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Author Topic: Grand Rapids trip (2-2-V-1)  (Read 139248 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2014, 08:09:21 AM »

If it had Amelia's name on it, someone, somewhere, probably kept it.

That seems like a logical assumption, but Earhart's name was probably not on the documents we're looking for. 

We know this much:
The FAA periodically destroys old records. Some time in the 1970s an order came down to destroy records from the period that included the spring of 1937 when NR16020 was repaired.  There is a notation in the FAA file indicating that the Smithsonian (presumably NASM) asked that certain boxes of records be given to them rather than being destroyed.  This request was apparently honored because Lockheed Report #490, dated 4-16-37, which describes modifications to strengthen the nacelle ribs on NR16020 ended up in the NASM Library Special collections section.  Neither Earhart's name nor the plane's registration number appear anywhere in that report.  The plane is referenced only as "Serial No. 1055". 
It appears that when people at NASM (archivists, librarians, interns?) were reviewing the contents of the boxes, whoever snagged that report happened to know that Earhart's Electra was c/n 1055.  It's possible that other reports detailing changes made during the repairs were not recognized as Earhart-related documents.  For that matter, we don't know whether all of the boxes of saved documents were ever examined and cataloged.  Budget cuts have meant that a lot of work like that has been on hold.  In any event, we intend to find out.
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Jennifer Hubbard

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 06:18:24 PM »

On the destruction of FAA records:

Government records are generally controlled by specific record retention schedules. For example, the FAA's current schedules are posted here:

FAA record retention schedules
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2014, 06:35:35 PM »

Further research today suggests that there is no missing record describing repairs to NR16020 but there are indications that undocumented shortcuts may have been made.
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2014, 11:58:13 PM »

In conjunction with your recent trip to Grand Rapids Ric...I've been very curious since the D.C. Conference on how this certain piece of metal that you had on display and mentioned in the recent news release...was rather in somewhat of a perfect condition. What I'm driving at here is I was taken by the near mint condition of the rivet holes and how over this long period of time we really don't see that much deterioration on this metal. I used to roof for many years and know what riveting does to sheet metal if it gets torn off or pulled off of an object. I find it rather interesting that these holes on this metal are still "perfect" per say. Usually, when that type of metal gets torn off or ripped off...the holes usually go with it. Not this case...So the question is WHY? I'm trying to fit Earhart and Noonan into the picture of stomping on the sheet metal trying to get out of the bottom or the sides of the plane. I guess I don't see them getting out with all the rivets just falling out of the holes with that "JUST LIKE THAT" philosophy. Or such is the case that islanders just pulled the skin right off the plane. There had to be some explanation!!!  Anyway, someone fill me with their ideas on this scenario. Thanks!!!!
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 04:55:13 AM »

I guess I don't see them getting out with all the rivets just falling out of the holes with that "JUST LIKE THAT" philosophy. Or such is the case that islanders just pulled the skin right off the plane. There had to be some explanation!!!  Anyway, someone fill me with their ideas on this scenario. Thanks!!!!

The supposition about the deformation seen in the artifact was given in the very first reports about it.

2-2-V-1

Research Bulletin 32

Found Objects - Aircraft Skin

I'm three-for-three right now.  Every reference to the artifact on TIGHAR's website mentions a theory of how it might have come to be in its current condition.

Any one of those will answer your question.  Or you could search for more.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2014, 08:07:33 AM »

What I'm driving at here is I was taken by the near mint condition of the rivet holes and how over this long period of time we really don't see that much deterioration on this metal.

There are many remarkable things about this artifact.  The mint condition of most of the rivet holes is conclusive evidence that they were not drilled out or pried out.  A fluid force (air or water) struck the interior - that is, inside the airplane - surface of the skin with sufficient force to blow the heads off the rivets and fracture the sheet.  The artifact was obviously once part of a larger sheet of aluminum. The force that caused the failure was so strong and so narrowly focused that, rather than the entire sheet separating from the aircraft, the aluminum fractured and tore in this one section.  None of the four edges of the artifact is a manufactured edge. This thing busted out of the middle of a larger sheet.  Think about that.

