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Gavin Grimmer
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I remembered reading somewhere that there were snow storms reported in the area that night, and there was quite a lot of snow on the ground the next morning, so then this means the freezing level possibly went right to the ground in the area due to a chill factor of the strong winds.

If this was the case, then it is quite possible that the final descent to 5000' was due to ice and although an updraught may help to slow the descent it would not stop it.

Using the times from the Radio Comms Timeline that I produced for download, in the time frame from 7500 ft to 6500 ft to lose 1500 ft = 1176 ft/min, and from 6500 to 5000 = 1836 ft/min, so even if there were updraughts and downdraughts effecting the descent, this descent was pretty dramatic!

Using the land profile of the course shown as a heavy green line in the above image, I have made a scaled drawing predicting the continued descent from the 5000 ft point and where the resulting crash site is likely to be:

                             This hillside is on the eastern side above the Wangat River

MDX pg 23

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