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Author Topic: Bandoeng maintenance  (Read 4445 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Bandoeng maintenance
« on: August 18, 2016, 09:30:00 AM »


An airline pilot based in Jakarta, Indonesia sent me a surviving document relating to NR16020 that we did not know existed. He found it in http://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/dutch-east-indies/
The document is credited to the Purdue collection but we somehow managed to miss it.

 Earhart and Noonan were in Bandoeng, Netherlands East Indies (today Bandung, Indonesia) from June 21 to June 23, 1937.  Maintenance and repairs on NR16020 were performed by mechanics of Royal Netherhlands East Indies Airline (KNILM).  In his book Ameliai Earhart - The Mystery Solved, Elgen Long described some of the work done in Bandoeng but he was relying entirely on the recollections of Francis O "Fuzz" Furman.  Furman was the representative in Banoeng for Martin Aircraft.  The Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force had a fleet of Martin B-10 bombers. I interviewed Furman in 1989. Fuzz was not directly involved in working on NR16020 but, as an American, he was interested and he spent time with AE and especially with FN.   
Work Order 1477 is important because it documents exactly what was done, what needed fixing, and what was serviced.  Of course, it also documents what was NOT done.  No change to the engine blower ratio as has been alleged by some.  No work to strengthen the Miami Patch (which does not seem to have started to buckle and oil-can until they arrived in Darwin on June 28).

AE and FN left Bandoeng for Soerabaja (Surabaya) on June 24 but continued to have trouble with one of the instruments (Elgen Long says it was the fuel flow meter) and they returned to Bandoeng on June 25 for further repairs.  That work is not covered by the Work Order.

The Chater Letter has a list of maintenance and repairs performed on NR16020 in Lae.  It should be instructive to compare the two lists and see if there is anything that appears to have been a recurring problem.

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