As for the present condition of the metal, there is minimal corrosion.  Most of the aircraft aluminum we've found in the village shows very little corrosion.  Aircraft aluminum holds up well on land at Nikumaroro. The artifact, unlike other aircraft metal found in the village, has remnants of marine growth suggesting that it spent some period of time underwater.   
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John Joseph Barrett

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2014, 06:23:12 PM »

Ric,

A couple of thoughts about this artifact. Once in my misspent youth we decided that it would be fun to toss a 1/4 stick of dynamite in my mother's newspaper mailbox (the plastic kind). While the explosion was quite intense and the mailbox displayed an amazing amount of hangtime, the part I remember the most was the pole still standing and swaying back and forth, with the bolt that had held the bracket to the box still intact, complete with washer. Why this is noteworthy is that when I looked at the bracket itself, it was perfectly fine as well, the bracket having been popped right over the washer and nut with no damage to any of the parts. The box was not nearly so fortunate. Depending on the force applied, I think it quite possible for an aluminum sheet to pop off of rivets without distorting the sheet. Also, keep in mind that rivet heads tend to be very thin. I can envision the heads bending up or shearing from the shaft before the sheet would distort. Lastly, in the location where this panel would have been if it were part of the plane, is there any structure that would tend to concentrate the hydraulic force in such a manner to create the artifact as we see it? I'm picturing an access panel in the floor or similar that, if open, could allow a sudden blast of water in to create the artifact.

LTM- Who is still mad about the wanton destruction to this day.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2014, 07:25:31 PM »

If the tail section broke at the cabin door (weak point) then could one tear be from that failure and the other 3 tears from a water blast slamming thru the now open end, hitting that section at the right angle?

 I was thinking the piece that looks like a leading edge of a wing in the Glickman Debris Field may have had a similar failure. A blast of water thru the wheel well that blew out the leading edge of a wing.
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2014, 07:34:26 PM »


 I was thinking the piece that looks like a leading edge of a wing in the Glickman Debris Field may have had a similar failure. A blast of water thru the wheel well that blew out the leading edge of a wing.

Is the narrative changing? I thought the anomaly from the Glickman Debris Field was supposed to be a fender.

In any case, a blast of water through the wheel well would end up in the engine compartment where there is no leading edge of a wing. Just an engine mounted on a frame, surrounded by a nacelle.

Tim
Chairman,  CEO
PanAm Systems

TIGHAR #3372R
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2014, 08:23:29 PM »

In any case, a blast of water through the wheel well would end up in the engine compartment where there is no leading edge of a wing. Just an engine mounted on a frame, surrounded by a nacelle.
I was only speculating Tim but I don't think you are right about no skin behind the engine. See this picture from the Purdue Archives
I think the skin should be there because it is stressed skin and removing skin there would weaken the wing even though there is a main beam there.
Does anyone know if the 4 or 5 pulleys in that picture stayed there after the plane was finished?
3971R
 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 09:10:00 PM by Greg Daspit »
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2014, 03:57:09 AM »

All those holes essentially makes that entire engine area immune to the types of water pressure you are conjecturing. Also, water would pour in through the front of the engine in even greater volume.
Tim
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PanAm Systems

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Tim Collins

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2014, 07:18:39 AM »

...
The mint condition of most of the rivet holes is conclusive evidence that they were not drilled out or pried out.  A fluid force (air or water) struck the interior - that is, inside the airplane - surface of the skin with sufficient force to blow the heads off the rivets and fracture the sheet. 

I find that hard to believe, frankly, that so many of the rivets would give way with such little little or no evidence of resistance on the skin. And I can't imagine that rivets used in aircraft construction, or repair for that matter, were meant to be "break away" elements. 

...The force that caused the failure was so strong and so narrowly focused that, rather than the entire sheet separating from the aircraft, the aluminum fractured and tore in this one section.  None of the four edges of the artifact is a manufactured edge. This thing busted out of the middle of a larger sheet.  Think about that.
...

Ok, so back up about three feet. How and why would said force be so narrowly focused at that particular spot? 

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John Ousterhout

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2014, 07:38:41 AM »

Greg - the pulleys are for the controls for the engine (throttle, mixture, carb heat, mags, maybe cowling flaps, maybe prop).  The cables that operate the pulleys are routed from the cockpit.  As you can see, the cables are fairly small diameter - they don't have to handle much load, need to be lightweight, and need to be flexible.  They would even make good fishing line in some cases.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 08:18:05 AM by John Ousterhout »
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2014, 07:43:09 AM »

I'm not a materials expert, but I would expect TIGHAR is well on the way to finding one to contribute to the overall body of knowledge.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Grand Rapids trip
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2014, 08:01:02 AM »

The force I am conjecturing would be equal to what would throw boulders the size of bull dozers up on the reef as seen in this aerial tour of Nikumaroro (at 16 minutes). 
If this force hit the plane that was wedged in a reef goove and the force was blocked by some other part of the plane, then it could become focussed and blow part of a panel out. Also consider that a large panel could be over a hole or groove. That surf force hits the full panel and possibly only the unsupported part of the panel fails even though the whole panel gets hit.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 08:31:03 AM by Greg Daspit »
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