New MH370 Debris Not from Landing Gear Door – Updated

A Boeing 777 in Malaysia Airlines livery just after lifting off the runway

According to a report released by Blaine Gibson and Richard Godfrey, another item has been recovered from a beach in Madagascar, and that part is similar in appearance and discovery location to parts that are from MH370. The new part is believed to have washed ashore in March 2017 and was discovered by a local fisherman at that time, but was unknown to the public until recently.

In a recent blog post that summarizes the finding of the report, Godfrey claims the debris item is likely the remnant of the left main landing gear trunnion door. In this article, we show that we can be very confident that the new debris is NOT a trunnion door.

Misidentification of the New Debris

In a short technical note, MH370 Independent Group (IG) members Mike Exner, Don Thompson, Tom Kenyon, and I show why the new debris cannot be the trunnion door. To determine the approximate size of the trunnion door, we first examine a photo of the underside of a Boeing 777 in which the trunnion door can be seen. Then, using the known wing span of the B777 as a scaling reference, we can determine the approximate dimensions of the trunnion door, which are shown in the figure.

Next, we observe that the trunnion door is attached to the landing gear mechanisms by two brackets, each requiring four fasteners, as shown in this figure. That allows us to determine the position of where we would expect to see through holes through the new debris if indeed it is the trunnion door.

Finally, we compare the debris depicted in Gibson and Godfrey’s report with an outline of the trunnion door, and note that there are no through holes for fasteners in the locations expected. Nor do the dimensions of the new debris match the outline of the trunnion door.

Trunnion door outline on image from the Gibson and Godfrey report.

Another piece of evidence that weighs against identification as the trunnion door is the color of the paint, which is white. As Bobby Ulich says in a recent blog comment, the B777s that were operated by Malaysian Air at that time had undersides that were painted grey, not white, as seen in the next photo of 9M-MRO. Although the grey paint might have faded, other debris from MH370 that was previously recovered had identifiable paint such as livery colors and text lettering, so there is only a very small possibility that none of the grey paint would be recognizable.

Image

Cannot Determine Landing Gear Position

There are four parallel, penetrating, narrow cuts on the new debris in which the penetrating objects appear to have entered on the interior surface of the debris and exited from the exterior, white surface. Gibson and Godfrey propose that the cuts could have been caused by rotating engine parts that separated from a disintegrating engine upon impact with the ocean. Whatever the cause of the cuts, the authors believe the damage is consistent with the main landing gear that is lowered based on the direction that the penetrating objects entered and exited the debris.

Image from the Gibson and Godfrey report

We’ve already shown that the new debris is not the trunnion door, nor is it any other part of a landing gear door, so it is not possible to surmise the position of the landing gear based on the damage to the new debris. Even if the new debris was part of one of the landing gear doors, there is no reason to believe a rotating engine part caused the damage. Components on one of the shaft assemblies in the engines would tend to fly radially outward from the engine. Yet, the landing gear doors are located aft of the engines, which are positioned forward of the wings, which means the landing gear doors are not along a projectile path. Also, when the landing gear is extended, the exterior surfaces of the doors, not the interior surfaces, are facing the engine.

Lowering the Landing Gear Does Not Increase Damage

Gibson and Godfrey propose that the landing gear might have been lowered to cause a high-speed impact designed to break up the aircraft and sink the aircraft as fast as possible to hide the evidence of the crash. However, this is not consistent with maximizing the kinetic energy of the impact, as lowering the landing gear would add drag, and could limit the attainable airspeed. After fuel exhaustion, the flight control mode would degrade from NORMAL to SECONDARY, and there would be no envelope protection that would prevent an overspeed of the aircraft. The pilot flying would only need to lower the nose by pushing forward on the yoke to ensure the aircraft would shatter upon impact.

Conclusion

The new debris recovered from Madagascar may eventually prove to have probative value. However, the debris is not part of a trunnion door from the main landing gear, nor can the debris provide any insights into the position of the landing gear when the aircraft impacted the ocean. Work continues to identify the debris and to determine any new clues about the disappearance of MH370.

Acknowledgement: This article benefited from discussions with and suggested edits from Mike Exner, Don Thompson, and Tom Kenyon.

Update on February 1, 2023

Based on the construction of the composite layers, Don Thompson, Mike Exner, and other contributors to this blog believe that the new debris is more likely from the racing yacht Vestas Wind rather than from a Boeing 777. Vestas ran aground near Cargados Carajos Shoals in November 2014, and one or more pieces may have separated and floated to Madagascar.

Godfrey refutes this, and now claims that “a closer examination of the recent debris find in Madagascar proves that it is from a Boeing aircraft and cannot be from marine provenance. The key difference is the lightning protection system used on Boeing aircraft with composite materials, which is fundamentally different to the lightning protection system used in marine applications with composite materials. ” Godfrey offers this close-up photo, which he believes shows an aluminum mesh that offered lightning protection for MH370. He believes the mesh was supplied by Dexmet.

Resin infusion mesh misidentified as lightning strike protection [Godfrey comment]

Don Thompson refutes the claim that the mesh is related to lightning protection, a dubious claim that was regurgitated by Geoffrey Thomas at airlineratings.com. Don says:

The material highlighted in the photographs referred by the Gibson-Godfrey paper, and ensuing comments from the second author is not an LSP [lightning strike protection] layer; rather, it is a ‘media flow’ layer necessary on the ‘bag’ side of the composite lay-up in a resin-infusion process. That is, the resin-infusion process used by the constructor of the V065 yacht hull, its internal bulkheads and interior decks.

It’s important to understand that an LSP layer will lie immediately under the surface finish on the external face of a panel/structure as any intermediate CFRP (or GFRP) layers will form an (electrical) isolation layer.

Further, the aggregate mix surface coating that is evident in further photographs referred by the second author, and has been argued as somehow typical of B777 panels where surface protection may be necessary, is also evident on decking in video clips that document the rebuild of the seven VO65 yachts ready as they were prepared for the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race. It is a common deck surface coating manufactured by Akzo Nobel/International.

Also, consider the comments from a retired, senior Boeing design engineer whose role afforded him extensive and detailed knowledge of Boeing’s composite fabrication techniques on the B777. For example: that the orientation of CFRP tape tows on the exposed side of the panel is alien to the techniques specified for the B777; that the combination of CFRP fabrication and the panel’s thickness is also alien to a B777’s construction.

The claim that this piece of flotsam originates from 9M-MRO, or any Boeing 777, is demonstrably false. Demonstrably, from the very features evident in the many images shared by the authors of the Dec 12th paper in support of their conclusion for the origin of the piece of flotsam.

The further claim that oceanographic drift studies discount this piece of flotsam originating from the Cargados Carajos Shoals in Nov-Dec 2014 before its alleged recovery from a beach near Antsiraka, Madagascar, is also demonstrably false. That assertion is false because the piece of flotsam did originate its drift, after its separation from ‘Vestas Wind’, at the Cargados Carajos Shoals on Nov 29, 2014, or within the few weeks before the yacht was salvaged and removed. How many times it beached, lay stranded, and washed out to sea again through the cycle of seasonal tides and storms is unknown, as is its final beaching and recovery time, thus rendering drift predictions irrelevant.

So, we now know that the new debris is not part of a trunnion door from the main landing gear, nor can the debris provide any insights into the position of the landing gear when the aircraft impacted the ocean. The new debris is almost certainly not from a Boeing 777, and is very likely from the Team Vestas Wind racing yacht that ran aground in the Cargados Carajos Shoals in November 2014.

Facts are stubborn things.

195 Responses to “New MH370 Debris Not from Landing Gear Door – Updated”

  1. Gilles Diharce says:

    I also had some doubts about the fact that this debris could be a landing gear door and I had the same explanation than yours according to engine blades in the script of the video I prepare for tomorrow.
    If these damage are from engine, it suggests high speed debris so engine running. Not likely to strike a gear door as you explained.
    And if one engine is running on a ditching scenario?
    I am trying to determine the location of the debris on the plane. Maybe part of a spoiler but I continue investigating.

  2. Victor Iannello says:

    @Gilles Diharce: Welcome to the blog.

    Please share whatever you find as you try to identify the part. It won’t be easy.

  3. Joseph Coleman says:

    https://youtu.be/GV89zKsqKQY Clearer View of the 9M-MRO underbelly.

  4. DWARAKANATHAN Shenbaganathan says:

    While Gibbson is faithfully recovering various parts of plane MH 370.Why can’t provide the backup by studing the debris.The entire study on plane orphaned by responsible people.

  5. Victor Iannello says:

    @Gilles Diharce said: Maybe part of a spoiler but I continue investigating.

    A knowledgeable individual has noted that the new debris is not part of a 777 spoiler, as they are wedges with full depth honeycomb several inches thick at the forward edge tapering to zero near the aft edge.

  6. airlandseaman says:

    @Gilles: Below is a report on the Jefferys Bay debris found and reported last year. It was one of the inboard spoilers (#8 or #9). As Victor noted, “…they are wedges with full depth honeycomb several inches thick at the forward edge tapering to zero near the aft edge.”.

    http://bit.ly/3G2gS4w

  7. George Tilton says:

    @Victor Iannello

    I disagree, Gilles is correct…

    I took the spoiler (figure-7) in Mike and Don’s paper linked above and the image from Godfrey’s paper at the head of this article (figure-6.png) and combined them at the following link. The new debris is the corner of the trailing edge of a spoiler.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NwOQ_70YYPcx2T2Sk-7jnGmjqGjg2nLX/view?usp=sharing

  8. airlandseaman says:

    @George T: The photos of the new debris item do not provide as much cross section detail as I would like to see, but the description suggests the item is about 1″ thick. I agree the “lines” are reminiscent of the inboard spoiler, but the spoilers are much thicker (~2-3″) at the leading edge. They are “ramped” on the inside from a relatively thin trailing edge to a thick leading edge. I posted several photos and drawings to show this here:

    http://bit.ly/3v3KLuQ

    If Blaine could provide more information about the shape and those lines, particularly the cross section from all sides, that would be very helpful.

  9. DrB says:

    @airlandseaman,

    The side-view photos in Figures 11-14 in the Gibson & Godfrey report clearly show the new debris has a constant thickness of about 1 inch (or a bit larger). No significant thickness variation is seen, especially in Figure 11, not just along the edges but anywhere in the panel. If the thickness of a spoiler panel varies noticeably across this same diameter, this new debris cannot be a spoiler panel.

  10. airlandseaman says:

    @DrB:
    re: “If the thickness of a spoiler panel varies noticeably across this same diameter, this new debris cannot be a spoiler panel.”

    Precisely my point.

  11. George Tilton says:

    @airlandseaman

    I finally read the Godfrey report…wish I had found it and seen the side view in Figure 11 before sounding off 😉

  12. George G says:

    @DrB, and others:

    Is there anyone “here” who might be able to recognize the bend in Figure 11 in the middle of the item, and the apparent coincident “more solid fill”, or different material, in Figure 13 ?

  13. Don Thompson says:

    Further on ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’.

    While I have catalogued and examined the discernable features of this article of debris, more features suggest this is not a fragment from a Boeing 777 than suggest it is. Comments from other knowledgeable sources are similarly sceptical.

    While the surface finish on the white face gives the impression of a profile where the honeycomb core is ramped (for strength and rigidity, typical of a 777 spoiler inside face), the views over the edges of the piece contradict that impression. If the white face is the external face, the smooth ‘finished’ face produced by the manufacturing process, that face would not exhibit any core ramps.

    Without listing every fragment of debris that has been recorded, documented, confirmed, or suspected, as originating from 9M-MRO I will generalise and say that composite xFRP skinned-honeycomb core panels employed on the wings, empennage, and comprising the t/e structures exhibit core ramps on their internal faces.

    One use case where simple flat panels have been employed is the cabin floor, however, the floor panels are 3/8″ – 9.5mm thick whereas the ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ article is closer to 1″ – 25mm in thickess.

    A significant feature of the ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ article is the remnant of, what appears to be, jointing tape that may have supported a butt join to another part. That jointing technique would contraindicate origin on a 777.

    High performance marine applications use similar composite materials to aerospace applications. On Nov 29 2014, the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) competitor ‘Team Vestas Wind’ ran aground on the Cargados Carajos Shoals north of Mauritius. A significant proportion of the yacht’s aft hull and deck were destroyed in the grounding. The VOR yacht design incorporates a deck that is constructed from CFRP skins+Nomex® honeycomb core. On ‘Team Vestas Wind’ the deck external and some internal surfaces are painted white while a non-slip finish coating is used on the deck surface. This source has to be considered as a candidate origin for the ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ article and perhaps other aricles of debris. Note, that in August 2015 a part of the rudder mechanism from ‘Team Vestas Wind’ was found on La Réunion. This assembly, confirmed as originating from ‘Team Vestas Wind’, is part of the hull rather than the deck structure.

    @George G – yes, the apparent “more solid” core material that is evident in the Dec 12th Report/fig.13, alongside Nomex® honeycomb, is also evident in the image linked above.

    Drift of flotsam from Cargados Carajos Shoals to the Madacascar coastline in the vicinity of S17° isn’t likely to be unusual. The general flows of the Southern Equatorial Current, the North East and South East Madagascar Currents, together with the prominence of the Madagascar east coast around S17° are depicted in Badal, et al, WIOMSA 2009 and Pous, et al, JGR Oceans 2014. Refer to figure 1 in each publication.

  14. DrB says:

    @Don,
    @All,

    You have provided some thought-provoking information about the yacht which wrecked near Mauritius in November 2014.

    Possibly the rough/uneven portions of the white surface of this debris were to intended to prevent the crew from slipping while walking on it in wet conditions.

    Is anyone aware of such a surface treatment being used anywhere on a B777? If this type of surface is not used anywhere on a B777, then this debris is not from 9M-MRO.

    The puncture damage appears consistent with a disintegrating engine shedding pieces of turbine blades, but if this debris if from a yacht which ran aground, what could have produced the puncture damage? Wave action pounding the wreck on the shoal? Could that have separated (torn) this small debris along all its edges? A high-speed aircraft impact with the sea will generally produce small fragments, but can wave and tidal forces acting on a grounded yacht do the same, tearing a composite panel apart?

