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Ric Gillespie

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Waitt Critique
« on: February 28, 2010, 11:19:53 AM »

My critique of the searchforamelia.org website is posted in TIGHAR News and repeated here.  Critiques of the critique are always welcome.

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In 2006, and again in 2009, the Waitt Institute for Discovery (WID) tested the hypothesis that the Earhart Electra went down at sea in the general vicinity of Howland Island sometime between 2013 GMT and 2100  GMT on July 2, 1937.  Specific search areas were identified based on analyses of a wide range of data including navigation, fuel 
consumption, weather, radio reports, and Earhart’s performance on  previous legs of the world flight.  The search of the sea floor was carried out using technology provided by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Although coverage of the target area was impressively thorough, the aircraft was not 
found.

Until recently the Waitt Institute’s efforts to find the Earhart Electra were kept strictly secret.  To the institute’s credit, having concluded its search, it has now made its data public so that “the area explored can be eliminated from future searches.” The WID 
website www.searchforamelia.org presents a detailed, if somewhat scattered, review of the organization’s search operations and the research upon which they were based. TIGHAR is pleased to accept the Waitt Institute's invitation for comment.

A Fundamental Flaw
Let us acknowledge from the start that no one knows what became of the Earhart Electra. In the absence of indications that something else happened, the intuitive default explanation would be that the flight simply missed a tiny island in a big ocean, ran out of gas, and went down at sea. The Waitt Institute chose to test the hypothesis that the Electra is on the bottom of the ocean somewhere near Howland.  It is not TIGHAR's purpose here to lay out the case for the airplane being somewhere else but, rather, to look at the Waitt Institute’s choice of where on the ocean bottom to look.  The institute conducted an excellent search but the plane wasn’t there. If we accept that the Electra, or some identifiable part of it, still exists, we must conclude that the reasoning that put it in the now-eliminated areas was somehow flawed.

From the information presented on the WID website, one flaw is apparent and fundamental.  The WID hypothesis contradicts the WID’s own data. Simply put – the WID hypothesis has the airplane running out of fuel more than an hour before the WID’s own research says it should.

The WID hypothesis holds that the aircraft ran out of gas sometime in 
the 47 minutes between 2013 GMT and 2100 GMT History>Final Flight http://searchforamelia.org/final-flight.  Crucial to the hypothesis is the estimated amount of fuel remaining at 1912 GMT when Earhart said, “We must be on you but cannot see you, but gas is running low.”  As stated in Research>Appendix 1>Fuel  Remaining http://searchforamelia.org/app-fuel-remaining, “The amount of fuel remaining in the Electra at 1912 GMT is important because it determines how long the aircraft could stay airborne, and how far it could fly, before fuel exhaustion.”

WID’s research, as detailed in Research>Appendix 1>Fuel Remaining http://searchforamelia.org/app-fuel-remaining, reaches the amazingly precise conclusion that the aircraft probably had 3 hours and 4 minutes of gas left at 1912 GMT - enough to remain aloft until 2216.  Why then, does the hypothesis postulate fuel exhaustion less than 2 hours later (by 2100)?

Say What?
The only explanation is offered in Overview>Introduction
http://searchforamelia.org/intro
“According to famous researchers, Elgen M. and Marie K. Long, ‘There is no uncharted island, rock, shoal, reef, sandbar or water less than 30 feet deep within 350 miles of Howland Island. The inescapable conclusion is that shortly after 0843 IST [2013 GMT], Earhart was forced to ditch the plane somewhere within 100 miles of Howland Island.”

Long’s statement is a non sequitur. How does the absence of land within 350 miles of Howland lead to an inescapable conclusion that Earhart was forced to ditch the plane 
somewhere within 100 miles of Howland Island shortly after 2013 GMT?  Why couldn’t she ditch at some other time and at some other distance?   Why the fixation on 2013 GMT?

Inspecting the Foundation
The answer, of course, is that 2013 GMT (08:43 Itasca time) is the generally accepted time of the last in-flight transmission from Earhart heard by Itasca. The assumption that the 2013 GMT transmission and the silence that followed it are indications of the flight’s immediate termination is the foundation upon which the entire Waitt Institute investigation was based.  Given the amount of work that went into speculation about why the aircraft ran out of fuel too soon and the millions of dollars spent searching the ocean bottom on the assumption that it did, it is surprising that the WID website includes no examination of the 2013 GMT message beyond a garbled mention in Radio Call Log http://searchforamelia.org/radio-call-log.

