As speculation grows that there may be a slim chance Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 landed somewhere after it suddenly disappeared from radars, WNYC published a map to illustrate all the possible runways that could have been used. The WNYC Data News team used information from X-Plane that provides runway coordinates from around the world to determine all the possible spots that could be available for the plane to land within 2,200 nautical miles, considering a Boeing 777 would need a runway of at least 5,000 feet. There are a total of 634 runways that fit the criteria, spread out across 26 countries.

BTW, the sim software used to create the map is the same one the pilot is supposed to have used at home: X-Plane.



  1. bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

    There is a difference between what runways are big enough to land on and what runways are possible to land at without being “noticed.”

    I’d subtract a few dots.

    • MikeN says:

      And how many would India not notice?

      • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

        Thats what I said.

        • MikeN says:

          Got cut short. I wouldn’t trust the Chinese not to tell us or at this point the Malaysians. Australia and Japan I’d trust.

          • Tim says:

            Well, it could still be in the air — the yellow peoples with the antigravity drives could grip it by the husk…

            But, you say, there is no way a 16 trillion ton AG ship can transport a 50 tonne plane…It’s all a matter of how you grip it, you see?

    • Dallas says:

      I’d subtract all the dots at this point.

      • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

        Dallas–as always, succinct and insightful.

        You’d make a great pilot.

  2. ManBearPig says:

    Keeping in mind that I don’t know anything; isn’t it more than the length of the runway, but the construction as well? the 747 distributes it’s weight over 4 main landing gear and the 777 only 2

    • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

      There are “no” runways that are weight limited as you suggest. If the landing chart says the runway is long enough, no other calculation is made.

    • Just Dave says:

      Well, it better have at least three (think tripod,) else she tips over.

  3. Tim says:

    I’d be out looking for the string of barges modified to look like a landingstrip-shaped dragon.

    • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

      I accept that you would be looking for that…. but why would anyone else?

      • Tim says:

        You were never a kid, were you bobbo??

        • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior history buff says:

          WHAT?!?!?

          I can’t believe you would get personal like that…peering into my darkest recesses, (Oh!).

          Childhood.

          Good and Bad….. like everyone else. And the bad, not even that bad. As my friend and I both experienced: “He never hit us.”

          And that was a good thing.

  4. bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

    The news coverage is kinda fun, especially right at the start when they new just about nothing but talked about it anyway. Variations on a theme so far.

    “They are looking at……”

    …….and looking, and looking.

    I note the unhinged scapegoating that is already hinted at. Can you believe that the pilot had a simulator in his home? JEEBUS!!!—the pilot actually had an interest in airplanes.

    I too find that very suspicious.

    • MikeN says:

      > especially right at the start when they new just about nothing but talked about it anyway.

      • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

        Yep. But we don’t know much about what Russia’s next move in the Ukraine will be, or whether Obama will approve the Keystone Pipeline, or who will be running for Pres next hog call.

        With no news, nothing left to do but to study history … so that we will be posed and ready to go when something DOES happen!

        A personal failing, about on par with looking for barges in the Indian Ocean: it bugs me that the airplane symbol is out of proportion to the map.

        Ha, ha. I just hope I can hold up under the stress.

  5. bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

    Speaking of the Ukraine and our Kenyan President though, it also bugs me the “attitude” of too many commentators that the USA should be doing something, or something more, regarding this airplane gone missing…………………why?

    The question could be framed the same too: what is our national security or economic interest at stake giving us the rational reason to do anything?

    HEY!====shit happens.

    I wonder how History would develop if we (USA) actually did just mind our own bidnez?

    • dusanmal says:

      Because one of the most likely possibilities is Islamic terrorism preparing to use such plane to suicide-bomb someone. And we are on top of the list of someones they want to bomb. Following us, mostly our closest allies. This is very much our business.

      • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

        Yeah, I guess that would be “one of the most plausible” explanations….. the way you define plausible.

        Just as the way I define plausible makes it one of the least plausible….although to be truthful…Muslim terrorists IS more plausible than Aliens stealing it in order to have their way with the passengers.

        I don’t see it as plausible to hijack an aircraft in order to land it somewhere for use “later” as a manned missile.

        Its also not very plausible that a Muslim Hijacking as demonstrated here would be successful. Those Muslim, being inspired by God, just aren’t into human scale success.

        Right now, you add up all the don’t knows, and I do get a pilot involved…..something. Or not. Details to follow?

