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Author Topic: Electra Handling?  (Read 60129 times)

C.W. Herndon

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2012, 04:12:10 PM »


I've been reading - trying to figger out how you got that impression.  My understanding is that she was taking off on wet psp.  Slippery stuff.  Real slippery.  My impression is that she tried to correct with the yoke.  At least that would explain the eye witness account of the accident.  She probably would not have ground looped had she provided some right rudder before lift off.  I'll have to search and try to find her accident interview.



The photo you posted above shows the runway at Luke to be turf, not PSP. I was at Luke Field on Ford Island last year and the runway is still turf.

gl

Gary, I disagree with you. If you look closely at the area in front of the electra, see picture, that you referenced, below, there are many scars in the surface of the "Mat" where the aircraft came to rest. The accident report says "The airplane spun sharply to the left sliding on its belly and* amid a shower of sparks from the mat came to rest....". An aircraft sliding on turf does not normally produce sparks and usually rolls up a portion of the turf. There is no rolled up turf in the crash pictures.

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Luke_Field_Crash_Report/LukeFieldReport.htm

Further, the TIGHAR interview with Gerald V. Berger, a reported eye witness to the crash and the driver of the "crash truck" says "Newman" (Noonan) "was pretty uptight about his charts and insisted on getting them out of the airplane. We were all worried because there was gas all over the ground and puddling up where the hot bottom cylinders had dug gouges in the macadam.....".

 http://tighar.org/wiki/Disaster_at_Luke_Field

I have seen some comments about the surface of Luke Field being linked steel plates (PSP) but from looking at the items here that also appears to be incorrect. It seems, from the information here, more likely that the surface may have been macadam (asphalt). This is not mentioned in the crash report, only that "approximately 50 square feet of the Luke Field landing mat was damaged necessitating replacement".
Woody (former 3316R)
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« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 06:01:36 PM by C.W. Herndon »
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2012, 04:15:03 PM »

Good sumation Marty. I also read the wiki article about the "Disaster at Luke Field" and found the interview with Gerald V. Berger very revealing. It's another one of those numerious things I had not seen before.

The site is "Buried Alive" with information!  ???

Quote
The Marbles No. 2 Hand Ax picture looks familiar. Is that the one I posted before?

Of course it is.  I'm a horder.  I take pretty things back to the wiki.   ::)

Great! I'm a hoarder too. Just glad I was able to help a bit for once.
Woody (former 3316R)
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« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 05:41:03 PM by C.W. Herndon »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2012, 04:29:01 PM »

The photo you posted above shows the runway at Luke to be turf, not PSP. I was at Luke Field on Ford Island last year and the runway is still turf.
The Board of Officers seems to have been convinced that there was a mat on the field:

  A special guard of enlisted men had previously been stationed at 200 feet intervals between the hangar line and the runway for the dual purpose of keeping the mat clear and to check the point at which the airplane left the ground. As Miss Earhart taxied down the mat a Navy "Grumman" airplane taxied out from the Navy side and in spite of efforts by a Naval Officer to wave him down, followed her to the end of the runway and parked off the mat out of her way. Flying conditions at this time were good; ceiling about 3000 feet; wind southerly, not exceeding 2 MPH; visibility at the surface about 3,500 feet rapidly increasing with advancing daylight.
  THE CRASH:
  On reaching the end at the at Miss Earhart turned and after a brief delay opened both throttles. As the airplane gathered speed it swung slightly to the right. Miss Earhart corrected this tendency by throttling the left hand motor. The airplane then began to swing to the left with increasing speed, characteristic of a ground-loop. It tilted outward, right wing low and for 50 or 60 feet was supported on the right wheel only. The right-hand landing-gear suddenly collapsed under this excessive load followed by the left. The airplane spun sharply to the left sliding on its belly amid a shower of sparks from the mat and came to rest headed about 200 degrees from its initial course.   The fire truck had followed along the side of the mat during the take-off and reached the scene within a few seconds as did the observers nearest the crash.

... All unauthorized persons were cleared from the mat and the work of salvage initiated by the Depot Engineering Officer without delay.

...   Depot personnel then commenced to disassemble the airplane, preparatory to removing it from the mat.

... at this time it was announced by Mr. Mantz, technical advisor for Miss Earhart, that she would take-off from Luke Field as the mat afforded better conditions than Wheeler Field ...

... that after a run of approximately 1,200 feet the airplane crashed on the landing mat due to the collapse of the landing gear as the result of an uncontrolled ground loop ...

... approximately 50 square feet of the Luke Field landing mat was damaged necessitating replacement ...


Now, I know that people lie or make mistakes, alone and in groups; but the simplest explanation, to my taste, for the recurrence of the word "mat" in the report is that there was a "mat" of some sort on the field.

The word "mat" appears in a few of the witness reports as well. 

I concede that none of this proves that there was a mat on the field.  It only proves that a large number of people said there was a mat on the field.
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2012, 04:33:56 PM »

... she made an absolutely masterful takeoff from Lae ...