Although it’s a bit like examining the latch on the barn door after the horse is gone, a close look at the 2013 GMT message would seem to be in order.

The final in-flight transmission heard by Itasca is described in one of the two radio logs being kept at the time. The 08:43 (2013 GMT) entry in the original log kept by Radioman 2nd Class William Galten, complete with numerous cross-outs and re-typings, is an important record of the confusion and anxiety that reigned in the radio room that morning. The other log kept by Radioman 2nd Class Thomas O’Hare makes no mention of the call.

According to Galten’s log, the call began at 08:43, almost exactly at Earhart’s scheduled transmission time of forty-five minutes past the hour. Earhart did not say she was running out of fuel.   She gave her position as best she knew it  – “WE ARE ON THE LINE 157 337” - and she said she would send the message again on her other frequency -“WILL REPEAT MESSAGE. WE WILL REPEAT THIS ON 6210 KILOCYCLES.”  - then she said “WAIT.”  At that point there was apparently a pause because Galten made the notations he customarily made at the end of a call – “3105 (the frequency), A3 (meaning “voice transmission”), S5 (meaning the signal was at maximum strength).  But then, on the same line, he added a second message from Earhart “ (?/KHAQQ XMISION WE ARE RUNNING ON LINE N ES S”  meaning “Questionable Earhart transmission, We are running on line north and south.”

The log entry raises some interesting questions: 
- After saying she would repeat the message on 6210 and asking Itasca to “wait,” the next thing Itasca heard was a different message on 3105.  How long was the “wait?”  The answer seems to be twelve minutes.  Three contemporary written sources – Itasca’s commanding officer Warner Thompson, and the two wire service reporters who were on the cruise, James Carey and Howard Hanzlick – reported that the final in-flight call from Earhart was heard at 08:55 (2025 GMT).  For a detailed discussion see Final Words http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Research/Bulletins/49_LastWords/49_LastWords.html

- Why didn’t Earhart repeat the message on 6210 as she said she would?  Maybe she did.  Twelve minutes is plenty of time to switch to 6210, repeat the message, receive no response, and come back to 3105 with additional information, “We are running on line north and south.”

- Why didn’t Itasca hear her if she transmitted on 6210?  No one knows, but almost every pilot has had the experience of being unable to contact a ground station on a perfectly good frequency with a perfectly good radio.  When that happens you simply return to the previous frequency – as it appears Earhart did.

- Why didn’t Itasca hear anything on either frequency after 08:55 (20:25 GMT)? Again, no one can say for sure, but it seems entirely plausible that having failed repeatedly to establish communication on either frequency she simply stopped trying.  There is also the point that Itasca did hear signals on 3105 later that evening and over the next several nights.

Perhaps the Electra did abruptly and inexplicably run out of fuel more than an hour before WID’s calculations say it should have, but there is nothing in the last in-flight transmission heard by Itasca to suggest that happened.  When last heard from at 20:25 GMT Earhart was still trying to find Howland Island.


Misinformation
Apparently uncomfortable with basing a hypothesis on Long’s assumption that the aircraft ran out of fuel so quickly after 2013 GMT that there was no time to make a “Mayday” call, the WID hypothesis expands the window 47 minutes to 2100 GMT (even though WID calculates that the plane should have been able to remain aloft until at least 2216 GMT). The rationale for extending the time to 2100 GMT without a distress 
call is explained in Final flight (http://searchforamelia.org/final-flight):
 “While continuing to search for a sign of Howland, Earhart’s tanks ran dry between 2013 GMT and 2100 GMT. The left engine likely quit first – it powered the only generator on the aircraft–and the radios required this generator to transmit and receive.”

But that’s not true. The radios on the Electra did not require the generator to transmit or receive. Joe Gurr, who worked on Earhart’s radios, sent a telegram to Putnam on July 5, 1937 saying, “Not necessary have motor running for operation radio on Earhart plane stop two batteries carried will permit operation independent of charging generator mounted on motors.”  For the complete telegram see http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=2013&CISOBOX=1&REC=1

As explained by TIGHAR's radio expert, LCDR Bob Brandenburg, USN (ret):
"The radios, like every other electrical device on the aircraft, got their power via the dynamotor under the pilot’s seat which boosted the voltage provided by the 12-volt main electrical bus which drew from either of the two batteries – the main battery under the floor in the center section and the auxiliary battery in the rear cabin.  The generator charged the batteries.

