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Author Topic: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.  (Read 323700 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2011, 09:08:30 AM »


GIGO!

They claim "We used a very conservative scenario, one that assumed that Earhart had no means of determining her position, and that the entire flight was made by dead reckoning." This is not a conservative scenario it is a radical one.


So go create your own simulation that plugs in millions of combinations of numbers for variables constrained by your view of what really happened, and tell us your results.

Randy did his simulation.  I find it intelligible and interesting.  I'm looking forward to seeing yours.
LTM,

           Marty
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JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2011, 11:11:31 AM »

I concur with Marty. 

Disagreement is fine, but a charge of "GIGO" amounts to attack and adds nothing positive to the discussion.  This kind of attack chills our forum environment and robs all of us of a higher quality dialogue that we might enjoy.

It's no wonder to me that more than one highly-qualified TIGHAR contributor has stopped working the forum:
What highly-qualified contributor wants their major investment so passionately trampled by attack with so little material basis? 

The more I see these impeachment attempts the less objectivity I see in them.  I wish it were otherwise, But until the attacker can lay-up a dispassionate alternative - complete with a rational outcome (equal in weight to the Monte Carlo, mind you) it won't carry much weight with me.

---

I happen to trust the professionalism of what Jacobson applied in the NR16020 case as relevent and sensible:

- The Monte Carlo never claims to be an end-all - its limits and intents are well explained
- The constraints are openly identified, and thereby the limits of the analysis can be rationally realized
- Contrary to the attacker's opinion, I find the assumption of AE lacking specific cel-observations to be quite conservative: it is abundantly clear to me that any reliable cel-nav points being entered into the equation would bring the probability to somewhere closer to Howland than from the current probable outcomes. 
Randy Jacobson did not hide that fact and in fact made it clear enough to me by stating the constraints as he did. 

A Monte Carlo, as Jacobson himself makes clear enough, has limits of its own.  But we must understand what Jacobson understands well: it has to focus on something to gain anything useful - applying too broad a set of constraints would yield nothing but chaos.

Of course we can consider that cel-nav was just peachy all the way to Howland.  However, I find it very odd indeed that if cel-nav had worked so reliably well that somehow our pair completely missed the mark.  Something went wrong, and the Monte Carlo outcome gives us a very good glimpse of how that could well have happened and some idea as to the magnitude and placement of the possible error.

In sum, I don't find it 'garbage' when the case is so clearly and fairly stated already.  Attacks don't offer any credible new direction for me.   

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
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Heath Smith

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Question about the Ontario
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2011, 11:55:28 AM »


I am having trouble tracking down the telegram or letters that were sent requesting that the Ontario was to be positioned "half-way" between Lae and Howland. Were specific coordinates handed to the ship's captain or did the requester rely on the captain to realize the significance of positioning the ship as closely as possible to the flight path? Can someone help me out there?

Do we know if the Ontario was drifting with the engines off? Were crewmen outside specifically listening for the Electra? If they were just kicking back in the bridge, it would be no wonder that they did not hear the Electra.

If I had to guess Noonan and Earhart had intended on finding the Ontario either by direction finder (plenty of evidence of that in the telegrams sent by AE), or better yet, by spotting the ship visually. It also seems to be common sense that their plan was to use this position of the Ontario as a verification of their actual position to see how they were progressing on the flight plan.

It appears by my measure (using Google Earth) that the Ontario was at least 7.75 SM off the direct route from Lae to Howland. If Noonan did assume that the ship spotted was the Ontario, could he mistakenly assumed that the Ontario was "on the line"? If so, what appears to be a relatively small error would probably be a huge headache if the position was used wouldn't it?

Although there were no radio exchange between the Ontario and AE, could Noonan have used some type of spotting scope to visually verify that it was the Ontario? Could this have been easily done at 8 sm out at 8,000ft?

What I find interesting here also was that AE did not continue further radio traffic otherwise this would have been picked up by the station at Nauru. Could they have just performed their own verification and busily checked the data to figure out where they were?

Thanks in advance.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2011, 12:09:08 PM »


GIGO!

They claim "We used a very conservative scenario, one that assumed that Earhart had no means of determining her position, and that the entire flight was made by dead reckoning." This is not a conservative scenario it is a radical one.


So go create your own simulation that plugs in millions of combinations of numbers for variables constrained by your view of what really happened, and tell us your results.

