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Author Topic: Post-Loss Language  (Read 96312 times)

Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2015, 06:35:50 PM »

Ric said:
Quote
Today we're adamant about "24 hours between bottle and throttle" but it was not always so.  Paul Mantz regularly mixed alcohol and avgas in liberal quantities.

The modern equivalent of what until a few years ago was called the Federal Aviation Regulations, now the Code of Federal Regulations CFR14.91.17(a)1, states eight hours for civil aviation today.  Virtually all the professional pilots I know live by a personal twelve hour rule. Our company policy requires 12 hours.  Ric, did your military background have more stringent rules? 

My husband met Paul Mantz once. It is my understanding that the autopsy revealed Mantz had a high blood-alcohol content after he fatally crashed the "Phoenix" while filming the original "Flight of the Phoenix" movie.  See pic.

Alcohol is bad enough in an automobile, but in an un-pressurized aircraft there can be the added debilitation brought on by mixing alcohol with altitude. (That wasn't he case with Mantz, but I have seen it and it's a really bad show.) I have not seen any indication in any of the videos I've seen that Fred Noonan was alcoholically impaired.  He looks to me to be sober, bright, happy, and having a good time.  I don't want to beat this to death, but absent better evidence to the contrary I don't personally think Fred deserves the rap of a drunkard.

Here is a link to a report on the Mantz crash.   http://www.aerovintage.com/phoenix.htm
Diane James
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« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 07:02:49 PM by Diane James »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2015, 07:18:01 PM »

I don't think anybody here is trying to paint Fred as drunkard.  I hope we're objectively discussing the possibility that the behavior described in Betty's Notebok was alcohol rather than injury related. Concerns about sullying someone's reputation have no place in historical investigation. Earhart herself has not fared well in our inquiry into the probable causes of her demise.
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2015, 11:40:30 PM »

Or it could be that what has been discussed here has nothing to do with alcohol/drugs or hard landings. Good ol' fashion, text book style, heat stroke and dehydration could explain it all. I think had an affect on both of them. Fred may have been in a more serious state. Fred and Amelia may have walked away from the landing on the reef unscathed, only to succumb to injuries do to the harsh environment. One of the first symptoms of heat stroke is dizziness and loss of spatial orientation. Fred may have fallen and struck his head on the coral or something else. It may not have even that bad of an injury. Until infection sets in, then it's serious!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not challenging Dr. Fords' Transactual analysis(TA) of ALBT or his scoring of the post lost transmissions. Quite the contrary. It is a proven method. I was exposed to it at the Naval Post Graduate Schools' Aviation Safety Officer Course back in 1986 and was intrigued by it. Some of my classmates were not so receptive. But I found it an invaluable aid in interviewing witnesses of all genre, from farmers to engineers. You just have to know what to look for. And you have to be able to know when to turn it (TA)off, ie; When around family and friends! It's not that easy! But the science behind it is solid and I'm sure Dr Ford is far more advanced and up to date in the art than I. My point is that even though it was a life-threating event from the get-go,(the whole idea of finding Howland Is.) once they did arrived at Gardner I do believe they acted in a rational manor given the situation, as best they could,  together, to the end. Not TV reality show stuff, but real life and death stuff. As was borne out by Dr Fords' scoring of the false Vs the creditable post lost transmissions. This is good science, it will be fun to see where it takes us.

LTM,
Dave   
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Karen Hoy

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2015, 11:49:59 PM »

Is there any evidence that Fred Noonan could have had carbon monoxide poisoning? Symptoms can include impaired judgment and confusion.

According to http://aviationknowledge.wikidot.com/aviation:carbon-monoxide-poisoning#toc3

The exhaust of piston powered aircraft engines contains high concentrations of CO, particularly at mixtures settings rich of peak EGT. Most piston aircraft obtain heat by routing fresh air over surfaces of the muffler. When cabin heat is used, any cracks or holes in the muffler case can allow CO rich exhaust gas to contaminate the cabin air.
 
Other possible causes include inadequate sealing of the firewall, wheel wells or other air leaks that allows exhaust to leak into the cabin.


Could this explain his irrational behavior? Or is alcohol or a head injury more likely?
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jgf1944

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #94 on: October 11, 2015, 07:07:37 AM »

