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Author Topic: Confidence  (Read 74511 times)

Bill Roe

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2012, 02:55:31 PM »


But the second thing, which jumped out at me, is that the reef surface is bone dry .........  Some people seem to continue to pooh-pooh the idea of the reef serving as a suitable landing surface for an airplane in 1937.  They can't seem to conceive of that, but this picture communicates the idea quite well.

 

At what altitude was the picture taken?  A close look - nasty.

Suitable only in the sense of an emergency landing.  Maybe not even then.  I still believe that a good pilot, forced down,  would ditch gear up in shallow water. 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2012, 03:55:03 PM »

It depends on what was on their mind when making the decision Bill.
Some possible influences for avoiding ditching into water:
a) Dry radio kit? would need a dry landing (although they couldn't get the damn thing to work properly all the way from Lae, why they would suddenly expect it to work... unless, they thought they might be able to fix it?)
b) Rescue and subsequent re-fuelling and take off ?
c) Strip it of useful survival gear
This must be the place
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2012, 08:11:20 PM »

From what I have seen of WWII era aircraft that have been found in tropical waters over the past few years (photos from scuba divining magazines, Nat Geo, etc.) they tend to remain relatively intact if they are out of the surf zone.

Note: "if they are out of the surf zone."

TIGHAR has picked up lots of aluminum pieces on Niku.

The natives sold boxes inlaid with aluminum "from the airplane wreck that was here when we got here" (Kilts).

Another fellow said he saw natives fishing with control cables.

The Bevington Object may have been a landing gear.

A wing (or perhaps a part of an elevator or rudder?) was said to have floated into the lagoon.

Our oceanographer thought the plane might well be reduced to "aluminum sand."

None of this proves that there isn't much left of the aircraft, but that's how it strikes me.  :(

Quote
The Devastator in the Jaluit Lagoon is a good example.  Would it not be reasonable to find rather large portions of the aircraft covered with coral and marine growth, but, otherwise rescognizable as not being part of the natural landscape?  This would seem to be the case the deeper the parts came to rest as the reef coral and vegitation growth becomes less as you go deeper.  Do we have a good reason why the assumption can be made the the surviving bits and pieces are going to be small?  You have aroused my curiosity!

The Devastator is on a flat, sandy bottom, at not too great a depth.

I believe it got there by ditching nearby (don't quote me--I really am not up on the case).

But whether they ditched or got shot down, the plane didn't work its way down the face of a reef.  I just don't think it is a good model for what TIGHAR is likely to find on this expedition.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2012, 08:16:41 PM »

I've disagreed with Howard on several of his thoughts, and this is one of them.  I don't think we've ever found evidence to support this notion that the aircraft was largely ground up and distributed as sand down current.

You'd have to collect and analyze a LOT of sand to find such evidence.   :P

Quote
"I don't think anyone in TIGHAR expects to find much more than bits and pieces--if we're lucky!"

I for one am willing to go out on a limb and say that I think that there will be large sections of the electra found.  While pieces of it may be torn off during the landing, or afterwards, I imagine that once the main body was floated off the reef by the rising tide / wave action, the destruction would have largely stopped leaving substantial portions intact to be found, hopefully by side scan sonar during this expedition.

That's encouraging.

For those who haven't met Andrew, he has served on many TIGHAR expeditions, diving on the reef, surveying the lagoon, chopping scaevola, flying kites, commanding ROVs, etc., etc.

He knows the reef, up close and personal.

Maybe the odds are not as bad as I thought they were.   :)
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 08:18:36 PM »

Or have they agreed to hold any historic news until after the Discovery show?

Discovery has some exclusive rights.

I'm pretty sure that there will be an embargo on the news until after Discovery airs its special--an embargo for TIGHAR expedition members, not Discovery, of course.

I think that's how it worked last time.
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 08:20:17 PM »

At what altitude was the picture taken?  A close look - nasty.

It was taken from platform lifted by a kite.

I never heard how high the kite could carry the camera.

Wild guess: 200' to 400'.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2012, 02:51:19 AM »

I don't think Discovery will hold the news until the airing of their show.  That will take much too long, and there is way too much risk that the story will get out before then.

If the arrangement with Discovery is similar to 2010 (and I've been told that it is substantially the same) Discovery has the rights to break the news announcing evidence that AE and or her aircraft has been definitively identified, as in smoking gun, any idiot artifact, proof.  What they desire is to be able to break the story and drive folks to their website for more information.  You can imagine the web traffic such a story would generate.

This is a delicate matter of timing, of course.  All the crew and TIGHAR team are restricted by non-disclosure agreements that even cover telling a spouse about a definitive artifact, at least until after Discovery breaks the story.  People being what they are, Discovery knows that it will only be a matter of time before the cat gets out of the bag, so they won't wait too long.  My guess, and this is only my speculation, is that Discovery would break the story within 48 to 72 hours of conclusive proof, and certainly before the ship arrives back in HI.  Why risk being upstaged on your own story?  The only reason I can think of for them to delay would be that they want the video and photos to post, but even then they can break the story and post video later.  Unlike our past expeditions, I believe the KOK has the capability to send data if needed, so even video could be delivered well before the ship arrives back in Hawaii.  Pricey, but doable.

Discovery will have the opportunity to milk this for all its worth, building interest over the several months it will take to put together the documentary show.

