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Author Topic: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1  (Read 35482 times)

Bessel P Sybesma

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Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« on: October 28, 2014, 07:35:35 AM »

Moving on from the identification of  2-2-V-1 as the window patch, to the investigation of its failure patterns lead to a discussion about the potential forces and their sources that acted on the Electra from the time of  the landing to when the remains finally came to rest on the reef slope below.

For me, this time period has always been somewhat overlooked in these forums.  We know that the crew were able to transmit messages from the aircraft for up to seven days: the last credible record in Bob Brandenburg’s catalog is #175 at 2018 Gardner time on July 7th.  Yet during the late morning of the 9th , around 36 hours later, Lambrecht was unable to identify the aircraft in the surf.

I think it is safe to assume that as long as the transmissions were being made, the airframe remained substantially intact, with most systems still functioning.  But during the same period, the plane was subject to rising and falling tides twice daily.

This leads me to the conclusion that the airframe was clearly able to withstand the forces relating to the tides.

For the same reason, it is unlikely that the Electra was still on the reef but hidden by the surf when Lambrecht passed overhead.  Waves breaking over the fuselage twice daily would have quickly wreaked havoc with the electrics on board, if not destroyed the structure outright. Waves several feet high that are able to cover a plane of that size with spray, can and do destroy heavily built boats on reefs, let alone much lighter built aircraft, in a matter of days.

This means that on the 9th the plane was no longer on the reef, so sometime before then, a distinct, discrete event must have taken place to remove the aircraft from its landing spot.

A strong possibility would seem to be that the landing gear that held the aircraft in place against the continuous back and forth movement caused by wave action, eventually succumbed to fatigue, letting the plane drift away and sink down the slope, substantially intact. The landing gear itself, anchored in a crack in the reef, would then later become the Bevington object.

Another source of forces is the weather. A squall or any high winds could well subject the Electra to sudden catastrophic forces, either destroying it or causing it to break free from the reef and sink.  However, from the logs of the USS Colorado available on line, it would appear that the weather in that vicinity remained relatively stable during the timeframe under consideration (perhaps more investigation is needed to identify the actual weather patterns at Gardner).

For me, all the above makes me think that the aircraft was not destroyed on the reef, but rather sank in just about one piece after being dislodged from its resting spot.

Which of course gives us no clue whatsoever as to how 2-2-V-1 failed in the way it eventually did…
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 08:04:04 AM »

I think that all makes sense.  For the aircraft to be torn apart by wave action requires that it be somehow held in a fixed position  - the immovable object assailed by the irresistible force.  I just don't see that happening.

The failures on 2-2-V-1 paint a complex picture that we don't yet understand.  We'll get some expert help.
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Leon R White

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 09:24:22 AM »

perhaps the most shiny part of the airplane was ripped off by natives with primitive tools?  Either the plane in tact, or the remaining tail section after it broke apart - even upon landing?
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JNev

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 10:07:16 AM »

perhaps the most shiny part of the airplane was ripped off by natives with primitive tools?  Either the plane in tact, or the remaining tail section after it broke apart - even upon landing?

All interesting thoughts, Leon, and all part of the remaining mystery that 2-2-V-1 truly is.

I lean toward the jagged 'shark teeth' as being part of a double staggered row of 5/32 fasteners as we see on the Electra - and the initial failure site (but what do I really know about this sort of analysis, I freely admit). 

There is clearly a cyclic-fatigued area that runs vertically parallel to the 293 5/8" station bulkhead - coincident to where a cyclic bending might easily occur - by man's hand, or perhaps nature.

For that second failure (the cyclic fatigue) to occur the other edges must have been freed from the mothership; the other edges we see surely do not rule out the use of crude tools and rough force.  Even so, if they were cut by something like a machete they seem almost deliberately as straight as one might do with such a tool - makes me think of the carpenter's hatchet in older days when that was an honored country way of rough cutting lumber that would be out of site in a house.

