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Author Topic: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937  (Read 444018 times)

Gary LaPook

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #270 on: August 24, 2012, 02:53:55 AM »


No, not assuming, make reasoned arguments from the facts, both the specific facts about Earhart and also he facts developed by the Air Force and the facts of human physiology.

gl

but you are assuming. because you pick and choose what you want to believe you make your own history. you reason that because you don't believe betty's signal that there were no injuries. You assume that they had something to boil water in, you assume that they knew you could dig a well (which took several experienced men a couple days to do btw).

How long would an injured person last with no food or water. we could go down this road for ages, it's been done countless times. both sides end up making "reasoned guesses" that have no basis in any fact.
The reason I believe that there would have been no injuries if Earhart had landed on the reef flat and ended up with the landing gear intact is because of the data gathered in a full scale experiment that tested the crashworthiness of an Electra model 10 aircraft. This test consisted of crashing an Electra in a manner to cause serious structural damage including ripping both main landing gears off the plane which also caused the plane to spin around about one hundred and eighty degrees. The plane passed the crashworthiness test because all three occupants were spared any injuries.  This full scale test was conducted on March 20, 1937 in Hawaii.

It is obvious that the test aircraft and its occupants encountered much more severe forces than Earhart's plane that ended up intact on the reef at Gardner so, logically, the occupants of the Earhart plane on the reef at Gardner should not have suffered any injuries either.

But if you want to believe that Noonan was injured then how does that change anything? I'll play along with your speculation and assume, arguendo, that Noonan wasn't just injured, he was killed, leaving Earhart to deal with getting rescued from Gardner all by herself. Or, do you think that Amelia was incapable of looking out for herself? Do you think that  "little ladies" need  big strong men to take care of them? Is it your position that Earhart needed a big strong man to take care of her? That seems pretty sexist to me and I know a lot of women pilots that could take you outside and disabuse you of that erroneous belief. Earhart was a tough cookie and perfectly capable of looking out for herself in the proposed scenario. She got out to the plane for three days, ran the engine, sent out radio messages apparently taking care of herself without the help of the dead or injured Noonan. So why do you think that she was not capable of setting up a signal fire, shoot VERY flares at the circling planes, wave like mad, set up an SOS on the beach, find or make water? Do you have any documents or other information that on prior occasions Earhart couldn't take care of herself, if you don't then all you have is your unsupported speculation.

gl
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 02:56:40 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #271 on: August 24, 2012, 03:03:28 AM »


You come up with speculative problems that do not really exist in practice.

gl


Yes Gary people are sometimes capable of performing well even under very fatiguing conditions and pilots out of the need to survive are probably better at it than most of us.   However there is evidence that AE and FN were not at their best as they closed in on Howland.  FN should have been able to get them close enough to see Howland or the Itasca smoke signal ( or find it by flying a simple search pattern) by celestial navigational as you with considerable knowledge have argued here numerous times, but he simply didn't for reasons we can only speculate about.  AE got away from the preflight planned radio frequencies usage that would have made communications better, also due to lack of preparation and knowledge ( also perhaps due to equipment issues) they failed to make proper use of their redundant navigational aid, the radio direction finder.  I believe the radio operator on the Itasca said he thought that he heard stress or panic in AE last few transmissions.  Therefore its not entirely speculative to say that AE and FN were not at the best on that flight, although I can't prove fatigue was the cause it likely would contribute.  But, and I am speculating now, if she was panicked at time of her last transmission, and the Niku hypothesis is correct, then she would have been  unlikely to be less panicked a couple of hours later when they reached gardner , low on fuel and more tired.  Therefore coming back to the point I was making to Bill its pretty hard to say what kind of decision they would make at that point.  Bill had stated that the only logical choice was to ditch in the lagoon and given his experience I can't argue with that beyond saying that some of the other people on this site with flying experience don't seem to feel that way.  All I was saying was that nothing went right that day for them and to assert that they had to make a particular logical choice at the end of a 24+ hour series of problems, misjudgments and mistakes is projecting too great a certainty onto the situation.
You point might be relevant to how they landed the plane and their choice of the reef flat or the lagoon but what relevance does it have to waving at search planes seven days later?

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #272 on: August 24, 2012, 03:33:44 AM »


this is a huge assumption. the Tighar theory also supposes a stuck landing gear leg. the plane needed one engine to run, how it ended up in that position is anyones guess. it could have landed 100% smooth, it could have stuck a leg and spun or even ripped one completely off. no one knows what shape the plane was in or if it was a smooth landing. would they have buckled in tight to avoid injury or would they have been unbuckled in case they were afraid they would be trapped in a sinking plane?? All assumptions.