It was impossible to operate the transmitter from the generator alone because the generator output was limited to 50 amps by the generator control unit, and keying the transmitter would start up the dynamotor, which drew 60 amps. Therefore, it was necessary to have at least one of the batteries on the bus, to provide the additional current required during transmission.   When the transmitter was in standby, the battery would receive charge from the generator.

However, given the battery capacity, it was possible to transmit on battery power alone for a combined total of about 2 hours, if both batteries were fully charged at the outset."

So we’re back to both the engines going silent within a couple minutes of 2013 GMT even though Earhart seems to have been aloft and talking at 2025 GMT and, by WID’s own calculations, the airplane should have been able to continue aloft for another hour or more.

Misrepresentation
In his book Amelia Earhart – the Mystery Solved, Elgen Long got the engines to quit before they should have by alleging that Earhart mismanaged her power settings to overcome headwinds he imagined that she encountered. The WID Hypothesis gets rid of the unwanted fuel by postulating a failure of the Cambridge Exhaust Gas Analyzer (referred to by WID as the Cambridge Fuel Analyzer or CFA). The justification for the proposed failure is offered in Research>Navigation Paths>Detailed Fuel Consumption Analysis http://searchforamelia.org/fuel-analysis, “Apparently the CFA was also somewhat fragile, as it was frequently being repaired throughout the World Flight, at many of AE’s intermediate stops where maintenance was available.”

It was? Research>Navigation Paths>Detailed Fuel Consumption Analysis http://searchforamelia.org/fuel-analysis notes that the analyzer failed en route to Karachi. The plan was for repairs to be made in Calcutta or possibly Singapore, but the only 
mention of repairs actually being made was in Bandoeng. The analyzer may also have been the instrument that required a return to Bandoeng from Surabaya because it didn’t stay fixed.  That’s one failure and possibly two fixes. In Lae, a “new cartridge” was fitted to the analyzer on the starboard engine. See The Chater Report http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Documents/Chater_Report.html.  To say that the Cambridge Exhaust Gas Analyzer was “frequently being repaired throughout the World Flight, at many of AE’s intermediate stops where maintenance was available.” is simply not accurate.  Maybe the analyzer failed en route to Howland, but there's absolutely no evidence that it did.


Flawed Science, Great Technology
The WID hypothesis was based on a single pre-conceived conclusion - that the supposed failure of Itasca to hear anything further from the Earhart aircraft after 2013 GMT was due to premature fuel exhaustion. When WID's analysis of the airplane’s fuel consumption resulted in too much gas, events were imagined that would bring the data in line with the pre-ordained moment of crisis. Rather than change the hypothesis to fit the data, the data are skewed to conform with the hypothesis. This inversion of the scientific method is a systemic problem that runs through the entire selection of where to search. The search itself, by contrast, appears to have been well executed. The Waitt Institute is to be commended for valuable experience gained in the application of deep sea technologies.

Until there is proof that something else happened, it remains possible that the Earhart aircraft ran out of gas and went down somewhere in the open ocean.  With the mounting evidence that something else did happen, that possibility grows increasingly remote.



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Mark Petersen

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 04:16:51 PM »

Great critique!  Regarding:  "Long’s statement is a non sequitur. How does the absence of land within 350 miles of Howland lead to an inescapable conclusion that Earhart was forced to ditch the plane somewhere within 100 miles of Howland Island shortly after 2013 GMT?  Why couldn’t she ditch at some other time and at some other distance?   Why the fixation on 2013 GMT?"

This is a good point that goes to the heart of the crashed and sunk theory.  If a pilot has 3+ hours of fuel remaining, ditching prematurely seems completely illogical.  Instead there seems to be only two options available.  1) Continue the search for Howland, possibly "mowing the lawn" by traversing up and down the LOP, or 2) flying down the LOP to the only other known location of dry land (Gardner and McKean).  In both cases I would think that AE and FN would have attempted further radio contact, but flying down the LOP would place the Electra much further from the Itasca where radio contact would presumably be more difficult.  I know that TIGHAR has heavily researched the radio capabilities of AE's Electra.  Is it TIGHAR's opinion that the reason that the Itasca detected no further radio transmissions after 2013 GMT was because of the distance involved in the flight to Niku, or should it have been the case that any radio transmissions would have been detected if they had been made?   