I hope that in time a true expert can ferret out more failure information from 2-2-V-1, just as I of course hope the evidence grows for 2-2-V-1 to be what many of us hope it is.  Wherever this goes, it is a fascinating study to me - I hope others will enjoy and learn from it.  And, who knows...
- Jeff Neville

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Kent Beuchert

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 06:10:56 PM »

Certainly the manner in which the patch got separated generates probably the most skepticism
as to its authenticity. I can think of no plausible natural mechanism and actions by humans seems
at this point unlikely as well, unless done  by Earhart herself. I suppose if she wanted the patch,
she could have kicked it loose from the inside (probably just about the only way, certainly the easiest
way she had), which would account for  a lot of the features it displays. That's my theory -Earhart
removed it from the plane because she needed it (As a cooking implement? A signalling device?) 
and it was the only metal she could easily recover from the aircraft. Removal by Earhart is my best
guess. Either that or the artifact is not from her plane.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 06:26:23 PM »

Certainly the manner in which the patch got separated generates probably the most skepticism
as to its authenticity.

For you perhaps. For me, the various failures, cuts, dents, and gouges are like a story told in a language we don't yet understand. Until we know the story it's impossible to judge whether it could be the patch's story.
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Bessel P Sybesma

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 02:39:57 AM »

Well either the patch was removed by Earhart or by someone else. As per my opening post, it seems unlikely that the patch was detached in a general breakup of the airframe while on the reef.

I also am skeptical that a patch of that size, riveted on all sides, could be kicked free from the surrounding structure.

The only other explanation is that the aircraft disintegrated on its way down the reef slope and this panel somehow made its way back to the surface through wind and wave action, to be picked up by the villagers.

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Dave Lima

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 12:07:51 PM »

Quote
I think it is safe to assume

It's not. It never is.

I find a tendency to think our own armchair conclusions are fact. These type of facts might be found after rigorous scientific analysis, and even then, perhaps we can often only arrive at a probable conclusion if not simply a possible conclusion.

Quote
either the patch was removed by Earhart or by someone else.

How do you know? Were you there? The forgone conclusion developing here in this thread is that the panel was kicked out. We don't know that. If you believe that,

Quote
Waves several feet high ... are able to cover a plane of that size with spray, can and do destroy heavily built boats on reefs, let alone much lighter built aircraft, in a matter of days.

Then why would it be so hard to fathom (no pun) the possibility of the surf action removing the panel, perhaps a long time after the landing. Bevington took a photo in late 1937 and Mims got a firsthand account of a native scavenging a plane wreck in or shortly after 1941. So it seems the Electra could have been bashing around the shore for a few years, and might not have simply sank into the depths a week after landing. The panel could have been kicked out by AE or FN, pried out by an islander, torn out by the surf, or maybe some other scenario we cant image (maybe it failed mid-flight and was already loose). Look at the pieces of the Norwich City; I bet one might be inclined to assume that some of those parts could never have disengaged without human intervention.

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 01:14:03 PM »

LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Nathan Leaf

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 01:21:00 PM »

I see too many possibilities to make this worthy of speculation until Ric & Co. find some expert analysts who can define the parameters of the separation event with a reasonable degree of certainty.

For all we know, the plane lands on the reef, the portside gear catches a rut in the coral, collapsing it.  This sends the port wingtip and prop crashing into the reef, which starts a fuselage spin to port with the port side of the tail assembly dragging along the reef and the starboard gear directing the nose away from the original inertial vector, creating shear stress all along the starboard side of the fuselage. Suddenly, the portside tailfin strikes or catches a rut in the coral (and/or strikes/catches the broken gear), dramatically changing the profile of the physical forces affecting the tail structure versus the forward half of the fuselage.   

This shear stress, along with the violent vibrations and potential buckling of the "crash", tear and/or weaken the patch's fusion points, making it relatively easy to remove.  Or perhaps we even get partial separation and or tearing along a bulkhead of the tail section that weaken the area around or near the patch. 

All kinds of possibilities down this particular rabbit hole begin to appear ... the plane's starboard side remains in tact and elevated enough to run the engine when the tide is low to send radio messages ... the "airplane wreckage" described by villagers was the mangled tail assembly and port side engine nacelle and bent prop (easily masked by the surf during the Lambrecht fly-over), while the fuselage was washed over the edge by the surf a day or two prior to the arrival of Colorado's planes.  Before the fuselage is washed over, the receding surf reveals pieces of scrap from the prop/engine, gear and tail which could be used as tools to pry the patch loose.

My point is, the mind runs wild.  And while letting it run wild is entertaining, it is of little scientific value until we can 'fence in' a defineable space for it to run ... right now, there are myriad possibilities for the separation event, and this will remain the case until TIGHAR locates experts who can begin to define and limit the scope of those possibilities.

