Victor Iannello is also part of the IG group investigating the disappearance, and this extract is PART of their latest technical report New Report Released for MH370 Search (scroll down for info about the report):
Kate Tee was on a sailboat on 7th March 2014 southeast of Great Nicobar Island and northwest of Sumatra. She reported seeing a large aircraft coming towards her from the north, flying at an unusually low altitude. At around the same time, she reported that the sailboat gybed accidentally. This gybe event and the track of the sailboat were recorded on the GPS system on board, and serves to define a position and an approximate timestamp for her sighting. In this time interval, the sailboat was close to waypoint NOPEK along the FIR boundary between Malaysia and India, which may help to explain her sighting.
The figure below depicts the path of MH370 at 18:55:57 and the GPS track from the sailing boat every five minutes from 18:25 to 19:25. The GPS track from the sailing boat and the deduced flight path of MH370 appear to align.
For context of the above extract:
Independent researchers investigating the disappearance of MH370 today (the sixth anniversary of the disappearance) released a new technical report to guide the next search for the debris field on the floor of the Southern Indian Ocean (SIO). The report provides the scientific and mathematical foundation that was used to define the recommended search area that was disclosed last month. The authors of the report are Bobby Ulich, Richard Godfrey, Victor Iannello, and Andrew Banks.
The full report, including all appendices, is available for download. What follows is a brief summary of the important results.
The flight of MH370 was analyzed from takeoff to impact in the SIO using a comprehensive, fully integrated model. The model was developed using exhaustive data sets and technical documentation available from both public and confidential sources, and includes:
- radar data collected by military and civilian installations in Malaysia
- timing and frequency measurements collected by the Inmarsat satellite network
- aircraft performance data for Boeing 777-200ERs
- historical performance data for airframe 9M-MRO
- navigation and speed modes for automated flight
- drift analysis of debris that floated and was recovered in East Africa
- aerial search results from March and April 2014
- weather data along the flight path
A total of 2,300 possible flight paths were evaluated, and an overall probability metric was defined that incorporates the information from all the data sets. The highest probability flight path was identified as due south from waypoint BEDAX, which is about 185 km (100 NM) to the west of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, and an impact in the SIO near S34.2342° E93.7875°, which is 4380 km (2365 NM) from BEDAX.
The work included the development of an accurate fuel consumption model, and well as a statistical metric for the expected random noise inherent in the recorded satellite data. These improvements allowed the rejection of hypothetical flight paths that were previously believed to be possible.