Incidentally, I think that one of the best "findings" that came out of the Waitt expedition was this video (http://wid.waittinstitute.org/pov-howland-island).  This graphically shows just how difficult it would have been to detect low-lying Howland island when looking into the sun while also having to contend with shadows from scattered clouds that just happen to look exactly like Howland.  It's sobering to think that AE and FN may have seen but not recognized their destination.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2010, 05:18:13 PM »

Great critique!  Regarding:  "Long’s statement is a non sequitur. How does the absence of land within 350 miles of Howland lead to an inescapable conclusion that Earhart was forced to ditch the plane somewhere within 100 miles of Howland Island shortly after 2013 GMT?  Why couldn’t she ditch at some other time and at some other distance?   Why the fixation on 2013 GMT?"

Because that was the time of the last recorded transmission?

I guess their implicit argument is: if the plane had stayed in the air, the Itasca would have heard other transmissions; they heard no other transmissions, so the plane must have splashed and sank shortly after 2013 GMT."

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... Is it TIGHAR's opinion that the reason that the Itasca detected no further radio transmissions after 2013 GMT was because of the distance involved in the flight to Niku, or should it have been the case that any radio transmissions would have been detected if they had been made?    

Speaking for myself and for no other TIGHARs, I think there was something odd about AE's equipment on her daytime frequency of 6210 kcs.  Her transmissions were not heard in Lae until four hours after the flight began. That suggests to me that she could easily have been in the air for another three or four hours, transmitting on 6210 kcs but not being heard because of some aberration in her setup.  Radio propagation is tricky.  There is a lot of controversy about the antennas on NR16020.

Quote
Incidentally, I think that one of the best "findings" that came out of the Waitt expedition was this video (http://wid.waittinstitute.org/pov-howland-island).  This graphically shows just how difficult it would have been to detect low-lying Howland island when looking into the sun while also having to contend with shadows from scattered clouds that just happen to look exactly like Howland.  It's sobering to think that AE and FN may have seen but not recognized their destination.

I think the clouds were to the north-east around Howland that morning; that's why the Itasca went searching in that direction.  AE and FN should have been coming in from the south-east, more or less.  My own view is that they didn't get within eyesight of the island.

N.B.: I was wrong.  The clouds were in the north-WEST and the approach to Howland would have been from the south-WEST.  Mea culpa!  MXM, SJ
LTM,

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« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 09:33:08 AM by moleski »
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Ashley Such

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010, 05:39:49 PM »

Interesting critique! Also, that video was really something... But, it was interesting to see Howland Islalnd from her pov. No wonder why it was so difficult to find that island! Thanks for sharing the critique, Ric. :)
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Mark Petersen

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010, 11:36:04 PM »

I guess their implicit argument is: if the plane had stayed in the air, the Itasca would have heard other transmissions; they heard no other transmissions, so the plane must have splashed and sank shortly after 2013 GMT."

I doubt that any pilot in their right mind would ditch a perfectly running plane into the middle of the ocean until such time as the engine was sputtering.  Not if there was still some hope of finding dry land.  So I think Ric's point is valid.  What I was trying to convey though is that the lack of further transmissions after 2013 GMT likely strengthens the argument of a traverse down the LOP and landing at Niku/Gardner. 

Quote
Speaking for myself and for no other TIGHARs, I think there was something odd about AE's equipment on her daytime frequency of 6210 kcs.  Her transmissions were not heard in Lae until four hours after the flight began. That suggests to me that she could easily have been in the air for another three or four hours, transmitting on 6210 kcs but not being heard because of some aberration in her setup.  Radio propagation is tricky.  There is a lot of controversy about the antennas on NR16020.

You might be right.  Let me see if I have the facts correct - The antenna that may have been damaged on take off in Lae was only used for receiving correct?  So I'm guessing that it wouldn't have played a role in the Itasca's ability to receive transmissions.  The trailing 500khz emergency antenna was removed before the flight so that left the dorsal antenna and the loop antenna correct?  I realize that the frequencies used between the two antennas differ, but could both antennas be used for transmission and receiving?  I think I need to read the primer :)   

Getting back to the central point though, if the Electra had continued searching for Howland using the likely scenario of "mowing the lawn" on the LOP, I would think that transmissions would continue to be heard but of varying strengths, similar to the earlier transmissions.  This is particularly true when considering the 3105 "donut" information.  We know that her voice was received at maximum strength at 8:43 when she said that they were running on the line.  If we assume for a moment that she was south of Howland on the LOP and in the sweet spot of the donut when she made that transmission, then I would think that further transmissions would be heard if she were traversing up and down the LOP.  If on the other hand she was traveling down the line to Gardner, the dead zone in the middle of the donut would pass over Howland which would make reception more difficult.  In fact if I take the donut and drag it a long the LOP, with the assumption that the earlier broadcasts were south of Howland , it looks as though Howland would be in the "transmission hole" of the L-10E for most of the journey to Niku.