  15. airlandseaman says:

    @ALL:
    In June 2019, Blaine turned up another piece of debris from Antsiraka Beach, said to have been found by a fisherman circa 2016-2017. At first it looked like 9M-MRO debris, but after spending a good deal of time on the piece, Don and I could not find a match to 9M-MRO, despite many similarities with confirmed 9M-MRO debris. Perhaps that piece is also from the yacht that ran aground near Mauritius. Here are some screen snaps I took in 2021 from a video provided by Blaine in June 2019.

    https://bit.ly/3YSOPMr

    For now, I’m keeping an open mind about both of these debris items from Antsiraka. Hopefully Boeing will come through with some answers on the latest find.

  16. Don Thompson says:

    @DrB

    Is anyone aware of such a surface treatment being used anywhere on a B777?

    A surface coating that combines PTFE flakes/granules in an enamel is used on the 777 where there is possibility of two faces interfering as they translate between positions, e.g. flap extension. This coating is evident on images, for example, of the upper and lower parts of the 777’s inboard flap set. However, only one strip of this finish coat is typical on a surface.

    An image of ‘Team Vestas Wind’ lying on the reef.

  17. Victor Iannello says:

    @All: I think the thickness is important. A retired Boeing engineer tells us that 1″ thick composite is rare or perhaps non-existent on the B777. If the previously debris recovered at Antsiraka, Madagascar, is the same (rare for a B777) thickness, then likely both are from the same vessel, and both are NOT from MH370.

    That’s quite a shift from where this story started. What a mess has again been created by fake science combined with unquestioning media outlets.

  18. Barry Carlson says:

    @All: I’m not convinced that the “thought to be” MH370 recovered piece is related to the ‘Team Vestas Wind’ yacht wreck. The following image gives a relatively close-up view of the type of CFRP used in the vessel’s hull construction.

    Scratches from grinding against coral can be seen, but they in no-way resemble the cuts seen in the recovered piece. Neither can I think of anywhere on a yacht’s decking that an edge with what appears to be bulb aeroseal attachments would be found.

  19. Don Thompson says:

    @Barry Carlson

    Barry, thank you for your input. By no measure, am I yet certain that ‘Team Vestas Wind’ is the origin of ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ but along with another piece not widely seen, a piece that I’ve termed ‘broken-O’, there are features that have more in common with the construction of ‘Team Vestas Wind’ (TVW) than a Boeing 777.

    TVW was assembled by a UK yacht builder using major subassemblies manufactured in Italy, France and Switzerland. The hull, depicted in your linked image, was manufactured by the Italian specialist. The deck and accommodation structure was manufactured by the French specialist, the damage to the aft quarter of the deck is evident as I linked above. I am not assuming that the methods and processes in the two composite structures would be the same. The finished side of ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ appears to be a cross-ply carbon fabric, that’s evident from the broken edges and consistent with what’s recorded about TVW.

    The round aperture on the aft port side of the aft deck should have a corresponding ‘twin’ on the right side. These provide the top bush for the rudder post. The Sail-World image shows the wreck after the removal of most demountable components. I am speculating that the impact with the reef through the strbd rudder was a significant part of the stresses that caused the aft deck and hull to fracture. Regardless, one of Carlin’s early images taken prior to the crew stripping equipment off the wreck shows the strbd deck and gunwhale(?) canted upwards. Whereas the lower hull would have been pummelled from direct contact with the reef, hence the nature of the damage evident in the zeilen.nl image.

    Efforts continue.

  20. Barry Carlson says:

    @Don Thompson,

    Don, thanks for your response to my comments. I did look carefully at your sail-world.com linked image, especially the port side deck structure, as it represents a mirror image of the starboard side that’s missing. My comment regarding the missing bulb aeroseal fittings was intended to mean that if they don’t exist on the port side, they wont be on the starboard side.

    In any case, I look forward to whatever providence you can attribute to the latest Gibson find.

  21. airlandseaman says:

    @ALL: RG posted a 14 page update today to answer “…a large number of questions about the recent debris discovery…”. It is basically a summary rehash of what was in the Dec 12 report, with a few new details and mostly irrelevant material on cameras and B777-300’s. Importantly, the update completely fails to address the key fact that the debris item is physically larger than the trunnion gear door, making it impossible for the debris item to be from a B777-200ER trunnion gear door. Why silence on that fact? That should be the main question addressed! But no. Nothing on that question!

    That said, he seems to be backing off on his confidence a little, stating:

    “In our report we stated: “the landing gear was highly likely extended on impact, which in turn supports the conclusion that there was an active pilot until the end of the flight.” Until corroborating evidence comes to light, we have decided to remove the word “highly”. We now conclude “the landing gear was likely extended on impact, which in turn supports the conclusion that there was an active pilot until the end of the flight.””

    So, “likely” now, not “highly likely”.

  22. Kenyon says:

    Don, thank you for your thought-provoking post regarding non-B777 possibilities. Honestly my eyes are tired and red looking for a viable candidate on a B777 that aligns with the debris discovery. That said, it may end up being an obvious miss on my part.

    However, as we wait for official confirmation of the origin of the debris, another angle can potentially help understand the probability of the debris being internal or external to a B777. The debris is approximately 5.9 square feet (0.55 m2) with no appreciable evidence that points of attachments are within the square area and some evidence that there is an adjacent attachment (or attachments) on the perimeter. Points of attachments could be through bolt/rivet style as the eight (8) seen on the B777 Trunnion Door or interior imbedded posts etc. If no attachments are observed inside the 5.9 ft2 debris then all static and dynamic forces applied to the debris under normal operating (plus contingency) must be handled by the strength of the composite structure found inside unsecured area as it spans to adjacent attachments. The 5.9 ft2 becomes a large multiplier of external applied forces to transfer to nearby attachments. For example, a small static 20 lbs/ft2 force generates a need to properly handle, distribute and secure 118 lbs. Virtually nothing on an airplane is designed for static alone, it must be able to handle dynamic loads. The relatively thin composite material of the debris does not appear to be a prime candidate for an exterior section of the B777. The composite materials in the wings appear to be mostly paint/coated white on both sides and many have an exterior aluminum skin with plenty of rivets. I’m struggling to identify external surfaces on the B777 on the order of 6ft2 that have no points of attachment inside the 6ft2. I’ll keep looking and encourage others to post potential candidates.

    An internal panel wall candidate would be more likely to have less attachment points per ft2 as well as less secure attachment methods. There are potential candidates on the B777 interior, but they appear to be smaller in size and or heavily shaped/curved and or treated with performance coatings.

    I too maintain an open mind but coming up dry at the moment.

  23. Tim says:

    @Kenyon, to save your tired eyes!

    I think the top surface of the right outboard flap fits. The 3 clues are-

    1/ the white paint band that runs across the piece- looks like the anti-rub strip that runs along the top surface of the flaps.
    2/ the piece has a natural curve as has the top flap surface.
    3/ the found panel will fit between the rivet lines, this places the piece about 3/4s the way outboard on the right flap.

  24. Victor Iannello says:

    And of course we have the obligatory cut and paste story by Geoffrey Thomas repeating the new “work”.

    And no mention from anybody that the new debris CANNOT be the trunnion door to the main landing gear, and conclusions about the position of the landing gear based on the debris are completely unfounded.

    This is all so predictable because we’ve seen the pattern many times.

    These people have no shame.

  25. Don Thompson says:

    @Tim,

    There are a number of features of this ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ article that conflict with the construction features of the 777 outboard flap.

    The upper surface of the 777 outboard flap has a single band of PTFE/Teflon reinforced surface finish. This is oriented spanwise, approximately along the ‘crest’ of the upper camber, the thickest part of the airfoil section. The strip appears equidistant to either side of the fasteners fixing the upper panel to central spar. The ‘Tataly-Antiraka’ object has a single strip of smooth coating bounded by a bands of reinforced surface finish to each side.

    9M-MRO’s recovered outboard flap fragment comprised the section from inboard end rib to approx 25% of its length at the inboard carrier-rib.

    The overall length of the outboard flap is 528in – 13.4m, chord 76in – 1.9m. The flap upper surface comprises three panels, chordwise: leading edge, fwd to ctr to rear spar; and trailing edge (full depth honeycomb) wedge. Purely by estimation from the available ATSB image archive, the spar to spar to trailing edge dimensions, along the chord appear approximately equal (I am discounting the leading edge).

    1.9m chord ÷ 3 spans = approx 0.63m between each spar over the chord of the flap.

    The corresponding dimension of ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ is 0.813m. That is, it is too large to fit the free span of any upper surface panel of an outboard flap.

  26. Barry Carlson says:

    @Don Thompson,

    Re my final comment in a post above; i.e.

    “I look forward to whatever providence you can attribute to the latest Gibson find.”

    I’m sure that ‘providence’ would be of assistance, but ‘provenance’ is more appropriate in the current circumstance!

    Gah!

  27. Victor Iannello says:

    @Barry Carlson: No problem. We are in the season of providence.

  28. Tim says:

    @Don,
    Re the colour band. I am assuming the lighter paint band on the ‘Tataly-Antiraka’ piece is the PTFE Teflon coating. The central portion.

    I am struggling to find a good picture of the rivet lines on the outboard portion of the flap to confirm whether there is enough distance for this piece to fit between the centre and rear spar. We need a good schematic, but haven’t seen one yet

  29. Don Thompson says:

    @Tim,

    My understanding is that the Teflon®/PTFE coating, in this application, delivers a rougher rather than smooth finish. Therefore my working assumption is the outer bands are the coating incorporating PTFE ‘grains’. However, my interpretation of what the image depicts on that face may be wrong.

  30. Tim says:

    @Don,
    Perhaps the tougher Teflon coating means that it has fared better out in the environment compared to the regular paint. Thus giving us the appearance that the centre white band is a less damaged surface.

  31. Michael John says:

    https://gcaptain.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/PC200147.jpg

    Someone here mentioned Vesta Wind.

    The above link is to an Image that shows a number of things. Underneath the blue exterior is a black surface on top of the Honeycomb that is also a similar colour to the New Debris piece. Also of note it appears that the other side is white. As Vestas Wind broke up on Coral it is a perfect explanation for the Gouge marks in the Debris find.

  32. George Tilton says:

    @All

    Victor on the 21st stated that a retired Boeing engineer said that 1″ composite was rare or non-existent on a B777.

    The Vestas Wind was a VO65 class yacht designed in 2012 by Farr Yacht Design, Ltd. (http://www.farrdesign.com/757.html)

    At this link tinyurl.com/4hrtawhr are pictures of the stern damage caused by the twin rudders colliding with the shoal.
    The third picture shows the curvature of the hull at the stern that is similar to the curvature noted on the Blaine debris.
    Note the white stripes where transverse stiffeners will be placed.
    There is circular fitting between the two rudder fittings…a circular line noted on the Blaine debris.

    At this link tinyurl.com/bdfu2uze the Vestas Wind hull arrives at Kuala Lumpur for trans-ship to Genoa Italy for the rebuild. Good shots of the stern damage from different views.

    Finally a design paper for the VO65 yacht class reveals that 30mm hexcel was used thru-out except for the mast bulkhead which was increased to 40mm.

    tinyurl.com/3a5wawft

    The guys who designed these racing yachts were as concerned with drag as aircraft designers…

  33. Don Thompson says:

    @George Tilton

    Thank you for the reference to Santiago Sampaio’s preliminary VOR65 design update for the most recent Ocean Race. Following the 2014-2015 race, the boats were renovated and used again for the 2017-2018 race. Some of the design features described by Sampaio remain applicable to the 2014-2015 builds. Sampaio proposes (hydro)foils in this preliminary design, foils were not a feature of the 2014-2015 hull, so one must assume that specific areas of this design may not be relevant to the original boats.

    However, it’s very useful information.

    I note a reference to ‘Corecell M’. That material is evident at figure 13 of the speculative 12th December 2022 document.

    You wrote that, ‘a design paper for the VO65 yacht class reveals that 30mm hexcel was used thru-out except for the mast bulkhead which was increased to 40mm. In section 3.5.3.2, Sampaio actually describes that the bulkheads would use 30mm hexcel, excepting the mast bulkhead where the hexcel is increased to 40mm.

    In the following section 3.5.3.3, Laminates, Sampaio lists the use of 25mm Nomex in Areas B & C. Those areas include the aft, open cockpit.

    There are other features evident in the ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ article of debris that are consistent with the manufacturing technique of the VOR65 design, certainly the 2014-2015 builds. Those are being followed up.

    The shoreline where the articles of debris,’Tataly-Antsiraka’ and ‘broken-O’, were recovered is 1,050km directly due west of the Team Vestas Wind grounding location.

  34. DWARAKANATHAN Shenbaganathan says:

    The new debris could be bottom flap next engine on left wing.As per my investigation the plane on entry to did a SPIRALLING by first hit on a hill 6000 ft to get chopped off complete right wing with engine from FUSELAGE.Resulted in clockwise rotation around the hill.It hit on another hill nearby at 1.5km to relieve left wing from engine to tip of wing.It cut off near engine strong structure on wing.The underlying wing portion next to engine is my point of attention.The slot at recovered debris just like in wing of plane along with bend running along the debris almost resemble the orignal found on MH 370 plane.The wing followed a hit on tail to remove it fell at bottom of hill at near distance than the left wing portion fell.Please put your focus of study on the flap next to engine at bottom of left wing.

  35. Tim says:

    @All,
    George Tilton said quote—
    “Victor on the 21st stated that a retired Boeing engineer said that 1″ composite was rare or non-existent on a B777”.

    Looking at a cross section drawing of the outboard flap, the surface skin looks like about an inch thick to me.

  36. Don Thompson says:

    @Tim,

    “a retired Boeing engineer said that 1″ composite was rare or non-existent on a B777”

    This individual had particular responsibility for the design of the trailing edge structures on the 777.

  37. Abdul-Rahman Bahry says:

    Mr. Victor Iannello is always a step ahead of us. I follow his scientific articles since 2016 “Possibility Flight Path of MH370.” The book “Operation Mangosteen” about MH370 is on the way revealing an important information from the retired Malaysian personnel.

  38. Victor Iannello says:

    @Abdul-Rahman Bahry: Welcome to the blog. Your words are generous, but much of what is presented on the blog is a collaborative effort with other contributors here.