Once the definitive artifact is announced, TIGHAR and its members should no longer be restricted from disclosing information, so we should be able to get the full story from the expedition team.

Disclaimer - I am not the legal counsel for TIGHAR, and I've not been privy to the contract that has been signed between them for coverage / sponsorship of this expedition.  I was subject to the non-disclosure agreement on the last expedition.

Andrew
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2012, 02:54:51 AM »

As Marty says, kite height varies between 200' and 400' for good photos of the ground directly below.  I think we flew it higher at points when capturing photos at an oblique angle.

Limit to kite height is wind strength and length of the string.

By the way, even in the photo posted of the NC wreck, the reef was not entirely dry, there is still water out there in the pools etc. 

AMCK
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Jay Burkett

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2012, 11:12:48 AM »

Perhaps some need a clarification iof my reasoning for finding large parts intact.

I assume that the current line of thinking is that one of the mains became lodged in the reef.  It is also reasonable to assume that the aircraft was landed along the beach.  This means taht the fuselage could have been parallel to the waves as they arrived at the shaore.  The main landing gear only moves in one direction.  It does not pivot.  Waves acting against the fuselage and vertical stabilizers, and the undersides of the wings and horizontal stabilzer if the aircraft is not sitting level  (and it probably was not --- remember the wheel/main stuck inthe trench?), would have generated a tremendous amount of force which would try to turn the whole aircraft about the stuck landing gear.  Some pieces could be torn off before this happens and they could have washed up on the shore.  It would not take too long before the aircraft is torn free from the stuck gear.  The options then are (a) to be wahsed up on the shore or (b) washed over the edge of the reef into deeper water.  Since nobody has found the aircraft, or large parts of it on land, it is safe to assume that it went over the edge.  Once in deeper water it would be out of the "surf zone" and relatively safe from further disassembly.  I beleive that this would have happened rather quickly.  In contrast, NC, becasue of its sheer size and mass, stayed in the surf zone as corrosion and wave action took its toll.  This theroy allsow for smaller pieces to have torn free and found their way to the shore to be found.  I think the larger whole of what is left is sitting down off the edge some place. 

I got to go back to building airplanes now ....
 

 
Jay Burkett, N4RBY
Aerospace Engineer
Fairhope AL
 
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:46 PM »

Quote
Since nobody has found the aircraft, or large parts of it on land, it is safe to assume that it went over the edge.  Once in deeper water it would be out of the "surf zone" and relatively safe from further disassembly.  I beleive that this would have happened rather quickly.

One factor left out of that equation is the extra floatation that would be afforded the additional fuel tanks.  IMHO, this extra bouyancy would have kept it afloat longer (until the fuel tanks had been busted open or ripped from the fuselage) making it more suseptible to be beat against the reef face for a longer period of time reducing it to smaller pieces of electra, for that matter it could also of floated some distance from Niku before finally sinking.  How big of a search circle are they willing to go on this expedition?

As hopeful as the next Tighar that Ric and crew find the smoking gun but, what if?

LTM,

Don
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Jay Burkett

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2012, 11:20:53 AM »

Don,

Because of the possible bouyancy generated by the empty fuselage and wing tanks the aircraft would float to a certain degree.  The aircraft trying to pivot around the stuck main would provide the force to tear it free.  If the winds and tides were right the aircraft would be carried away from the shore.  It would eventaully sink.  If it was still intact enough, it would possible "fly" as it sank.  (I don't have a clue what the glide ratio of the Electra would be ...).   I have heard stories (anecdotal) regarding searchers looking for aircraft that ditched and finding them quite a bit away from where it actually ended up  in the water.  The aerodynamics still work at the lower speeds due to the higher density of the water.  A realtively undamaged aircraft could fly quite a way once it sank.

I, too, am looking forward to what is found!
Jay Burkett, N4RBY
Aerospace Engineer
Fairhope AL
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 11:34:13 AM »

Quote
If it was still intact enough, it would possible "fly" as it sank.

Well spotted Jay, indeed it would.

the aircraft began to oscillate up and down in a phugoid cycle

JAL 747 crash, crew lost all hydraulic control, phugoid cycle
TWA 747 crash, plane flew on after cockpit and forward fuselage section blasted away, phugoid cycle
UA 232
And lots more
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phugoid


This must be the place
 
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Leon R White

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 12:59:22 PM »

The japanese mini sub sunk outside of pearl harbor, when finally discovered, had its 'glide path' discussed in some detail I think.  it did tend to corkscrew if I recall.

L
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2012, 09:45:11 AM »

Quote
I think it was taken on Niku V in 2007.  Comparing it to the older pictures of the shipwreck does give one pause about the power of the relentless ocean pounding.

There was a beached longboat with a broken transim on a small uninhabited islet in Panama that we used to camp and dive at.  It was sunk in a small protected cove and discovered on our first trip there.  within 2 years what was left was indistinguishable.  Granted this was wood and not metal but it was the constant wave action that tore it apart.

LTM

Don
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Confidence
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2012, 11:06:08 AM »

You guys are alot smarter than I am about such stuff------but may I presume that if the electra did float off, and the bottom ( as we know it) is 2900+ feet, that it may 1-3 MILES off the coast?
I wonder if KOK did a scan that far away from the shore, and if so, were there any targets? Guess we may find out.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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