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Craig Romig

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Fuel usage
« on: September 06, 2015, 01:52:23 AM »

https://m.facebook.com/224536440657/photos/pb.224536440657.-2207520000.1441523395./10152583037320658/?type=1&source=42 How much flight time remaining fuel would the Electra need to go from her final turn south to landing on gardner. A few hours minutes? According to this daigram
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 06:01:13 AM »

https://m.facebook.com/224536440657/photos/pb.224536440657.-2207520000.1441523395./10152583037320658/?type=1&source=42 How much flight time remaining fuel would the Electra need to go from her final turn south to landing on gardner. A few hours minutes? According to this daigram

It depends on altitude, weather conditions (headwinds or tailwinds), throttle and mixture settings, engine performance, etc.

You can see what the fuel burn would be under ideal conditions in the Kelly Johnson telegrams.

You can actually search TIGHAR's website to see whether anyone else has asked or answered the question in the past 26 years.  You might see what results you get from the search term, "enough fuel".  Other search terms are possible, of course.


LTM,

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 08:50:59 AM »

It depends on altitude, weather conditions (headwinds or tailwinds), throttle and mixture settings, engine performance, etc.

Yes.  If Earhart followed Kelly Johnson's recommendations (and there's no way to know whether she did) she reached the LOP with about 190 gallons of gas left or about 5 hour's flying time at 38 gph - but that was at 10,000 feet pulling 24 inches manifold pressure at 1,600 RPM which delivered a true airspeed of 130 kts.
At last report, Earhart was flying at 1,000 feet presumably to get below he scattered cloud deck to look for Howland.  If she wanted to keep her speed up at the low altitude he would have to bump up her power setting and therefore her fuel consumption.  If she wanted to minimize her fuel consumption she would have to accept a lower airspeed.

What did she do? How far did she run north on the LOP before turning around and running south?  Did she climb  or did she stay low? How much power was she carrying.  How fast was she going? What was her fuel burn?  Nobody knows.
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Craig Romig

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2015, 11:09:19 AM »

Ok then if she was down to 30 minutes of fuel. How far from gardner would she be. If she could land and not restart the engines.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2015, 11:31:33 AM »

If Earhart followed Kelly Johnson's recommendations (and there's no way to know whether she did) she reached the LOP with about 190 gallons of gas left or about 5 hour's flying time at 38 gph - but that was at 10,000 feet pulling 24 inches manifold pressure at 1,600 RPM which delivered a true airspeed of 130 kts.

I've added two sections in the article on NR16020:

-- "Normal cruise speed"
-- "Recommended power and fuel management"

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2015, 11:37:20 AM »

Ok then if she was down to 30 minutes of fuel. How far from gardner would she be. If she could land and not restart the engines.

Wow!

Three assumptions for three sentences!

1. Randy Jacobson does not believe that "half hour left" was ever said.

2. No one knows how far from Gardner she would be, even if she said it.

3. TIGHAR believes that the "Post Loss Radio Messages" indicate that Earhart could restart the engines.
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Craig Romig

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2015, 01:10:50 PM »

Now I can't remember where I read about 30 min of fuel.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2015, 01:39:57 PM »

Now I can't remember where I read about 30 min of fuel.

Let me google that for you.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2015, 02:38:18 PM »

Now I can't remember where I read about 30 min of fuel.

You can also check pages 94, 95, and 96 in Finding Amelia.

Earhart never said it.
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JNev

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2015, 09:20:54 PM »

Ok then if she was down to 30 minutes of fuel. How far from gardner would she be. If she could land and not restart the engines.

Wow!

Three assumptions for three sentences!

Now, now...

1. Randy Jacobson does not believe that "half hour left" was ever said.

One can see that well enough (not just that Jacobson doesn't believe it, but that repeated comments about 'on the half hour' transmissions / listening could have been confusing to the listener, etc.).  'Low on fuel' apparently was said, but I'm not sure we're blessed with a definitive idea of what that would have meant in the context of that moment - close to going into reserves?  Further into reserves than desired?  An assumption due to hours elapsed and urge to find land soon?

One thing is certain - her known, verifiable transmissions ceased soon afterward (an hour or so?); assign whatever rationale for that one will - if flying around at around 1000 feet looking for the island, it remains possible that she simply ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea within moments after that, hands full of Electra from the first sputtering to the ditching (no feathering props, quick ride down).

This is of course not a new discussion but one of many years - from TIGHAR's archives -

Quote
Message:
7
 
Subject: Re: The Facts: Gas is Running Low
Date: 4/6/001
From: David Evans Katz

Alan Caldwell wrote:

>Can anyone RATIONALLY propose an alternate theory than
 >they got to the vicinity of Howland, couldn't pick up
 >the island visually and went on to the nearest land?