    Can you give us more information about what is revealed in the book? It sounds like you are following some leads that others are not.

  39. Victor Iannello says:

    Merry Christmas to All.

  40. Tanmay says:

    Hi,

    Why these 2 research groups don’t work together and always counter attacking each other’s theories?

  41. Victor Iannello says:

    @Tanmay: When science, math, and logic prove that a theory is wrong, the contributors here present that evidence. That’s unlikely to change, nor should it.

  42. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Victor Iannello et al

    Thank you for the Christmas greeting, Victor. Best wishes of the season to all.

    And a very specific thank you to Victor for maintaining this site, essentially the only open forum that brings together expertise from a range of scientific and engineering disciplines and commercial aviation for the common purpose of trying to resolve the mystery of MH370.

  43. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert: Thank you, Mick. Season’s Greetings.

  44. ventus45 says:

    @Mick

    Hear Hear

  45. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Tanmay

    It would be analogous to lament the lack of cooperation between astronomers and astrologists.

    The crux of the matter is, of course, that only one group is pursuing real science while the other is more focussed on a repeating media spot of prognostications conjured from pseudo-scientific claptrap.

  46. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert: In many ways, the most recent false claims about the new debris are worse than the false claims about WSPR tracking. It might be hard for a non-technical individual to assess whether or not the WSPR tracking claims have merit. However, this one is easy. The figures above show very clearly that the new part cannot be the trunnion door of the main landing gear. The debris is the wrong size and is missing clear features (the through holes for the attachment brackets). End of story.

    Instead we see more false claims as they double down.

  47. airlandseaman says:

    @Victor: The debris area is ~32″ X 28″ = ~6ft^2. The trunnion door area below the 8 attachment fittings is about 3.8 ft^2. The vertical dimension is only ~15″ below the fittings (considerably less than the shortest dimension of the debris). Thus, as you state, this dimensional information alone is all one needs to know to conclude the debris is not from a B777-200ER trunnion door. The thickness, color, etc. are irrelevant in this case. Size matters.

    No alternative match has been found on the B77-200ER so far. And while we cannot be 100% sure the debris is not from 9M-MRO at this point, solid evidence is mounting that the debris is actually from a different source altogether. More on that to come soon.

  48. Victor Iannello says:

    @airlandseaman: The dimensional evidence is irrefutable. The new debris CANNOT be the trunnion door of the main landing gear.

    The figure above that was used to determine the dimensions of the trunnion door used an airframe registered as 9V-SQL (identifiable by the text on the underside of the left wing). This is a 777-200ER flown by Singapore Airlines. The registration for MH370 was 9M-MRO, which is also a 777-200ER. Any claims that we do not know what the actual dimensions are for the trunnion door of MH370 are patently false. This is yet another attempt to obfuscate what can be clearly observed. Similarly, other 777-200ERs show the same bracketry and fasteners as shown above, and the through holes are clearly missing on the new debris.

    (Tom Kenyon was primarily responsible for the figures showing the dimenensions.)

  49. Tim says:

    @ALSM,

    So have you ruled out the possibility that it is part of the top surface of the outboard flap?
    If so, what are your reasons? I’ve been thinking it’s a pretty good match.

    Many Thanks

  50. Don Thompson says:

    @Tim wrote ‘I’ve been thinking it’s a pretty good match.

    Please do share some of your thinking.

    Is there anything you recognise as significant discriminating materials or construction features would be of particular interest.

    Are you certain that ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ is not a MLG trunnion door?

  51. Tim says:

    @Don,

    As previously stated
    1/ the central whiter paint band resembles the anti-rub strip on the outboard flap.
    2/ the piece is concave as the top flap surface.
    3/ the piece is about 1” thick, as is the flap surface.
    4/ the piece is roughly the correct size to fit between central and rear spar on the flap—-dimensions need to be confirmed

  52. airlandseaman says:

    @Tim: I agree with Don’s assessment here:

    https://mh370.radiantphysics.com/2022/12/18/new-mh370-debris-not-from-landing-gear-door/#comment-34109

    …that the debris is too large to fit in the center section of the upper surface of the outboard flap.

    In addition, there are materials evident in the debris that are not consistent with Boeing construction. In particular, the edge view of the debris item has a distinctive piece that is clearly not Nomex honeycomb. That piece is probably Styrene Acrylo Nitrile (SAN) foam material commonly used in high tech carbon fiber racing sail boats, but not aircraft. We know of at least one sailboat that stuck a reef in the area in late 2014 that was constructed using 25mm Nomex and SAN materials (Corecell M).

  53. airlandseaman says:

    @ALL:

    RG’s latest statements about cameras and photo evidence are complete nonsense and obfuscation.

    Tom’s estimated size for the trunnion door is quite accurate. Ironically, his estimated base length (43″) agrees within 5% to the base length estimate in the BG/RG Dec 12 paper (41″). Id like to hear that explained.

    The scaling done by Tom to estimate the size of the trunnion door from the overhead photo of 9V-SQL also agrees within 5% with the scaling from this ground photo:

    http://bit.ly/3hVPgEP

    This is a photo of HL7700, B777-200ER line number 403 (9M-MRO was the very next line number). The B777-200ER tires are 50″ dia. The man in the photo is ~72″ tall. Using either as a reference, the distance below the through hole trunnion door bracket fittings is ~15.5″. Id like to hear that explained too.

  54. Mick Gilbert says:

    @airlandseaman

    Mike, for additional reference the rims are 22 inches (they’re often a little easier to measure).

  55. sk999 says:

    ALSM writes:

    “RGbs latest statements about cameras and photo evidence are complete nonsense and obfuscation.”

    I will presume that this comment is a reference to RG’s most recent post at 21:43, in which he states:

    “… attempts to estimate the dimensions from photographs are ridiculous as the camera manufacturer, camera type, camera lens, shutter time, ISO setting, focal length, aperture and parallax error will all give you different results.”

    At present I am responsible for analyzing [digital] images which, if scaled to the dimensions of a 777, would require providing the abolute position of an arbitrary point on such an aircraft to an accuracy of 0.7 mm. That is at least 20 times more accurate than what is needed for determining the trunnion door dimensions (and is actually vastly more demanding, since trunnion door metrology requires only relative, not absolute, positions.)

    Needless to say, camera lenses are a big issue. I can positively state, based on personal experience, that:

    1. Camera manufacturer, camera type, shutter time, ISO setting, focal length, aperture and parallax error are largely irrelevant. Camera lens can be important, but more information is needed.

    2. Illumination and resolution are important. If you are trying to detect the edge of a door, it is important to have good resolution and contrast to distinguish the door edge from the background.

    3. For my application, distortion is the most important factor*. All lenses, aside from a simple pinhole, will introduce distortion at some level. The amount depends upon the particular lens, and that amount must be compared with the accuracy that is required in order to determine if it is important. For a typical telephoto lens (as might be used by a plane spotter), distortion amounts to 0.2% at the edge of the field, which turns out to be negligible for the determination of the dimensions of a trunnion door.

    *We ended up chucking a $17,000 fancy camera lens in favor of a simplet singlet lens out of the Edmund catalog, simply to eliminate any issues regarding distortion. Nevertheless, that high-priced lens would be perfectly fine for measuring the dimensions of a trunnion door using either the length or the wingspan of a 777 as a reference.)

  56. Don Thompson says:

    @Tim,

    Concerning your list,

    1/ We seem to be at crossed purposes. Please refer to the authors’ original report, figures 29 and 30. A smooth finished protective coating may be a PTFE/Teflon compound and this, I understand, is typically used by airframe manufacturers where there is a risk that moving flight surfaces interfere with each other. The ‘crown’ of the upper surface of the outboard flap is such an area. However, in the case of ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’, it is the not the central area but the peripheral area that shows some form of rough protective/safety coating. This coating may be a compound containing PTFE/Teflon grains. Such a surface finish is not typical of a 777 outboard flap.

    2/ ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ does exhibit a slight curved form. However, span and chord dimensions, see 4/

    3/ Panel appears to be approximately 1″/25mm thick, as can be derived by comparing image pixels spans referenced to the tape measure depicted in the authors’ figure 12. However, we have a authorative comment that plain, i.e. absent any core ramp profile, CFRP panels of 1″/25mm thickness are not a feature of 777 construction. Aside the comment, documented examples of CFRP skinned honeycomb panels are not consistent with a uniform thickness.

    4/ The ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ panel fragment, in both its dimensions, exceeds the spar-to-spar spans of the outboard flap panels. Refer to these linked marked up images, originally published by ATSB, to illustrate the outboard flap dimensions (per 777 AMM). Image A, Image B.

    The rough surface finish and the dimensions of ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ should dispel any notion that this piece of flotsam’s origin could be the outboard flap of a Boeing 777.

  57. Tim says:

    @Don,
    @alsm,
    Thanks again for your replies.

    As this piece, at least visually, seems such a good fit to the top surface of the outboard flap. I’m still wondering and trying to find if on the outboard part of the flap there is enough space to fit this piece between the spars. Perhaps on the outboard third there is no central spar. I still haven’t found a high enough res photo showing the rivet lines in this area.

  58. Victor Iannello says:

    @Tim: If the debris was any part of any flap, the retired Boeing engineer would recognize it as such, as that was within his engineering responsibility. That’s almost as certain as an official determination from Boeing would be.

  59. Mick Gilbert says:

    “… attempts to estimate the dimensions from photographs are ridiculous as the camera manufacturer, camera type, camera lens, shutter time, ISO setting, focal length, aperture and parallax error will all give you different results.”

    Wonderful news! Turns out that I didn’t put on weight over Christmas, photos suggesting such were all taken at the wrong ISO setting.

  60. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert: Who knew?

  61. Ethan Larsen says:

    I can’t see how the debris is not from MH370. Are the odds of a random object from another source plausible when other confirmed debris from MH370 was found in the same area? I’m not sure??

  62. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Victor Iannello

    Yes, it appears that the author is keen to demonstrate that his lack of understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum isn’t just limited to HF, it also extends to visible light.

  63. Peter Norton says:

    If more debris is found, would this at all better the chances of locating the aircraft’s resting place ?

  64. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Peter Norton

    G’day Peter, regarding finding more debris, unless the debris offers something extraordinary (say, the Crash Survivable Memory Unit off the FDR), I’m of the opinion that it is very unlikely that more debris will help refine the search area. It may help refine our understanding of the type of impact but I would note that interpretations of a lot of debris found to date are somewhat conjectural. I opined sometime back that the debris is somewhat akin to a Rorschach test; what you see in it says more about you than it does about the crash.

  65. Don Thompson says:

    @Tim,

    To satisfy your quest for an answer to ‘Perhaps on the outboard third there is no central spar. I still haven’t found a high enough res photo showing the rivet lines in this area.‘.

    This image, including the outboard segment of Boeing 777 N784UA, was the second returned to me by a search. Click on the image for hi-res rendition.

    The forward, centre, and rear spar arrangement continues to the flap’s outboard tip.

    I agree with @Victor Iannello that comments from the retired Boeing engineer about ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ set out probative value for its origin being something other than a Boeing 777.

  66. TBill says:

    @MickG
    Good analogy, except I’d say the whole MH370 saga is one big Rorschach test.

  67. Tim says:

    @Don,
    Great picture thanks.
    To finally exclude this location, will need to see the rivet lines on the top surface of the flap. Although, I agree it seems unlikely to have a different rivet line on the top compared to the underside.

  68. Victor Iannello says:

    @All: Happy New Year! May this be the year when the search resumes!

  69. Victor Iannello says:

    @All: I re-read the note that the retired Boeing engineer sent me about the new debris. His comment about not being aware of any composite with a 1-inch thick core was referring to composite with the particular ply geometry seen on the black side, i.e., tape plies at various angles. (There were two separate sentences I thought stood alone, but in fact one sentence was conditioned on the other.)

    So, the conclusion remains the same. The composite construction remains unfamiliar to him on a B777.

    And we are more certain than ever that the new debris is not the trunnion door, nor is it likely to be part of a flap. We suspect it is not from a B777 and it may be from a racing yacht. I have confidence that Mike, Don, and Tom will arrive at a more definitive determination in the coming weeks.

  70. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert and @George G: I recognize you as two separate individuals, and I value the contributions from both of you. How odd!

  71. Peter Norton says:

    @Mick Gilbert: Thank you for your thoughts on the value of finding more debris. I agree with you.

  72. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Victor Iannello

    Odd, indeed.

    I was alerted to the latest ramblings and rumblings out of the Guessing, Doodling and Tracing, and Associated Arithmetical Atrocities cinematic universe earlier today. Banned! I do hope that comes with a certificate of some sort that I can display – quite the badge of honour.

    Said ban, however, will have zero impact on me. For the avoidance of any and all doubt, I have not posted (nor attempted to post) anything on that site since I voluntarily stopped commenting there in the wake of the author’s haranguing me about, inter alia, whether I was a “scientist”.

    More to the point, if I have anything to say on any of the various and voluminous confected babblings from that sphere, I’ll post it under my own name, usually right here. Unlike one of the major promoters/contributors to that alternate universe, I have no need to resort to false names or fake, sock-puppet Facebook profiles.

    I’ve opined previously that I thought that the dogged pursuit of MH370 will eventually drive a person quite mad. It would appear that that process is somewhat faster for some than others.

  73. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert: One of the symptoms of MDS (MH370 Derangement Syndrome) is an obsession with particular theories that are either unlikely or provably wrong, be it WSPR tracking, identification of MH370 debris, a crash site in the South China Sea, or a flight path to Kazakhstan. Rather than change views based on new evidence or insights, the afflicted double down with even more nonsense and falsely accuse others that point out the obvious. The affliction is easy to recognize but difficult to treat.

  74. Paul Smithson says:

    @victor, as a former sufferer of MDS, I recognise those symptoms only too well.

  75. Victor Iannello says:

    @Paul Smithson: I’m glad you’re doing better. What treatment do you recommend?

  76. airlandseaman says:

    @All: It was almost immediately obvious that the debris article found by Blaine Gibson and reported on Godfrey’s blog December 12, 2022, was not from any B777 trunnion Door. That much was easy to prove since the article was way too large to fit the area of ANY B777 Trunnion Door, regardless of the Boeing line number.

