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Author Topic: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?  (Read 30882 times)

Bruce Thomas

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #75 on: December 15, 2011, 08:36:16 PM »


Well that's interesting. Of course that position is a whole lot closer to Hull island then it is to Gardner. Is this included in TIGHAR's list of all radio messages?

gl
Yes, it is included in The Post Loss Radio Signal Catalog as entry 173–80540HS, and listed as "Not Credible."
LTM,

Bruce
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Erik

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #76 on: December 15, 2011, 08:48:37 PM »

Well that's interesting. Of course that position is a whole lot closer to Hull island then it is to Gardner. Is this included in TIGHAR's list of all radio messages?

gl

Incidently, McKean is also a candidate at about 100 miles away.  Carondelet Reef is nearly just as close as Hull.  Which might answer this topic's question of "Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?".  A possible answer regardless of the credibility of the radio message; because they didn't have enough accuracy to confidently identify which island they were on, even though they may have been pretty sure, they intentionally didn't want to send the wrong information.

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #77 on: December 15, 2011, 09:09:07 PM »


Gary
What bothers me is: If they measured their latitude and found it to be 4degrees41minutes S why wouldn't they just transmit it as such?  Why go thru the trouble of converting it to 281 miles N?
I already pointed that out.

Great minds running on the same tracks.

gl

If you didn't know Morse code and were trying to get a message out in Morse by depressing the push-to-talk button on a mic, which would want to send - "4degrees41minutes S" or "281"?
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #78 on: December 15, 2011, 10:12:08 PM »


Ric
Of course!  DUH, forehead slap.
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #79 on: December 15, 2011, 10:48:01 PM »


Ric
Of course!  DUH, forehead slap.
I don't know,
....-   ....-  .----  ...

four four one S
looks pretty easy to me.

..---   ---..   .---- 

two eight one

Oh that is much easier, you save three dots.

But 281 what? from home, from Howland, from the north pole, from California, from the Equator, north or south? Lots of uncertainty unless you add a lot to the message.

There is no ambiguity with just  "four four one S" since 44° 01' south is impossibly far away, more than 3,000 miles from Howland.
Let's see.
KHAQQ 4 41 S
KHAQQ 4 41 S
KHAQQ 4 41 S
KHAQQ 4 41 S
KHAQQ 4 41 S
KHAQQ 4 41 S
Do you think anyone would have trouble figuring this out?



gl
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 01:01:52 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #80 on: December 16, 2011, 12:42:01 AM »



 From GL:  'The flying industry, from before Noonan's time until quite lately, had a practice of carrying only one octant on a plane so this tends to prove that Noonan did not carry two sextants on the Earhart flight.'
 
It wasn't cut and dried.  For example, the B-47 did carry two sextants.  One used by the Navigator-Bombarier in the nose, the other by the copilot in the rear tandem seat behind the pilot.
By the way, the Luke Field inventory did list two drift sights.  The Pelorus drift sight is the one we see in the picture by the nav table (picture below).  The D-270 speed and drift indicator listed  may be the Pioneer drift sight that is described in the New York Herald Tribune article quoted in My Courageous Sister, but I have not seen a picture or description of it.
 
107
1
Ea.Speed & drift indicator, type D-270, with handbook
122
1
Pelorus drift sight, MK II B with extra base

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. What do you think was the name of the company that manufactured the MK II drift meter?
I'll give you a hint, it starts with "P" and ends with "r."

I wrote before that there was a provision for mounting the drift meter in the opened doorway, I have now found the source for that. On the second page of the New York Harold Tribune, March 7, 1937 newspaper article that is published on page 192 of Morrissey's book states:

"An arrangment has been devised to open the cabin door about four inches where it is held rigidly in place. A Pioneer drift indicator is mounted for use looking down through this aperture to check wind drift on the earth or sea below. For this work flares are used at night over water, smoke bombs in daylight."

