MH370: Visual Notes

This post will be a collection of annotated graphics that focus on efforts to locate and document MH370. No particular theme. I will add annotated images when I come across something I believe might be informative.

The MH370 chapter in world airline history is sordid by any metric. In fact it could be the posterchild for the old aphorism that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. It started with the ruthless abduction and murder of 238 people who had barely settled into their seats for a six-hour flight to Beijing, China from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Eleven of twelve flight crew members suffered the same fate as the passengers.

But the aftermath of the abduction may be regarded as even worse: the ongoing torture of those claiming to be family and friends of the victims. The latter happened when those responsible for tracking the plane failed to demonstrate that they had even a basic working knowledge of the geometry / telemetry their jobs required.

Telemetry for MH370.
The Telemetry anyone can do to locate MH370. This method is quick and easy and very precise. It has been in used for three centuries.
Figure 1: Overview of the search strategy forged by Inmarsat and Australia in 2014.
Figure 1: Overview of the search strategy forged by Inmarsat and Australia in 2014. It is the only strategy used by Australia, the nominal search coordinator and de facto Search and Rescue Authority for the entire area under International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreements worldwide.
Figure 2: Kongsberg EM-122 Multibeam Echosounder image process with Kongsberg software in February 2021.
Figure 2: Kongsberg EM-122 Multibeam Echosounder image obtained with Kongsberg software in February 2021. It has not been possible to obtain definitive identification of this object from existing sonar data, but telemetry puts MH370 at that location and nowhere else. The plane was set on a heading of 162 degrees SSE after it cleared northern Sumatra. That course never varied during the remaining four hours of flight. It has long been thought that the pilot may have had a predetermined endpoint, but that may never known with certainty.
Figure 3:
Figure 3: This illustrates in broad strokes the telemetry the author used to track the plane. The owner of the 3-F1 tracking satellite, Inmarsat, had excellent station-keeping data, as one would expect for custodians of geostationary satellites. The 3-F1 satellite was taken out of service about six years after the MH370 incident, after many years of service beyond expected lifespan.
Figure 4
Figure 4: High seas “Automatic Information System” (AIS) tracking provided by Marine Traffic, showing detailed movements of the vessel that scanned, filmed, and documented MH370’s endpoint for ten days in May 2021. The effort has not been officially acknowledged or denied, but the purpose of the effort is not in doubt: 1) telemetry puts the plane there on its final ping, and 2) it is the very same location a 2017 Kongsberg Multibeam effort filmed the wreckage.