There is nothing IRRATIONAL about the alternate theory that they ran out of gas and went into the sea while looking for land (whether Howland, Baker, Gardner or Timbuktu). Irrespective of what is known about the Electra's prospective performance under the conditions AE faced, no one can know with any certainty precisely how much fuel remained at the time of her last transmission. We can certainly make informed estimates based upon fuel analysis and what impact external factors (such as headwinds, etc.) may have had, but it is all speculation.,p> That she stated that she was "low on gas" an hour before her last transmission is a fact. Whether she meant that she was just into her reserves or running on fumes is anyone's guess.

My point is that it is unfair to paint the alternate theory that AE splashed into the sea as "irrational."

David Evans Katz

---

Message:
9
 
Subject: Re: The Facts: Gas Is Running Low
Date: 4/6/01
From: David Evans Katz

Actually, Alan, I don't think it's irrational to pose the prospect that AE may have run out of gas within a short time of her last broadcast. the reason is that we do not know how she managed her fuel or what external factors may have impacted her fuel consumption, irrespective of the plane's capabilities.

Ric does point out, however, the inherent difficulty of testing such a hypothesis. While certainly difficult, apparently Elgen Long and Nauticos is, in fact, endeavoring to test the hypothesis. Whether they are succesful remains to be seen. The same is, of course, true for testing TIGHAR's hypothesis.

From Ric
Which was her "last broadcast"? The one heard by Itasca at 20:13 GMT (08:43 Itasca time) on July 2nd --"We are on the line 157 337...."

Or the one at 05:30 GMT on July 3rd (17:00 Itasca time on July 2nd) -- "We hear her on 3105 Kcs now, very weak and unreadable/fone."

Or the one heard by the guys on Baker at 06:50 GMT on July 3rd (21:20 Itasca time on July 2nd) -- "Baker heard Earhart plane strength 4 R7 ('good strong signals')..."

All of the above are from the Itasca radio log. Which do you want to throw out, and why?

Let's be clear that the hypothesis that Nauticos is testing is NOT that she ran out of gas shortly after her 20:13 transmission. They are testing the hypothesis that she ran out of gas at that moment AND that it is possible to know almost precisely where she was at that moment.

I'd rather look on Niku.

LTM,
 Ric


It is interesting to look back over time and to realize how little this argument has changed in its fundamentals over the years...

Granted, trying to pinpoint 'where' in the Pacific that could have happened seems mad - but given the area Nauticos actually covered, is that really the case, or did they establish a theoretical point outward from which to box the search area?  Granted also that Niku provides a 'box' - which is a highly desirable, nay, vital, to a rational search.

The question then remains how much confidence (thereby, rationally, 'belief') one has in the idea of transmissions after the 'we are on the line' call that is clearly that of Earhart by all we can tell.

2. No one knows how far from Gardner she would be, even if she said it.

Including of course, us.  It is one of the continuing conundrums of the Earhart search - and possibly an eternal one.

3. TIGHAR believes that the "Post Loss Radio Messages" indicate that Earhart could restart the engines.

Yes - if 'even one' such message is real then she had to be on dry land running engines.  TIGHAR 'believes', OK - but we lack 'hard' evidence to this day -

Back to Katz' quote from the archives above and the 'alternate possibility' that Earhart somehow didn't make Johnson's intended numbers on fuel consumption.  TIGHAR has her 'beliefs' - what of 'evidence'?  If one digs further into the archives -

Quote
Subject:  Re: Evidence
Date: 4/4/00
From:  David Evans Katz

For William Webster-Garman

We have no idea how deep into her reserve she was. We only know that she reported that she was "low on gas" an hour before her last transmission. I think that we should take her at her word. At 19:13 being "low on gas" does not make me optimistic that she believed she had as much as 5 hours left at that point.

With respect to "hard evidence that they were on Gardner", I submit that TIGHAR has no such hard evidence. "Anecdotes" of aircraft wreckage does not qualify as evidence in any reasonable forum. The qualify as hearsay. Actual Aircraft wreckage qualifies as evidence.

Moreover, reports of skeletons are not hard evidence that Earhart and Noonan were there. Those reports are also hearsay and the skeletons themselves (until they are found) are hard evidence merely that two humans (perhaps of European extraction) died there. They could have been two of the unfortunates from the old shipwreck or they could have been two other castaways (or they could have been Earhart & Noonan). In any event, this is hard evidence that two people died there, nothing more. The "fact" that Gerald Gallagher believed that Earhart might have been on Gardner is not quite the case. He wondered whether the remains might belong to Earhart and Noonan; there is no evidence of which I am aware that he actually believed that the remains belonged to E&N. This too, fails the test of hard evidence. Think of it this way: If someone unearthed (and subsequently lost) the bones of two other unidentified "Europeans" on McKean, such bones would have the same weight (as evidence) as those found on Gardner.

