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Author Topic: What Emily Saw  (Read 918 times)

Greg Daspit

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What Emily Saw
« on: September 16, 2021, 08:01:57 PM »

A few questions regarding “New Insights: What Emily Saw” in TIGHAR Tracks

Approximately how far away was Emily Sikuli from the object she described?

What is a plausible explanation for how the tire could come off and the rest of the landing gear still be connected to the plane in a vertical position?

Emily did not draw anything that looks like a "worm gear”.  The landing gear in the TT illustration has the worm gear removed.
What is a plausible explanation for how the worm gear could come off the oleo strut and and it still be connected to the plane in the vertical position?
To be clear, at least in CAD programs used to design them, the bigger gear is called the “Worm Gear”,  and the screw that drives it is called the “Worm”.

How was it determined the line Emily Sikuli drew was "vertical"?
I'm not sure people draw things exactly as they would see them in a photo or accurate perspective. Sometimes they draw as an illustration of what they think it is, not as if represented like taking a photo. Can you share the video of the interview with Emily for context. Did the video capture her doing the drawing?

Does the reef edge near the object have a "Reef Crest”?  This being a small narrow ridge at the edge of the flat part just before it slopes down.
I see what may be evidence of a reef crest in the Bevington photo.  It seems to extend several feet north from the landing gear. In another post this dark line was suggested to be a possible shadow of the tire. I estimated this shadow to be too long and is one of the reasons I did an autocad study of it. This dark line cannot be a shadow from the tire when the photo was taken. It might be a reef crest, or something else.
3971R
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2021, 07:59:02 AM »

Excellent questions.  Thanks Greg.

Approximately how far away was Emily Sikuli from the object she described?

A long way. If she was standing on the beach and the object was on the reef flat "where the waves break" at low tide she was about 500 feet away. 

What is a plausible explanation for how the tire could come off and the rest of the landing gear still be connected to the plane in a vertical position?

In the nearly three years since it went over the edge, the aircraft had been subject to extensive abrasive encounters with the coral, including being flipped at least once, possibly repeatedly. The tire was frangible compared to the rest of the landing gear and could easily have been torn off.  Recall that the tire was also gone from the fabled "Wheel of Fortune."

Emily did not draw anything that looks like a "worm gear”.  The landing gear in the TT illustration has the worm gear removed.
What is a plausible explanation for how the worm gear could come off the oleo strut and and it still be connected to the plane in the vertical position?

That's tougher to explain. I agree, the worm gear should have still been attached but it would be low on the inverted strut and possibly obscured by breaking waves.

How was it determined the line Emily Sikuli drew was "vertical"?
I'm not sure people draw things exactly as they would see them in a photo or accurate perspective. Sometimes they draw as an illustration of what they think it is, not as if represented like taking a photo.

Emily had no idea what part of the plane the object was.  She was merely making a sketch of what she remembers seeing 59 years earlier. After she marked the location on the map, I asked her to sketch what she had seen.  She flipped the map over and drew the object as a vertical line with a circular shape at the upper tip.

Can you share the video of the interview with Emily for context. Did the video capture her doing the drawing?

The full interview with Emily (and other TIGHAR videos including the full Betty Klenck interview) is available to Patron level subscribers via the TIGHAR Patreon page. After you sign up on Patreon, I send you the link and password to the Vimeo TIGHAR Premium Video collection.  Yes, the video shows her marking the map and making the sketch.

Does the reef edge near the object have a "Reef Crest”?  This being a small narrow ridge at the edge of the flat part just before it slopes down.

No, the reef flat transitions smoothly into the "spur and groove" area.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 08:02:59 AM by Ric Gillespie »
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2021, 10:04:26 PM »

Here is an example of one landing gear failing while the other did not.
https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-lockheed-10e-electra-christchurch
On touchdown, the right main gear collapsed. The airplane went out of control, veered off runway and came to rest in a grassy area. So it took quite a ride and held up. I can't tell if it has Earhart's early design or one of the later upgraded versions though.

3971R
 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 10:08:13 PM by Greg Daspit »
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2021, 09:50:14 AM »

Interesting.  ZK-BUT was the original registration, but it is unclear if it is a L 10A, or L 10E.

There are some photos of it

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lockheed_Electra_ZK-BUT_(13896131899).jpg

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/28660

Note the statement:  "Spirit of Tasman Bay" ground- looped and not flown again. Pilot Brian Chadwick. Preserved as ZK-AFD.

Apparently it is still out there "preserved" as a static display at MOTAT, an aviation museum in Aukland NZ.  ZK-BUT is apparently painted up as ZK-AFD.

https://manawatuheritage.pncc.govt.nz/item/db38c413-775c-49f8-827d-469100b5bd6c#tab-item-description

Best

Andrew
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 10:03:17 AM by Andrew M McKenna »
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2021, 12:13:12 PM »

Thanks Andrew,
In those pictures I can see it has the newer "Drag Strut" retraction system described in the Cement Mixer article in this TT
https://tighar.org/Publications/TTracks/2011Vol_27/1011.pdf
It's still interesting that the left gear held up regardless of the retraction system.
I think the tire could come off the hub from the plane landing on the coral reef and/or being pushed around by the incoming and outgoing surf.
The tire on the landing gear in the Bevington Object seems to have had at least one side torn away from the hub. But that could have happened from the oleo strut falling into it or being pushed around on the reef.
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Keith Gordon

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2021, 04:59:17 PM »

ZK-AFD previously ZK-BUT - this aircraft S/N 1138 was built as an executive Model 10A as NC21735 for Standard Oil. It went to Creole Petroleum modified as a Model 10E registered N10Y.
It came to NZ in 1958 for Trans Island Airways. I was working as an aircraft engineer for National Airways Corp at Christchurch airport at the time of the ground-loop in 1959 - it was written off and used for fire training but survived. It came to MOTAT in 1967 and after rebuild it is now on display. The original ZK-AFD, a model 10A, S/N 1095, flew into a hill near Dunedin but was repaired - it last flew in 1951 and was broken up in 1961, part of the fuselage came to MOTAT and is in storage there.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2021, 02:46:46 AM »

ZK-AFD previously ZK-BUT - this aircraft S/N 1138 was built as an executive Model 10A as NC21735 for Standard Oil. It went to Creole Petroleum modified as a Model 10E registered N10Y.
It came to NZ in 1958 for Trans Island Airways. I was working as an aircraft engineer for National Airways Corp at Christchurch airport at the time of the ground-loop in 1959 - it was written off and used for fire training but survived. It came to MOTAT in 1967 and after rebuild it is now on display. The original ZK-AFD, a model 10A, S/N 1095, flew into a hill near Dunedin but was repaired - it last flew in 1951 and was broken up in 1961, part of the fuselage came to MOTAT and is in storage there.


I visited MOTAT with Howard in 2003 and saw both planes, I believe.


See attachments.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Simon Ellwood

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Re: What Emily Saw
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2021, 03:41:38 PM »

Note the statement:  "Spirit of Tasman Bay" ground- looped and not flown again. Pilot Brian Chadwick. Preserved as ZK-AFD.

That has to be the same Brian Chadwick that later disappeared in DH90A Dragonfly ZK-AFB in Feb. 1962, together with 4 passengers - somewhere in New Zealand's south island. A celebrated NZ mystery.
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