So you are assuming that Noonan, after having survived the Luke Field crash because he was wearing his seat belt said to himself as the the plane was lining up to land on an unknown surface, "that was exciting back in Hawaii but I want a bigger thrill this time so I am going to leave my seatbelt off." Yah, that sounds real likely. You claim the plane on Gardner might have broken a landing gear off and spun around as though this would explain injuries there that had not occurred during the Hawaiian crash. Hello, both main landing gears were ripped off in Hawaii and the plane spun around so your speculation does not in any way make the Gardner landing any worse that the Hawaiian crash.
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As to making a still, they had seven thousand pounds of sheet aluminum to use and you are ignoring the storm that TIGHAR loves (to push the plane off the reef) and the rain water that could be captured. Since the radio messages stopped after only three days then the storm must have occurred then so they could capture water at that time, after only being thirsty for three days, and then have enough to last a long time after.

and what tools did they have to work it??

The knife artifact found on Gardner and mentioned in the Luke Field Inventory, see this prior message. The skin of the Electra was 0.032 inch thick aluminum which is easily cut with a pocket knife. I have kicked lots of aluminum around at wreckage inspections and have cut off pieces with my swiss army knife for examination by my experts. If you don't believe me that you can cut this aluminum with a pocket knife then do this little experiment, go out to your refrigerator, take out a soda, drink it, and then cut the can open with your pocket knife. Pretty easy wasn't it? Off course the aluminum of the can is thinner than the aircraft skin, it is only 0.016 inches so you have to push a bit harder to cut the aircraft skin. If you think this experiment was not representative then pull off the pop top lever from the can and cut it with your pocket knife. It is tougher because it is 0.053 inches thick, much thicker than the Electra's skin but you will still be able to cut it with your pocket knife, see the photos I have attached.
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I already have posted facts that show it is impossible to starve to death in only seven days, read that again, it is IMPOSSIBLE to starve in seven days.  I have posted the official U.S. Air Force Survival manual that states that you can survive nine days, at least , with no, none, ZERO, nada, water, in the DESERT and much longer in a more benign environment such as the seashore but you assume the exact opposite. But, in spite of the FACTS, you make the unreasonable assumption that Earhart and Noonan accomplished the impossible and managed to starve to death.

who said they had to starve or die of dehydration?? Who said they weren't already somewhat dehydrated from 20 hours in the air.


Where do you get them being dehydrated before they even get to Gardner? Putnam said they carried water in the plane for emergency purposes so why do you speculate that they didn't carry even enough water for the length of the flight? I always carried two six packs of cokes for over ocean flights (and an empty plastic milk bottle too) and the other ferry pilots also carried lots of stuff to drink. But we don't have to take my experience since you can find videos of Earhart herself saying that she carried tomato juice (I always liked the way she pronounced it "ta-mah-to" not the usual midwestern "ta-may-toe.") So we basically have it from the horse's mouth that she carried liquids when she flew so you are, again, wildly speculating contrary to the known facts.
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Who said they were even dead for that matter. the manual says you may live, but it does not say what condition you will be in. I've watched the survivor shows you like to quote as well and before you actually die of thirst your organs start shutting down and you are in agony. You aren't doing anything for several days before you succumb.

More speculation, Putnam said she carried water and she could make a still, capture rain from the storm, etc.
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You also unreasonably assume that these two people managed to trip and fall and sustain life ending injuries in spite of them having successfully followed their mommies' advice for forty years to "watch where you are walking" and had managed to avoid such injuries for forty years.


I've assumed no such thing. neither of these people had ever been stuck on a desert island in the pacific. To say what they knew, didn't know or would have been able to do is pure assumption on YOUR part.

I guess you have never spent any time on south pacific islands so maybe you are basing your assumptions on the King Kong movie, it's not really like that. Gardner island is no more life threatening than the beach at the Club Med on Moorea or Bora Bora and I've seen many people survive a week there with no injuries. They don't give you any special class when you arrive, "HOW TO AVOID INJURY ON THIS ISLAND" so you must just get by with what your mother taught you about being careful, just like Earhart and Noonan. You are just as likely to stub your toe on a coconut or cut your foot on some sharp coral at the Club Meds on Moorea and Bora Bora as at the Club Med on Gardner. One difference however, at the Club Meds Moorea and Bora Bora you exchange plastic beads for drinks while at the Club Med on Gardner you have to fix your own drinks. But we have even more direct evidence that staying on Gardner does not cause anyone to suffer life ending injuries. There was a full scale experiment done in which 24 men lived on the beach on Gardner without shelter for five days in 1929 and none of the men who made it to shore died and we are talking about at the exact same spot as figures in the TIGHAR theory.
gl



« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 04:28:49 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Matt Revington

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #273 on: August 24, 2012, 06:57:29 AM »


You come up with speculative problems that do not really exist in practice.

gl


Yes Gary people are sometimes capable of performing well even under very fatiguing conditions and pilots out of the need to survive are probably better at it than most of us.   However there is evidence that AE and FN were not at their best as they closed in on Howland.  FN should have been able to get them close enough to see Howland or the Itasca smoke signal ( or find it by flying a simple search pattern) by celestial navigational as you with considerable knowledge have argued here numerous times, but he simply didn't for reasons we can only speculate about.  AE got away from the preflight planned radio frequencies usage that would have made communications better, also due to lack of preparation and knowledge ( also perhaps due to equipment issues) they failed to make proper use of their redundant navigational aid, the radio direction finder.  I believe the radio operator on the Itasca said he thought that he heard stress or panic in AE last few transmissions.  Therefore its not entirely speculative to say that AE and FN were not at the best on that flight, although I can't prove fatigue was the cause it likely would contribute.  But, and I am speculating now, if she was panicked at time of her last transmission, and the Niku hypothesis is correct, then she would have been  unlikely to be less panicked a couple of hours later when they reached gardner , low on fuel and more tired.  Therefore coming back to the point I was making to Bill its pretty hard to say what kind of decision they would make at that point.  Bill had stated that the only logical choice was to ditch in the lagoon and given his experience I can't argue with that beyond saying that some of the other people on this site with flying experience don't seem to feel that way.  All I was saying was that nothing went right that day for them and to assert that they had to make a particular logical choice at the end of a 24+ hour series of problems, misjudgments and mistakes is projecting too great a certainty onto the situation.
You point might be relevant to how they landed the plane and their choice of the reef flat or the lagoon but what relevance does it have to waving at search planes seven days later?

gl

Gary
If you go back to Bill Roe's original post which I was commenting on, he asserted that they had to land in the lagoon ( that no pilot would make any other choice in that situation).  If they had landed in the lagoon the Electra would not have been submerged and almost certainly been easily spotted by the Colorado pilots.  Therefore it is very relevant to this thread that they didn't, for whatever reason, make that choice.  I note that Richie came up with a more concrete reason that AE may have wished to try to preserve the Electra in hopes of somehow still completing her round the world trip and therefore searched out the reef landing strip.
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Bill Roe

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #274 on: August 24, 2012, 07:15:09 AM »

Actually Matt, I never stated the Earhart "had" to land in the lagoon.  In fact I know that she did not simply because the airplane was never there.

It was my observation that a good pilot, myself included, would have landed gear up in the lagoon.  Reason:  the chances of survival (first) then rescue are far, far superior than landing on the reef. 

As far as Conroy's claim that Earhart would have wanted to retain the ability to fly the airplane out - just doesn't make sense.  That's saying 1.) Earhart is more concerned about her airplane than survival and rescue;  2.)  Noonan is more concerned about saving Earhart's airplane than survival and rescue;  3.)  Earhart and Noonan, both, are willing to wait with the airplane until avgas arrives - and are convinced that the necessary equipment exists on the island to fill the tanks and get the airplane running again.  4.)  Neither Earhart or Noonan have any concept that oceans have tides.  5.)  And last - that both Earhart and Noonan know where they are and are capable of taking off and flying to a known airfield.  Um.. they're lost - remember?
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #275 on: August 24, 2012, 07:18:51 AM »

I want to preface this post by saying that my entire previous post was pointing out that you were speculating. You like to claim you are stating facts, but they are no different than any other conjecture. Your conjecture has no more basis than anyone elses....


So you are assuming that Noonan, after having survived the Luke Field crash because he was wearing his seat belt said to himself as the the plane was lining up to land on an unknown surface, "that was exciting back in Hawaii but I want a bigger thrill this time so I am going to leave my seatbelt off." Yah, that sounds real likely. You claim the plane on Gardner might have broken a landing gear off and spun around as though this would explain injuries there that had not occurred during the Hawaiian crash. Hello, both main landing gears were ripped off in Hawaii and the plane spun around so your speculation does not in any way make the Gardner landing any worse that the Hawaiian crash.

