Julian Bray writes: Returning to the tragic mystery of MH370... It is said that some mathematicians have now worked out why MH370 seemingly crashed and vanished without trace. The team led by mathematician Goong Chen from Texas A&M University in Qatar, "used applied mathematics and computational fluid dynamics to conduct numerical simulations on the RAAD Supercomputer of a Boeing 777 plunging into the ocean".
The boffins claim their numbers suggest the aircraft dived straight down into the ocean, and at very high speed, it would according to their modelling have drilled itself deep into the seabed.
Silt and the fast flowing undercurrents would then have covered the aircraft leaving no trace. Any debris being trapped and sucked down with the pencil like projectile. Well that is as far as it goes, and to the casual observer, a possibility. But it is just another suggestion, and brings us no closer to figuring it all out. Working behind the scenes, helped by the regional resources of a major media group, several ideas have been tested and some interesting sightings and ideas followed up.
Most of the sightings have however been confirmed as upturned boats or even a whale. Nothing repeat nothing has been found so far.
But back to our mathematicians, this is why it won't work. ....
Leaving aside pages of calculus, they forget that even if the aircraft is dropping out of the sky nose first there is the matter of windshear, sideways gusts of air, and underwater - we'll call it watershear - these elements alone will always deflect and buffet the falling object.
We can prove it with a simple piece of schoolboy science. We need a filled 25 gallon water butt and 6 inch nail suspended dead centre over the open ends of the water butt. The objective is for the nail point down to hit the bottom of the water butt - dead centre ie no deviation. It won't happen, there will always be an element of deviation.
Transpose this to the ocean, scale up the falling object to airframe size, add wings, possibly a tail section unless that has parted company with the falling object and repeat.
On the way down, first windshear then as it hits sea level the object will deflect, even if the wings detach. The deviation may will cause the whole structure to glide sideways or spiral down. There also a slight possibility, a Hudson River style landing/ditching might have been a factor.
The argument goes the falling plane on autopilot levels off at speed, and skims, possibly bounces a few times over the water, then powers on over a deserted narrow beach/sand bar and possibly scythes neatly into, and underneath a fast growing verdant jungle canopy overhead. Where the whole structure come to rest. Like a magicians magic trick, it vanishes.....
All on board may well have by this time expired. Possibly starved of oxygen by faulty cabin pressurisation or by the phenomenon of contaminated 'bleed air' being fed from the jet engines into the cabin air system?
The aircraft having run on autopilot and effectively burned off all fuel reserves, would not automatically burst into flames as the accelerant would already be spent and the fumes left not sufficient to ignite.
This process also suggests the engines had shut down, and in the final long glide would in effect cool down, so no risk of ignition from that source.
But what about the satellite skip transmissions? It could be another aircraft innocently shadowing MH 370 then turning off creating a false trail. Remember that Inmarsat had not secured a contract with this airline, although the basic kit is fitted to all aircraft of this type.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast COOBE ISDN ++44 (0)1733 345020 (DUAL CODEC) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Cell: 07944 217476 or iPhone 0743 530 3145 www.aviationcomment.com # # # VENDOR 10476453 http://feeds.feedburner.com/BraysDuckhouseBlog