    So Don, Tom and I (and others) started looking at all the other potential spots on the B777 where it might have come from. But the construction methods and specific materials observed in the photos, while very similar in many respects to those used in the B777, were a little different in other respects. Don did an excellent job of documenting the specific differences, such as the presence of CoreCell M, which is used in sailboats, but not aircraft. This raised the question, was the debris from the Vestas Wind which crashed on a reef in December 2014, east of Madagascar. There are many photos, videos and YouTube stories about the crew and their unfortunate crash.

    Over the last 2 weeks I have been corresponding with the design team at Farr Yacht Design, the people that designed Vestas Wind. In my initial contact with them I provided several annotated copies of the photos appearing in the December 12 paper by BG & RG. Don added the annotations to point out the differences that looked more like yacht debris than B777 debris. In Farr’s initial response they said:

    “Hi Mike. I can take a look in more detail next week but the short answer is yes the VO65 utilizes both Nomex and Corecell M Foam cores extensively with a lot of use of biaxials and flow media for infusion. I would be inclined to think Vestas is the likely source of this part.”

    After getting this initial report, I sent photos of another piece of debris Blaine turned up a couple of years ago that had some similar characteristics. Don and I tried to match it for Blaine, but never did find a B777 match. That piece had what appeared to be part of a painted character which we suspected might be part of the letter “O”.

    Today Farr reported that, after further review,

    “Mike .. pretty certain both of these panels are from Vestas. The laminates and materials match the construction of the boat. I think the “O” is actually part of the A or S in Vestas on the deck panel.”

    Here is the photo that Farr sent showing the deck of Vestas Wind from which both the debris items are believed to have originated.

    http://bit.ly/3i8KC6G

    I want to thank Blaine for his continuing effort to locate and report debris that could be from MH370. I wish he had asked Don and I to check out this latest debris, like he did with the Vortex Generator and #8/9 Spoiler, which we correctly identified. If he had asked us, we would have found out where it came from much sooner.

    [VI: At Mike’s request, I have corrected his spelling of “Vestas” and the spelling of one of the multiple occurrences of “Blaine”.]

  77. Victor Iannello says:

    More MDS behavior. Predictable.

  78. airlandseaman says:

    Oh my! MDS must be setting in. 4 letters out of 2782 wrong. Yikes! Got to turn off autocomplete and do a better job of proofreading.

    @RG: How about addressing substance for a change? What about the Trunnion Door size? The debris was 28″ X 32″ according to you. The door only has 15″ below the fasteners according to many. Explain that. And while you are at it, explain where on a Trunnion Door we might find CoreCell M?

    PS: Thanks, VI, for the 4 letter corrections.

  79. Victor Iannello says:

    More MDS symptoms! The affliction is progressing fast!

    And for the record, I never claimed the new debris is from the racing yacht. I said it MAY be from a racing yacht. Here are my exact words:

    “And we are more certain than ever that the new debris is not the trunnion door, nor is it likely to be part of a flap. We suspect it is not from a B777 and it may be from a racing yacht. I have confidence that Mike, Don, and Tom will arrive at a more definitive determination in the coming weeks.”

    So we have the retired Boeing engineer that is unfamiliar with any B777 part that resembles the new debris. We also have the designer of the racing yacht that believes the new debris is from the yacht. Although neither statement is definitive, the needle is definitely swinging away from a B777 and towards the yacht.

    That said, we can be quite certain the debris is not the trunnion door, nor is it any part of a flap. And we can also be quite certain that any theories that relate the debris with the position of the landing gear are completely false.

    Facts are difficult to accept for some. But that is a symptom of MDS.

    Helpful hint: Any attempt to treat MDS symptoms with alcohol consumption will only exacerbate the condition.

  80. Paul Smithson says:

    For those interested in the Vestas Wind hypothesis, the link below provides some good close up video of damaged aft sections. Note that quite a lot more damage occurred between time of the first daylight photos of the grounded yacht and the time it was finally recovered. Search for earliest imagery reveals what broke off in between. https://youtu.be/gGhOLzwnoLY

  81. Paul Smithson says:

    And another video courtesy Yachting World provides views of the damaged hull and deck as they commenced the re-build. https://youtu.be/uukZi19glq8

  82. airlandseaman says:

    Adding to Victors comments above, and contrary to RG’s distraction and misinformation campaign:

    1. I have never stated that the the debris is 100% certain to be from Vestas Wind, although it is highly likely based on multiple lines of evidence.

    2. I AM on the record as 100% certain the debris is not from the trunnion door. RG refuses to admit that fact, or even comment on the 15″ dimension.

    3. It was the Farr engineer that stated HE thought the black partial “circle” on the older debris item might be part of the deck logo. It was not me or Victor.

    4. I have never stated that the black partial “circle” on the older debris item is part of the Vestas Wind Logo. What I have said is it “…might be part of a letter “O”. I have also speculated that it might not be part of a letter at all. Instead, it might be an unpainted area that was under a circular flange or similar item. We are still looking into the possible places on Vestas Wind the debris originated. RG’s attacks like this are so predictable. Make a couple of false statements and accusations, then spend multiple paragraphs on a lesson in fonts, line numbers, and the like that have nothing to do with the point at hand.

  83. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Victor Iannello

    I’m not 100 percent convinced we are seeing MDS per se here. It may well be Fonzarelli’s Aphasia; the pathological inability to construct an admission that you are mistaken.

    Either way, educated readers aren’t rubes. They understand that when a designer of a yatch states that they are “pretty certain” that the recently recovered item is from the previously wrecked VO65 yatch Vestas Wind, then that assessment alone well and truly trumps the “likely the remnant of the left main landing gear trunnion door conclusion from some computer science engineer.

    The problem, of course, doesn’t sit with the educated readers.

    The problem is that off the back of an amateurishly incorrect assessment of the recovered item, that also included a long chain of highly speculative theorising about frankly implausible engine fragment damage, the position of the landing gear and an active pilot at the end of flight, which was then spread to the winds by essentially regurgitative “reporting”, large sections of the general public (including the long suffering next-of-kin) find themselves now thoroughly misinformed, but largely unaware that they are misinformed.

    Little wonder that the general public, to the extent that they still have any interest in the disappearance, come away with a completely distorted understanding of the events surrounding it.

    So, who’s going to address that?! Surely the authors of the report and the promoting reporter now have some accountability in that regard. This is surely a test of intellectual and professional integrity. Let’s see how that plays out.

  84. Don Thompson says:

    @Paul Smithson

    Indeed, there is a broad portfolio of still and video imagery exposing the damage to the Farr Design VOR65 class yacht, ‘Team Vestas Wind’.

    Its grounding on the reef occurred after sunset, local time. The crew stayed with the boat through to early light before escaping to the life raft. They have described the difficulties to remain onboard as the boat was battered by surf breaking over the reef. Local coast guards, based on the island of St Brandon, did provide assistance. Images taken in daylight show that the starboard-aft part of the deck had fractured from the hull and was canted upwards. Later, it had separated entirely. The crew returned and de-mounted all removable equipment, recovering it to the shore before leaving the island.

    On 18-19th December principal members of the crew returned with a team of South Africa based salvage experts. The remains of the boat were made ready to be floated off the reef for a rendezvous with the Maersk container liner ‘Jula S’ that took the wrecked, but repairable, boat to Malaysia.

    ‘Team Vestas Wind’ had languished on the Cargados Carajos reef for 3 weeks from 29th Nov until its salvage was completed on 21st Dec.

    The lost starboard/aft part of the deck was only a small part of the damage. Images recorded during the 18th-21st Dec salvage showed that starboard side of hull was largely destroyed from the transom, forward, through four bulkheads to the compartment housing the engine and canting keel machinery. Aside from the structural bulkheads, throughout those compartments various lateral and longitudinal CFRP panels had existed.

    There are key features of the ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ fragment that indicate marine application rather than aero. The high density SAN foam within the panel core, a particular element of the skin lay-up, the remnant jointing tape. Farr have confirmed these to be elements of their design whereas they are not familiar to the Boeing 777 engineer.

    It is typical that the ‘broken-O’ fragment, depicted in images previously shared with us, provokes comments that the curved edge of the white surface coating appears to be an alpha/numeric character outline. While that’s the initial impression, further inspection dispels that notion.

    Within the VOR65 crew compartments, the compartment housing the engine and machinery plus those aft of it, there are longitudinal and lateral panels/bulkheads finished with white surface coat with attached circular fittings that may have masked bare CFRP skin.

    Considering the weight of information that has been gathered to identify the VOR65 yacht as the source of these articles of debris, the premature conclusion set out in the Dec 12th (actually, 9th) report is no longer credible, not even tenuously. The ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ panel is not an MLG trunnion door. Accordingly, the corresponding description of circumstances leading up to and including 9M-MRO’s impact is without any foundation.

    Again, contrary to protestations, there are no differences to the the form, fit and function of the MLG trunnion door across the delivered 777-200 and -200ER (aka IGW/increased gross weight) aircraft. The aircraft is subject to a single type certification that sets out the salient characteristics of both the -200 and -200ER derivatives. The landing gear differences involved only specifications for the tyres, more robust for the -200ER. Indeed, across the entire range of derivative 777 models: -200, -200ER, -300, -300ER, -200LR and -F; only three variants of tyre specification exist, one for the -200, another for the -200ER and -300, and another common to the -300ER, -200LR and -F. The -300ER introduced an evolved design for the lower shock strut and truck. This design added a hydraulic strut to control the truck’s ability to swivel thus creating a semi-levered function for the MLG and decreasing the risk of a tailstrike during rotation. This evolved design did not expand the enclosed volume of the shock strut and truck, therefore obviating any impact to the design of other elements of the Main Landing Gear configuration.

  85. Andrew says:

    @Don Thompson

    RE: ”This design added a hydraulic strut to control the truck’s ability to swivel thus creating a semi-levered function for the MLG and decreasing the risk of a tailstrike during rotation.”

    FWIW, the hydraulic strut on the -300ER has another important function, namely improved take-off performance. As you mentioned, the strut locks the truck and prevents it tilting during take-off. When the aircraft rotates just before lift-off, it does so around the aft set of wheels, allowing a higher body angle before a tail-strike occurs. The higher body angle (& AOA) reduces the required take-off speeds and the runway length required for take-off.

    The PFCS on the -300ER also has modified control laws to help prevent tail-strikes.

  86. Don Thompson says:

    @Andrew,

    Thank you for adding detail about how the hydraulic strut delivers improved take-off performance.

    The addition of the hydraulic strut on the -300ER MLG and the software functions to control the levering is an elegant solution. Today, some ‘chief sloganeering officer’ might even apply the term ‘software defined aircraft’!

  87. Forest for the trees says:

    News from Guardian suggesting new search is warranted.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/05/australia-should-back-new-search-for-mh370-says-top-official-who-led-first-effort

    Time for an updated report with priority search recommendations?

  88. Victor Iannello says:

    @Forest: Yes.

  89. Peter Norton says:

    What was the bottom line regarding the possibility of the crash site having been missed (either in a blind spot or overlooked in the created imagery) ?

  90. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: Opinions vary. I believe it is possible, and may in fact be the most probable explanation of the failure to locate the debris field.

  91. George Tilton says:

    @Peter Norton: As Victor said it is probable.

    Robert Ballard’s discovery of the Titanic in 1985 is a perfect example.

    From Wikipedia:”He (Ballard) approached the French national oceanographic agency, IFREMER, with which Woods Hole had previously collaborated. The agency had recently developed a high-resolution side-scan sonar called SAR and agreed to send a research vessel, Le Suroît, to survey the sea bed in the area where Titanic was believed to lie. The idea was for the French to use the sonar to find likely targets, and then for the Americans to use Argo to check out the targets and hopefully confirm whether they were in fact the wreck.[32] The French team spent five weeks, from 5 July to 12 August 1985, “mowing the lawn” – sailing back and forth across the 150-square-nautical-mile (510-square-kilometre) target area to scan the sea bed in a series of stripes. However, they found nothing; though it turned out that they had passed within a few hundred yards of Titanic in their first run.[33]”

  92. Victor Iannello says:

    @George Tilton: A more recent example is the search for the Argentine submarine San Juan which was missed by Ocean Infinity on the first pass. The submarine was eventually found about 20 km from where an acoustic anomaly was localized in an area of challenging terrain.

  93. George Tilton says:

    @Victor

    Agreed…The challenging terrain contributed to the initial miss of the San Juan.

    The Titanic was not in challenging terrain and still missed.

    Technology has improved since 2014/15 and I predict that we will finally locate MH370 in an area we previously searched…and it will be near Neal Gordon’s Bayesian hotspot.

  94. airlandseaman says:

    @George: Where exactly is “Neal Gordon’s Bayesian hotspot”?

  95. airlandseaman says:

    The 7th arc is very well known. The uncertainty is ~5nm. The BFO data indicates it was descending at 15000 ft/min 2.5 minutes after MEFE. So, it is probably within 20nm of the arc, and therefore it was probably missed. That said, the data is not nearly as precise for the location along the arc. But somewhere in the S32-S36 range is still most likely.

  96. George Tilton says:

    @airlandseaman

    I have been working on a method to address the imprecise location along the arc.
    No doodling (ala Mike Chillit) or unicorn farts (WSPR)…have Victor give you my email address and I believe I can convince you.

  97. DrB says:

    Victor, Andrew, and I collaborated on the UGIB (2020) paper which found the most likely southbound course of 9M-MRO after 19:41. That analysis resulted in a very accurate estimate of the aircraft position (latitude and longitude) at 00:11:00. We also derived meaningful estimates of the error in this location (about 10 NM at 2 sigma). After 00:11:00 the aircraft position is less well known, because the difference in the fuel exhaustion times of the left and right engines can only be estimated within a few minutes of accuracy. As a result, we don’t know exactly when and where the aircraft began to slow down and then descend. The satellite data indicates that at 00:17:30 both engines had reached fuel exhaustion. Clearly, the aircraft was descending rapidly by 00:19:29. We also don’t know when the aircraft impacted the sea. The lack of an IFE transmission at 00:21:07 may indicate the impact occurred earlier, but there are other possible explanations of the lack of a received signal then. So, it is possible the aircraft crashed into the sea after 00:21:07 due to an extended glide. I don’t think this is likely to have occurred, but at present no one has proved it could not. What I can say is that the highly accurate fuel flow modeling of the entire flight predicts that the only way to extend the MEFE to 00:17:30 is for the air packs to be off for both engines after approximately 19:41. That means the aircraft was unpressurized for 4 1/2 hours, and no pilot could have survived that (even with a plentiful supply of supplemental oxygen) and then glided the aircraft after MEFE. In addition, it doesn’t make sense for a pilot to have purposely initiated a steep dive at 00:19 and then try to glide as far as possible. Therefore, I think the aircraft is more likely than not to have crashed by 00:21 without a functioning pilot and without an extended glide.