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Dan Swift

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 02:40:05 PM »

Once the fuselage had enough water in it to begin sinking rapidly, most likely being pulled down by the weight of the engines and main frame, the incredible pressure builds up toward the tail.  It has to escape and will force it's way out the course of least resistance....the patch....assuming the cabin door was closed and locked as it should be.  I saw a documentary of how the air escaping from the Titanic, especially in the stern section that was filling up with water after the ship broke in two, literally blew out vents and portals with explosive pressure.  Is it possible that the compression of air as the aircraft began to go under literally blew out the patch? 
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tom howard

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2014, 12:51:44 AM »

This is very interesting item, Mr.Neville looks like he added greatly to the intrigue. I applaud the large amount of work that has been done, especially on rivets, reconstruction, and seeing if it fits.
What I find interesting is no comments from the NTSB or Mr.Glickman on possible visible remnants on the exterior side. We see an "AD" possibly, and conclude it was Alcade aluminum and if a "SAMPLE" section was painted or not. It does not appear to me that the whole piece was tested for paint.
 
My eyes may be pulling a TM on me, and I am seeing things, but does anyone else see two "C"'s right above the "AD"?
I am surprised Mr.Glickman did not comment on it, or photograph under alternative light sourcing given this artifact has seen electron microscopes and a huge amount of sophisticated examination.
Are we missing the forest for the trees?
Could this be "CCCP" and fell from space? Or Part of the long gone lettering residue from the PMB that crashed on Howland?

Just throwing it out there, but there seems to be at least 4 letters or numbers, and the two middle ones defintely look like "C"s. They line up perfectly, and this does not look like nature caused it.
Also it is interesting the converging lines scratched into the AD. It looks like that section was repeatedly subjected to abuse and scarring.
Please forgive me if the image does not come through and correct if necessary

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JNev

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2014, 05:35:44 AM »

This is very interesting item, Mr.Neville looks like he added greatly to the intrigue. I applaud the large amount of work that has been done, especially on rivets, reconstruction, and seeing if it fits.
What I find interesting is no comments from the NTSB or Mr.Glickman on possible visible remnants on the exterior side. We see an "AD" possibly, and conclude it was Alcade aluminum and if a "SAMPLE" section was painted or not. It does not appear to me that the whole piece was tested for paint.
 
My eyes may be pulling a TM on me, and I am seeing things, but does anyone else see two "C"'s right above the "AD"?
I am surprised Mr.Glickman did not comment on it, or photograph under alternative light sourcing given this artifact has seen electron microscopes and a huge amount of sophisticated examination.
Are we missing the forest for the trees?
Could this be "CCCP" and fell from space? Or Part of the long gone lettering residue from the PMB that crashed on Howland?

Just throwing it out there, but there seems to be at least 4 letters or numbers, and the two middle ones defintely look like "C"s. They line up perfectly, and this does not look like nature caused it.
Also it is interesting the converging lines scratched into the AD. It looks like that section was repeatedly subjected to abuse and scarring.
Please forgive me if the image does not come through and correct if necessary


Thanks for the compliment.

I'll leave it those more able than myself to comment on any images that may be there, but having seen this part poured over in person by some of gr at ability, I doubt those are letters you are seeing.

In any case, the presence of a brazier head AD 456 rivet (American) probably rules out Russian space debris...  ;)

I don't know of a military crash at Niku.
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 08:51:08 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Ingo Prangenberg

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2014, 05:52:33 AM »


Could this be "CCCP" and fell from space? Or Part of the long gone lettering residue from the PMB that crashed on Howland?


Good grief, we have now arrived at space ships. You can't make this stuff up. Next its aliens, Jimmy Hoffa or early hominid habitation. Tighar is brave to have an online forum in which people can speak openly.
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JNev

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Re: Potential causes of damage to 2-2-V-1
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2014, 08:54:34 AM »


Could this be "CCCP" and fell from space? Or Part of the long gone lettering residue from the PMB that crashed on Howland?


Good grief, we have now arrived at space ships. You can't make this stuff up. Next its aliens, Jimmy Hoffa or early hominid habitation. Tighar is brave to have an online forum in which people can speak openly.

I think Hoffa's safely dead; aliens, however...  8)
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
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