      • MikeN says:

        That explanation doesn’t make sense. Anyone who could pull this off, can probably get an empty plane through other means.

    • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

      It is in the national interest to find out what happened to the plane, if for no other reason because it was manufactured by a US corporation. And that this model is in wide use by US airlines as well as many foreign airlines operating to and from US airports.

      We need to know whether this was a mechanical failure (in its many variations), pilot error, or a deliberate act by somebody on the airplane. In the first two instances, we would try to correct/alleviate the problem in existing aircraft and future aircraft. As long as we can not rule out mechanical failure, then future sales of Boeing 777 airplanes will be in doubt. Also, the safety of passengers of 777s currently in use is in question.

      So from a purely business standpoint, we need to find out if mechanical failure played a role in this aircraft’s demise. With more than 1000 of these planes in service, there is a considerable need to know if there is a problem with the aircraft. And future orders of the aircraft (in its different variants) could be in jeopardy. At between $260 Million and $350 Million per plane, the plane has a big influence on the foreign trade deficit

      If mechanical failure played no role, then the economic impact is negligible. Pilot error and deliberate acts have their own costs, but not as much directly affecting the US.

      • Tim says:

        They probably used the 777s remote control crap to land it on the dragon-barge.

        • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

          Remote control works best in highly electronic environments on very restricted parameters of approach.

          If a landing on a short runway with no electronic aides is planned===you better use a fairly good pilot. Fairly Good–one that has a lot of hand and stick experience as opposed to a lot of seat time at altitude.

          Two different creatures.

          • Tim says:

            You think the pilot used the simulator to practice thumb-sticking it while he ‘d already bailed out to be with Gilligan?

            I’ve revised my theory to account for thousands of auto-correcting, lorentz decellerating magnets under the seats of the plane — engineers are nerds. And the dragon-barge was painted splotchy blue-green so it wouldn’t show up on twitter.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior history buff says:

            Nope, not at all. I’ve set up the same simulator program in my ManCave and it doesn’t have any barges in its data base. ((Edit–just the program, no triple monitor set up like he has–its right next to my keg, something else I didn’t see in his set up))

            I made a conditional statement “if”.

            Hmmm…I said Pilot involved….SOMETHING. Do I think the Pilot went off course to purposefully land at a remote somewhere? Possible…but I don’t think so. And that makes me conclude in my Pedro Hating Iffy way that the Pilot wasn’t involved.

            I do like to think we Pilots are all more PRAGMATICALLY oriented in all things. Course–his home simulator is a bit weird. Its pilot wannabe’s that have those kind of setups… not real pilots that fly real airplanes.

            Yeap, something is off center here. Perhaps…better a simulated flying program than an Alter to Some Religious Kingdom in the HereAfter.

          • Tim says:

            Yea, I think this was some kind of State action as yet to be seen for why — *rope-a-dope* by intelligence agencies to lull us that they don’t really see everything??

            It’s been wall to wall of different speculations and spin, but CNN is today laying into the pilot and copilot. Yesterday, it was why do people believe *conspiracy theories* — Here is one: The pilot was coerced somehow into pulling off a feat; I’d consider WHEN he set up the simulator, if known? That would, at least, make for original television drama. No, wait.

            Anyways, I was wondering if the timeline has not been more deliberately obfuscated with respect to radio and transponder comms.

            Like This —
            MP Barbershop sketch
            http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y9NAu3sPJFk

            *They* wanted the cycle to be everyone talking about this plane for some reason… damn them.

          • Tim says:

            Listening to the blather on low vs high altitude fuel consumption would let me imagine that a capable {the guys with the virtual invisibility cloaks} State entity could have escorted the plane to a destination far away with the higher altitude efficient flight.

            Remember the Cargo plane that blew it at Bagram??

            http://theguardian.com/world/video/2013/may/01/747-cargo-plane-crash-bagram-airbase-video

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Airlines_Flight_102

            From what I think I’ve ascertained from CNN, I can speak with confidence to that being a completely different plane…Most likely.

      • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

        GOOD AFTERNOON Kap’n K:

        It is in the national interest to find out what happened to the plane, if for no other reason because it was manufactured by a US corporation. And that this model is in wide use by US airlines as well as many foreign airlines operating to and from US airports. /// I would rate this a very minimum interest and one of purely economic value? The fact there is a large fleet of these aircraft w nothing mechanically going wrong reinforces the minimum interest involved. I would characterize it more of “a curiosity” even, more than “an interest.” Hey—it actually is kinda important, demonstrative, or instructive as to: what is in our interest…and what is not. It is on the scale, at very low barely made it values.