    Victor and I have been working on debris drift modeling since the 2020 flight path paper was finished. We were greatly aided by David Griffin of CSIRO. This work will be available soon as a rather lengthy paper which presents three analysis methods, each of which incorporates all validated MH370 debris finds. The predictions of crash location by all three methods are quite precise and consistent with one another. The accuracy of the predicted crash location is about 60 NM at two sigmas. The distance between the Last Estimated Position (LEP) from UGIB (2020) and the drift modeling Point of Impact (POI) is only about 42 NM (to the northeast) so the LEP and the POI are separated by about 1.5 sigmas. So, we now have two completely independent data sets and two completely different analysis methods which predict a consistent crash “location” (both with and without an extended glide).

    The LEP and the POI are not quite the same thing. To estimate the LEP in UGIB (2020), we simply extended the best-fit due-South course to intersect the 7th Arc at 00:19:29. The POI occurred after 00:19:37, and possibly circa 00:21. So, the POI will differ from the LEP for two reasons. First, it is possible, and even likely, the aircraft deviated from the true south course after MEFE at 00:17:30. Second, the aircraft flew some minutes or even tens of minutes after the 00:19:29 LEP time. Therefore, one should expect the POI to be some tens of miles from the LEP (as our predictions indicate).

    Finally, one can improve upon the UGIB (2020) LEP location by using a more accurate method, and I have done this. I start with the best-known location, which is at 00:11:00. This zone of aircraft position is a parallelogram, taking into account the different latitude and longitude errors and the position angle of the 6th Arc. Then I find the possible aircraft locations (i.e., a “zone” of aircraft position) at 00:17:30, knowing the course and the maximum ground speed during that intervening 6 ½ minute period. Next, I find the locus of all possible locations (i.e., the aircraft zone) at 00:19:37. Here we have two minutes of travel with an unknown course but one which has to match the 7th Arc BTOs. The distance away from the 7th Arc is set by the BTO noise, and the location along the arc has to be flyable in 2 minutes from the 00:17:30 zone. Then I find the 00:21:07 zone by allowing 90 seconds of flight from the 00:19:37 zone, at any course and with a reducing speed. Finally, I allow an optimum glide to occur at any course and at the smallest glide angle from the highest possible altitude at 00:21. Now I can bound the crash point because it must be in the longest-glide zone (which has an estimated latest impact at 00:44 after gliding at most 140 NM), but I think it is more likely to be in the 00:21 zone (which is itself entirely within the 00:44 longest-glide zone). So, now I have two overlapping zones- a more likely 00:21 zone within a very much larger, maximum-glide 00:44 zone.

    About 70% of the 00:21 zone is inside the POI zone (which is a circle within 2 sigmas of the drift POI). Indeed, the predicted POI from the drift analyses lies inside the 00:21 zone predicted by the flight path analysis. That overlapping area is where I would initially search, giving priority to areas which were missed previously or have challenging terrain.

    A second paper describing the aircraft position zones at various times will also be published.

  98. Mick Gilbert says:

    @DrB

    Bobby, I’ve got to say that that is quite the intellectual pallet-cleanser after having suffered through course after course of entirely speculative, unscientific, error-riddled, unadulterated clap-trap from “the other crowd”. A breath of fresh air! Thank you.

    I know that you will detail this in your paper but can I ask please, what value did you use for BTO noise at the 7th arc?

  99. airlandseaman says:

    @Mick Gilbert: It is important to understand the specific type of noise related to the BTO observations, and where it originates. The common white noise on the signal is near zero wrt to the distance calculations. The noise affecting the distance calculations is dominated by two sources: (1) quantification of the observation at the Perth GES and (2) jitter introduced by the SDU logic in the AES/SDU. The quantification LSD is 20 usec, so that introduces a +/-10usec noise component that is more or less random. The jitter, caused by the SDU logic circuits falls within a narrow window characterized by Thales back in 2014. See the following test report for details.

    http://bit.ly/3Ip5oJZ

    In summary, the round trip BTO error due to the SDU jitter is as follows:
    50% of observations will have less than 15 μs error
    95% of observations will have less than 43 μs error
    99% of observations will have less than 53 μs error

    Note that this timing jitter is not Gaussian white noise. It is caused by uP interrupt routines or similar SDU logic circuits causing the return transmissions from the AES to vary within a small finite window of time. By design, the return signals must begin within a precise period defined by the Inmarsat network protocols. But due to competing demands on the SDU, some timing variation is allowed. The patterns observed in the test report above make this obvious.

    Together, the 20 usec quantification noise and SDU jitter give us a worst case 7th arc error of +/- 5.4 nm with 99% confidence.

    From the London Meeting:
    Components to weigh:
    –7th ARC BTO Uncertainty ±5.4 nm (>99%)
    –7th ARC Altitude Uncertainty ±1.5 nm
    –Estimated descent path uncertainty adds (educated guesses at the time)
    ±10 nm (>80%?)
    ±15 nm (>90%?)
    ±20 nm (>95%?)
    ±50 nm (>99%?)

  100. Mick Gilbert says:

    @airlandseaman

    Thanks for that, Mike.

    The topic of BTO error came up recently in a different forum where the “BTO std. dev.” values quoted in the Bayesian analysis were referenced (43 μs – 63 μs) . I know that there’s a bit of conjecture about that and that an average of 30 μs is frequently applied. I was keen to understand what Bobby has opted for.

  101. Andrew says:

    For anyone still following the 737MAX saga, the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (EAIB) released its final report into ET302 just before Christmas, and not without some controversy. The final report is available here:
    https://www.havkom.se/assets/reports/L-34_19-No-AI_01_18-ACCIDENT-FINAL-REPORT_compressed.pdf

    The NTSB and the BEA were accredited representatives to the investigation. They both lodged comments on the draft report, stating their belief that the investigation of human factors aspects that contributed to the accident was inadequate. Those comments were not included in full in the final report, as required by Annex 13. Consequently, both organisations have publicly released their comments on their own websites. The NTSB and BEA comments are available here:
    https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/NR20221227.aspx
    https://bea.aero/en/investigation-reports/notified-events/detail/accident-to-the-boeing-737-registered-et-avj-and-operated-by-ethiopian-airlines-on-10-03-2019-near-bishoftu-investigation-led-by-eaib-ethiopia/

  102. Peter Norton says:

    @DrB: That is very convincing. You have my vote for a new search recommendation.

  103. Peter Norton says:

    > DrB: To estimate the LEP in UGIB (2020), we simply extended the best-fit
    > due-South course to intersect the 7th Arc at 00:19:29.

    However, as said before, why would the plane fly due south?

    Flying due south in a straight line runs counter to the goal of disappearing the plane (which the characteristics of the known flight path captured by radar suggest): A straight path is easier to track mathematically and the pilot couldn’t exclude that the starting point (FMT) was captured by radar or located by an interceptor or spotted from a ship, etc.

  104. Mick Gilbert says:

    @George Tilton

    “… unicorn farts …”

    Might I borrow that turn of phrase please, George?

  105. George Tilton says:

    @Mick Gilbert

    Feel free.

    I saw it used in an opinion piece on alternate energy mandates that ignored reality.

    My son gave me a six-pack of the beer this Christmas saying “this will help keep you warm during the next power outage”
    https://duclaw.com/beers/the-pastryarchy-unicorn-farts-after-dark/

  106. DrB says:

    @Mick Gilbert,

    Per Section 5.1.1 in UGIB (2020):

    “2. The BTO Residuals (BTORs) have an expected value of 0 and a standard deviation of 29 μs.

    3. The BTO noise is random and uncorrelated with all other parameters. This lack of correlation is a useful tool in finding and evaluating possible solutions.”

    The 20 μs quantization introduces a RMS error equal 20 divided by the square root of 12, or about 6 μs. Thus, the quantization error is a small part of the total noise.

  107. DrB says:

    @Peter Norton,

    You said: “A straight path is easier to track mathematically and the pilot couldn’t exclude that the starting point (FMT) was captured by radar or located by an interceptor or spotted from a ship, etc.”

    In this case, the pilot flying had a carefully pre-planned route that would show a false course to the NW when it disappeared from Malaysian radar. He was also successful in avoiding being tracked after 18:22 by any radar. So, his plan to perform the FMT out of radar range was successful. He also knew that on a weekend night interception was highly unlikely because he would be too far offshore before an interceptor could be sent after him to be successful and survivable.

    You are correct that he could not have excluded the possibility that he might be spotted by a ship. I believe that occurred, but before the FMT, so it did not give away his final course.

    The post-19:41 course is not an assumption. It is the result of a satellite data fit with the initial time, latitude, longitude, altitude, speed setting, and azimuth of a great circle path being among the variables. Sensitivity studies (see Figure 19) showed a very narrow peak in route probability at exactly 180.00 degrees. This is how science works. You get what you get, doing the best you can to get unbiased predictions, but you have to work hard before and after not to let pre-conceived notions convince you it must be right or it must be wrong. We simply don’t know yet. So far, the strongest independent evidence confirming our predicted final course is the consistency with the POI prediction using the debris drift patterns. It’s rather unlikely that both methods are wrong but somehow match each other. We won’t know for certain until the debris field is found. Who knows, maybe the FDR can be found and is still readable.

  108. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: I’ll add that any proposed path that was reconstructed based on pilot intentions is speculative. Similarly, any path that is rejected based on pilot intentions is equally speculative. At best, after a path is reconstructed, we can speculate about pilot intentions, but that speculation should occur after and not before reconstruction of the path.

  109. airlandseaman says:

    I agree with Victor. That said, when the data and analysis suggests a path near 180, it is very likely the actual path was 180. As a pilot, IMO, 180 would be a logical course to take, given all we know.

  110. Mick Gilbert says:

    @DrB

    Thank you, Bobby.

    @George Tilton

    Thank you, George.

  111. Michael John says:

    @Peter Norton

    You asked:

    “However, as said before, why would the plane fly due south”

    Well I think that is a very good question. But try as all may there doesn’t seem to be a conclusive answer about that. All that can be done is to present the facts & hope something will become clear. Those facts suggest Mh370 flew on a relatively direct course into the SIO where the plane ran out of fuel & crashed. The logic would suggest as it is illogical for this to happen as there is no apparent reason for it to occur. That the plane must have been without a conscious pilot. The bottom line is that the plane will have to be found before any understanding of the why can take place.

  112. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Victor Iannello

    Victor, further to the Mick Gilbert-George G doppelganger bans over in the Guessing, Doodling and Tracing cinematic universe (now also dabbling in misidentifying wreckage), it has recently been brought to my attention that the Doodler-in-Chief (ask him about the manager’s specials on yatch debris) has claimed to “have clear evidence that Mick Gilbert is using the identity of George Gatehouse and a faked email address from George Gatehouse to try to get around our security system“.

    That, of course, is manifestly impossible. At no time have I ever made any attempt to use any alternative identities, leave alone that of George G’s, or fake email addresses, to post comments on the DiC’s website.

    And why would I? As previously stated, if I have anything to say on any of the various and voluminous confected babblings from that sphere, I post it under my own name, usually right here.

  113. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert: MDS

  114. Brian Anderson says:

    @DrB

    Keen to see your endpoint zones.
    In 2015 I hypothesised that the aircraft could only reach the 7th arc by turning left after the right engine failed. In fact it was just possible to cross the 7th arc, and continue in a spiral descent to reach it again while travelling northwards.
    Of course, my analysis was fairly elementary and based on a number of variables that have been extensively refined more recently.
    Mike’s simulator tests suggested that a left turn was inevitable, but even that depends on the aircraft’s trim condition and the TAC settings. The tests also provided useful information on the rate of descent after the first engine fails from fuel starvation.
    I think the most important parameter turned out to be the assumed speed at the time of the first engine failure, and subsequently. If the speed was too low, it was likely impossible to reach the 7th arc, and certainly impossible if a right turn ensued.

  115. DrB says:

    @Brian Anderson,

    I agree. The following results support the idea that the initial deviation from the planned course was a deviation to the left:

    (1) Mike’s simulator observations,
    (2) the preponderance of paths based on Boeing’s simulation runs,
    (3) anecdotal observations of the typical B777 rudder trim,
    (4) as you pointed out, the higher probability of reaching the 7th Arc after MEFE, and
    (5) the location of the drift-based POI, which is to the left side of the course derived from the satellite data.

    As far as I know, the only potential evidence for a turn to the right is the Pleiades imagery, but those objects may not have been MH370 debris.

  116. Victor Iannello says:

    @MDS Sufferers and Other Observers of This Ailment:

    As I already explained in this comment, the retired Boeing engineer’s comment that he was not aware of any composite with a 1-inch thick core was referring to composite with the particular ply geometry seen on the black side, i.e., tape plies at various angles.

    Here is his exact statement: “I think the key to identification is the ply geometry on the black side. Unfortunately I no longer have access to drawings to try to look for a part with various orientations of tape on the bag side. I am not aware of any on the 777 with approximately 1 inch thick core.”

    When I asked for comments on the blog article (above) that I could publicly release, he replied: “I agree with everything you say.”

    The best evidence we have that the new debris is not the trunnion door is the sizes don’t match. We’ve made that quite clear in the article and in blog comments. The colors also don’t match (grey versus white), but that has somehow been obfuscated into a long and contorted argument about light grey versus off white. The size match, however, is uncontestable. The retired Boeing engineer also offers that the construction (core thickness and ply pattern) also do not match.

    To sufferers of MDS, when confronted with facts that destroy their statements, they simply double down with more nonsense.