See the top of the first column on the last page of the article here:

http://www.fer3.com/arc/img/110700.morrissey,%20drift.pdf

http://www.fer3.com/arc/img/110700.double%20drift,%20ho%20216,%201941.pdf


I have attached three photos of my Mk II.
------------------------------------
2, The D-270 is not a drift meter, it is a circular computer similar to an E-6B or the Jensen which is used to calculate the winds from the drift angles measured with the MK II.

----------------------------------------
3. Late models of the B-47 had a mount in the navigator's compartment for mounting the Kollsman Periscopic Sextant. Early models did not so in those planes the navigator used either the MA-1 or the MA-2 hand held sextant. He climbed the stairs on the left side of the cockpit, stood in the cockpit and took his observations through the cockpit canopy. So, only one sextant at a time was carried in the B-47, either a Kollsman periscopic or an MA-1 or an MA-2. I have a attached a photo showing all three, the MA-1 is on the left, MA-2 in the center and the Periscopic on the right. They are all made by Kollsman and have basically the same mechanism. The MA-2 and the periscopic use a bubble horizon while the MA-1 uses a pendulous mirror.

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #81 on: December 16, 2011, 01:43:02 AM »

Specifically what navigational equipment do you think he would be unable to carry in the Electra?


If it were me, I think I'd pack a preventer along - and FN would have realized better than I that one drop to the deck and an instrument is questionable at the very least.  Isn't that how Rickenbacker got in trouble in a B-17 once?  I don't think NR16020 or AE would have known the difference, or cared.

LTM -
We pilots would like to have two of everything but, in spite of this desire, most planes get by with only one engine, one compass, one altimeter, etc. So Noonan with one drift meter and  one octant is certainly within normal bounds.

gl
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Thom Boughton

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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #83 on: December 16, 2011, 02:03:06 AM »

Gary,

Please take this as a compliment.  If I ever commit a crime I'm hiring you as my lawyer. I'm confident you would find a reason to prove I wasn't even at the scene.

To Jeff's latest post....  In the case of a very long trip would you not take a second sextant anyway as a backup?  Your point about it likely being an FN habit is likely bang on. Navigation was FN's career. In fact on a clipper he probably needed the "preventer" less than he needed it on the global trip with AE.
As I said, there is no evidence that Noonan carried a second sextant on the Earhart flight, no witnesses, no documents and no photographs. No marine sextant is listed on the Luke field inventory. Noonan's letter would not be admissible evidence in a court of law to prove that a second sextant was carried on the Earhart flight because it is too remote in time and the circumstances are too different. In fact, the letter itself shows the circumstances are not the same, as Noonan wrote "Due to the spacious chart room and large chart table aboard the Clipper, the navigation equipment need not be so severely limited as in smaller planes..." and no one can dispute that the Electra is a "smaller plane" compared to the S-42. And note, Noonan did NOT say in the letter, "I always carry a marine sextant as a 'preventer.'" And Noonan made no mention of a marine sextant in his article published a year later. (BTW, as to Noonan's experience at sea, ships commonly carried only one sextant.) (Although there is such a thing as "habit evidence," this one letter comes nowhere close to the requirements to prove an action based on a "habit.")
Could they have crammed in an additional sextant, probably, but looking at all the things that Earhart removed from the plane, including even papers and her Colt pistol, a second sextant would seem pretty low on Earhart's priority list. We pilots want two of everything, two engines, two spark plugs in each cylinder, two magnetos on each engine, two fuel pumps, two navcoms, two GPSs, etc., but there is a limit. How about two life rafts, two parachutes for each person, two coffee pots, two "potties?"
By 1937 the Pioneer octant had been perfected and was carried in thousands of Air Force and Navy planes, virtually unchanged, through the end of WW2. Bubble octants are extremely simple and reliable instruments. Bubble octants were used on trans-oceanic airline flights through the 1970's and commonly on Air Force planes until less than ten years ago, (I believe that there are still some Air Force planes with them.) In all of these uses, only ONE octant was carried in each airplane, no "preventer" in B-17s, no "preventer" in Boeing 707s, no "preventer" in B-47s, no "preventer" in C-130s, and no "preventer" in B-52s, and none of these planes were limited by space and weight constraints like the Electra. No second octant was carried in any of these planes because they are so simple and reliable.
So, like I said, there is no evidence to prove that a marine sextant was carried on the Electra, the burden of proof is on those who make that claim.

