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Author Topic: It pays to read the manual!  (Read 35295 times)


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It pays to read the manual!
« on: August 24, 2019, 09:07:14 AM »

First, an introduction: I'm a new member but not to the mysteries TIGHAR hopes to solve. Retired attorney who studied Geology, film, dramatic literature at NYU and a law degree from Western New England University School of Law. I've lived in California since graduation and was an immigration lawyer. I had a passion for scale models in my youth and graduated to R/C in my late teens just as servos were being introduced as opposed to escapements. I loved reading the manuals of planes when I could find them. My favorite model to build was the P&W "Wasp" "Visible Airplane Engine" in 1/4 scale that was fully motorized with perfect timing, flashing spark plug lights (Renwal 1962 kit). I actually still have two Wasp kits with mint parts. So, intrigued by the Glenn Miller investigation and the mystery of the parachute cords, I initially looked in the Norseman manual for dinghies thinking that they were secured to a floating plane by tethers. I looked at the diagrams and the list of features and there it was: an emergency radio beacon stowed forward of the port entry door equipped with a parachute! I notified Ric immediately and joined TIGHAR concurrently. Why did it deploy? Perhaps the "cover plate" for want of a better term rotted away in the deep allowing the parachute to deploy. Then, perhaps before the Norseman sank, the survivor(s) of the water landing deployed it in the desperate hope of being heard. I've read that the Norseman equipped with the Wasp engine had three-bladed and single-blade props. Apparently the USAF was of the belief that three blades made the Norseman more stable in the air which I read in various posts on the net from Canadian restorers and collectors of these vintage aircraft. As for being off Weymouth, ditching or crashing after flying SSW from the RAF airfield, perhaps it was the only way around the fog, to the only open, fog-free corridor at the time?  Speculation aside, Mr. Fisher seems to have snagged the Norseman that carried Glenn Miller and it's there waiting to be discovered again! I'll close with the belief and hope that Robert Ballard found parts of Amelia Earhart's plane, perhaps the fuselage section between the wings and tail, or those weighty Wasp engines! The NG special airs October 20. It's fun to be a part of these quests and to contribute vital information that was hidden in plain sight.

Robert Grant Wealleans
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