Malaysian #MH370 descended to 1500m to avoid radar detection? No, not low enough.

There are reports in ‘The Malaysian Insider’ ( that MH370 descended to 1500m or less ‘to avoid radar detection’.  I don’t know where they got this from but it’s clutching at straws because flying at 1500m will not achieve this.  Ground-based radar works on line-of-sight so 1500m would only work if there is ground of more than 1500m between the aircraft and the radar. We’re not talking about one ground-based radar but many, so I assert that 1500m will not do it.  The article makes the point that military aircraft do this but that’s misleading; military aircraft get down to below 30m and often as low as 15m.  To fly nap-of-the-earth, they use terrain-following radar coupled to the aircraft’s control system and the aircraft themselves are configured to fly fast whilst hugging the ground.  They have low aspect ratio (short stubby wings) and high wing loading (weight/wing area).  A B777 does not, it has efficient, long, thin wings (high aspect ratio) and moderate wing loading and would be almost impossible to fly like this.  It could certainly fly at 1500m but that’s not going to avoid radar but will simply reduce the aircraft’s range.  Why do that?

I still believe that the aircraft is on the ground, either in Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan.  In order to find it, if you have access to a satellite, please look at all the airfields in those countries that have hangars on them.  MH370 may be in one of them.

Come on, Mr Obama, you can spot Taliban activity in Pakistan well enough to launch drone strikes accurate enough to target individuals but cannot search a few airfields and find an airliner as big as a Boeing 777?  I think you’re not trying hard enough.

Must try harder!

Mari kita berharap.  Let us hope. 让我们希望


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