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Author Topic: Beach the Electra - what if?  (Read 61323 times)

Malcolm McKay

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2012, 06:29:56 PM »

Quote
Even Earhart, who we know had a lot of money tied up in the aircraft would not put it down on the outer reef at low tide, when she and Noonan would know that once the tide and waves got up the aircraft would be lost immediately - and if Earhart didn't know Noonan being an old Pacific hand would know.

You describe a circular argument and then try to disguise alot of assumptions as fact.  We have no idea of knowing what Earhart did, nor what they knew concerning the tides at Gardner.  We can garner a guess and you are right back at your OWN circular argument; woulda, coulda, shoulda...

LTM,

Don

I discovered after much searching that you were quoting me - I stick with what I said. A landing on the outer reef where either the tide or even a moderate swell getting up would wash the aircraft off does not seem logical or something an experienced pilot would do. Various theories have been advanced by TIGHAR since 1989 as to where the Electra might have been landed. The outer reef landing is the last - and is proposed to explain why the plane, if it had landed on Nikumaroro, was not sighted by the Navy fliers.

So the argument goes - "Navy doesn't see the Electra, so let's have it land somewhere where it will disappear, therefore outer reef". That isn't an argument, it is just an easy explanation.
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Bill Roe

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2012, 08:35:50 PM »


So the argument goes - "Navy doesn't see the Electra, so let's have it land somewhere where it will disappear, therefore outer reef". That isn't an argument, it is just an easy explanation.


I agree.  And it would be interesting to have a thread, a poll per se, that would poll just the experienced pilots on the forum - asking the question:  Where would you put down under the same conditions?  It could very well be - the lagoon.  Well, that's easy to say, not having been there or flown over the area.  The logic, to me, of the lagoon - better chance of survival.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2012, 09:13:26 PM »

I think the pilots who have actually seen the reef in real life would know better. It doesn't make sense to me to take a poll of pilots who didn't see the choice Amelia may have had or even the reef in real life today. Also, it is kind of hard to know what the condition of the reef was since sea level was about 6" lower in 1937. It could have been even more dry than the picture below.
Also, how are you going to ask the question?
Would you prefer to land on a "jagged reef" or ditch?
or
Would you prefer to land on a dry flat reef and unload the plane safely or ditch and risk drowning?
Or
Would you prefer to land on a beach with a significant slope or on a flat dry reef?
See how what I mean. If you just ask "Would you prefer to land on a reef or beach?" then how do you know what that persons idea of a reef is? How does this pilot you are going to poll know what the reef or beach looked like?
Pilots who actually saw the reef recently said it was landable.
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john a delsing

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2012, 11:26:27 PM »

Quote
So the argument goes - "Navy doesn't see the Electra, so let's have it land somewhere where it will disappear, therefore outer reef". That isn't an argument, it is just an easy explanation.

Malcolm’
   Isn’t the rational that is used to explain why  6 naval flyers, ‘buzzing and circling’ for approx 28 minutes and coming to the conclusion that Amelia was not there fall into this ‘easy explanation’ category ?
The Earth is Full
 
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2012, 12:53:16 AM »

Quote
So the argument goes - "Navy doesn't see the Electra, so let's have it land somewhere where it will disappear, therefore outer reef". That isn't an argument, it is just an easy explanation.

Malcolm’
   Isn’t the rational that is used to explain why  6 naval flyers, ‘buzzing and circling’ for approx 28 minutes and coming to the conclusion that Amelia was not there fall into this ‘easy explanation’ category ?

Well I have made quite plain my assessment of the arguments for why the Navy searchers failed to spot the pair or evidence of the aircraft on another thread. In fact I have gone so far as to say that it has almost become proof that Earhart and Noonan were actually there because the Navy pilots didn't see them.

How does the rhyme go?

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away
   ;D

And I am also left less than convinced by the arguments of some forum members that the Navy searchers were not up to the task. So I would say that I agree with you.
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2012, 11:04:40 AM »

Ok . The item about what experienced pilots would do is interesting to me. If I may say this----Lets say AE and FN were approaching Niku. They see the lagoon, but dont know its depth, or if there are any submerged objects. They see the NC, high and dry. They see a 'landable' area ( they think), but again, not knowing whats there, or any submerged objects, crevasses, etc.

