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So where does this relate to:





















Based on the probability that MDX continued on its last known average rate of descent, and if the ice was continuing to build making that decent even steeper, then the above shown area would have to be the primary search area, surely? I have allowed a bit over 1 nm either side of the track to allow for any drift away from that track. Sure his compass was at one time all over the place, but that doesn't mean it continued over the entire track as such. Mike being the skilled Navigator that he was, I'm sure he would have kept it on a reasonably straight course.


Comparing the spot to other factors


Once again referring to Glenn Strkalj's excellent article on radar, we see in a Deposition by one of the Sydney Radar Operators (page 49 – Fig 34)  a statement that he observed the radar paint fade at a point approx. 5 nm west of Craven. The Craven he was talking about is what I call the Reporting Point – not the township. The township does not show on the radar.     So how does this stack up?

Green Placemark towards centre of Search Area is 5 nm west of Craven


Basically, Yes... and No. Yes, as he said approximately, but according to Glenn's research he should have dropped off the radar at somewhere between 5800 to 6000 ft due to the radar beam working in a direct line of sight, and due to the curvature of the Earth.  The radar mast that covered this area was at Round Mountain 106 n.miles to the NE and this is situated at almost 5200 ft AMSL.   However, according to this site: Section5/Section5-3.html  radar beams are like any radio wave  - susceptible to refraction and ducting, so radar can often see objects much lower than would be thought possible.  I have written much on ducting when it comes to VHF transmissions... A lot in my book “Traced... yet still missing” and a fair bit about it in my article on ZK-CSS on this web site. Refraction is, I believe, a similar phenomena, although I’m not sure if the conditions were there for this to happen at that time?

MDX pg 24

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