Quote
I think the clouds were to the north-east around Howland that morning; that's why the Itasca went searching in that direction.  AE and FN should have been coming in from the south-east, more or less.  My own view is that they didn't get within eyesight of the island.

You might be right about this also.  My layman's guess is that navigating to a point somewhere on the LOP should be pretty easy to do, especially since not a lot of time had elapsed since sunrise.  In other words there shouldn't be a lot of navigational error moving from the true LOP to the advanced LOP.  So they must have hit a point on the LOP either north or south of Howland.  With all of the Niku evidence unearthed by Tighar, my bet is that they hit south of Howland. 

I may be wrong about the relative accuracy of reaching a LOP though.  Has anyone with the proper knowledge of sextant navigation gone through an error analysis to see what the margin of error of hitting the LOP would be?

Also on a slightly different tangent, I read somewhere that Noonan had written about the capabilities of navigating by radio bearings. So it seemed as though he had the requisite knowledge to use the RDF.  Has any reason been given why AE took on the RDF responsibilities and not Noonan?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 09:31:42 AM »

... The antenna that may have been damaged on take off in Lae was only used for receiving correct?  So I'm guessing that it wouldn't have played a role in the Itasca's ability to receive transmissions.

Correct.

Quote
The trailing 500khz emergency antenna was removed before the flight so that left the dorsal antenna and the loop antenna correct? 

90% correct.  It's wrong to call it an "emergency antenna."  When competent radio operators were aboard, it could have been used for communication with more stations (on 500 kcs) and at greater distances (on 3105 kcs and 6210 kcs).  AE and FN's refusal to learn Morse code was one of the big links in the accident chain.

Quote
I realize that the frequencies used between the two antennas differ, but could both antennas be used for transmission and receiving?

Not without rewiring the transmitter to do so.

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I think I need to read the primer :)   

The largest category of articles on the Ameliapedia is "Radio Considerations." I'm certain that almost every article on that topic has links to research papers on the rest of the site.  For me, the great explanation of why AE and FN got lost was that there was a huge failure to communicate.

Quote
Getting back to the central point though, if the Electra had continued searching for Howland using the likely scenario of "mowing the lawn" on the LOP, I would think that transmissions would continue to be heard but of varying strengths, similar to the earlier transmissions.  This is particularly true when considering the 3105 "donut" information.  We know that her voice was received at maximum strength at 8:43 when she said that they were running on the line.  If we assume for a moment that she was south of Howland on the LOP and in the sweet spot of the donut when she made that transmission, then I would think that further transmissions would be heard if she were traversing up and down the LOP.

If she had stayed on 3105 kcs and if they had mowed the lawn, yes, probably.  So far as I know, Bob Brandenburg has not done a similar study of the "donut hole" for 6210 kcs.  All of the Itasca receptions were on her "nighttime frequency" of 3105 kcs.  When she said she was switching to 6210 kcs, no more transmissions were heard on that frequency.

Quote
If on the other hand she was traveling down the line to Gardner, the dead zone in the middle of the donut would pass over Howland which would make reception more difficult.  In fact if I take the donut and drag it a long the LOP, with the assumption that the earlier broadcasts were south of Howland , it looks as though Howland would be in the "transmission hole" of the L-10E for most of the journey to Niku.

Quote
I think the clouds were to the north-east around Howland that morning; that's why the Itasca went searching in that direction.  AE and FN should have been coming in from the south-east, more or less.  My own view is that they didn't get within eyesight of the island.

You might be right about this also.

No, I was wrong.  I should have double-checked.  The clouds were in the north-WEST and the flight would have been approaching from the south-WEST.  My bad!   :P  I have more than a touch of navigational dyslexia. 

Quote
My layman's guess is that navigating to a point somewhere on the LOP should be pretty easy to do, especially since not a lot of time had elapsed since sunrise.  In other words there shouldn't be a lot of navigational error moving from the true LOP to the advanced LOP.  So they must have hit a point on the LOP either north or south of Howland.  With all of the Niku evidence unearthed by Tighar, my bet is that they hit south of Howland. 

The experts in TIGHAR agree with you (I'm not one of them).