gl

Are you saying that if FN lost, misplaced, broke or had his primary sextant stolen then he would have been able to get it replaced easily anywhere on the world trip?  Are you also saying that unless it was recorded somewhere in evidence then he couldn't possibly have had it with him?  And aren't all the aircraft you list as having "no preventer" loaded up with modern, electronic nav equipment that have backup systems?  Doesn't that mean the bubble octant in those aircraft is the backup to the backup?  Whereas for FN it was his primary method of navigation?
Please excuse my ignorance of aeronautics and navigation practices.
As to whether celestial was simply a backup to a backup in modern times, here is a link to information about a book about B-52 navigators in the 60's and 70's written by the president of the Air Force Navigators Association. The book is Flying From the Black Hole and I recommend it. This review should be enough to answer your question. Here are parts of it:

------------------------------------------------------
About midway through the course, celestial with an MA-2 sextant replaced
radar as the primary fix technique. "Becoming proficient in night and
day celestial was at the heart of navigator school;
once successfully
accomplished, the student was on the home stretch. For most men, the
celestial phases were the most satisfying part of their entire training
— deliciously elemental disciplines that relied almost wholly on an
individual's wits for success."


Their flying classroom was the T-29, a military version of a twin piston
engine airliner. It had 14 work stations, each with a table, instrument
panel, and radar scope. Students shared five periscopic driftmeters and
four astrodomes. Three or four instructors supervised. The work
environment was difficult: "constant and very fatiguing engine and
slipstream noise, bumpy air, poor cabin lighting, student congestion in
the aisles upsetting tight shooting schedules, balky observation dome
safety harnesses
making one even more late for the precomputed shot that
couldn't wait, and the inevitable, pitiless instructor hovering over a
shoulder -- red pencil at the ready."
[The reason for the safety harness was to keep the navigator from being blown out of the pressureized plane if the dome failed as had happened several times.]

Although B-52s carried the usual radio navigation equipment, it wasn't
used much. SAC's assumption was that in the event of nuclear war all
U.S. and Soviet stations would be down, so only celestial and radar
would be usable for fixes
. It was the EWO (electronic warfare officer)
who actually took the sextant shots. He had initially qualified as a
navigator, wasn't busy during the celestial legs of the mission, and his
station was closer to the sextant port on the B-52's upper deck. The nav
would give him the precomputed azimuth and altitude of the body, then
reduce the sight. It did seem a little unfair that he did the hard work
while the EWO got the fun part of the job.



gl
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 12:40:21 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Thom Boughton

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #84 on: December 16, 2011, 02:10:46 AM »

My only point is that a sun shot from Gardner with a Brandis sextant might reasonably result in an estimate of 281 nm from the equator.

Ric....

Please don't misunderstand....I truly am not meaning to contradict or argue you this point.  No doubt you're quite right.

I guess what I am saying is that, when the dust settles on the matter, isn't 279 miles really just as accurate as 281?  I suspect that either is attained depending upon how you interpolate a sighting which lies between two graduations.  And, in the grand scheme of things, are they not also equally as accurate (as the difference between them ...2nm... is less than the width of the island.)  Therefore, either would just as accurately describe the location of Gardner...just possibly different ends of it.

Just seems as though what we are discussing is a point only barely above the noise level....or possibly not even above.

(Again, mine is not a Brandis....so I fear I may be mixing apples and oranges here.)