    We’ll see if false statements relating the new debris to the trunnion door and inferences about the landing gear position at impact are ever corrected.

  117. Mike R says:

    I understand as of this moment we are still debating with no firm conclusions as to whether the debris comes from a Boeing 777 or a Yacht but I do agree it’s not part of a trunnion door you cite the best reliable sources such as a retired Boeing engineer who can definitely conclude based on his years of working with the company it cannot be the said landing gear of the aircraft the news has the tendency to come up with premature and inaccurate conclusions such as the WSPR technology and reporting the debris item as a landing gear I’m pretty sure the families would want full confirmation on the item recently discovered.

  118. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: Geoffrey Thomas (airlineratings.com) regurgitates the fake science spouted by a MDS sufferers, and then those articles are propagated by “cut and paste” journalists. The best we can do is remain factual.

    We are quite certain that the new debris is not the trunnion door of the main leading gear, and we are also very certain that MH370 can’t be tracked with WSPR data. Whether or not those promoting the fake science will ever admit to their false claims remains to be seen. The recovery from MDS is difficult.

  119. airlandseaman says:

    @Mike R: Re: “…no firm conclusions as to whether the debris comes from a Boeing 777 or a Yacht…”, that is not the way I would characterize the current status.

    It is true that there are no “firm conclusions”, but the evidence and photographic analysis strongly points to the Vestas Wind as the most likely source. Despite attempts by several (including me), no one has found a potential match with any B777-200ER component. Meanwhile, engineers at Farr (the company that designed the Vestas Wind) reported to me:

    “Mike .. pretty certain both of these panels are from Vestas. The laminates and materials match the construction of the boat.”

    Taken together, these facts make it far more likely the debris is from Vestas Wind than being from MH370. Of course, there is also a very slim chance the debris is from a 3rd (unidentified) source, but no one has come up with any potential alternative, so I conclude that future efforts should be focused on trying to find the specific location on Vestas where this debris originated.

  120. TBill says:

    What is missing is Boeing analysis of the new debris, which apparently had been requested informally, with no luck? We really need Malaysia to officially request from Boeing, not just part ID, but some forensic analysis if possible of all the parts. Points up to me any future search will be questionable without Malaysia support to develop the evidence we already have (I realize us internet sleuths are analyzing the data ourselves, but we need more)…sorry to be frank but we are searching without impartially analyzing the evidence, partially due to political sensitivities of deliberate diversion.

  121. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill said: sorry to be frank but we are searching without impartially analyzing the evidence, partially due to political sensitivities of deliberate diversion

    Really? I don’t think so.

  122. airlandseaman says:

    @TBill: Re: “…we are searching without impartially analyzing the evidence…”, I don’t think that is true at all. I think we have been very open minded about the possible origin of the debris. My initial working assumption was that it was from MH370, but not from one of the trunnion doors. It was almost immediately obvious the debris article was way too large to fit the “open space” in the lower half of a trunnion door. However, the general appearance, carbon fiber materials, and 25mm NOMEX “honey comb” material were consistent with some pieces of a B777-200ER. We looked at the H stab, V Stab, elevator, rudder, flaps, spoilers, ailerons, various interior walls…and found no good match. Meanwhile, Don was taking a closer look at the construction and materials observed in the photos. In particular, it was noted that the side views of the debris showed the use CoreCell M in the panel, used as a stiffener. CoreCell-M is used extensively in modern carbon fiber sailboats, but nowhere on the B777-200ER. In fact, nowhere on any aircraft we are aware of. That fact alone was cause to start looking at the possibility it was from a sailboat, and that in turn pointed to the Vestas Wind. After a couple of text exchanges with engineers at Farr, and their review of the available photos, they concluded the debris was very likely from Vestas Wind.

    The bottom line is, with an unbiased drive to find the truth, we considered a wide range of possible sources before finally concluding the debris is likely from Vestas Wind, and not any aircraft. In contrast, the trunnion door theory is driven almost exclusively by the 4 cuts in the debris, wrongly attributed to turbine blades. Toss that one assumption, and the rest of the cards fall.

  123. Mike R says:

    I understand RG likes to contradict what others say by trying to draw conclusions with little to no reliable sources you and RG have worked non stop to find MH370 and then all of a sudden RG seems to want to keep his distance away from the IG what ever happened how come you don’t collaborate anymore with him Victor considering he’s part of your group ?

  124. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: He decided to no longer contribute here. That’s his choice, and I have no problem with that, nor with his decision to start his own blog. My issue is with the fake science he promotes.

  125. Peter Norton says:

    @Mike R:
    good question I wanted to ask as well

    @all:
    Have you managed to obtain the Captain’s previous ATC communication?
    (Obvious focus: Did he read back the frequency upon handoff? Other differences?)

  126. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: That’s a good question that I don’t think has been answered. I think only Malaysia would have archived previous communication hand-offs between Malaysia and Vietnam at IGARI.

    It’s hard to know how much weight to put on this. A read back of the frequency by the pilot allows the controller making the hand-off to correct the frequency if improperly heard, and this should ideally be done. But the pilot may have been be so familiar with the hand-off that they decided to not repeat the frequency. On the other hand, for the earlier hand-off from Departure to Lumpur Control, the frequency was read back, even though that should have been equally or more familiar than the hand-off at IGARI.

    What do you think, Andrew? To you assign any significance to this?

  127. Andrew says:

    @Victor

    I don’t think it’s possible to say with any certainty that it’s significant. It’s a requirement for pilots to read back the new frequency, but pilots sometimes forget, particularly if they’re distracted by something such as conversation with the other pilot. In this case it’s possible the pilot “forgot” because he was distracted with thoughts about what he was about to do, but that’s pure speculation.

  128. Peter Norton says:

    @Victor Iannello:
    Aside from the the missing frequency read back, there was also the issue of the unprompted “maintaining FL350” (twice), maybe fishing for the handoff, but unusual at any rate. I don’t know if there were other anomalies.

    It would be very interesting to see if these two issues only occurred during the final flight or also before (a sort of idiosyncrasy and typical of the Captain’s communication pattern).

    If these issues never occurred before, but then, in the fateful night, all of a sudden the Captain becomes impatient (repeating FL350), doesn’t read back the frequency (for he doesn’t intend to use it) and then 1:43 minutes later the plane “disappears” and is later tracked on a course found deleted on his flight sim …
    … then at some point the coincidences become too many.

    That is not to say that the Captain is necessarily the perpetrator. If threatened by someone, he would also not communicate in the usual way (either due to the stress level or to deliberately give a clue without alerting the hijacker, although there would be better clues, like “seven five – man with a knife”).

  129. Andrew says:

    @Peter Norton

    RE: “It would be very interesting to see if these two issues only occurred during the final flight or also before (a sort of idiosyncrasy and typical of the Captain’s communication pattern).”

    I doubt that such a comparison could be made after all this time. ATC recordings are only kept for a limited period of time, except in cases where an accident or serious incident has occurred. Recordings are only transcribed when needed for investigation purposes and those that might have included Zaharie’s communications with ATC during previous flights would have been deleted a long time ago.

  130. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Peter Norton

    Peter, some of the interpretations and, frankly rank speculations, arising from the analysis of the ATC exchanges give the phrase “hang on every word” a new meaning. You raise a good point though (and I say “good” because I’m pretty sure that I have written something similar before) about the need to have good comparative baselines in order to draw conclusions about what is abnormal, unusual or uncharacteristic behaviour.

    Regarding that hard ridden nag of the Voice Analysis Derby, Maintaining 350, you will note that both utterances come directly after exchanges between Lumpur Radar and Cathay Pacific flight, CPA791. CPA791 was inbound to KL from Hong Kong on R208 at FL390. The first maintaining call from MH370 comes at 17:01:17 UTC as Lumpur Radar concludes an exchange with CPA791 that clears it to descend, initially to FL300 and then to FL280.

    So, we have the inbound CPA791 flying in the opposite direction to outbound MH370 and being cleared to descend through MH370’s current flight level. I have it on good authority from a couple of people who know about these sorts of things, that in a circumstance such as this, it is not unheard for a Captain to provide ATC with a reminder that “Hey, couldn’t help but hear that you’ve cleared traffic that’s coming towards us to descend through our level, I’m sure you guys know what you are doing, but, you know, just saying we’re here.” Pursuant to the need for brevity and concision, that is often delivered as a” maintaining” call.

    That may explain the first call. Or it may not.

    The second maintaining call at 17:07:56 UTC may have been a knee jerk to hearing CPA791 again, even though the Cathay flight was by then past and below them. Or it may not. We simply don’t know.

    Regarding your observation that MH370 was “tracked on a course found deleted on his flight sim“, I am keen to understand which parts of MH370’s flight path that were tracked (presumably by primary radar) do you believe match the home flight simulator session?

  131. Mike R says:

    It’s also a possibility that it could be a case of pilot error but seems unlikely the primary military data shows the track of an unidentified aircraft believed to be flight 370 it’s quite useful to determine how the aircraft was being flown and controlled the Captain’s flight simulator on the other hand may not give us much details as to where to look next because as the FBI concluded it’s nothing more then game related my real question is why the full release of the flight simulator is needed ?

  132. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: First, can you please use punctuation? Knowing where sentences end helps us to understand what you are saying.

    I’m not sure we will get any more useful information out of the simulator data than we already have, and we can argue about the relevance of what we already have. I do think it is relevant that the Malaysians did not acknowledge that the data even existed until the Australians referred to the data in a report. It does make me wonder if there are other facts that have been buried by Malaysian investigators.

  133. TBill says:

    @airlandseaman
    You have already convinced me, that for the recent debris find, we do not even know if it is from MH370. My emotions more generic, that without Malaysia support (for example forensic analysis of debris evidence, not to mention disclosure sim data that is still hidden except for leaks, etc) analysis is left to us.

    Re: Home sim data, with the “leaks” and hints from ATSB in recent years, I tend to feel those of us close to the data *probably* have most of the understanding of the data. Still large swaths of the known data files are held secret. Much of that undisclosed data is perfunctory or already known to some of us. For me, I feel the sim data is very suspicious and an important portion of the evidence, that for most part is being downplayed. Because Malaysia elected to hide the sim data, and also because original leak in 2016 was incomplete, the complete story of the sim data came well after most folks theories were already set.

  134. airlandseaman says:

    @TBill: Forgive me for harping on this, but it is important. Once again, I have to object to the inference that we know little to nothing about the origin of the new debris. (“…we do not even know if it is from MH370…”)

    If pushed to quantify the odds, here is what I think we know:
    1. It is not from a B777-200ER trunnion door (100% certain)
    2. It is not from MH370 (>95% certain)
    3. It is from Vestas Wind (>95% certain)

    The inference that it is all up in the air, and we must wait for Boeing, or ATSB or Malaysia to look at the debris before anything can be concluded is just wrong. The photos speak volumes. CoreCell-M is a key finding. Farr analysis is fairly certain.

  135. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill: More details about the sim data won’t help us find the debris field. Nor will arguments about whether the captain deliberately diverted the plane. We don’t need consensus on speculative aspects. It really doesn’t matter that “the complete story of the sim data came well after most folks theories were already set.”

  136. Mike R says:

    We should also ask ourselves is it just Malaysia hiding the evidence or could it be possible that Malaysia worked hard with available data that they had, it should be notice that other countries initiated their own investigation too but have yet to disclose their findings, such as the French Investigation on the flaperon as well as what the french discovered during the probate investigation.

  137. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: I think what was previously called the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) did the best they could with the information and resources available to them. I am less confident about the Najib administration and the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).

  138. Mike R says:

    Didn’t you obtain partial access to the RMP report when it was leaked it is claimed that some people who are so dedicated to the cause have some information from the withheld documents of the RMP report. I’m curious how can I search for the full report ?

  139. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: More punctuation, please.

    Yes, I obtained access to the RMP report through the French media. Later, the entire document was made public (not by me). I don’t know how to find it on the internet at this time, but it might not be hard. Have you tried Google?

  140. @Mike R says:

    Yes, I was able to find it on a app called Scribd, it contained information on the medical status of the crew members, as well as the Captain’s flight simulator, only problem is some part of the report is translated in Malaysian language and not English, there were rumors that the pilot’s simulator kept crashing which the leaked documents seem to support, why would the RMP withhold their findings if there was nothing suspicious about the simulations ?

  141. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: You can use your favorite translate tool to convert the Malaysian to another language of your choosing.

    There have been many false statements made about that simulator data. Here is my summary: https://mh370.radiantphysics.com/2017/10/12/simulator-data-from-computer-of-mh370-captain-part-1/

    There were two installations of Microsoft simulator: FSX and FS9, installed on different drives. The FSX version was experiencing crashes. However, the simulated flight to the SIO used FS9.

    The RMP is not obligated to release investigative reports. It appears the report (or at least the conclusions) was forwarded to the DCA. Notably, it was not forwarded to Australian investigators, who learned about the simulator through the Australian Federal Police (AFP), who likely learned about the simulator through the FBI.

  142. Michael John says:

    It was back in August 2018 that the French Newspaper: Le Parisien reported that the French Air Transporte Gendarmerie was going to conduct it’s own investigation into the disappearance of Mh370 including an examination of the Inmarsat Data to “Verify it’s authenticity”… to my knowledge France has never formally announced that an investigation would occur & to my knowledge nothing further seems to have developed from this. What are people’s thoughts on this. Is an independent investigation possible & would it actually achieve anything or reveal something new?

  143. Victor Iannello says:

    @Michael John: My guess is that the French investigators discovered nothing that would lead anybody to believe there was anything incorrect about the Inmarsat data, and the investigation was quietly suspended or ended. Also, if there was a way to put the blame on Boeing, they would have pursued it.

  144. Don Thompson says:

    @Michael John

    At the behest of Ghyslaine Watrelos the Paris Prosecutor’s Office began an investigation into the loss of MH370 to establish whether criminal or terrorism acts might be involved. Such an investigation in France does not involve BEA, it operates in parallel to any BEA Annex 13 investigation. The Prosecutor’s Office involves the GTA, Gendarmes Transport Aerienne, for the tecnical aspects of its work. The leaked RMP reports were prepared in order to deliver information to this French prosecutorial investigation team. The signature on each section of the RMP report was that of an RMP officer who had originally led the the service’s investigation into the loss of MH370. Subsequently, that same officer became the senior officer responsible for international liaison.