Of COURSE I'm assuming. 99.9% of this forum is. But we all take our little bits of experience and knowledge and try to apply it to what would have happened. In this case there is grounds for seatbelt removal. prior to 1960 the biggest argument against safety belts was that you could become trapped in the event of a crash. It is very likely that they would think "if I might end up in the water I want to be able to get out quickly"

Noonan was in the co pilots seat during the hawaii crash. a fully loaded ground loop on takeoff would be a completely different result than a completely empty gear snag on landing. since you like making "kitchen analogies" see how much easier it is to spin a two liter soda bottle when it is empty vs when it is full. now picture you are in the back the plane when it spins. Do we know what kind of seat noonan had?? is it reasonable to assume he could have hit something during the landing even if he was belted in?


The knife artifact found on Gardner and mentioned in the Luke Field Inventory, see this prior message. The skin of the Electra was 0.032 inch thick aluminum which is easily cut with a pocket knife. I have kicked lots of aluminum around at wreckage inspections and have cut off pieces with my swiss army knife for examination by my experts. If you don't believe me that you can cut this aluminum with a pocket knife then do this little experiment, go out to your refrigerator, take out a soda, drink it, and then cut the can open with your pocket knife. Pretty easy wasn't it? Off course the aluminum of the can is thinner than the aircraft skin, it is only 0.016 inches so you have to push a bit harder to cut the aircraft skin. If you think this experiment was not representative then pull off the pop top lever from the can and cut it with your pocket knife. It is tougher because it is 0.053 inches thick, much thicker than the Electra's skin but you will still be able to cut it with your pocket knife, see the photos I have attached.

you are comparing a soda can which is made of 3XXX series non heat treatable aluminum (chosen for exceptional corrosion resistance) with the skin of an aircraft which in this case is made of alu clad (the pre curser to what is today called 2024 which is strong but highly corrosive hence it is clad with pure aluminum) which is heat treatable. you cannot compare the two. heat treated 2024 cannot be worked unless it is re-heated to 0 temper. generally this is done with an acetylene torch. You set up a sooty flame on your torch and cover the object you want to be able to work with the black soot, then you heat the aluminum up until the soot burns off. the soot just so happens to burn off at the correct temp for the aluminum to lose it's temper.


Where do you get them being dehydrated before they even get to Gardner? Putnam said they carried water in the plane for emergency purposes so why do you speculate that they didn't carry even enough water for the length of the flight? I always carried two six packs of cokes for over ocean flights (and an empty plastic milk bottle too) and the other ferry pilots also carried lots of stuff to drink. But we don't have to take my experience since you can find videos of Earhart herself saying that she carried tomato juice (I always liked the way she pronounced it "ta-mah-to" not the usual midwestern "ta-may-toe.") So we basically have it from the horse's mouth that she carried liquids when she flew so you are, again, wildly speculating contrary to the known facts.

Because, at her 10k foot cruising altitude it is much cooler than sea level. it is a well known fact that the danger of becoming dehydrated increases with the cold because the air is dryer so you lose more fluid through breathing. You do not feel as thirsty in the cold weather so you tend not to replenish it. add to that the increase in breath rate for the altitude and it compounds the problem. You do not even realize you are becoming dehydrated, and why would she worry about it when she was going to be landing and could drink all she wanted without worrying about having to pee mid flight. (like I said, I've watched those survivor shows too)



More speculation, Putnam said she carried water and she could make a still, capture rain from the storm, etc.

more speculation on your part. Putnam was thousands of miles away with no real idea of what she kept or discarded during the flight. if there was water, if she had tools, if she didn't just say "I'm famous they will pick me up within a couple days so I won't do anything"

I guess you have never spent any time on south pacific islands so maybe you are basing your assumptions on the King Kong movie, it's not really like that. Gardner island is no more life threatening than the beach at the Club Med on Moorea or Bora Bora and I've seen many people survive a week there with no injuries. They don't give you any special class when you arrive, "HOW TO AVOID INJURY ON THIS ISLAND" so you must just get by with what your mother taught you about being careful, just like Earhart and Noonan. You are just as likely to stub your toe on a coconut or cut your foot on some sharp coral at the Club Meds on Moorea and Bora Bora as at the Club Med on Gardner. One difference however, at the Club Meds Moorea and Bora Bora you exchange plastic beads for drinks while at the Club Med on Gardner you have to fix your own drinks. But we have even more direct evidence that staying on Gardner does not cause anyone to suffer life ending injuries. There was a full scale experiment done in which 24 men lived on the beach on Gardner without shelter for five days in 1929 and none of the men who made it to shore died and we are talking about at the exact same spot as figures in the TIGHAR theory.
gl

this is where I find your arguments get very confused. you say they are just hanging around like they are on vacation one minute, then the next you say they are spending all of their time digging wells, constructing stills or gathering food. None of those tasks are without risk. have you worked sheet metal without gloves? with primative tools? walked a reef face?? gotten an infection from a cut sustained in these conditions??

