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You can easily see by this image that the only possibility out of the three radials is that of the Mt Sandon VOR. I tried these calculations using lower speed winds, and I found that the only way you could make the distance travelled to fit to the Williamtown radial was with a wind speed of 30 knots, but then this position was too far south to fit to any calculations from the position SW of Taree up to that radial; i.e. the slower the velocity of the headwind – the further north the interception point on the Williamtown radial for the leg up to the radial.

You can also see that with a 60 knot or stronger wind it is not possible to cover the distance - so the wind couldn't have been that strong – although I think as a result of these calculations to date -  it was not that far off it (between 50 to about 57 knots).

There was the belief that the turbulence was so bad through this area that Mike had slowed the plane down, but if he had done that it would make it even more impossible to transverse this section (radial to Ident) in the time it took them. It is apparent that he was in a hurry to get these passengers home as he was expected back in Proserpine the next day to pick up the owner of the aircraft who just happened to be also his boss… talk about pressure!

I plotted all these calculations using the correct wind/drift/speeds for each 10°increments to the Ident position over this range. From there it was just a matter of plotting the distance and Ground Speed needed to cover the distance from where MDX was when it turned back towards RP Craven (from below Taree) and I did this using the known time it took to get to this radial (22 mins) and ground speeds of 120 kts (as per the 40 kt winds used on the Flight Plan) and to allow for extra headwind – 100 kts. For example, 22 minutes at 100 kts = 36.66 nm, and 22 minutes at 120 kts = 44 nm.

MDX pg 7

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