Is there any evidence that Fred Noonan could have had carbon monoxide poisoning? Symptoms can include impaired judgment and confusion.
   Hi Karen. I understand you are asking if CO might have entered the aircraft and thus caused the bizarre behaviors in Betty's Notebook that she attributed to the man (ostensibly FN). This is a good place to demonstrate the differential diagnosis system I mentioned a few postings back. Let's say we are considering the CO cause, the dehydration cause (Dave McDaniel's suggestion), and the brain injury cause. If CO and dehydration were causatively involved, then it seems that the woman in Betty's Notebook (ostensibly AE) should also show comparably bizarre behavior; it makes no sense that CO and dehydration would affect FN and not AE. However, I personally do not find anything bizarre about the language that Bettty attributed to the woman; and I find it very unlikely that AE was hoarding whatever water there may have been, or that CO contaminated only the air in the right side of the cockpit. According to my logic, that disrules the CO and dehydration variables. What about brain injury? Well, the very day that the flyers ostensibly arrived on the reef (2 July), AE appears to have radioed that her navigator was serously injured and required immediate help. But what kind of injury? Compound fracture? Deep laceration(s)? Here we go back to the man's bizarre behaviors. Would those type injuries cause a person to think, apparently, that he could bail out of a sitting plane? No. Could a brain injury cause such behaviors? There is a better chance that it could. Is it reasonable to think that the man could have hurt his head? Yes, the Gardner reef apparently is very slick, and the tide tables show that the tide was low enough that the man and woman could have stepped out of the Electra right after it landed, thus making it feasible that the man took a bad fall and bashed his head.
     As you can see, Karen, differential diagnosis is very much like detective police work, where different suspects (causative factors) are either retained for further investigation or thrown out for logical reasons (e.g., had an airtight alibi). Ciao, G. 

 
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Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #95 on: October 11, 2015, 07:20:02 AM »

I don't think anybody here is trying to paint Fred as drunkard.  I hope we're objectively discussing the possibility that the behavior described in Betty's Notebok was alcohol rather than injury related. Concerns about sullying someone's reputation have no place in historical investigation. Earhart herself has not fared well in our inquiry into the probable causes of her demise.

I agree that research discovers what it discovers, and the chips of that fall where they fall. A substantial body of research has revealed the failings in Amelia's pre-flight preparations. So those chips indeed fall where they do, and there is clearly a pretty big pile of chips at her feet.

But Fred's drinking "problem" does not appear to have anywhere near that amount of discovery behind it, and I'm still trying to see what if any substantive chips are at his feet over that issue. It seems to me that it is very widely accepted, even among many TIGHAR members, that Fred Noonan had a drinking problem severe enough to have possibly impacted the flight, yet the evidence of that seems remarkably scanty.  At least to me, at least so far.
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Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #96 on: October 11, 2015, 07:29:57 AM »

Karen Hoy quoted the wiki: "Most piston aircraft obtain heat by routing fresh air over surfaces of the muffler. When cabin heat is used, any cracks or holes in the muffler case can allow CO rich exhaust gas to contaminate the cabin air."

Karen, the wiki got it wrong. The cracks would have to be in the exhaust pipe where the pipe passes through the muffler case. Only that would let CO into the cabin heat system.  Cracks in the muffler case would only let hot air leak away before it got to the cabin vents.  Actually, the cabin-heat shroud on the exhaust pipe isn't even a muffler since it does nothing to reduce engine sound.

I agree with John that if CO were involved it would have affected them both, probably her more than him due to body weight difference.

Diane James
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« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 07:36:42 AM by Diane James »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #97 on: October 11, 2015, 07:47:05 AM »

If Mabel Larremore is to be believed Noonan was seriously injured and AE had sustained a lesser injury by 9 PM of the first day. (Entry 28 in the Post-Loss Message Catalog)

If Betty Klenck's impressions are correct, three days later Noonan was acting irrationally due to a head injury.  Entries in her notebook can be interpreted to mean that she herself was suffering from a painful ankle injury at that time. (Entry 142 in the Catalog)

If Thelma Lovelace is to be believed, at 1:30AM Gardner Time on Wednesday July 7 Earhart said  “we have taken in water, my navigator is badly hurt; (repeat) we are in need of medical care and must have help; we can’t hold on much longer.”  (Entry 170 of the Catalog)
Note that "we" need medical care.

These three reported receptions spanning five days each report serious injury to Noonan and less serious injury to Earhart.
Larremore and Lovelace only came forward with their stories in 1990 and 1991 respectively in response to media coverage of TIGHAR's first expedition to Niku in 1989.  The two women did not know each other.  We didn't find Betty until 2000.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #98 on: October 11, 2015, 01:06:29 PM »

Here is some possible evidence that the use of the term "ship" for airplane was common in the mid-1930s.
American Airlines and the Douglas Aircraft Company, recognizing the potential of the film in advertising air travel, cooperated in the production and distribution. They provided a DC-2 aircraft for the exterior shots while a true to scale mock up was provided for the interior scenes. In the famous Good Ship Lollipop scene, members of the University of Southern California football team served as extras.
I agree with you it's possible.

I'm still not entirely convinced.

You're claiming the man on the street at the time would find the word 'ship' interchangeable in meaning between ship at sea and aircraft.

There are a lot of very sophisticated lyrics at the time but I'm not certain how many represent the vernacular.

I see figures of around 500,000 in annual ticket sales for U.S. airlines in the early 1930s (Source: Daniel Rust, Flying Across America, Univ. Oklahoma, 2012, p. 92.)

