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Article Summary and Key Points

 

1/    Fatigued Pilot?:

                                                      *Flew Sydney to Proserpine day before accident – at least 7 hours flying

                                                      *Maybe was up late having a beer with the boys?

                                                      *Flew Proserpine to Taree approx. another 6 hours flying

                                                      *Expectation to drop passengers at Sydney and return Proserpine next day to pick up boss

                  Result:                          *Easily became frustrated waiting for clearance – thought quicker to go inland – in big hurry

                                                        (get-there-itis)

                                                      *Entered wrong frequency into ADF

  

2/    Taree to Initial Radar Identification:

 

                                       *09:17:43

                                                         MDX overhead at 8000 ft what he wrongfully believed was IFR waypoint Craven (due to

                                                        entering wrong ADF frequency).

                                      *09:23:54

                                                         MDX in cloud and turbulence

                                      *09:24:57

                                                         MDX given notice of winds being westerly at 76 knots and no cloud above 8000 ft - according

                                                         to another plane in the area

                                      *09:25:37  

                                                         MDX advises primary instruments ADF and DI instruments not working. Given clearance to

                                                        climb to 10,000 ft

                                      *09:25:41

                                                         MDX advises ADF “all over the place,” and still in cloud

                                      *09:28:28   

                                                         MDX identified on radar 36 nm north of Singleton

 

3/    Identified Position onwards:

 

                                      *09:29:57  

                                                         MDX given direction to West Maitland as being: “remain on present heading”.

                                      *09:31:18   

                                                         MDX had changed direction and found on heading 220°M – a basic heading for 'Flight

                                                         Planned' Singleton calculated with wind of a Westerly at 76 kts and added to previous heading

                                                         to West Maitland (Showed intention to still continue Flight Plan route)

                                      *09:31:44

                                                         MDX given new radar heading of 150°M to West Maitland but heading had not allowed for

                                                         wind drift – hence with 20° winddrift - ground track now 130°M. Also meant MDX's

                                                         actual position somewhere along an approx. line of 150°M to West Maitland. (This given

                                                         heading would have convinced pilot that he is lost and so was best to comply with radar guided

                                                        instructions to West Maitland)

 

4/    Turned towards coast 09:34:00 or just before:

 

                                      *09:34:00  

                                                         MDX picked up a fair amount of ice and can see lights of towns out on the coast (meaning out

                                                        of cloud)

                                      *09:34:10  

                                                         MDX in a downdraught - 1000' a minute

                                      *09:34:20

                                                         Sydney Sector One to Williamtown Tower: “He's just turned onto an easterly heading – looks

                                                         like about 120”

                                                         (To show change of direction on radar – 2 to 3 radar 'paints' needed [12 seconds per 'paint'] =

                                                         started turn just before 09:34:00)

 

And there lies the most important part of this article.... turned onto an easterly heading when he saw the lights of the towns on the coast, not at a later time as originally thought. Wouldn't you if you were in his situation?

If you were lost in darkness and then saw lights, where would you head?

 

From there onwards, he was not reported as changing from this general heading by the Radar Operators.

In knowing which town he headed towards, and at what geographical position he turned, I believe lies the key to unlocking this mystery as MDX will be found somewhere on this general track. I believe I've identified this town as being Forster.

 

There are several position criteria that allows calculation verification of speed, wind, etc, and by compliance of these distances/times/positions, it can be determined rather accurately what course MDX was on.

 

When MDX said he was in a downdraft, he has to be in an area where geographical features would produce a downdraught, and hence when he was in an updraught, the same applies.... and the same with turbulence.

 

If all this criteria is met and everything calculates out correctly, then we know we most likely have the track correct.

 

5/   MDX had an early type Auto Pilot that kept the wings level.  I now don't believe that MDX entered a spiral dive or a spin, as it is very unlikely the 'wing leveler' would have allowed this to happen, but instead continued much further on than previously thought.

 

Hence, due to this, I believe the current search areas are in the wrong areas.

According to my calculations, MDX will very likely be found on the eastern hillside above the upper reaches of the Wangat River... but there is also another possibility that needs checking out first...

 

             To learn and understand more, read on....  

   

 

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MDX 1a