An MH370 in a Hay Stack

needle-in-a-haystackIn Malaysia they have just announced that the search for the lost triple seven flight number MH370 now covers 2.24 million square miles.

At the same time relatives of those we assume died on the lost aircraft are threatening hunger strikes as a protest at the apparent lack of effort going in to the search.

Well I did some research and some checking and this is what I discovered.

  • The area of the Earths surface is about 190 million nautical miles square.
  • The area occupied by a triple seven is 0.0003 nautical miles square.
  • The search area is 2.24 million nautical miles square [1.18% of the Earths surface]
  • That’s just 1,500 miles by 1,500 miles.


  • Boeing only built 1,178 777s
  • If you filled the search area with 777s wing to wing you could fit 7,470,000,000 aircraft in.
  • If you spread the 1,178 Boeing 777 aircraft evenly across the search area about 900 of them would be under water.
  • If you spread the remaining 278 aircraft out on the land in the search area there would be about 100 miles between each aircraft.

So next time you think it should be easy to find a jumbo jet think about it like this [in football pitch clichés];

  • That is about the same as trying to find a buried match box, on a football pitch, with a blind fold on.

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Stephen Spencer

Journalist, curator and creator. ReadBetween is my outlet, your welcome to join in. I have also built a sporting web site for runners, riders and swimmers.

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