Lets say they make a low pass over both locations to sum up there options. They dont KNOW whats there. They can only see what they can from whatever altitude their pass is at. 300 feet, 400 feet, 50 feet----who knows, and things look differnet from altitude. Could she have flown low enough AND slow enough to make a 'good' decision?. Or----for the sake of argument, she saw the NC, and decided to try and land there?

In light of the recent discoveries (or lack of them), I've been thinking about other 'what if' scenarios that AE may have used to get to Niku.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Bill Roe

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2012, 12:07:06 PM »


Ok . The item about what experienced pilots would do is interesting to me. If I may say this----Lets say AE and FN were approaching Niku. They see the lagoon, but dont know its depth, or if there are any submerged objects. .............

..................Could she have flown low enough AND slow enough to make a 'good' decision?. Or----for the sake of argument, she saw the NC, and decided to try and land there?



I think, Tom, that you're catching on to what I was trying to say.  Even though I haven't flown over the island, based on what I do know about the island and my experience as a survival trained military pilot, I would choose the lagoon.  And try to end up (gear up) along the edge (lagoon shore).  Tough to do once you're in the water - no telling where it will take you.

At the same time, there's a whole lot better chance of having your airplane spotted from the air.  At least that's what you assume in the air while coming in.  I've already noted the Norwich City which I'd use to attract surface vessels.  I'd find a way to build a smoky fire as high up on the deck as possible.  Get the fire going and throw some green stuff on it once I detected surface activity.

I'd be interested in the opinion of other experienced pilots on this forum - what they would be thinking, where'd they put down.  Based on what little info is available on this forum.

And, G.L.D. - survival and rescue doesn't really offer druthers.  An experienced pilot, about ready to ditch, isn't about to consider preferences.  He'll take what's available based on, again, survival and rescue. 

Heh heh -  Amelia may have believed there were cannibals on the island and decided to ditch in the deep water. ;) ;D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 12:11:01 PM by Bill Roe »
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2012, 02:03:55 PM »

Bill--we are thinking alike. Having flown quite a bit around the waters of Beaufort County, SC (Hilton Head, Parris Island, ETC), there are alot of ways to bust your butt around here. Unlike Niku, we have alot of marsh, and rivers, emptying into the Atlantic. Jeff Nevill is very familiar.
As far a what AE 'might' have done, I think she had the right idea. not necessarily putting th Electra down close to the reef edge, but putting it in a position so it 'could' have been spotted from the air. On the shoreline in th elagoon would have been good to, but another thought came to mind.

'What if", she did set it down on the beach, and the plane was spotted in the search overflight. She is able to get word to them by radio that she needs fuel, so they make arrangements to get it to her by boat. She refuels, then takes off for Howland along with the carrier planes, so the plane can be serviced more effectively. Once airworthy, its on its way to Hawaii, and the around the world flight continues.

Landing gear up eliminates all of that. By landing gear down, she has a 'possibility' of taking off again, as long as the gear isnt damaged by taxiing towards the beach. (which is what I'm thinking). Rescue for her might have meant , "get me some fuel and show me where Howland is".

Ok ---Crazy idea, but a gear up at the lagoon shoreline eliminated any chance of flying the electra out, and possibly in her mind, was more dangerous than the reef landing, gear down.
just thinking--
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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richie conroy

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2012, 02:53:45 PM »

If i recall correctly, The reason Tighar speculate the area by the surf line is because there is a smooth patch which is so many feet long and so many feet wide.


while the rest of the reef would be unforgiving to an aircraft specially with a tail wheel

 
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richie conroy

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2012, 03:23:44 PM »

What if they did miss them though ?

In the image below

Pic A, Is Tighar's Lambrecht photo

Pic B, Is CNN slightly enhanced Lambrecht photo

Pic C, Is zoomed in area of, Pic B

This is my OPINION only, But it look's like 2 people in white top's up tree's... I have looked at other 7 site photo's an there is no other one with these light colored objects that high up 
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #40 on: August 08, 2012, 03:30:10 PM »

Quote
Even Earhart, who we know had a lot of money tied up in the aircraft would not put it down on the outer reef at low tide, when she and Noonan would know that once the tide and waves got up the aircraft would be lost immediately - and if Earhart didn't know Noonan being an old Pacific hand would know.

You describe a circular argument and then try to disguise alot of assumptions as fact.  We have no idea of knowing what Earhart did, nor what they knew concerning the tides at Gardner.  We can garner a guess and you are right back at your OWN circular argument; woulda, coulda, shoulda...