Quote
I may be wrong about the relative accuracy of reaching a LOP though.  Has anyone with the proper knowledge of sextant navigation gone through an error analysis to see what the margin of error of hitting the LOP would be?

Not that I remember.  The calculation of the margin of error depends on the assumptions you make about the reliability of Noonan's eyesight, atmospheric conditions, the accuracy of his watch, the accuracy of the altimeter, and the quality of Noonan's tables and calculations.

Some of the trained navigators on the old Forum said +/- 5 miles was good enough for the Strategic Air Command in their training of navigators.

Quote
Also on a slightly different tangent, I read somewhere that Noonan had written about the capabilities of navigating by radio bearings. So it seemed as though he had the requisite knowledge to use the RDF.  Has any reason been given why AE took on the RDF responsibilities and not Noonan?

Noonan knew all about the theory and practice of RDF from his navigation for Pan Am.  But on those flights, he gave information to and received information from professional radio operators who were "talking" (in code!) with other professionals.  He was probably not a better radio operator than AE.  She probably wanted to be the one whose voice was heard and who was known to be at the controls of the radio as well as of the airplane (Wiley Post was so chagrined at being criticized for having Harold Gatty aboard as his navigator on his first round-the-world flight that he repeated the trip solo).
LTM,

           Marty
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Mark Petersen

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 11:23:00 AM »

Marty, many thanks again for taking the time to fill in my significant gaps in knowledge about the final flight and the capabilities of AEs L-10E.  I'll read up on the links that you've provided.  This website and the forum are a tremendous resource, thanks for putting the effort into it so that others like myself can benefit. 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2010, 11:53:36 AM »

Sorry to semi hijack this thread but for the navigational 'newbies' out here on the forum could someone point me in the direction of an 'idiots' guide to navigatiojn techniques used on AE's round the world flight  :)
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2010, 12:27:50 PM »

Sorry to semi hijack this thread but for the navigational 'newbies' out here on the forum could someone point me in the direction of an 'idiots' guide to navigatiojn techniques used on AE's round the world flight  :)

First, read the short FAQ How did Noonan navigate?
Next, read the longer but really nifty FAQ What is the significance of Earhart's statement, "We are on the line 157 337"?
It wil also help if you read the very short FAQ What is Offset Navigation?

To answer an earlier question, Noonan felt he could reliably hit a line of position within ten miles.  That doesn't mean he could hit a particular spot on the line - only that when he said he was "on the line" that line was up to ten miles wide.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2010, 02:20:03 PM »

Thanks, will give it a go!
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2010, 04:53:55 PM »

Marty, many thanks again for taking the time to fill in my significant gaps in knowledge about the final flight and the capabilities of AEs L-10E. 

My pleasure.  It took about an hour to compose the answer because I had to scrounge around a bit; and that led to some editing of articles, etc.

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I'll read up on the links that you've provided. 

Good man! 

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This website and the forum are a tremendous resource, thanks for putting the effort into it so that others like myself can benefit. 

You're most welcome.  Thanks for participating in the forum.  A forum with no posts is no fun.  (Don't ask me how I know.)
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2010, 04:55:29 PM »

First, read the short FAQ How did Noonan navigate?
Next, read the longer but really nifty FAQ What is the significance of Earhart's statement, "We are on the line 157 337"?
It will also help if you read the very short FAQ What is Offset Navigation?

There are also some articles in the Ameliapedia in the Navigation category.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Ashley Such

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2010, 09:20:44 PM »

By the way, did AE have her radio direction finder out of the morning of July 2nd?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2010, 09:45:21 PM »

By the way, did AE have her radio direction finder out of the morning of July 2nd?

Something is missing or mis-typed in your question.

She had her own DF.

Unfortunately, she did not know how to use it:

LTM,

           Marty
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Mona Kendrick

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Re: Waitt Critique
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2010, 01:10:03 PM »

Quote from: moleski

 AE and FN's refusal to learn [url=http://tighar.org/wiki/Morse_code
Morse code[/url] was one of the big links in the accident chain.


But learning Morse Code wouldn't have solved her problem.  It's not practical to fly and send/receive Morse at the same time because Morse requires close, undivided attention, whereas there's never a time when a pilot should stop monitoring heading, altitude, etc. even when using an autopilot.  As for Noonan, I would imagine that his navigation kept him too busy to contemplate keeping up with an hourly radio schedule.  Thus the attractiveness of voice communications, which are much more amenable to multi-tasking.


















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