Randy did his simulation.  I find it intelligible and interesting.  I'm looking forward to seeing yours.
It doesn't make any difference how many calculations you may make if you start with a completely unreasonable assumption. This is exactly what the term GIGO means. I did a Monte Carlo simulation that made one quadrillion calculations with a supercomputer starting with the equally unreasonable assumption that they were flying a rocket ship so my simulation shows them 2.3 SM south of the crater Tycho on the Moon. Obviously something went wrong with the navigation but this is not the same thing as saying they did no navigation at all, that they dead reckoned all the way from Lae to Howland. Since Noonan was navigating, his actions, including errors, biases the result away from the DR scenario so the plane is more likely to be anywhere else on Earth than it is to be where your Monte Carlo simulation placed it. Mr. Jacobson engaged in an intellectually interesting exercise but it signifies nothing in the end.

gl
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 12:13:01 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2011, 12:30:23 PM »

I concur with Marty. 

Disagreement is fine, but a charge of "GIGO" amounts to attack and adds nothing positive to the discussion.  This kind of attack chills our forum environment and robs all of us of a higher quality dialogue that we might enjoy.


---

I happen to trust the professionalism of what Jacobson applied in the NR16020 case as relevent and sensible:

-
Don't take what I wrote as a personal attack on Mr. Jacobson or his knowledge or qualifications. I used the term GIGO as it is commonly used, if you put invalid data into a computer then the result coming out of the computer is also invalid and has no value.

gl
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2011, 01:09:31 PM »

I concur with Marty. 

Disagreement is fine, but a charge of "GIGO" amounts to attack and adds nothing positive to the discussion.  This kind of attack chills our forum environment and robs all of us of a higher quality dialogue that we might enjoy.

It's no wonder to me that more than one highly-qualified TIGHAR contributor has stopped working the forum:
What highly-qualified contributor wants their major investment so passionately trampled by attack with so little material basis? 

The more I see these impeachment attempts the less objectivity I see in them.  I wish it were otherwise, But until the attacker can lay-up a dispassionate alternative - complete with a rational outcome (equal in weight to the Monte Carlo, mind you) it won't carry much weight with me.


I tend to agree with Jeff.  You said it best Jeff in your words I bolded above. However I am glad that Gary clarified this was not intended as a personal attack.   It's clear what Gary is saying but we don't need to agree with him. Not agreeing with Gary isn't a personal attack. We just disagree. I believe he was doing the same thing with Jacobson.

But on Jeff's other point Gary, you should step up and say what you believe happened. It's unfair to just jump in and tell people they got something wrong.  You contribute a lot to this forum. Most of the folks who contribute will tell you what they believe and do so from many different positions. Why not do this?  Offer to be a speaker at the proposed symposium and make the subject of your presentation your personal feelings on what happened. This would be a good draw for attendees. Good for TIGHAR to present opposing opinions.  But if you can't then you should come forward and give your opinion in this forum. I fear you're only hurting your own credibility by not stating what you believe.  Perhaps you really don't have an opinion to share.  Nothing wrong with that either.  Opposing the TIGHAR hypothesis may even be your own way of testing it to see if you believe it yourself.  Who knows?  Only you do.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Question about the Ontario
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2011, 01:26:11 PM »

I am having trouble tracking down the telegram or letters that were sent requesting that the Ontario was to be positioned "half-way" between Lae and Howland. Were specific coordinates handed to the ship's captain or did the requester rely on the captain to realize the significance of positioning the ship as closely as possible to the flight path? Can someone help me out there?

As a first rough cut, I've added a section to the wiki article on the Ontario drawn from Finding Amelia, a book that every serious Earhart researcher should have on their shelves.

Quote
Do we know if the Ontario was drifting with the engines off? Were crewmen outside specifically listening for the Electra? If they were just kicking back in the bridge, it would be no wonder that they did not hear the Electra.

No, so far as I can tell, we don't "know" how the Ontario held station or what her crew were doing.

Using the search engine cheerfully provided on the website, I find this note from the indefatigable Randy Jacobson:
Message:2
Subject:Re: Interview with Betty
Date:11/7/00
From:Randy Jacobson
   The position of 3°9′S, 165°E is the position reported by the Navy for the USS Ontario (same reports provide the Myrtlebank position), but is/was not the precise location where the Ontario was on the overflight. This position was not published prior to the World Flight, but was mentioned in Navy radio message traffic and perhaps news media by July 4th time frame. Where the Navy got this position is unknown, but it was probably obtained by plotting the mid-way point on the Lae to Howland flight on a map.


The same amazing researcher provided a transcription of the Ontario's log.

Then he wrote a series of articles, one of which is entitled "Final Flight, Part 2: Midpoint to the Vicinity of Howland."

