Originally Posted by boatman61
Another thing that makes a search difficult is that we don't know if they're in a life raft or still on the boat... the boat will be driven by current to a greater extent than the winds... whereas the life raft is gonna be blown every which way and current models won't be much use...
The work I've seen on life raft drift shows that both wind
and current play a substantial role.
On the subject of commercial
flights keeping an eye out, a number of things come to mind. I crossed the Tasman in both directions last weekend on a QF flight. Aus to NZ we were basically over a low stratus the whole way and saw nothing.
On the way back there were large sections of clear sky followed by a mid-Tasman trough and then a bit later the front that was following it. So about 50% clear skies for the trip. I watched the whole way that it was clear...and did not see a single
vessel of any sort. However I did think about what I would do if I saw a sailing vessel. Call the cabin
crew...explain to them...encourage them to talk to the pilot...they go and talk to the pilot...on and on. Easily 5 minutes has passed and we are travelling at 8 or 9 nm per minute so we are 40 or 50nm away. I still don't know just what it is that I saw from FL390...what is the pilot going to do?
On another path entirely. There's quite a lot of air traffic from Auckland
to South America
. They don't fly true GC routes. The rules require a vertex at 60S so that is the limiting latitude. They follow the GC course down to 60S or so, run along that latitude and then rejoin the GC at the other end and head
north. It's the same travelling to South Africa
. However that's still a long way south of where you would expect any drifting vessel to be.