        We need to know whether this was a mechanical failure (in its many variations), pilot error, or a deliberate act by somebody on the airplane. In the first two instances, we would try to correct/alleviate the problem in existing aircraft and future aircraft. As long as we can not rule out mechanical failure, then future sales of Boeing 777 airplanes will be in doubt. Also, the safety of passengers of 777s currently in use is in question. /// Well—we don’t “need to” as you put too much emphasis on a “one of” event and WITHOUT QUESTION one that involves the nefarious actions of 1-2-or3 human beings. IE==not much applicability. Hoomans are like that.

        So from a purely business standpoint, we need to find out if mechanical failure played a role in this aircraft’s demise. /// There it is==I agree its a bidnez standpoint–not the traditional sphere of “national security” or even economic which plays out on a larger scale. More about resource items than for sale widgets.

        With more than 1000 of these planes in service, there is a considerable need to know if there is a problem with the aircraft. //// with more than 1000 planes in service–it is accepted that there is NO PROBLEM with the aircraft. Or like Timmy==do you think VooDoo is especially effecive on this make and model?

        And future orders of the aircraft (in its different variants) could be in jeopardy. At between $260 Million and $350 Million per plane, the plane has a big influence on the foreign trade deficit /// Big? Ha, ha. You made that up. Regardless, again==a one of event involving humans will have no such effect……… (shudder)… on rational people…. but then, we do have the Teapublican strain of stupidity that flows throughout our species.

        If mechanical failure played no role, then the economic impact is negligible. Pilot error and deliberate acts have their own costs, but not as much directly affecting the US. /// Well there you go. Finished on a highnote AND the controlling facts that are MOST PLAUSIBLY already presented by the minimal facts that are known.

        God Bless you Cap’n: Concerned, but still rational.

  6. dusanmal says:

    Using known priors Bangladesh wins. Islamic, disorganized, poor and corrupt, people there could care less if Martians landed, one of terrorism hubs, landstrips available, not so far and in relatively mild flat terrain.

  7. Captain Obvious says:

    It landed in my backyard. Right on top of my mother-in-law. I’m refusing calls from Wolf Blitzer about it. Win-win-win.

  8. John E Quantum says:

    It’s not where the plane landed this time I’m worried about (if it didn’t crash), but where it is headed next time.
    Also, that aircraft can land on a runway that’s shorter than it requires to take off. If something nefarious is afoot I hope they miscalculated getting it back into the air.

    • Tim says:

      I saw you can use compressed air out of a tire to spool’em back up — but that show also had little creatures eating reality so, you know…

  9. Comanche says:

    Why is N. Korea not listed.

    • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

      Because if there, it would have been a night time landing…and there are no lights in N Korea.

  10. Cap'n Kangaroo says:

    There are many runways that this airplane could land on. But how many of them could be reached without alerting defense radars of any number of countries? The idea that the plane did a course change is the result of Malaysian defense radar getting a series of reflections. India, Thailand, China have no such capabilities? They do. And India and China probably have better radar capability than Malaysia. Vietnam also.

    And lets just rule out Taiwan, Singapore,, Macau, and the Philippines also.

    If you believe the plane was purposely flown to an airstrip to land, concentrate on those airstrips that can be reached without long flight in radar coverage.

    • Tim says:

      “”But how many of them could be reached without alerting defense radars of any number of countries?

      Ahh! Good. And of those runways, how many of them were owned by chinese shipping companies or greenpeace affiliates that contracted out the 5:15 tug??

  11. robb the moldy one says:

    How much longer till we here on Fox that it is Obama’s fault. Fox news is having a hard time coming up with a BS theory.

  12. Scott M. says:

    As JEQ said, the next (and subsequent) leg(s) are – if the plane was stolen – of more interest.

    If the plane was fully loaded with passengers, luggage, cargo, etc. – lose that weight and I would assume that the plane can make it off of the airstrip on which it landed.