The same man compiled a huge database of messages related to Earhart's attempts to fly around the world.  I'll bet that the radio traffic about the Ontario's position could be found there.
LTM,

           Marty
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Heath Smith

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2011, 01:43:08 PM »


Martin,

Thank for the the information. I did ask for and received the Finding Amelia for Christmas. I have yet to read it over but I did check out the DVD.

As for the Ontario logs, can you tell me which time zone that they are relative to? Are they local, GMT? Thanks in advance.

Also, do you suppose that if AE and FN spotted the Ontario, they would have assumed that they were on the line and used their position to check their flight progression? Perhaps even adjusted the plan based on spotting the Ontario?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2011, 02:32:14 PM »

As for the Ontario logs, can you tell me which time zone that they are relative to? Are they local, GMT? Thanks in advance.

At the top of the first page of the log, you will find the answer to your question.

Having read the primary source, you will undoubtedly then come back and ask whether anybody knows what the relevant time zones are.

Quote
Also, do you suppose that if AE and FN spotted the Ontario, they would have assumed that they were on the line and used their position to check their flight progression? Perhaps even adjusted the plan based on spotting the Ontario?

They didn't say.  I won't guess.
LTM,

           Marty
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Heath Smith

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2011, 02:43:35 PM »


Martin,

Thanks again for the information. I really appreciate all of these references that you post.

In my haste I tried to jump down in the table to the 2nd of July assuming that the labels at the top were meaningless. Duh.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2011, 04:32:16 PM »

Thanks again for the information. I really appreciate all of these references that you post.

You're welcome.

Quote
In my haste I tried to jump down in the table to the 2nd of July assuming that the labels at the top were meaningless. Duh.

BTDT.

Happy New Year!
LTM,

           Marty
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Heath Smith

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2011, 09:01:36 PM »


I found the position where Ontario was ordered to be on guard station duty. This position appears to be carefully chosen by Williams as it was at the end of a segment in the original flight plan. This spot was apparently chosen before the first world flight attempt and was recycled so to speak. Looking at the log that gives the Ontario position, the ship was close to the original commanded location but was actually directly on the flight path and 6 miles east along the flight path from where it should have been. After that is seemed to just drift around without any apparent attempt to hold the commanded position.

http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,243.msg3630.html#msg3630

As Ric points out, this is clearly not where the Ontario was located between 10:00 GMT and 11:00 GMT. They were far East of the commanded position about 29 miles. The commanded position was about 6 miles North of the intended flight path and importantly about 2.5 miles after the end of a particular segment in the flight plan. This would have allowed Noonan to look out the port Window and see the ship about 6 miles to the North and they probably wanted that position so that he could verify their speed.

If the ship's location was to be used for navigation, the latitude was only slightly off (8 miles off rather that the commanded 6 miles) but longitudinally it was way off the mark (nearly 30 miles). This might have influenced their speed calculations but probably would not have affected their heading (much).

Every way I look at this it appears to be very sloppy work so far as the position of the Ontario goes. Earhart and Noonan obviously thought the location of the ship was important as they sent a message out from Lae before departure saying that they were not leaving on schedule and that the Ontario should be informed of this.
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Heath Smith

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Indicated speeds and the pitot tubes
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2012, 10:50:40 AM »


Gary,

You stated on an earlier post in this thread:

Quote
Noonan also had an altimeter, airspeed indicator and an outside air temperature gauge at his station so he could compute the true airspeed of the plane and didn't have to rely on Earhart passing this information back to him.

Was Earhart using the indicated speed from the port side pitot tube and Noonan was using the starboard pitot tube? Can you give any more details about how Noonan's instruments were hooked up to the main systems?

Thanks.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Indicated speeds and the pitot tubes
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2012, 11:42:53 AM »


Gary,

You stated on an earlier post in this thread:

Quote
Noonan also had an altimeter, airspeed indicator and an outside air temperature gauge at his station so he could compute the true airspeed of the plane and didn't have to rely on Earhart passing this information back to him.

Was Earhart using the indicated speed from the port side pitot tube and Noonan was using the starboard pitot tube? Can you give any more details about how Noonan's instruments were hooked up to the main systems?

Thanks.
There was a second airspeed indicator mounted on the copilot's side of the instrument panel which was the reason for the second pitot tube. Noonan' could have been taped into either one. I don't know if there were two separate static ports for the two altimeters, the copilot had one too, they could have been using just one static port and Noonan's would have used the static pressure line for his altimeter.

gl
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 11:46:26 AM by Gary LaPook »
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John Ousterhout

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2012, 11:51:03 AM »

"... not leaving on schedule and that the Ontario should be informed of this."
It hadn't occured to me that the fliers might use the ship for navigation.  I thought the ships were needed in case of emergency landings at sea, and for communications.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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