pilot needing an emergency airport along the main flight vectors, checked the approach plate for BTJ he may have very well vectored in from Anoko, etc. That track would cross your path on or about the leg section you first highlighted early in the forum thread for the AM hours of March 8th...



I also recall you'd mentioned you didn't remember seeing any "logo" of sorts. Clearly all the DHL aircraft all have giant "DHL" letters on the forward section of the fuselage, but at night however, the closely related color values of a yellow/orange fuselage and the big red letters could easily blend together enough to not be readily separated. Especially at a distance. Those color values are closely related and in all but the best lighting would perhaps not make themselves readily apparent. No one can judge that particular visual issue but you of course.

If you sense that the DHL color scheme might possibly fit what you saw, the next logical step might be to try and get some verification that one of their planes was in the area and/or experiencing troubles around that time. Without any available tracking archives to pull from (that I can find anyway), I suppose the only way would be to contact them and inquire. I've already checked all the emergency landing archives I can find on the web and haven't found a record of any plane in an emergency state in that area around that time, but one can imagine that DHL wouldn't have reason to make public a routine emergency landing if it didn't have to. Since there are no passengers besides the crew, regulations may not even require that they do so.

If it helps here is the contact information for DHLs Main Jakarta, Medan, and Banda Aceh offices:

===================================
MAIN DHL INDONESIA OFFICE - Jakarta:

P.T. Birotika Semesta/DHL Express
Siemens Business Park, Building F
Jl. MT. Haryono Kav. 58-60
Jakarta Selatan 12780
Tel: 62 21 - 7917 3333
Fax: 62 21 - 7919 6688

Opening Hours
Mon-Fri 08:00-17:00
Sat-Sun Closed
Holidays Closed

===================================
DHL SERVICE POINT - Medan:
PT Birotika Semesta
Cargo Area Polonia Airport
Medan
20157

Telp: 061 - 453 2225

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday 08:00-17:00
Saturday 08:00 - 13:00
Sunday and Holidays Closed
DHL SERVICE POINT
P.T. Birotika Semesta/DHL
Hotel Garuda Citra, Jl. Sisingamangaraja No. 27/39,
Medan 20213

Telp: 061 - 734 6312

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday 09:00-17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 14:00
Sunday and Holidays Closed

===================================
DHL SERVICE CENTER - Banda Aceh:
JL.Prof. DR. Mr. Teuku Moch Hasan No.10
Batoh 23245
Banda Aceh

Operational hours:
Monday - Friday 08:00-17:00
Saturday 08:00 - 13:00

Phone: 0651 33540, 0651 7408947

==============================

Lastly, I empathize with how you must feel, wanting to at least find some proof one way or another that you either DID or DID NOT see MH370.

Considering that many dozens if not hundreds of flights pass through the several corridors above and around where you were every day and night, multiplied by the possible time period in question, it seems to me very likely you DID NOT see MH370. It's just what the law of averages dictates. It was only ONE plane. At an unknown altitude. On an unknown course. And perhaps without running lights or power at the time to boot. No matter how I spin it around in my head, the law of averages says you very likely saw something else. If so, there is surely evidence SOMEWHERE and/or with SOMEONE (the pilot!) of what aircraft that was.

That DHL runs dozens of flights all over the area on a variety of likely changing and publicly unreported schedules and that their planes are YELLOW/ORANGE and WITHOUT WINDOWS would certainly be the odds favorite over MH370 in Las Vegas anyway.

Whether any of this struck a new chord or not, I do hope to hear you've found the smoking gun someday. This one haunts me too.

Best of luck to you and Marc,

Ed Truthan
Garberville, CA
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Old 12-07-2014, 23:11   #623
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Ed, I cannot thank you enough for your carefully researched post. Your explanation is exactly the sort of explanation I had been searching for, and if my sighting is disproved then I am very relieved to have a rational explanation for what I saw. The aircraft picture you provide is the closest resemblance I have seen to date of what I saw at the time.

So yet again, thank you.