    The sequence: Bombs in vehicles, Airplanes as weapons, weapons carried by planes. Strip out the modern avionics that send data to the ground or identifies the plane in any way, install replacements from a mothballed aircraft of about the same size, use a smaller aircraft with the same transponder codes to file a normal flight plan, fly the heavy to meet the smaller aircraft in flight, switch active sources…then proceed the rest of the way with the larger plane. Unless someone had eyes on the plane, who would be the wiser until the payload was detonated…say at 5,000 feet? Air burst. Fried electronics. “Local” blast damage.

    Pre-planning: Remote landing site with facilities to work on an aircraft of this size, methods to obscure it from being seen from above, distant location from original flight’s course to make the search impossible. One sealed structure in which to hold the passengers. And a trench.

    Hmmm.

  13. robb the moldy one says:

    fox news just reported Obama was flying the 777 that he designed from a paper airplane. His soul purpose was to force Obamacare down all the throats of all the good Republicans! And take over the world ruh gruh ruh !

  14. MikeN says:

    People are searching at sea and on land. However it has not been found because the plane is still in the air.

  15. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior history buff says:

    AhhhhMerrrrricaaaaaa: when do we lose it?

    Sunday Morning/Afternoon==4-5X the coverage of the Biggest Mystery we Have Ever Seen Missing AirCraft, while Russia taking Crimea is getting back seat coverage.

    The first issue has almost no impact to anyone but the families of those onboard. The second issue, somewhat like the first, is a mystery. Ha, ha.

    Fun to compare and contrast the nature/quality of the coverage given the similarities and differences?

    It is all a mystery afterall.

    Its not on Google yet–the little sidebar Kerry had with Lavrov where Lavrov asked when Congress was going to get all that financial aid to the Ukraine. Even a War Hero like Kerry should have been shitting himself. Not the horrrrror that is an activist Russia and what it might do, but rather the horrrrror that is our do nothing Congress and what it won’t do.

    All totally Amusing.

  16. deowll says:

    Since it most likely landed in the ocean I consider the map to be in error.

  17. Glenn E. says:

    What you’ve got to realize is that every time Boeing cranks out a new model aircraft. It’s not too different from Microsoft’s rationale for revamping Windows. Profits. But is the new model really better? Or just new, fancier? And what new bugs crept into the redesign, that were probably eliminated from, or never existed in, the previous models? Sometimes it’s better to stick with a model that works, for as long as possible, without tossing it aside for a newer one. Just because selling the newer model makes for more corporate profits. The military, for example, could keep using the same model jet fighters for decades. Just update the internal gear, once in a while. But aerodynamic principles don’t change, over time. And the way aircraft are used in battle, don’t really change that much either. So why dump perfectly good old reliable fighter jet designs, for the next pretty thing off the drawing board? It’s all about uping the corporate profits of the defense contractors. Meanwhile we’ve got “bone yards” filling up with all the previous models. That could fly with just a bit of fixing up, and new instrumentation. But the US, has to stay at least one model ahead, of the rest of the world. That those same defense contractors sold all the older models to. And the “bone yards” are probably where they get their spare parts. Even though, all those spares were US taxpayer paid for.

    • bobbo, expert pilot and space cadet says:

      The constantly changing/advancing goal is not “something that flies” but what is needed to establish air superiority.

      the 777 is the safest a/c ever built with triple redundancies for most systems.

      the 777 is quieter and more fuel efficient than predecessors.

      NEW a/c have lower maintenance costs.

      NEW a/c don’t have general/increasing metal fatigue.

      • jpfitz says:

        Don’t forget jobs, jobs, jobs.

        Aren’t Boeings 777’s using more composites than previous commercial a/c.

        Flight simulators with three screens at home are now a point of concern for terror conspiracies. Maybe I’ll stick with just the single monitor. CNN has lost their minds. What about Putin, Puutin, you bully!

  18. Skyspy247 says:

    X-Plane… Simply the best flight sim available for Mac , PC and Linux!!

    I’ve run versions 6 – 10… Austin Meyer can be a cranky genius… Reminds me of JCD a bit.

  19. MikeN says:

    This is pretty straightforward where they were trying to land.

  20. MikeN says:

    Take a look at where the wings touch the plane on the map. Go left from there. The last dot. It is not clear but this whole string of dots is not islands but part of the continent, a long strip of Thailand and Malaysia. The dot I mention though is on an island, near the border with Thailand.

    • MikeN says:

      That’s where the pilots were trying to land, and the autopilot probably kept them on that route. So look 6 hours west along that route after the turn was taken.