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Author Topic: New Member-Greetings and a Question  (Read 712 times)

Josh Gillespie

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New Member-Greetings and a Question
« on: January 06, 2017, 10:50:14 AM »

Dear TIGHAR,

Please allow me to first extend my sincere thanks for inclusion in the Forum.

I've been reviewing the available reports and details garnered by years of obviously rigorous work regarding the disappearance of Nungesser and Coli.

Clearly, both aviators were among the best men to elect to attempt the crossing, based on experience, skills and preparation. The PL-8 itself, seems to be the focus of investigation...particularly mechanical failure leading to unrecoverable circumstances (reminds me of McCudden's incident in some ways).

Has there been any discussion regarding either man's physical injuries sustained in the War, and any subsequent impact on performance in an emergency? For example, was the L'Oiseau Blanc difficult to maneuver at slow speeds...or were there expected/unforseen problems arising from either crewman becoming incapacitated?

Additionally, has any study of "CRM" surrounding the two's personalities or experience been investigated? I doubt anything would point to other than a great partnership; Nungesser obviously took prior failures into account while planning (max weight vs. risk), and Coli was expert in his field. However, it is an angle I've not yet encountered in the research.

Sincere Regards,

J. Gillespie
Joshua D. Gillespie
USNA '00
LCDR(fmr), USNR
 
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Jerry Germann

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Re: New Member-Greetings and a Question
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 02:49:18 PM »

Welcome aboard Josh, great to have new members join the discussion forum.

https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/board,19.0.html Lots of great discussion here.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 02:51:45 PM by Jerry Germann »
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Josh Gillespie

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Re: New Member-Greetings and a Question
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 12:37:54 PM »

Please forgive the "re-tread" of what must be well-reviewed data.

I've plotted the "supposed" trail of sightings in Maine that were featured in Arthur P. Dolan's article from 2012.

Based on the accounts detailed, I've identified that at the very least...they lie in a line that ostensibly follows the route Nungesser and Coli planned on taking; though there's a variance, North to South of a considerable distance. Taking the distance sound may/may not travel, these do line up with the "Route 9" area Dolan describes.

The closest area to the "main road" surrounded by marshlands anywhere near 300-400 yards from Old Route 9 seems to be "Bog Brook" road, about 2 miles southeast of China, Maine.

Dolan's description of the "wreckage" he found in '58 is tantalizing, but doesn't sound like a plane that crashed their three decades earlier...Still, that long lake at Teconnet is interesting.

The fact there's a seaplane base there now has me wondering if anyone's cleared Dolan's "wreck" with another aircraft, missing or known.

Does anyone currently associated with the Forum, and present during the earlier Maine expeditions have any thoughts?

Sincerely,

Dizzy
Joshua D. Gillespie
USNA '00
LCDR(fmr), USNR
 
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Jerry Germann

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Re: New Member-Greetings and a Question
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 09:17:05 AM »

Josh,

         My focus has been toward researching Earhart and Noonan as of late, but I have spent a bit of research time on the white bird.
In referencing Dolan's description of the wreckage " but doesn't sound like a plane that crashed their three decades earlier", what elements of his description tend to make you believe it not describing white bird wreckage?
The engine of the white bird, if found, in my opinion, would seemingly make most inquire as to what this could have come from, it being so different from what most folks are used to seeing....beautiful engine!( to us mechanical folk). I haven't visited the museum that holds the landing gear that was jettisoned soon after takeoff, but hope too some day. Here is an image of the gear if you haven't seen it.
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Josh Gillespie

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Re: New Member-Greetings and a Question
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 07:15:42 AM »

Jerry,

Dolan described an engine about "four feet in the air", supported by two parallel "beams" on a rocky outcropping, with nothing else to identify what the craft/equipment originally was, other than some bones he and his friend suspected to be either those of an animal, or a "very small man". He indicated the skull and feet were missing (macabre, but an interesting detail).

Given that at the time, the wreck would've been thirty years old; I would assume that if the debris was situated in such a fashion that the engine was above ground, and perched within remnants of the frame, it would be reasonable to assume other metal parts, such as the instrument panel, parts of the distinctive cowling, and other items would've been apparent. Dolan clearly stated that he didn't initially think of it as being an aircraft...and he professed some knowledge of aviation as a pilot.

I've not found a detailed framing schematic for the re-enforcement made to the hull of the PL.8.01, but what images I have seen would indicate cross members, rather than parallel beams supporting the engine mounts.

I too agree that the engine would've been "notable", particularly if relatively intact...as opposed to compacted in the soil.

In (cautious) support of Dolan's theory...the area around "Old Route 9" would've been in line with both the intended flight path, and the eye witness reports further east of that position. If Nungesser and Coli made it that far before engine trouble, and were looking for  a nice, straight patch of water to make an emergency landing upon...there's a great finger lake within a few miles of Dolan's reported wreck site-So nice, there's a seaplane "base" there today. I "flew" this route on a simulator linked to topography, and discovered that if making an approach on this lake, one would have to clear some surprising features. On a bad night, after more than 30 hours of flying, making an approach with a failing, or failed engine...I can easily imagine coming up short in some of those valleys at low speed.

Ultimately, what gives me pause on Dolan's account is that it was a) so long before he pursued a formal investigation...and b) that whatever he did see was so non-distinct that he didn't give it much thought until later on. It is just as conceivable that he found the frame of an old logging truck or mill rig in that area.

Joshua D. Gillespie
USNA '00
LCDR(fmr), USNR
 
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Josh Gillespie

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Re: New Member-Greetings and a Question
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 07:28:56 AM »

I've attached a frame sketch of the PL.4 for reference.

If any of this matched with the PL.8.01, then one would expect either shorter parallel beams, or a more cross bar apparatus if at the lengths Dolan described. On the other hand, if casually observing something one wasn't looking for...and recalled second hand, years later; perhaps it would make sense.
Joshua D. Gillespie
USNA '00
LCDR(fmr), USNR
 
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