Sunday, March 16, 2014

I cannot vouch for the veracity of this map

...but it purports to be the options you would have if you happened to be flying a Boeing 777 with four hours of fuel remaining in its tanks and you happened to have just crossed the Malay peninsula and you wanted to land somewhere other than in water. It was stated on the website where I found the map that the red dots represent the runways that could handle that Boeing 777.

I'm not saying this map is phony baloney, but I find parts of it very hard to believe.

Look at Australia alone, for example.

Our old friend Wikipedia says that the state of Western Australia has 2,472,700 people spread across 2,529,875 square kilometers (nearly 1.0 million square miles). This is a population density of less than one person per square kilometer (0.98 persons, to be exact). Northern Territory, to the east, has just 236,900 people living on 1,349,129 square kilometers, a population density of just 0.18 persons per square kilometer. Yet our polka-dotted map would have us believe that in those two areas alone there are more than seventy (70) places where a Boeing 777 could land.

Talk to me, friends in Oz. Could that map possibly be accurate as pertains to your fair land?

Or should we give it a wide Perth?


  1. Perhaps the operative word here RWP is "land". There are lots of places to land in WA. Most properties, or ranches as you would call them ,have an airstrip because of their isolation so landing could well be possible. Taking off again might require a longer strip.
    I just had a look on Google Earth and there are certainly lots of landing strips in the area though the number stated seems a bit of an exaggeration.

  2. Echoing Helsie. The bigger properties in most States do have landing strips. And presumably those flying the plane aren't overly concerned with damage.

  3. If you didn't want to take off again I guess it is possible.

  4. And you were doing so well up until the 'wide Perth' bit...

  5. I am unable to answer your question my dear Sydney but my hunch is that the missing aeroplane (US - airplane) did not in fact land in northwestern Australia so it is highly possible that your question is redundant. I wonder if the mystery of the missing plane will ever be solved.

  6. Thank you, Helsie and EC, for giving us the Oz perspective. But are those ranch landing strips at least 5000 feet long, which is what a 777 needs?

    Adrian, a good point.

    Tom, as the baker said, a bun is the lowest form of wheat.

    Algernon, a question's being redundant (note that the subject of the gerund is in the ossessive case) has never kept me from asking it.

  7. Sir RWP, I don't know how I missed this post on Sunday ~ maybe it was while I was asleep then at work. There are also many old Air Force airstrips from the War in the northern parts of Australia. And to be honest, who really knows what is up there anyway ~ let me just mention Maralinga. But I don't think they would find any joy in landing in Australia. That is not their motive. I do hope the story comes out ~ I just feel for those poor families.

    Your map looks like it has a sever case of measles. Very flawed I would say.

    And since it is your birthday here already ~ I can say that your Birthday cake is very yummy. Have a wonderful day!

  8. Carol, thank you for your contribution to the mystery. I had not heard of Maralinga before, but I read about it just now. But Maralinga is in South Australia. Perhaps you are thinking of the British atomic tests on the Monte Bello Islands, which are off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

  9. I don't really think landing in north west Australia was ever a real possibility in this mystery. It seems that most outback landing strips are around 1200m long to comply with Flying Doctor requirements.
    Though you might find the link below interesting.

  10. Wow! Thanks, Helsie, for the link to the post about an air strip in the area we've been talking about.

  11. RWP, my reference to Maralinga was simply about the secrecy that'is shrouded in these isolated areas of our country by our governments. Not the geographic location. I am sure they would not have any secrets from us like they did in the times of Maralinga ~ are we naive or what?