....tb
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #85 on: December 16, 2011, 03:20:14 AM »


By 1937 the Pioneer octant had been perfected and was carried in thousands of Air Force and Navy planes, virtually unchanged, through the end of WW2. Bubble octants are extremely simple and reliable instruments. Bubble octants were used on trans-oceanic airline flights through the 1970's and commonly on Air Force planes until less than ten years ago, (I believe that there are still some Air Force planes with them.) In all of these uses, only ONE octant was carried in each airplane, no "preventer" in B-17s, no "preventer" in Boeing 707s, no "preventer" in B-47s, no "preventer" in C-130s, and no "preventer" in B-52s, and none of these planes were limited by space and weight constraints like the Electra. No second octant was carried in any of these planes because they are so simple and reliable.
So, like I said, there is no evidence to prove that a marine sextant was carried on the Electra, the burden of proof is on those who make that claim.

gl
We tend to focus on Earhart and Noonan as being very important people, but in the scheme of things, not so much. Compared to a B-52 on its way to Russia to drop some nukes in an effort to save millions of people in our country from the Russian nukes, Noonan and Earhart don't count at all. Yet, even in light of the importance of the B-52 missions, carrying only one sextant was good enough for Curtis LeMay and the Strategic Air Command (a notoriously hard-assed outfit.) If one sextant was good enough for LeMay then there is no reason to believe that one sextant was not good enough for Noonan.

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #86 on: December 16, 2011, 03:34:04 AM »



Through WW2 celestial navigation was the only method of long range, oceanic navigation. Towards the very end of the war, LORAN-A came on line and was installed in some planes. For example, the B-17 carrying Rickenbacker (a very big VIP on a high priority mission) only had celestial navigation for navigation and had only one octant on board and this was five years after Earhart disappeared. 

gl
The LORAN station on Gardner did go on the air until November 15, 1944, the same for Baker and Canton, see Gardner LORAN station.


gl
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 03:55:29 AM by Gary LaPook »
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #87 on: December 16, 2011, 04:27:05 PM »

I found the source for the argument that FN must have had a second instrument, a "sextant", back on page 3, #32, from GL: "... And that's with a marine sextant which is much more accurate than a bubble sextant."

In researching bubble Sextant accuracy I discovered GL's article on the very subject, in which he test flies a Navey A7, Mk3 Model 1 bubble sextant and proves that even in flight it is sufficiently accurate to find Catalina Island.(http://www.freelists.org/post/navlist/Test-flight-with-A7-bubble-sextant-to-investigate-accuracy-on-Noonans-navigation-on-Earhart-flight)

Gary's test and analysis convinces me that Fred's bubble sextant was accurate enough to locate their position precisely enough, especially standing still. There is no need to invoke a second instrument on board.

Fred's Octant was a Brandis/Pioneer aircraft octant, Bu.Aero Serial 12-36, and likely looked like a conventional marine sextant except for the 90degree limitation.  The resemblance assumes the similar vintage aircraft bubble octants are the same.  Perhaps Gary can tell us why he believes Fred's octant would look like his A7, and the difference in accuracy?
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #88 on: December 16, 2011, 08:02:16 PM »

I'm really hoping that with Ric on hiatus that Gary seizes on this opportunity to try converting TIGHAR believers to the dark side. Then we can hear Gary's hypothesis on the mysterious disappearance of AE and FN. He can tell us all without the fear of Ric jumping all over him.  What an opportunity Gary!! 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Why wasn't Gardiner identified in the radio messages?
« Reply #89 on: December 16, 2011, 08:17:22 PM »

I'm really hoping that with Ric on hiatus that Gary seizes on this opportunity to try converting TIGHAR believers to the dark side. Then we can hear Gary's hypothesis on the mysterious disappearance of AE and FN. He can tell us all without the fear of Ric jumping all over him.  What an opportunity Gary!!
I might take you up on that.

gl
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