I would think OI can use and build on all the information gathered and the things done by the ATSB’s and others which reduces their costs substantialy.

The 150 million dollar search included everything I assume; the (very costly) airial search, all the research, all the search efforts prior to the actual ‘big search’ in the previously destinated priority area.

And they can use all information before and after the search was suspended by all other independent (public) searchers and researchers.

And maybe even more important; OI is a completely independent private company.

This all gives them big advantages the ATSB never had imo.

And with doing this offer I think they have a clear view on where to search already. They probably have information we don’t have yet and they are quite sure of it.

Making such fuzz only for marketing reasons I don’t believe. It would be very bad advertising among serious competitors and potential cliënts.

And with their method a 25.000km2 search could be accomplished in maybe one third of the time it would take by the previous method used.

With probably also one third of the costs.

So lets play the estimating game as though we were the owners of Ocean Infinity. What makes sense relative to a formula to calculate a “reward” based fee? Not a CPFF arrangement.

The way VC’s look at it is similar to a dice roll. Assume a 10-sided die. If you bet a dollar on any particular number you wound expect a 10x payback in order to stay “flat” relative to an ensemble of such bets. Like flipping an unbiased coin, a 2x payback implies that you stay flat relative to your basis. So the minimum payback is the reciprocal of the probability of a successful outcome.

What is the probability of a successful outcome of a renewed search, and how much will it cost? Tough questions, but we can make some arbitrary choices and see where that leads. Suppose OI estimates a 70% success associated with a 25,000 km^2 search. The minimum sensible payback is the reciprocal of 0.7 or 1.43. Call it 1.5 in round terms. So what is the cost for searching 25,000 km^2? The cost of the previous search is widely reported to be $150M (USD) for 120,000 km^2. This cost includes search cost plus startup cost (considered later). At the same per km^2 cost the 25,000 km^2 search would cost about $30M+. Making a totally wild guess that the OI technology is twice as efficient as the towed scanners would imply a cost of $15M+. Add in a guess of $5M to get everything organized in Perth and you have roughly $20M out of pocket. At the minimum sensible payback you would need a “reward” of $30M to undertake the project.

OK, so all the above is “arm waving”, but it sort of hangs together. My guess is the “reward” OI proposed is in the range of $30M to $50M (assuming the “reward” concept is how the offer was structured). I would view that offer as “fair” if I were the Malays.

Of course, a contract with OI on the above basis raises the spectre of a potential “whistle blower”. If someone knows the terminus of the aircraft it would be tempting to approach OI with an offer to point them at it for a few million. The fact that the Malays have not gone ahead with OI may well be due to this wrinkle. The whistle blower could even be a third party US government type who is privy to highly classified information. It may also be that the Malays simply don’t care enough about where the plane is to spend $30M to $50M finding it. A not unlikely state of affairs.

Sorry, for blowing a lot of smoke around a serious site.

]]>The DSTG Bayesian Hotspot wasn’t plucked out of thin air. It was derived as a statistical best fit of the BTO values. That the result aligns closely with maximum range cruise in a post FMT straight line MUST be of statistical significance, imho. If the aircraft had for example, followed heading 175deg after FMT, then the MRC line would be in a totally different place, and the BTO arcs would be in totally different places.

This means that the Bayesian best fit trajectory, with initial (post FMT) heading of 186deg, crossing the 7th arc at S37.75 approx, represents the maximum distance obtainable on the available fuel, and therefore represents the “independent variable” ie the trajectory that depends only on the available fuel and aircraft performance, and can be thought of as being the trajectory that defined the positions of the arcs, in particular, the 7th arc. All trajectories crossing the 7th arc at points east of the independent trajectory, should be considered as “dependent variables” – dependent on the location of the 7th arc as determined by the aforesaid independent variable trajectory.

Each individual “dependent variable” trajectory has to follow a specific path with varying heading and specific non-optimal cruising speed if it is going to cross the 7th arc at fuel exhaustion. The further east one goes the more one has to invoke unlikely scenarios such as pre FMT loiters in order to make these dependent trajectories fit the ISAT data and aircraft performance data.

In the absence of any firm evidence that the aircraft followed a non optimal trajectory following FMT, it tells me that the DSTG hotspot remains the prime terminus

]]>If OI made the offer as a marketing ploy without the expectation of it being accepted, they are doing it in a strange way. The offer only became public knowledge because some of the NOK learned of the offer through unofficial channels and decided to publicize their knowledge of the offer when they saw no movement and no announcement after several months.

That said, the OI offer seems to be the best option at this time for re-starting the search. I hope there is a way for the parties to come to an agreement.

]]>Concerning Ocean Infinity, that’s a unnecessarily pessimistic view. My “look see”, across openly published information related to OI, and its partners, indicates that Swire Seabed maintains a signficant interest. Swire Seabed’s ultimate owner is John Swire & Sons Ltd.

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The likelihood of a resumed search is extremely low IMO. My “look see” into Ocean Infinity shows a marginally capitalized company who can ill afford to conduct a search on its own nickel as widely reported. The whole offer is a thinly disguised marketing ploy. There is little doubt about that. Sorry to be the messenger.

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