There is a small team of independent investigators who are researching my sighting more carefully, and I believe they will be ready to publish their findings in a week or so. Perhaps this will help the authorities narrow down their search area, and if not (or if the plane is found in an area which would make my sighting impossible), then at least I now have a logical explanation.

Thank you once again.
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Old 13-07-2014, 05:16   #624
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Reported PM From Blackkettle - Subject: Re: Research on Your Sighting ~ Volacanos/Fires/DHL Cargo

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Have read your reply to the merged PM in the forum. Glad to have offered a tangibly plausible (if not yet verified) alternative to what you saw. Thanks for posting it.

Good to know there are investigators giving it some attention. Hopefully their on it. It seems logical to me that any investigator assigned to your sighting would be primarily focused on finding a verifiable record of another aircraft that crossed your track during the possible timeline in question with the right visual appearance, altitude, and heading to match what you saw. With no other way to conclusively eliminate the possibility of it having been MH370, one would think that would be their primary focus. And once found, if two other aircraft were headed the other way at cruise altitude at the same time... then bada-bing.

I imagine that DHL would be more willing to share their detailed flight history with the investigators than they would a private party such as yourself (big business is funny that way as we all know). Hopefully they'll inquire?

Will be in touch if I run across anything else of pertinence. Thanks again.

- Ed
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Old 13-07-2014, 09:24   #625
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Just wanted to share this, published by an independent investigator (I think working on Duncan's site) yesterday: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vmxqnijjd1...st%20Hours.pdf
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Old 14-07-2014, 02:16   #626
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

New TV documentary: The Mystery of MH370 - Channel NewsAsia
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Old 15-07-2014, 09:15   #627
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

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Ed, I cannot thank you enough for your carefully researched post. Your explanation is exactly the sort of explanation I had been searching for, and if my sighting is disproved then I am very relieved to have a rational explanation for what I saw. The aircraft picture you provide is the closest resemblance I have seen to date of what I saw at the time.

So yet again, thank you.

There is a small team of independent investigators who are researching my sighting more carefully, and I believe they will be ready to publish their findings in a week or so. Perhaps this will help the authorities narrow down their search area, and if not (or if the plane is found in an area which would make my sighting impossible), then at least I now have a logical explanation.

Thank you once again.
Glad to see the thread opened back up.

I thought Stews post below made the most sense and it will not surprise me if that is the conclusion they come to.

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Originally Posted by stewball5 View Post
FLIGHT, thanks for the kind words. Your suggestion of assuming Saucy's observation was correct and she did see MH370 on fire is exactly what I did, but with a little background before hand. I had spent a significant amount of time looking at the overall flight profile, including "flying" a couple of complete profiles in the simulator. I believe now that there were two fires, one just before the abrupt turn at IGARI to the west, and the second the engine failure and fire that Saucy saw. I sincerely believe now that she did see MH370.

The first fire was, I believe, and as others have stated, in the Engineering and Electronics (E&E) bay below the cockpit. This fire caused a gradual loss of all communications as it smoldered, except the Inmarsat transponder. When the fire was discovered by smoke in the cockpit, the crew put on their oxygen masks and made their abrupt left turn back toward Thailand and Malaysia. A course of 263 degrees would take them to the VAMPI waypoint if they did not see one of several airports along the way lighted that would be big enough for them to land. This immediate turn toward VAMPI could have been pre-programmed in event of an emergency during climb out and level off. The first airport along the way would have been Narathiwat Airport, Thailand, with a runway of 8,200 feet.

During the turn they started an immediate climb to 36,000 feet (thrust limited at their gross weight). As they climbed, they made a decision to depressurize the cabin in hopes of starving the fire of oxygen. They remained depressurized for about 30 minutes. They had noticed the loss of communications and therefore pulled all communications related circuit breakers (they thought) and left them pulled for fear of starting another fire.

The cockpit crew had their pressure demand oxygen masks and equipment on good for up to 45,000 feet that they put on when they smelled smoke. Unfortunately, the passengers had only the drop-down diluter demand masks good to about 32,000 feet if you are in reasonable physical shape. The flight attendants probably put on their pressure demand walk around masks with oxygen bottles. The result was the majority, if not all of the back end passengers and flight attendants may not have survived, particularly the passengers. They died of asphyxiation due to hypoxia.