That's less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the U.S. population at that time. To most Americans in 1937, a trip by air should have been as exotic as, say, a trip to Niku. Note that regular airline passenger service had only existed for about 11 years in 1937. In my experience, people settle on new meanings for old words when they've experienced something at least a few times.

In my view, 16-year-old Dana Randolph's alleged hearing of the phrase "ship is on a reef south of the equator" on his radio is nearly - but not quite - on par with Betty's hearing "get the suitcase in my closet" or "watch that battery."

I wonder if use of the word 'ship' was part of the general push by the airline industry itself, and cooperating aviators such as Lindbergh and Earhart, to try to impress upon the public that airplanes were as safe as ships. Recall Earhart said in her first book, 20 Hours, 40 Minutes, "I can only hope that ... some of the charm and romance of old ships may be seen to cling similarly to the ships of the air." Earhart was someone with a keen interest in promoting air commerce in the passenger realm. Your mention of the cooperation of the air industry in promoting the Shirley Temple film is possible evidence of this as well.

I could be wrong about all of this, or reeling off facts to feel more comfortable in my opinions. But something seems a bit too easy to me to assume that people defining ship in 1937 would instantly reach for the word airplane. I'm sure many knew it could mean that. But how many really embraced that meaning?

There's probably no right answer in all this. I'm just introducing new things to ponder and appreciate your taking time to ponder it as well.

Joe Cerniglia
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 01:20:35 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #99 on: October 11, 2015, 02:01:12 PM »

Decades before long-distance airplane travel there were already the German "Luftschiff" lighter-than-air dirigibles making headlines. While few Americans had ever flown in one, the concept of them being called "airships" in English seems pretty well established.  So perhaps it was already in the American mind that passenger-carrying things that flew could be called  "ships."

While I have always personally resisted the temptation to call an airplane anything but an airplane, including eschewing "plane" as being a carpenter's tool, I do know people including pilots who routinely refer to their airplanes as "my ship."  I don't find the phrase very common today in my experience, but I do hear it.
Diane James
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John Hart

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #100 on: October 11, 2015, 02:12:37 PM »

You will find the US Army Air Corps standard term for an airplane to be "ship" prior to WWII and still referred that way well into the war years but seems to have fallen out of use as the war wound down and post war.  Perhaps the great influx of wartime aviators and the reduction in pre-war aviators over time saw it fall away as, I agree, it probably was not common vernacular to John Q Public who flooded the USAAF.  The only carry over I saw in my USAF career spanning 1981-2014 was our reference to flights as 2-ship or 4-ship.  I feel very confident that AE's aviation acquaintances (Mantz, etc.) all referred to aircraft as ships. 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #101 on: October 11, 2015, 03:02:40 PM »

I would urge anyone who wonders whether the general public of the 1930s was familiar with the word "ship" as a synonym for airplane to review the newspapers of that era.  Most major papers had an Aviation Section just as papers today have a Sports Section.  Records for speed, distance, altitude and endurance were being set almost daily.  The public had aviation fever and clamored for news about the latest "ships." There was a whole line of racing planes known as "Mystery Ships."  Watch any of the many aviation-themed Hollywood films of the 1930s and count how many times somebody says something like, "Say, that's a swell ship you have there." 
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Friend Weller

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #102 on: October 11, 2015, 04:32:15 PM »

I would urge anyone who wonders whether the general public of the 1930s was familiar with the word "ship" as a synonym for airplane to review the newspapers of that era. 

My mother has a book in her collection that if I recall correctly belonged to her uncle nine years her senior.  The book was published in 1932 as part of a young readers series and several times in the story, the characters' Curtis Robin (with OX-5 motor!) is referred to as a "ship" as are other aircraft in the book.

(Yes, the dust jacket shows a biplane where the Robin was single-winged....call it artistic license.)

Friend
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #103 on: October 11, 2015, 05:26:51 PM »

They don't call it The Golden Age for nothin'. Jimmy Stewart said it best as Capt. Frank Towne in Flight of the Phoenix (1965):

"I don't know, Lew, I suppose pilots are
just as good now as they ever were...
...but they sure don't live
the way we did.
Well, I can tell you
that there were times...
...when you took real pride
in just getting there.
Flying used to be fun.
It really did, Lew.
It used to be fun."
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Jerry Germann

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #104 on: October 11, 2015, 07:11:51 PM »

It seems to me that it is very widely accepted, even among many TIGHAR members, that Fred Noonan had a drinking problem severe enough to have possibly impacted the flight, yet the evidence of that seems remarkably scanty.  At least to me, at least so far.

Diane,

Again, in defense of Fred, I personally don't feel that way. I don't believe he would intentionally become inebriated ( or drink any alcoholic beverages of any kind) just prior to the liftoff from Lae,or anytime during the flight....,..if he did come to be in that condition at any time post loss, I again feel it wouldn't have been deliberate, but as a result of treatment for a pain related injury.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 09:42:52 PM by Jerry Germann »
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