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In your 'evaluated' opinion, what are the main factors in the flight's demise?

Intl. date line time/position confusion
- 0 (0%)
General lack of morse code knowledge by AE and FN.
- 2 (7.1%)
Lack of AE's ability to properly use her 'direction finder.'
- 19 (67.9%)
'Possible' damage to the craft's radio antenna
- 6 (21.4%)
'Premature' abandonment of close in search for Gardner.
- 1 (3.6%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Voting closed: July 14, 2012, 11:19:11 AM


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Author Topic: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors  (Read 8011 times)

don hirth

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Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« on: June 23, 2012, 11:19:11 AM »

This input might be very interesting!
dlh
 
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 03:12:08 PM »

Don----add weather
Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Chris Owens

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Re: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 06:44:28 PM »

Complex failures tend to have multiple interrelated causes.

As a complete amateur, If I were pressed to explain the causality, I would say,
  • AE's failure to understand the criticality to the overall mission of two-way radio communication and RDF, which led to:
  • failure to nail down in advance the details of the radio communication and RDF plan with the Itasca, and
  • developing a plan which did not include aborting the mission unless two way radio and RDF were both verified working, which in turn led to:
  • commencing the flight, even though, on a test flight, she failed to get a reliable RDF bearing on a station, and
  • continuing the flight, even though, shortly after the outset, she had not yet established two-way communications with Lae.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 01:42:15 AM »

Complex failures tend to have multiple interrelated causes.

As a complete amateur, If I were pressed to explain the causality, I would say,
  • AE's failure to understand the criticality to the overall mission of two-way radio communication and RDF, which led to:
  • failure to nail down in advance the details of the radio communication and RDF plan with the Itasca, and
  • developing a plan which did not include aborting the mission unless two way radio and RDF were both verified working, which in turn led to:
  • commencing the flight, even though, on a test flight, she failed to get a reliable RDF bearing on a station, and
  • continuing the flight, even though, shortly after the outset, she had not yet established two-way communications with Lae.
She did understand the requirement of radio since that was part of the plan from the beginning, that is why Manning was hired. When he dropped out Earhart ignored her previous planning regarding the radio and failed to obtain another expert radio operator or to use the ten weeks available to learn radio operation herself, it is not that hard to master Morse code to a usable level. Instead she reduced the capability of her already installed radio equipment. The violation of her own, original, plan led to all the other problems that you listed, which I agree with.

gl
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 01:44:14 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Dave Potratz

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Re: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 09:05:36 AM »

Chris, Gary, Agreed.  Kinda reminds me of that famous WWII Churchill quote: "S/he who fails to plan is planning to fail."   Too bad he didn't come up/out with it about 6-8 yrs earlier.  :-\

In my mind the whole tragedy quite literally "hung on a wire," if one subscribes to the hypothesis that the Electra was without proper antenae when it departed Lae.  The notion is that with those (belly, trailing), AE would have found it MUCH easier to establish and maintain consistent contact with Itasca, therefore obviating what for her loomed as an ocean of uncertainty and confusion.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 09:09:49 AM by Dave Potratz »
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Chris Owens

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Re: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 03:19:41 PM »

Gary -- I think we differ on what it would have meant for AE to "understand the criticality" of RDF and two way radio.  Yeah, she included it in an earlier plan, but when that didn't work out, she went ahead anyhow, which to me means she either didn't understand the consequences, was unable to rationally calculate the risks, or was nearly suicidal in her tolerance for risk.
 
If the plan had included something like, "Checkpoint: 1 hour into the flight. If 2-way radio communications and RDF are not verified OK, then turn back." then the broken belly antenna wire would have been an inconvenience and not a tragedy.
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don hirth

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Re: Main or Only 'Demise' Contributors
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 06:26:22 PM »

Chris and Dave..........I agree. A 'rather' simple one or two equipment check outs at certain intervals 'should certainly' have disclosed a risky situation, communications wise. The more I read and ponder the happenings, the more I begin to see a sort of 'devil-may-care' attitude by AE
and perhaps by FN, as well! Another undesireable element (IMHO) is the crude and problematic
method of their communicating in the craft. I read of  a pole with a message. Was there no
AE/FN capability with in-craft radio to each other? We will never know her state of mind at the
critical time/times leading to the failure, however, I still feel that due preparation and diligence
were somewhat lacking. True enough! A rather complex combination of events were involved.
dlh
 
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