The cockpit crew was able to confirm that the fire was out in the E&E bay by inspection. They then re-pressurized the cabin and remained at 36,000 feet flying towards the airports and VAMPI in hopes of finding a lighted airport at what is now about 0200 Malaysian time. No luck with any lighted airports, so they pressed ahead thinking that they were safe and had enough fuel for another 6 hours or so until daylight.

From VAMPI, they flew northwest to the SAMAK waypoint and turned south. About three minutes after the turn, they saw the #1 (left) engine begin to spool down, a low oil pressure warning came on, and then the engine fire warning came on. They initiated the engine fire procedures and was able to put out the fire out by slowing down and using the engine fire extinguishers. This took about 12 minutes. With one engine operating, they were able to maintain about 19,000 feet at the gross weight they had.

Based on the calculations and simulator flying I have done to date, as well as single engine performance charts from the flight manual, I believe, but yet to prove fully to myself, that they made the 1829 and 1940 Inmarsat arc crossover times on time with this scenario. Further, I believe the had enough single engine performance and fuel on board to end up at the 0011 Inmarsat arc (last one) about 225 nm northeast of where the ATSB was looking based on the black box "pings." See attached overview of the flight profile.

Regards,
Stew Stoddart
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Old 15-07-2014, 11:10   #628
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

Aaza Dana Eye Witness Sighting of MH370

Although supposed to be a report, this is more of an account, which contains a lot of my thoughts which I kept out of the twenty minute phone conversation I had with ATSB, since I was trying to keep to facts only. However, I now realise that the thoughts I was having do explain some things which I couldn’t pinpoint logically at the time, so I am including them. And I had a lot of thoughts, since thinking is really all there is to do on a night watch alone.

On 20th February 2014, Sailing Yacht Aaza Dana left the port of Cochin in India, bound for Phuket with three people onboard; Marc Horn, his wife Katherine Tee (myself) and one other British crew member. It was a 19 day passage, passing through heavy weather when we rounded Sri Lanka, during which the boat got soaked, important things kept breaking (including rigging), we had no working life raft, my suggestions were being dismissed instantly by the Captain, and tempers soared; resulting in Marc and I not communicating from about a week into the passage, and that lasted until we dropped the anchor at Phuket. Two weeks is a lot of time to be at daggers with your partner under any circumstances. On passage, when there is nowhere to escape to calm down and reflect, two weeks can be excruciating. And Marc and I were truly at each other’s throats. By the time this happened, my rucksack was packed, and I intended to leave as soon as we cleared immigration. I was in a low state of depression and furious with the world.

At some stage towards the end of our long passage across the Indian Ocean (which we have subsequently narrowed down to the night of 7th March, details in Note #1), I was on watch alone, and we were on a Port tack, heading approximately West to East. Since I had decided to do what I wanted when I wanted, I hadn’t been standing regular watches until this point, merely going on deck when I felt like it, and the Captain and Crew were both exhausted. The Captain was below at this time, getting his first decent sleep in over a week. The crew was on deck sleeping – he wasn’t a good sleeper, and was in the habit of grabbing a few hours when he felt weary. I was enjoying the first alone time I’d had for weeks and wasn’t about to give it up.

This in way of explanation as to why I didn’t wake anyone - we were in no danger, they needed to catch up on their sleep, and I decided I was witnessing an experimental air show for an audience of one, and I was fascinated (Note #2 explains why I didn’t report it when we arrived and I heard the news).

After a few hours on watch, I noticed a bright orange glow above the horizon, about 8 o’clock relative to the boat’s heading. My first thought was to wonder if it was Mars rising, but Mars wasn’t supposed to be there, and besides it was in the North. I then wondered if it was a meteor, as it quickly got bigger and brighter. I thought it was heading towards us (ie, moving from North to South). I considered the possibility of it wiping us out. Then I thought it’d just be more likely to land near enough to cause a massive tidal wave and wipe us out, which I thought was typical, since we’d just got the boat dried out. Then I decided I’d rather it hit us, since that would be an easier escape from the marriage than a painful divorce. That was when I realised that my thinking was insane. From that point on, my thoughts were all about rationalising what I was seeing, and trying to explain it logically (much as forum members did).