  145. Don Thompson says:

    to add …

    Unlike air accident investigation agencies operating under Annex13 protocols, there is no obligation for the Prosecutor’s Office or the GTA to make any public statements about their progress.

  146. airlandseaman says:

    There being little new to discuss, I started thinking back about a topic never fully resolved (as far as I know): the interpretation of the 18:40 BFO data. We know from the 18:40 BFO data that MH370 was either (a) in the process of turning southward (to ~186 degrees) at that time, or (b) descending at ~2500 ft/min. The BFO data makes it clear that one or the other occurred. With the passage of time, do we know enough now to be sure which occurred?

  147. Peter Norton says:

    @Andrew:
    thanks for your insights.

    > I doubt that such a comparison could be made after all this time.
    > ATC recordings are only kept for a limited period of time

    well, I asked back in those days, in 2014 or 2015 …
    (it pains me to think that next year will be the 10th anniversary,
    it’s awful how time flies by …)

    From what I remember, no one here had access to those prior ATC transcripts.
    I just wanted to check in, if in the meanwhile they have fallen into your
    hand by any chance.

    > except in cases where an accident or serious incident has occurred.
    > Recordings are only transcribed when needed for investigation purposes

    Well, I think we can check that box.

  148. Peter Norton says:

    @Mick Gilbert:
    The story about CPA791 is interesting. Never heard about that.

    I may be missing something, but why would Mr. Shah assume CPA791 to be in close proximity? What reason would he have NOT to trust ATC that CPA791 has either either already passed him or was still far away when descending through MH370’s flight level?

    And the 2nd FL350 call also remains unexplained if you ask me, if CPA791 was long gone at that point.

    > I am keen to understand which parts of MH370’s flight path
    > […] do you believe match the home flight simulator session?

    I was just generally referring to the flight into the SIO.

  149. Andrew says:

    @Peter Norton

    RE: > Recordings are only transcribed when needed for investigation purposes

    Well, I think we can check that box.

    The only recordings that would be transcribed are those with communications to/from the aircraft around the time of the accident. It is highly unlikely that other recordings would be transcribed.

  150. Peter Norton says:

    @Andrew: That’s certainly true. Sorry, my comment was unclear. I wanted to say that in this instance, it would have been helpful for investigation purposes to look into the communication of the previous flights.

  151. Michael John says:

    @Airlandseaman

    As far as I know the 18.40pm BFO was related to a telephone call? I thought it was just the “R” Channel BFOs that were being used to determine the aircraft’s movements?

  152. 370Location says:

    @ALL

    A couple of weeks ago I tweeted that I have new evidence that may indicate level pitch flight for the final pings, with details forthcoming. I’ve been distracted from my research by recently becoming a caregiver on top of my regular work, but recent articles and discussion about expanded search areas have me pushing out a first draft report on how the pitch of 9M-MRO in flight appears to directly relate to the SATCOM signal strength:

    https://370location.org/2022/12/mh370-satcom-signal-strength-maximum-in-level-flight/

    I believe this can be validated either by Honeywell checking their SDU signal strength normalization algorithm, or experimentally by comparing more INMARSAT data to flight recorder pitch and ADS-B on other B777 flights.

    I did the plots last April when experimenting with Plotly in python to generate an interactive zoom feature on figures using a static html file. I can do that in python plots, but even .pdf plots lack the detail needed. The report may squish the plots on small screens, but they can be expanded full screen to get proper proportions.

    It was from exploring the signal strength values compared to flight info that only pitch attitude seems to effect signal strength.

    @ALSM –
    I found a few months ago that I had unknowingly recreated some of your research on the SATCOM signal strength, and that you have previously commented here that there is little more to be extracted. I included a reference link to your excellent paper.

    In summarizing the report, I added a note about the question of the 18:40Z BFO being due to vertical speed or a track change. The signal strength is nearly identical to the other 23:14Z unanswered phone call between the 5th and 6th arcs. If my findings bear out, the pitch attitude would also be the same for both bursts, thus indicating level flight at 18:40Z. So, a recent track change.

    I’m rushing this out without proofreading, so will appreciate anyone using the contact link on my site to help me fix any gaffs. I hope to find time to hyperlink the content and perhaps build a bibliography to make it publishable.

    I look forward to further brainstorming on the topic and implications, but may not be able to respond more than daily.

    — Ed Anderson

  153. TBill says:

    @Airlandseaman
    Re: 1840
    In 2022, I came to the conclusion that the “offset” at 1825-1828 may have been to left of N571, and not to the right. Instead of an offset, it may have been a jog left over to B466 airway. This revision allows a turn southwesterly a little before ANOKO at FL400, and in general makes more sense to me (easier to envision forward flight path, saves time, saves fuel).

    Then MH370 probably went around Indo FIR boundaries and probably came down L896 towards ISBIX, and with final major turn ~ 180 south near ISBIX.

  154. airlandseaman says:

    @Ed: I agree with much of your opening comments in your draft paper. However, I am certain that there is no recoverable pitch information contained in the Rcv Sig Strength or C/N0 data (excluding extreme attitudes). Here are a few reasons:

    1. The AES antenna pointing firmware receives Pitch information via label 324 on the 429 bus every 8 msec. Thus, Pitch is compensated continuously in real time.

    2. The Ball antennas are not really “high gain” antennas like a parabolic radar antenna with a 1 degree HPBW. They only have about +14 dBic gain at beam center, and a HPBW=50 degrees. Thus, the off beam center change in gain wrt beam center is indistinguishable from the 1-2 dB ripple in the gain pattern due to the imperfections in the phased array gain pattern. See Airlink antenna pattern here: http://bit.ly/2YZ3c34

    3. There are several other line items in the end to end link analysis that have much greater variability. Thus, any tiny changes due to pitch will be completely swamped by these other variables.

    I would like to add (again) that the overused notion of a “Vertical Dive” is highly misleading. A pitch angle of 20 or 30 degrees (clean) is probably more than adequate to reach Vne. Maybe someone here has the polar for the B777 and tell us what it would take. But it is certainly not 90 degrees.

  155. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill said: In 2022, I came to the conclusion that the “offset” at 1825-1828 may have been to left of N571, and not to the right. Instead of an offset, it may have been a jog left over to B466 airway.

    Except the BTO and BFO values at 18:25 – 18:28 are not satisfied by a left offset to N571.

  156. Paul Smithson says:

    @ALSM: in response to your musing on 1840 BFO interpretation. A close look at the many BFO datapoints shows that they are a) very steady except for noise, b) the variability of points close together isn’t random but sawtooth, suggesting the “trig error” that DrB has referred to.

    Additionally, I believe SK999 did a test of BFO constancy during altitude change on prior flight and concluded that real life ROC is not sufficiently steady to produce such a flat BFO profile.

    Both considerations above lend weight to the level flight interpretation.

    Not to mention that the alternative (inject just the right amount of ROC into the hypothesis to accommodate continued flight to the NW) is contrived and implausible – though obviously not impossible).

    And finally, on basis of BTO alone, the aircraft should have turned south before 1840 unless it either performed a loop back east or some other time and range-wasting maneuver.

  157. Peter Norton says:

    @all:
    There are so many copies of MH370’s ATC recording on the net. Do you know where to find the original source file (or in best possible quality) ?
    Thank you.

  158. TBill says:

    @Victor
    “Except the BTO and BFO values at 18:25 – 18:28 are not satisfied by a left offset to N571.”

    In what way do you feel the BTO/BFO is inconsistent with left offset? I thought you had advised me left offset was possible.

  159. Paul Smithson says:

    @tbill – because you will arrive at arc1 earlier with a left offset.

  160. 370Location says:

    @ALSM,

    Thanks, Mike, for your take on my paper, plus the link to the antenna gain patterns. I was working from a different Honeywell doc that had similar broad lobes, as I mentioned in the report.

    Still, the MH371 flight has signal strength variations on the R1200 channel of about 6 dB and the R600 channel of 9 dB in different clusters during the flight recording, with similar variations on MH370.

    Heading and roll attitude appear to be compensated. Atmospheric influence due to altitude can’t be a factor. There seems to be a clear relation between level pitch and maximum signal strength.

    Of course a steady stream of pitch data is getting to the SDU along with all the other inertial values. The antenna itself is calibrated and with 3 bit phase delays can aim in both azimuth and declination.

    Perhaps rather than pitch being ignored, there is an algorithmic error in how the pitch value is factored into the beam steering or transmit power normalization. It may not have been significant enough to be noticed in normal flight operations.

    The data is there to explore by zooming into the plots.
    What else might account for the clearly stepped changes in signal strength during MH371 other than pitch?

    It occurs to me that validation could be accomplished by anyone with an interest using public info… INMARSAT ACARS at 1.537 GHz can be decoded using a $20 USB SDR receiver connected to a cheap 1.575 GHz L1 GPS antenna, (maybe with a dish aimed at the local sat), and open source software. The ACARS data stream contains aircraft IDs, which can be matched to public ADS-B track, speed, and vertical rate info. The SDR decoder would give signal strength (if not C/Noise). Selecting afterward for B777 aircraft IDs should give a useful dataset for comparing climb rate (to approximate pitch) vs signal strength.

    Despite WSPR becoming an MDS rabbit hole, I do believe there may be valuable information embedded in the SATCOM signal strength data, which could be useful in determining if MH370 was in level flight at each ping.

  161. Don Thompson says:

    @Ed

    While it is now a relatively trivial task to receive 600 & 1200bps L-band user downlink (to aircraft) using an SDR and a relatively simple, inexpensive, antenna it is not nearly as simple to receive and decode the C-band feeder downlink (from aircraft) to facilitate the analysis you suggest.

    Another challenge is that the I3 satellites that served the Classic Aero network and 9M-MRO for its final two operating services have been retired. The present constellation of Alphasat and I4 satellites provide services ‘virtually’ for IOR and POR ocean regions alongside their EMEA and APAC ocean region coverage. Alphasat/IOR employs a novel method of aggregating regional beams into a ‘global beam’ that would likely make variations in ground station (real or pseudo) received power a consequence of the spacecraft configuration than anything attributable to the AES.

    Since the Stratos Log of MH370-ground comms over 24hrs of 7th March, into 8th, became available I have suspected that the then I3 satellite serving POR exhibited some rolling/pitching attitude instability that caused the frequent handover between it and IOR while 9M-MRO operated the MH371 service. That spacecraft had provided longer service than the I3 s/c serving IOR. Indeed, I4-APAC soon after took over servicing POR.

    You also commented on the variation of received power during the C-channel correspondence. That is by design. While the AES sets an EIRP level for the packet data channel, on advice from the GES, during Log On this doesn’t apply to C-channel operation. The GES and AES periodically negotiate EIRP throughout the C-channel session, at 10sec intervals from memory.

  162. airlandseaman says:

    @370 Location:

    I looked at all the Rcv Pwr & C/N0 data for MH371 and MH370 again. The variation in Rcv Pwr looks normal for both flights given all the factors that affect these parameters.

    The Ball Antenna gain patterns show that there is no significant change in gain for changes in pitch, roll or yaw except for the condition when the aircraft is headed directly toward the subsatellite point, or directly away from the subsatellite point. For those conditions, the gain drops significantly. But for all typical conditions, the gain is within 3-4 dB of max beam center gain. And the transmitter power output is continuously adjusted to compensate for off beam center gain changes (confirmed by Dave Mathews) so as to maintain nearly constant EIRP in the direction of the satellite, regardless of the antenna orientation. So the variations observed have mainly to do with other factors, such as transponder loading, gain, etc., not aircraft pitch.

    In any event, the R1200 Rcv Pwr for MH370 was nearly constant for ARC1-ARC7 (±1.5 dB). Importantly, ARC6 and ARC7 were within 0.5dB indicating no discernable change in aircraft EIRP between 00:10 and 00:19.

    See: https://bit.ly/3D7sW2C

  163. 370Location says:

    @Don,

    You’re quite right that listening to ACARS downlinks would be more involved, with the C-band beyond the range of cheap SDR dongles and needing a bigger dish. Thanks also for the info on the changeover to I4.

    @ALSM,

    I fully agree that the SATCOM antenna gain pattern is known and compensated for by Tx power, and pitch would be expected to be part of that algorithm. Perhaps it only appears that pitch is not correctly compensated. It would be very interesting to hear what those other factors are that would account for the variations being fairly constant over short time periods, but varying up to 9 dB during different stages of the MH371 flight.

    The constancy of the MH370 signal strength is exactly my point. The signal levels are low during taxi and ascent for both flights, and low again during descent on MH371. They are highest after reaching cruise stage on both flights. There is no drop in signal level on MH370 as might be expected for a descent.

    If not pitch input, what other factor might account for the signal level shifts at the times seen?

  164. Don Thompson says:

    @Ed,

    While operating the MH371 service, 9M-MRO, renewed Log On multiple times between POR and IOR. Check the RxPwr level recorded for each Log On Request SU and the corresponding advised EIRP level from the GES. Also, note that not every Log On was successful at a forward channel rate of 10,500bps, return channels rate of 1,200bps. Also, to ensure an like for like comparison, exclude T-channel SUs. T-channel bursts have variable length, R-channel bursts are fixed length (for given channel rate, duration is 960ms at 600bps, 460ms at 1,200bps).

    I do recall some previous attention on RxPwr levels. A Malaysian academic gave the topic some attention, we did review the data, and engage in correspondence.

    This, and previous comment, include details only from memory. I will check notes later and update detail on the EIRP negotiation, if necessary.

  165. airlandseaman says:

    @Ed: As previously explained, the Rcv Pwr level recorded at the GES 70 MHz IF input is a function of several factors in the complete double hop end to end link. It is impossible to distinguish between them from a single measurement at the end. For example, you cannot distinguish between changes in uplink L band eirp and changes in downlink C band eirp. Transponder gain can vary change a bit depending on the number and type of carriers present. Also, as Don points out, there we diffences in unlink eirp used for different channel types. There will also be differences depending on the specific CU that receives the packet.

    You should not expect measurements while 9m-mro was on the ground to be the same as airborne measurements. While on the ground near buildings, multipath can be significantly greater than in the air. As I noted above, the R1200 Rcv Pwr was the same at every ARC, within 1.5 dB.