"Evidence" such as this appears to me to be as speculative and as fanciful as any other so-called evidence presented by other groups. I would classify TIGHAR's "evidence" as falling into the realm of interesting clues that may lead one to conclude that E&N possibly made it to Gardner. It is equally possible that they didn't.

David Evans Katz


From Ric

I suspect that most of the experienced pilots on the forum would agree that if you're 19 hours out and over the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a 150 mph airplane and you can't find your destination and you only have 5 hours of gas left you are most definitely "low on gas."

Contemporaneous written accounts by a first-hand source are by no stretch of the imagination "hearsay."

We also have a problem in semantics. William says we have "hard evidence" but David objects and says that all we have are "interesting clues." Let's see if we can sort this out.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines "evidence" as:

1. the condition of being evident
 2. something that makes another thing evident; indication; sign
 3. something that tends to prove; ground for belief

"Clue" is defined as:

"something that leads out of a maze, perplexity, etc. or helps to solve a problem."

I would submit that for all practical purposes the terms are interchangeable.

The term "hard evidence" is not defined but, I would suggest, is usually taken to mean evidence of a physical nature (as in documents, photographs, and artifacts) which is regarded as credible. David seems to be confusing "evidence" with "proof."

TIGHAR certainly does have hard evidence (grounds for belief) that the Earhart/Noonan flight ended at Nikumaroro. We do not yet have proof that that happened. By contrast, I am aware of no similar body of hard evidence to support a alternative hypothesis.

LTM,
 Ric

Bottom line, to have arrived at Gardner with enough fuel to make the 5 days of believed transmissions, then Earhart would have needed to fly fairly close to Kelly Johnson's guidelines.  I'm not sure we actually have more than a hope that she did so.  Johnson, in my view, was clearly trying to get Earhart to focus on controlling fuel consumption - much as Hooven tried to get her attention about radio navigation - something he failed to do.  Earhart seems notoriously inattentive to that sort of detail to me, so I simply don't share the same confidence that would lead to the same confident belief that TIGHAR has expressed.  Not saying it couldn't have happened - but in terms of evidence and probabilities in these things, while Niku is a neater box than the open sea, there remain many fuzzy edges around that box in my opinion.

Now there's three statements of fact - as to my points of view, for three sentences...

The archives are very interesting as to TIGHAR discussions from a decade or more back, by the way -

Some samples -

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Forum/Highlights81_100/highlights82.html

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Forum/Highlights121_140/highlights133.html#2
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Craig Romig

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 01:40:54 AM »

I was only curious as to what her position might have been if she only had 30 min of fuel left. I sure didn't want to drag up the subject of hearsay.
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JNev

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2015, 08:01:50 AM »

Hearsay, or heresy?  :D
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2015, 08:15:56 AM »

Now, now...

Now, now is right.  We don't need anyone filling over half a page without saying anything.
Posting arguments from 14 years ago is pointless.  Since then we have concluded a twelve year analysis of the post-loss radio signals, discovered the correlation between the credible signals and the water levels on the reef at Gardner, discovered and analyzed the object in the Bevington Photo, etc., etc.  Meanwhile, not only Nauticos but also Waitt have done multi-million dollar deep water searches around Howland without finding anything.  Crashed & Sank may not have been an irrational hypothesis in 2001 but it is today.  For those who want to flog that dead horse there are other places to do it.
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JNev

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 11:31:55 AM »

Since Marty took offense at my first response, I'll re-word it:

This is something over which honest and intelligent people may disagree.

I disagree that TIGHAR has made such conclusive findings as to render crashed and sank irrelevant.

The things you cite as such evidence are fascinating to discuss, obviously (they've been discussed exhaustively for years), but I find them short of being truly compelling that Earhart could have only ended up on Gardner.  To claim that these arguments are so compelling demands one of two things to succeed: more definitive proof (airplane), or to be repeated until the alternate voices can no longer be noticed.

The former will be required; the latter will never happen.

As to the claim that I've wasted space and that discussions from your own archives are irrelevant, I leave to the judgment of other readers.  In fact it is fascinating to see how TIGHAR has evolved from that time - and again, I leave it to the reader to discern the meat of all the analysis you cite for themselves, as I have.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fuel usage
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 12:05:17 PM »

This is something over which honest and intelligent people may disagree.

Thank you. I think everyone here understands that you disagree and no one has suggested that you are dishonest or unintelligent.

In fact it is fascinating to see how TIGHAR has evolved from that time

Yes, of course TIGHAR has evolved as new research has revealed new evidence. It's called progress and it has come at great expense in time, labor, and dollars.
Meanwhile, no new evidence has turned up to support other theories (unless you're excited about Dick Spink's "dust covers").

- and again, I leave it to the reader to discern the meat of all the analysis you cite for themselves, as I have.

I share your confidence that readers can decide for themselves.
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