LTM,

Don

I discovered after much searching that you were quoting me - I stick with what I said. A landing on the outer reef where either the tide or even a moderate swell getting up would wash the aircraft off does not seem logical or something an experienced pilot would do. Various theories have been advanced by TIGHAR since 1989 as to where the Electra might have been landed. The outer reef landing is the last - and is proposed to explain why the plane, if it had landed on Nikumaroro, was not sighted by the Navy fliers.

I am really not trying to bust your chops; I fell into the same trap "assuming" that they would do the logical thing.  It is obvious that was probably not the case.  Just looking at this http://tighar.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=flare+gun&fulltext=Search and you can see it begans to get illogical real quick.  Probably your best means of signaling and it is left in Lae.  If you look at the mindset, one would think that IF they in fact made Niku that she would think that rescue would not be far off as she had the Itasca specifically assigned to her in a manner of speaking.  If you have that mindset you would not go automatically into survival mode as in building a shelter, looking for food and water (there were some provisions on the Electra) perhaps by the time it dawns on her/them it is already too late.

The last thing is, I really don't believe that either of them expected an aerial search.  There were no planes in the area; logically thinking do you think that she actually thought that they would send an Aircraft Carrier from Pearl to search for them?  I'm thinking that they would be thinking sea search and the best signaling device you left in Lae!  Granted, the Electra on the reef would be a shining beacon that they were there but by ship you would need to be a whole lot closer and on the right side of the atoll to see it.

LTM,

Don
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Bill Roe

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2012, 03:32:49 PM »


Landing gear up eliminates all of that. By landing gear down, she has a 'possibility' of taking off again, as long as the gear isnt damaged by taxiing towards the beach. (which is what I'm thinking). Rescue for her might have meant , "get me some fuel and show me where Howland is".


Interesting thought.  For me - personally, I'm in the air thinking gear up means I have a better chance of survival and rescue.  And I  doubt very much if I would have cared to get the airplane out.  Yet, she was a she with little or no survival skills that I'm aware of.  And she had another person in the airplane to put up with.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2012, 06:26:30 PM »

... there are alot of ways to bust your butt ...

No pilot on our our Forum would say that pilots should try to turn back to the runway when their engine quits on takeoff below the critical altitude for that particular aircraft to safely make the turn--but pilots die trying to do just that every year.

No pilot on our Forum would say that pilots should take off or continue flying without know for certain that they have all that they need to reach their destination, along with a prudent reserve in case they can't land there, but pilots die of fuel exhaustion every year.

Just because some pilots on our Forum would not want to land on the reef, it does not follow that AE would have done what they say they would have done.  Nor does the fact that some pilots from TIGHAR think they would have landed on the reef mean that AE  would have landed on the reef.

From what one person would or would not have done, it is impossible to predict what another person would or would not have done.

Quote
... a gear up at the lagoon shoreline eliminated any chance of flying the Electra out ...

My own uncertified opinion about AE, for what it's worth, is that she would have tried to save the plane for a later takeoff.  It would make a wonderful story.  I agree with you that a wheels-up landing in the lagoon or on the reef seems unlikely--but I understand that this is something about which reasonable people may reasonably disagree.
LTM,

           Marty
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2012, 07:20:11 PM »


I also don't know about specific claims that the navy fliers 'weren't up to the task' although yes, some reasons have been no doubt been proffered as to how good, otherwise well-qualified people might not have been able to spot the pair - or even as to how preparation and experience may have had some effect. 

There was a very spirited argument put up by one of our moderators to support the conclusion that the Navy searchers weren't up to it. In the end I gave up on the argument, despite having hung out of aircraft looking for things myself and seeing them, because the person involved refused to accept any informed views. I might also add that my training for the task was even less than what he claimed the Navy fliers were supposed to have had. 
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Bill Roe

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Re: Beach the Electra - what if?
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2012, 09:01:06 PM »


From what one person would or would not have done, it is impossible to predict what another person would or would not have done.


Actually, as a result of education, training and experience it is possible that person to predict what another person would or would not have done.  Whether or not they did as predicted is the conjecture.  A meteorologist can predict a fair day tomorrow yet it will rain.

And, to me and others I have conferred with, a wheels-up landing is the likely scenario.  I doubt that Noonan, with his experience, would have been too happy with Amelia if her goal was to save the airplane first.  That scenario isn't a logical option.
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