  166. airlandseaman says:

    @Ed: Here is another copy of the Rcv Pwr chart I posted above with annotations added by Don. http://bit.ly/3J3bb8k

    The three R600 Log on request transmissions are clearly not using the same EIRP as R1200 or T channel transmissions.

  167. @Mike R says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t a log on request very rare and can only occur in a few instances it’s reasonable to assume that the SATCOM was operating normally between 2:25am and 8:19am as for the two unanswered telephone calls can you use it to determine the exact flight path speed and heading during that moment plus the lack of IFE transmission does that mean the SATCOM lost the ability to communicate with the ground station then ?

  168. 370Location says:

    @ASLM,

    As I note in the report, the R600 values appear to be typically around 1.08x the R1200 values, except for a minute around 01:20 on MH371 where the disparity was reversed.

    I didn’t annotate my chart, since anyone analyzing the data should know the timeline of events. I wonder if you have explored my interactive Plotly plot which isolates different values:

    https://370location.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/220413-0857-9MMRO-SNR-plot.html

    You can, for example, zoom to see that the two phone call attempts are nearly identical.

    Multipath would seem more likely to impact the C/No quality than the Rx power, and it should appear as noise variance only as the plane was moving near the terminal. Multipath does not account for the lowest values during climb and descent.

    All of the variable factors you describe should be happening throughout the hours of data, showing up as noise. Unfortunately, the only INMARSAT values for comparison are for a single flight MH371 the same day. Comparison with other flights and FDR data would be the best way to validate whether B777 signals are always lower on the ground and during ascent/descent. We are told that multiple groups analyzed dozens of flights for BTO/BFO accuracy, so validation/refrute of these signal strength changes is possible.

    My focus is on the R1200 signal strength values at the end of MH370 compared to the obvious changes at known stages of flight MH371, with rarer R600 values showing a similar pattern.

    @Don,

    Thanks again for the additional detail, esp by email. I did filter out only IOR values for MH371, and there were no POR values for MH370. We have no phone calls during MH371 for comparison, and as you say the EIRP for those is negotiated in progress. I hadn’t considered that some SDU reboot logon attempts may have been missed. I’d think that would show up with at least some of the packets getting through with low SNR.

  169. airlandseaman says:

    @Ed:

    Re: “R600 values appear to be typically around 1.08x the R1200 values…” Where did you get the 1.08 factor (.033dB)? The R600 values are about 100% (3dB) higher than the contemporaneous R1200 values at all three MH370 logins. This is normal.

    Re: “Multipath would seem more likely to impact the C/No quality than the Rx power, and it should appear as noise variance…”: No, multipath causes partial signal cancellation at the receiver (transponder). It has zero effect on the received noise level.

    Re: “All of the variable factors you describe should be happening throughout the hours of data, showing up as noise…” NO, quite the opposite. Changes in uplink EIRP, downlink EIRP, transponder gain, AGC thresholds, etc. change the recorded Rcv Pwr value, not the noise level. The CU noise level is determined by the gain of the system and the transponder L band noise figure, or G/T value. The L band noise pedestal is typically 20dB or so above the C band noise floor to ensure no loss of L band C/N0 due to C band noise.

  170. airlandseaman says:

    @ALL: Further to the discussion about GES Rcv Pwr vs. Aircraft pitch angle, it should be noted that 9M-MRO had two “high gain” phased array antennas, one on each side of the fuselage with beam center pointed roughly 45 degrees up from the horizon. Depending on the direction of flight, the array on the left side or right side would be used. During the MH370 flight on March 8, 2014, the array in use would have been as follows:

    KL to IGARI: Left Side (16:00 to ~17:21)
    IGARI to Penang: Right Side (if the AES had been powered on)
    Penang to MEKAR: Left Side (from 18:23 to ~18:40)
    MEKAR to ARC6: Right Side (from ~18:40 to 00:11)
    ARC6 to MEFE: Right Side (from 00:11 to 00:17:30)
    MEFE to ARC7: Could have been either side

    Thus, the left side would have been in use at ARC1. The right side would have been in use at Arcs 2-6. It is unknown (and unknowable from the data we have now) if the left or right side was in use at ARC7.

    Although the two arrays would have had very similar patterns, they could not have been identical. Differences in gain for any given pointing angle could be OTOO 1-2dB different. This is one more example of the numerous reasons why aircraft pitch cannot be determined from Rcv Pwr.

  171. TBill says:

    @ALSM
    Penang to MEKAR/last radar 17:5x to 18:22 (if AES on)

    What is bottom line? Can we tell which antenna was in use, and therefore use that info to rule out certain flight paths? For example descent vs. turn south at 18:40, or right vs left offset?

    Until now I have ignored that.

    I presume you are citing expected/estimated antenna assignments assuming IG flight path is correct

  172. Peter Norton says:

    > There are so many copies of MH370’s ATC recording on the net.
    > Do you know where to find the original source file (or in best possible quality) ?

    Could someone help me out? Many thanks.

  173. airlandseaman says:

    @TBill: The AES was powered off from 17:5x to 18:22.

    “Can we tell which antenna was in use, and therefore use that info to rule out certain flight paths?” No. The logs do not contain that information. Only the flight path can provide that.

    “For example descent vs. turn south at 18:40, or right vs left offset?” No. The logs do not contain that information.

    The bottom line is that aircraft pitch cannot be inferred from the Rcv Pwr or C/N0 time series in the Inmarsat log. The phased array side in use is obvious from the ADS-B, SSR, and PSR data up to 18:22. For any south bound path after the turn at ~18:40-18:50, the right antenna had to have been in use for any 7th arc POI between 20S and 50S.

  174. TBill says:

    @Peter Norton
    “Could someone help me out? Many thanks.”

    Over on Twitter, Ed Baker has in the past given study of the recordings, especially the last 3 or 4 transmissions.

  175. airlandseaman says:

    @Peter

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1sw4-o1f1M
    /watch?v=ppNkW5Fdlao
    /watch?v=CSEbGKiwDn0
    /watch?v=W9v7jrSNTks

  176. airlandseaman says:

    According to the folks over in the parallel universe, the new debris item can’t be from a sailboat because sailboats do not use Dexmet MicroGrid material for lightning protection, but Boeing aircraft do. They claim you can see a MicroGrid layer the debris. Direct quote:

    “The honeycomb structure being non-metallic requires a lightening protection system and the Dexmet MicroGrid layer can be seen in the close up picture in the layer below the honeycomb core:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rbefv418yeatwrs/Wire%20Mesh%20Close%20Up.png?dl=0

    Only problem is, Dexmet and it’s MicroGrid product line did not exist in 2002 when 9M-MRO was manufactured. The company Dexmet was founded in 2003.

    The “mesh” observed in the photo is more likely to be a flow media layer, as confirmed by Farr. Whatever it is, it is not Dexmet MicroGrid. The rabbit hole keeps getting deeper.

  177. Don Thompson says:

    @airlandseaman is quite correct to cite the ‘mesh’ layer, apparent in the lay-up of ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ and also ‘broken-O’, as the flow media layer of their composite fabrication.

    This mesh layer, evident in these two articles of flotsam, is in no way concerned with lightning discharge or electrical conductivity.

    The presence of flow media in the lay-up is one of the significant features that discriminates the origin of the flotsam as the VO65 yacht, ‘Vestas Wind’.

  178. Victor Iannello says:

    As expected, Geoffrey Thomas propagates more false claims:
    https://www.airlineratings.com/news/new-detailed-analysis-confirms-mh370-debris/

    Cut-and-paste journalism.

  179. Victor Iannello says:

    @airlandseaman, @Don Thompson: Another key point is that when Dexmet is used for lightning protection, the mesh should be close to the exterior surface so that the burst of current does not damage the core. However, for the new debris, the mesh is located on the interior side of the core, which means the lightning would pass through the core. That alone eliminates the possibility that the mesh is Dexmet.

    A Google search on resin infusion for composites used in boat building shows that composites routinely employ meshes for infusing the resin.

    These people have no shame.

  180. sk999 says:

    Dexmet was founded in its current form in 2003 by the merger of Exmet and Delker. It was Delker that was manufacturing expanded metal foils used for lightning strike protection (LSP).

    From perusing the Dexmet website, it would appear that all of its Microgrid expanded metal foils are fabricated with diamond shapes cells that are rhombic in shape but never square. The mesh highlighted in the new debris has rectangular shaped cells. We don’t know the projection geometry, but it would appear to be highly unlikely that it is Dexmet (previously Delker) mesh.

    Another product, Strikegrid, from the Gill Corp., is claimed to be used in the Boeing 777. It, too, has diamond shaped cells. A drawing shows that, in typical use, the Strikegrid layer is separated from the honeycomb by an isolation ply and three carbon plies. Don’t know if that is compatible with the new debris piece either, where the honeycomb appears to be directly attached to the mesh grid.

    One would also have to think that the incorporation of LSP materials into composites contributes to an aircraft made from them as having a radar cross-section equivalent to what it would have if fabricated from conventional aluminum.

  181. Andrew says:

    The following document claims that Gill Corp supplies a number of different products for the B777 program, including Strikegrid for LSP. However, on page 9 it states that Strikegrid was introduced in 2004, after 9M-MRO was built.

    https://www.thegillcorp.com/doorway_file/TheDoorway-Fall2022.pdf

  182. sk999 says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks – I had seen that article. 2004 was the entry into service of the 777-300ER – possibly connected? More to the point, on its website, Dexmet asserts that, with regard to LSP materials: “Dexmet is the exclusive supplier for Boeing …”, which would seem to be at odds with Strikegrid. Oh well, there are other companies competing in the LSP market as well. I suspect it would take more than a search of websites operating today to figure out just what LSP product was used on 9M-MRO in 2002.

  183. Andrew says:

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, I saw Dexmet’s claim. It seems they’re not as “exclusive” as they’d like to believe!

  184. @Mike R says:

    Whether or not the debris comes from a Boeing 777 or a Yacht we do not need conflicting statements, because the item found is a significant new development to this case, it needs 100% verification on the origin of the part discovered, the families affected by the tragedy deserve factual answers.

  185. airlandseaman says:

    All: As noted above, it is evident that the “gridded material” observed in the Gibson photos has a square pattern, not a diamond pattern as used in MicroGrid and Strikegrid. In fact, all the expanded metal foils I have found have a pattern other than the rectangular pattern observed in the debris. Moreover, a careful look at the grid photo indicates that the material is a porous woven fabric, not an expanded metal product.

    See close-up photo here: http://bit.ly/3WDQvXz

    Woven metal cloth has been used for LSP. But the woven cloth in the photo does not appear to be made of metal threads. It appears to be a non-metallic “flow media layer” as used extensively in the fabrication of Vestas Wind, to facilitate resin flow, but not any B777 parts.

    BTW…the name MicroGrid was trademarked in 1990 by Delker, one of the two companies that merged in 2003 to form Dexmet. However, the technology was used for batteries and other applications originally, not LSP. The first patent issued to Dexmet for LSP use was in 2010.

    https://uspto.report/patent/app/20100108342

    A reminder: 9M-MRO was manufactured in 2002. The first B777 TC was in 1995, so whatever LSP technology it used, it was not MicroGrid or Strikegrid.

  186. Victor Iannello says:

    This might be obvious, but what appears as a shiny luster in a photo does not equate to metallic composition. In some of the debris images, the Nomex almost looks like aluminum, rather than the polymer paper it is. Similarly, it is incorrect to assume the mesh is metallic. Likely, we are seeing a resin infusion grid.

  187. airlandseaman says:

    And…it’s on the wrong side to be any type of LSP material.

  188. Victor Iannello says:

    @airlandseaman: Yup.

    More MDS. Symptoms persist. Doubling down with more obfuscation rather than accepting the obvious.

  189. George G says:

    @Mike R
    Re your Jan26 at 11:15 pm #comment-34279

    Based on the arguments and evidence presented here,
    The item found is not a significant new development.
    It has become another distraction.

    Some continue to persist in arguing that this item of debris comes from the missing aircraft.
    In fact they continue to determine that it derives from a particular location of the aircraft.
    This continuance in contradiction to evidence to the contrary is not a positive contribution.

    But, this particular piece of debris just happens not to be from that particular location of the aircraft, based upon the evidence. It would appear that it is not associated with the missing aircraft at all.

    All of the good work done by Blaine Gibson in searching for and finding debris from the missing aircraft must be acclaimed. It should be no “skin off his nose” that some of the debris found did not originate from the aircraft.

  190. Mick Gilbert says:

    @Victor Iannello
    @airlandseaman

    … and there’s no insulation layer between the LSP layer and the core.

    Moreover, the mesh is very clearly bonded to the core material. That is not consistent with an LSP layer but it is exactly what you would see with the flow media layer.

    You have to wonder why so much effort is being put into deliberately misrepresenting this wreckage as coming from 9M-MRO.

  191. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mick Gilbert: Assigning a motive would be speculation, but we do see a pattern of doubling down when the falsehoods are challenged.

  192. Michael John says:

    For what it’s worth I’ve read that racing Yachts are constructed with the Nomex Honeycomb core sandwiched between layers of a material called Uni Directional Pre Peg Carbon fiber. I’ve included an image of this product below.

    http://www.ftc.com.tw/newftc/en/images/product/9b2a929ba2a3bd64659d2c3a7e2891dd.jpg

  193. Don Thompson says:

    @MJ

    Many different designers of racing yachts, all specifying different fabrication techniques.

    It’s even the case that a yacht may be constructed with some structures fabricated from pre-preg material and other structures using resin infusion techniques.

    Of course, we are familiar with the techniques employed in the VO65 design from which seven identical yachts were constructed for the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race. Those techniques and materials are plainly visible in the ‘Tataly-Antsiraka’ article of debris that originated from the VO65 ‘Vestas Wind’ that grounded on the Caragdos Carajos Shoals in November 2014.

  194. Victor Iannello says:

    @All: The article above is updated with comments from Don Thompson summarizing why the new debris has been misidentified as having lightning strike protection, and is likely from the Team Vestas Wind racing yacht.

  195. airlandseaman says:

    @All: I read the Feb 1 update above, and I agree 100%.

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