And then I saw what looked like black smoke behind the orange glow, which resembled a contrail, but black (see note #3) The sky was very dark, so I suspect it may have been illuminated by the glow. It was difficult to see, and I wasn't sure about it at this stage, although I did become sure later. ‘Missile’ crossed my mind for a second, but at that stage the orange glow started to look like a plane. I momentarily panicked, thinking it was a plane on fire.

But I couldn’t see any fire or flames, or anything like that, it was just a plane glowing orange and surrounded by an orange glow like a halo. As though it were being lit up by sodium lights, but I couldn’t see sodium lights. As it came a little closer, I could clearly see the hull was glowing orange. I considered the lights might be orange landing lights, but couldn’t see any lights under the hull, and there were no wheels down. I could see the hull of the plane very clearly from this point onwards. The ‘halo’ was fuzzy though.

I tried to pinpoint the source of the light. By this time I doubted it was a fire, because I could not see any source of the lights. The black trail was still present, and was present throughout. It simply looked like a black contrail.

A few times I checked behind it, waiting for the fighter planes and fire engines (not so rational!!) which I assumed would be chasing it if it was indeed a passenger plane on fire. There were none, so I relaxed. There were two planes higher than it, and they appeared to be regular airliners cruising at high altitude (one was at a lower I altitude than the other). They were travelling from South to North (the opposite way from the glowing plane) and appeared to have regular nav lights. I wondered where they were going and considered Bengal or Russia. I assumed that if the plane was in distress, the pilots would report it. It never occurred to me that it was not visible to the higher aircraft and they would not be able to see it either on their instruments or visually.

The glowing plane did not have nav lights, which made me wonder if it was a military plane, conducting some experiment. It was low and I even wondered if it was high enough to do a hop and pop, and I had the impression it was coming in to land, but logically couldn’t understand where, as there was nothing in the direction it was heading except the white glow (which we had assumed was a maintenance vessel which by now I suspected might be a research vessel connected with this experiment, although the glow was no longer in sight) and I didn’t note a change it altitude. I felt it was travelling slowly.

As it moved behind us, I could see the shape very clearly, and it was that of a passenger plane. However, my impression of the hull was that it was monocolour, I assumed light matt grey, although it appeared orange and had an orange ‘halo’ around it. I do not recall any markings of any kind.

I looked for the windows, to see if it was maybe emergency lighting from inside, but I couldn’t see any. I could see where the windows were supposed to be, but the whole hull was glowing uniformly and I could not see windows. I decided it had formerly been a passenger plane, but had its windows blocked out to act as a cargo plane, since it appeared too long and pointy to be a cargo plane. At this stage I decided it must be military.

As it came behind us, I think the elevation angle was about 30 (Note #4 explains how I arrived at estimate for elevation angle).

There was a gap in my observation then, as I went below. When I exited the cabin the plane had moved past and was at about half past 5, relative to the boat, and appeared to have borne away. The black trail seemed more obvious, and at this stage I wondered if it’s too much or too little oil in the mix that makes the exhaust black, and even as I thought it I realised that applies only to boats. I couldn’t understand why the smoke was black. It was a concern, but I believed that everyone knows where all large planes are all the time, and if it were in trouble there would be more action around. I dismissed it with the final thought he should get his exhaust fixed.

From then on my observations were patchy, but I did observe it a few times briefly, and it appeared to be moving to the South, but getting further away from us; at about 5 o’clock relative.

I have absolutely no idea of the time scale of this observation.

I have been asked about clouds at the time. I can’t remember. They were not of particular interest to me. I do remember at that stage the weather had calmed down a lot. I know the skies were clear and stars visible between the orange plane and the two "airliners". For some reason I thought I had observed clouds behind it when I first saw it, but I suspect this was the smoke, before I identified it as such.