Well Marty, I disagree with you an this one. She forgot (or otherwise failed) to follow the procedure from Lockheed and didn't extend the flaps to the proper position for takeoff which resulted in the overly long takeoff roll and could have resulted in disaster.

She may have decided to do that on purpose (she may have been mistaken in her purpose, but we don't know that it was carelessness).  She controlled the plane well and didn't panic when it sank into ground effect over the water.  Any takeoff you can fly away from is a good one.   ::)
LTM,

           Marty
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2012, 06:44:11 PM »

I may be wrong but PSP was not invented until later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsden_Matting
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2012, 07:09:13 PM »

I may be wrong but PSP was not invented until later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsden_Matting

None of the Naval testimony used the term "PSP" or Marsden Matting.

It appears that other materials could be called "landing mats." "Work was completed on four double hangars, a paved 800 x 3,000-foot landing mat, dock, boathouse and mole, sewer system, fresh water system, radio building, operations building with a fenced magazine area, railroad and parallel highway by July 21, 1937.  Navy censors blocked out Pearl Harbor."

Ah.  This may be the explanation: "At Luke Field, Hawaii, workmen spread a six-inch layer of crushed rock, rolled it, oiled it, and covered it with fine stone.  Reports from Hawaii within a few months told of weeds poking through the 'new and widely-advertised landing mat.'  At Moffet Field, California, putting together a mat entailed hauling in rock, stabilizing it with emulsified asphalt, and finishing it with a coat of asphalt and sand.  An asphalt runway built in 1938 permitted flying at Nichols Field, Philiippine Islands, regardless of the condition of the rest of the field" (Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919-1939).

So there was a "mat" (as defined in the 1930s usage), but there was not a PSP or Marsden Mat.

LTM,

           Marty
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2012, 07:13:41 PM »

Marty, see my #16 reply above.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2012, 07:48:47 PM »

Marty, see my #16 reply above.

I'm pretty sure you meant reply #15, which is about gouges in the macadam, rather than reply #16, which is about being a hoarder.  :)

I think we've added a new factoid to the discussion.  Whatever the "mat" was, it was not PSP or Marsden Matting.
LTM,

           Marty
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2012, 07:55:32 PM »

And just to add to the mystery of just what the Luke Field runway surface was, Private Schultz in his statement used the word "concrete"!  ???
LTM,

Bruce
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2012, 08:03:28 PM »

Marty, correct as usual. You got me again.

I agree with your conclusion about not being PSP. That has both a very distinctive surface as well as distinctive joints. I am not familiar with Marsden Matting unless that is what we called SSP or solid steel planking, in which case it also has very distinctive joints.
Woody (former 3316R)
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2012, 08:07:20 PM »

Marty, correct as usual. You got me again.

I agree with your conclusion about not being PSP. That has both a very distinctive surface as well as distinctive joints. I am not familiar with Marsden Matting unless that is what we called SSP or solid steel planking, in which case it also has very distinctive joints.

Bruce, you just had to add to the intrigue, didn't you.
Woody (former 3316R)
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2012, 08:14:26 PM »

Perhaps the "mat" was solid coral?  I've heard it makes one of the best landing surfaces known in the late 1930's ;)

(sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity.)
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2012, 08:19:15 PM »

I don't think so but "poo" on you anyway.  :D
Woody (former 3316R)
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2012, 08:21:46 PM »

CORALtm -- Concretion Of Rusted Aluminum Lattice
LTM,

Bruce
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Bill Roe

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Re: Electra Handling?
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2012, 08:46:58 PM »


She may have decided to do that on purpose (she may have been mistaken in her purpose, but we don't know that it was carelessness).  She controlled the plane well and didn't panic when it sank into ground effect over the water.  Any takeoff you can fly away from is a good one.   ::)


Whatever her purpose - she was careless.  If not careless then inept. 

Ya gotta point me to the link concerning her lack of panic experiencing ground effect.  Here again, I'm at a loss.  Ground effect is fun.  It's good.  Drag is dramatically decreased and lift - hell, you can go forever.  True - you're somewhat lower than treetop.....well, a whole lot lower than treetop.........you know, you can pull up to avoid the waves?    ;)

Sorry 'bout the psp reference.  That came from experience and reading the report - making an assumption. 

For Gary LaPook -  yupper: A-1's - 3;  Mig 17's - 0   before I rotated back.  Then the North Viet Nam pilots got smart ...........
No fixed tail wheel - lotsa air from the prop wash past the rudder.  The engine was so powerful, it was possible due to torque, to flip her on the runway.  Hard right rudder, some stick.  You're right in that we kept the tail on the ground for a good roll.  14,000 lb aircraft carrying 10,000 lbs ordnance, avfuel and me. 

Well, lemme get back to some reading. 
{and, by the way - for those combat pilots on the board, i just finished "Migs Over North Vietnam" by Roger Boniface.  Written with the perspective of the enemy pilot against American pilots.  Boniface went to Viet Nam and interviewed those guys then wrote, on their behalf a somewhat accurate (somewhat bullshit) account of their side.  He does not include those 17's downed by our "Spads'.}  Good read.




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