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Author Topic: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?  (Read 21650 times)

david alan atchason

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2011, 09:28:34 PM »

Suppose someone did dig up the dump on Canton and actually found one of  Amelia's engines. Then the question arises, where did it come from and how did it get there? If Bruce's story is discounted and the engine he hauled is said to come from Canton, would it mean Amelia crashed on Canton when no one was looking? Or did he actually haul it from Niku or even some other Phoenix Island? In other words, it would just lead to more questions and would not prove much of anything except that Amelia crashed on or near SOME Phoenix Island. So why bother digging?
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2011, 07:13:20 AM »

by that theory you might as well just say why search anywhere for anything! Anything that could be learned could be useful to fill in other parts of a theory.

One way to find the truth is to disprove as many probabilities as possible until you only have one left to prove right.

In this case, it appears that it is highly likely that the engine in question was not from an electra. Would the ability to go to Canton and locate the actual engine in question be useful to this quest? My guess is probably not. the extremely high probability that it isn't the engine we are looking for make the cost of the trip much better spent in areas that have already yield returns.
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Todd Attebery

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2011, 11:30:20 AM »

Thanks for the update on the Kanton engine. I too had been wondering if the logistical challenges of digging through piles of rubble might be more more rewarding than scanning the ocean floor.

To answer the question on floating... non-pressurized airplanes don't make very good boats.  I assume that all of the fuel tanks were vented, and even if the aircraft floated for a short period of time I think the surf action would have won out over the airplane just drifting away.

I ran across this analysis the other day.  https://www.niar.wichita.edu/CompMechPortal/MainMenuCurrentResearchProjects/AmeliaEarhartsCrashReconstruction/tabid/94/Default.aspx  Even though the initial assumption isn't aligned with the TIGHAR hypothesis, it is a very thourough analyisis of a possible water landing.  Based on the attached article of a Lockheed water landing, they assumed that the Electra would float for 8 minutes.

LTM

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Don Dollinger

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2011, 12:21:14 PM »

Quote
Entire artillery batteries were lifted by sling to mountain top fire bases such as LZ Dotty and LZ West. All of their supplies such as food water and ammunition were by sling load. The entire airmobile concept was based on movement by helicopter and sling loads were a major part of that.

When stationed at Howard AFB, Panama, that is how Ft Kolby (which is attached to Howard) transported most of their equipment to the AOR during field operations training.  Used to love the double takes from the uninitiated the first time they saw a jeep or artillery piece slung under a helo flying over the base.    ???

LTM,

Don
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2011, 12:36:28 PM »

Quote
To answer the question on floating... non-pressurized airplanes don't make very good boats.  I assume that all of the fuel tanks were vented, and even if the aircraft floated for a short period of time I think the surf action would have won out over the airplane just drifting away.

I could have swore that I read somewhere (have searched and searched and can't seem to find the quote) that with the bouyancy of the extra fuel tanks, IFshe had made a sea landing that the Electra could float almost indefinately.

Now granted, if the Electra was being bashed into the reef I would think it would eventually rip open the fuselage and the tanks would float out allowing the Electra to sink.  But that begs the question, if that is the case you would think that at least one of them would have washed up on Niku and been put into use by an islander.

LTM,

Don
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david alan atchason

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 07:40:38 PM »

My post of April 1 about why search Kanton was not meant to be written in the "wise guy" tone it sounded like. But finding Amelia's engine in the dump would open up a whole new can of worms. That is, if Bruce was really mistaken and the engine came from Kanton, then she crashed on Kanton. Did anybody look for her there? Was there people there at the time? Now it would be more important to seek out every helicopter pilot that was ever stationed there to see if any one of them ever hauled an engine from anywhere to Kanton. Didn't the pilots have to keep logs?  Would they get in trouble if they flew to Niku and someone learned they logged it as hoisting practice on Kanton? In other words falsified their logbook? Of course searching out every pilot who might be alive would be just too much trouble and the guy might well be dead by now. Maybe somebody could tell me if they really did make out accurate logs back then or any logs at all? I acknowledge they wouldn't know which island they were on, anyway.

Also, I just finished reading the reconstruction of Amelia landing in the water. It seems like if they made a nice landing, they would not be injured. That makes sense.  The simulation shows 30 ft. of water, I think. But why would they land in the water when according to what I have read, landing on the reef would have been "easy as pie". I admit I'm not a pilot and I know next to nothing about such choices. Somewhere on this website, I don't remember where, I thought I saw somebody state the reef was full of cracks and holes and would not have made a smooth landing.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 08:06:11 PM »

Some clarification about the reconstruction of the plane landing in the water:
That reconstruction was done at the request of National Geographic Television who were doing a television show about the Earhart disappearance that was heavily biased toward the Crashed & Sank Theory.  The study is largely meaningless.  Its only conclusion is that a well-executed ditching in a Lockheed Electra should be survivable.  Duh.  With only lap restraints, no shoulder harness, you might bump your head.  Duh.  No conclusion was drawn about how long the plane might float except to cite the 1967 ditching where an Electra floated for eight minutes. It's not a valid analogy.  NR16020 was configured very differently from the airplane that floated for eight minutes. No one knows how the fuselage tanks in NR16020 would affect how long the plane might float. Would the vents allow them to fill quickly, making the plane sink even faster than eight minutes?  The tanks sat on the floor in cradles and were only attached to the airplanes structure by thin aluminum straps intended to keep the tanks in place. The straps were never intended for an airplane full of water to be suspended from the tanks as flotation devices.  Would the tanks break free, pile up in the rear of the cabin and collapse? There are too many unknowns and variables for anyone to be able to say how long NR16020 might float.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 11:23:38 AM »

Quote
Its only conclusion is that a well-executed ditching in a Lockheed Electra should be survivable.

So what was their point?  To show that they probably ditched in sea, survived and then met a more gruesome death by drowning or getting eaten by sharks!

LTM,

Don
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2011, 09:02:21 AM »

We have a photo of Bruce Yoho and two other guys with shovels standing beside a PBY engine buried in the sand on Canton.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Might Electra have floated some distance off-shore?
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2011, 04:47:37 PM »

A PBY engine would be a twin-row R-1830, wouldn't it?  Obvious difference from a single-row R-1340, so surely it wouldn't relate to the "mystery engine" that got flown about the area by helicopter, one would hope? 

Yes, it's an R-1830 and it could very well be the engine Bruce remembered many years later as being an R-1340. People remember things wrong.  He wanted his recollection of an obscure event to be important. The island needed to be Gardner, not Canton, and the engine needed to be an R-1340.  His memory of the event wasn't clear so it was easy for his mind to fill in the desired details.
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