In response to questions about the moon, I don't recall the moon at that time, but it wasn't a point of interest. I do recall that the sky was very dark, that it was hard to make out the black smoke. Because I found it difficult to see, I spent a lot of time looking at it to see if it was indeed black smoke. I think I first thought it was dark cloud, until it became a trail. The black trail was much clearer as the plane moved away at 5 olock relative. It appeared to have borne away, and I was relieved since that meant the pilots were OK.

I believe I then caught some sleep. When I awoke (not much later), there was an orange glow (like a dome) over the horizon, in the approximate direction I felt the plane had flown. My first thought was “****, it has crashed after all”, but the orange glow was not flickering in any way. It was very similar to the white glow we had seen two and three nights previously. I noted it over several observations, and the intensity remained constant. I stopped worrying again.

Note #1, Narrowing down time of sighting:
I narrowed down the day using Marc's observations of the bright white light, which we all observed over the nights commencing on the 4th and 5th. The night of the 6th we did not see them, and the night of the 7th I believe I saw the same lights, but glowing orange rather than white, after the plane had passed (heading that way). I know we had already passed those lights, as one of my thoughts was that the plane was involved (I suspected experimental research) with those lights, since it was headed back towards the area we had observed them after it passed us.
On the morning of the 8th, Marc and the crew observed what appeared to be a search vessel zigzagging around on our Starboard side (south of us). I do recall this was after I had seen the orange plane.
I narrowed down the time of the observation because it was the only time during the two possible nights that we were on a Port tack heading Easterly, that I was on watch. We did head Easterly for a short time during the night of the 6th, but it was not that night. On the night of the sixth, I had seen a ship when we were on the Port tack, which required us to throw in the tack. However, I was making a point, and refusing to make decisions, so I pointed it out to the crew, and threw the responsibility on him. He also refused to make the decision, and woke the skipper, so I went back to bed, smug in the knowledge that I had even further disrupted Marc's sleep, and made it clear that I wasn't going to be his (First) Mate only when he wanted one, if he wasn't willing to accept my decisions all the time. It certainly wasn't that night - nobody was sleeping then except me.


Note #2, why I took so long to report the sighting:
Because I couldn't believe what I think I saw. I mean, I saw it, but it was just so unlikely. Plus I was stressed by the time we hit shore. Very stessed. And although I didn’t report it, I did say what I’d seen to cruisers at the Yacht Club, and to other people of two later occasions, all of whom dismissed it, and pointed out that it was over the South China Sea, not the Andaman Sea.

And I wasn't absolutely sure of what I had seen, and can't even be positive it was that night. I don't follow the news, not even when ashore (I barely have time to do my job, it's lucky I have an understanding boss), and for the two months after we arrived in Phuket I was living on the yacht at anchor, with limited internet access, no A/C electricity onboard to charge devices, and zero interest in the news.

The reason it started bothering me when I did report it was because of a news item I heard on Thai Radio saying the survey boat was heading back in due to technical difficulties, and it peaked my interest.

Note #3, Possible tyre fire:

I was asked if the smoke resembled a tyre fire. Yes it did, although I’m not sure if it was as dense as tyre fires I have seen. Also, the wheels were not down, I ascertained that when looking to see if the glow could be coming from landing lights.

Note #4, Elevation Angles:
My initial estimate of 30 to 45 was based on a piece of paper I had folded into a triangle. When asked if it could have been lower, I procured a protractor, and checked my angles more carefully, at which stage I realised it could well have been even lower than 30. Since that time I have observed planes on take-off, and have realised that not only was the angle 30 or lower, the plane itself had to be at quite a fairly low altitude and close in order for me to see the hull so clearly.)
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370 - AazaDana GPS file

Our GPS file is available for download if anyone want / needs it.

AazaDana GPS Log Cochin to Phuket March 2014
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Old 15-07-2014, 15:21   #630
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Re: I Think I Saw MH370

MH370 Family web sites

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MH370 in search of the truth Top menu navigation has theories

Hunt for MH370 - can give tips
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