People have asked me what path my calculations indicate the plane must have flown.
The track is shown in the image below.
But it better to load the KMZ into Google Earth and you can then zoom in to see more detail.
My track estimation is based for the most part on the Inmarsat Doppler Data. (reading values off of their graph)
I am 99% certain that the GREEN track is accurate. The differences in the doppler values calculated for this track and speed, matches Inmarsat’s published data exactly. This puts the plane at the ‘DA_START_12000’ position at 19:40.
The plane’s speed travelling through this point was relatively slow at Mach 0.39.
So the plane had 2 hours and 10 minutes to get here from its last known radar position close to AGARI. Assuming a maximum speed of Mach 0.81, the plane can cover about 2000Km within the available timeframe. Which makes it impossible for the plan to have first flown way off towards the west, then only to return and fly south. Its just impossible given the time and max speed constraints.
So the plane must have simply turned around 180 degrees, flying back towards and overshooting Kuala Lumpur. Still at max speed and 35/38K ft in altitude. The Inmarsat ping doppler data for 18:22, corresponds with the plane flying on a heading of 202.5 degrees (Mach 0.81, 38 000ft) – which supports this theory.
At 18:24 the plane is banking left and has already completed the turn by the next ping at 18:30. Again the doppler values observed at these times, correspond with calculations exactly.
At some point within the next hour the plane drops its speed significantly, which implies it must have also dropped in altitude.
The next Inmarsat data point is at 19:40, at which point the plane was already travelling at the slower Mach 0.39, track 182 degrees.
The plane remains flying track 182 degrees through to -27.836 South, from where it sends the final complete ping.
Then 8 minutes later, the partial ping is registered by Inmarsat.
The most plausible explanation for why a ping would have occured at this time, is that the fuel must have run out moments before, resulting in a total electrical system failure, effectively turning the Inmarsat router off. The emergency generator in the tail of the plane (which runs off a separate fuel supply )would then kick in automatically. The Inmarsat unit was just starting to initiate the handshake to sign back onto the network – immediately after having booted up after power had been restored. But it never got to complete this process. Most likely due to the fact that the plane by now was in a steep dive and its antennas poorly oriented towards the satellite. Alternatively it may have impacted the water at that exact moment, preventing the ping from completing successfully.
If Inmarsat’s doppler data includes some offset value, the angle of the southernly track changes.
If the real doppler values were more negative by some X degrees, the further west the starting point of the Yellow track becomes – and the track then becomes < 182 degrees. But the speed does not change much. The time available to get to the start of this last ‘straight’ part of the flight, is very limited and so the further west the start point becomes, the more improbable the route becomes, until very quickly these route options becomes impossible.