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    Re: Flight 370
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2014 Mar 24, 10:41 -0700

    Rommel, you wrote:
    "My big question is that few people have brought up the possibility of Woods Hole going over to help look for the lost airliner."

    Short answer: It's too early for that, and it's a helluva long trip.

    Right now the focus is on locating anything on the surface. And there really should be tons of small debris. Unless, the pilot deliberately ditched or perhaps the plane was flown to an automated "landing" on the ocean surface, it would have broken up and released a great quantity of small floating debris as well as larger floating pieces.

    Also, just consider the transit time. This Indian Ocean location is very nearly at the antipodes from Woods Hole. That's 180° away measured from the Earth's center, and each degree corresponds to 60 nautical miles so 10,800 nautical miles even if you could travel on a great circle the whole way. More realistically, let's figure 12,000 nautical miles. Suppose they travel at 12 knots for the entire journey. That's over FORTY DAYS to reach the search area. So assuming that their best assets are already in place in port in southeastern Massachusetts, and figuring they would need at least two weeks even in an emergency to prepare, it would be eight weeks before any vessel from Woods Hole could begin searching in the southern Indian Ocean. And let's not forget that they have to find a budget for that, too.

    It's probably nothing, but I suppose some of you must have noticed that one fo the recent satellite debris sightings was just ten nautical miles from 45.00°S, 90.00°E. If you were intentionally flying into oblivion... and you decided to set an autopilot for the middle of nowhere, would you pick round numbers like that for your target? Just a random thought...


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