btw, the crew of the norwich city had food and water the entire time they waited for rescue. If I remember correctly they even had some sort of shelter. A tent of some sort. they had been in contact with a port after the crash and knew rescue was coming. that is a completely different scenario.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #276 on: August 24, 2012, 07:22:03 AM »

I'm continually amazed by the depth of wisdom and certainty about what could and couldn't and did and didn't happen expressed by people who have no personal experience with the island and who constantly fault TIGHAR for expressing certainty that we never expressed. 
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #277 on: August 24, 2012, 07:28:55 AM »

I'm continually amazed by the depth of wisdom and certainty about what could and couldn't and did and didn't happen expressed by people who have no personal experience with the island and who constantly fault TIGHAR for expressing certainty that we never expressed.

I know I try not to fall into the trap of saying "my fantasy version is better than your fantasy version" when going back and forth on this forum. It's not very easy sometimes. our opinions sometimes get propped up a littler sturdier than they should by our egos.....
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Matt Revington

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #278 on: August 24, 2012, 07:57:23 AM »

Actually Matt, I never stated the Earhart "had" to land in the lagoon.  In fact I know that she did not simply because the airplane was never there.

It was my observation that a good pilot, myself included, would have landed gear up in the lagoon.  Reason:  the chances of survival (first) then rescue are far, far superior than landing on the reef. 

As far as Conroy's claim that Earhart would have wanted to retain the ability to fly the airplane out - just doesn't make sense.  That's saying 1.) Earhart is more concerned about her airplane than survival and rescue;  2.)  Noonan is more concerned about saving Earhart's airplane than survival and rescue;  3.)  Earhart and Noonan, both, are willing to wait with the airplane until avgas arrives - and are convinced that the necessary equipment exists on the island to fill the tanks and get the airplane running again.  4.)  Neither Earhart or Noonan have any concept that oceans have tides.  5.)  And last - that both Earhart and Noonan know where they are and are capable of taking off and flying to a known airfield.  Um.. they're lost - remember?

My apologies Bill, now that I look back I see that I did overstate how definite your assertion was. 
In answer to your points 1 and 2 we know that Earhart took off from Lae without knowing how to work her rdf equipment properly and having failed in a test of it the day before , therefore the need to complete her trip was a priority over reasonable safety concerns for her.  As I understand the relationship, FN was an employee of AE  and other than wrestling the controls from her hands he would have to go along with her decisions.
If the tide was low enough there arrival to see the clear, smooth "landing strip" region on the reef I don't really see the advantage of landing in the lagoon in terms of safety but as a pilot you have more expertise that I do about the likelihood of surviving a water ditching versus landing on untested wet ground.  However beyond the point of saving the electra ( which as you point out would have involved some magical thinking by AE about the speed of her rescue to avoid the tides) I have been assured on other threads here that putting the Electra down into salt water either in the lagoon or ocean would almost immediately and permanently disable the radio equipment and end any chance to send further  SOS messages, which would be a fairly potent influence.

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Kevin Weeks

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #279 on: August 24, 2012, 08:07:13 AM »

Actually Matt, I never stated the Earhart "had" to land in the lagoon.  In fact I know that she did not simply because the airplane was never there.

It was my observation that a good pilot, myself included, would have landed gear up in the lagoon.  Reason:  the chances of survival (first) then rescue are far, far superior than landing on the reef. 

As far as Conroy's claim that Earhart would have wanted to retain the ability to fly the airplane out - just doesn't make sense.  That's saying 1.) Earhart is more concerned about her airplane than survival and rescue;  2.)  Noonan is more concerned about saving Earhart's airplane than survival and rescue;  3.)  Earhart and Noonan, both, are willing to wait with the airplane until avgas arrives - and are convinced that the necessary equipment exists on the island to fill the tanks and get the airplane running again.  4.)  Neither Earhart or Noonan have any concept that oceans have tides.  5.)  And last - that both Earhart and Noonan know where they are and are capable of taking off and flying to a known airfield.  Um.. they're lost - remember?

My apologies Bill, now that I look back I see that I did overstate how definite your assertion was. 
In answer to your points 1 and 2 we know that Earhart took off from Lae without knowing how to work her rdf equipment properly and having failed in a test of it the day before , therefore the need to complete her trip was a priority over reasonable safety concerns for her.  As I understand the relationship, FN was an employee of AE  and other than wrestling the controls from her hands he would have to go along with her decisions.
If the tide was low enough there arrival to see the clear, smooth "landing strip" region on the reef I don't really see the advantage of landing in the lagoon in terms of safety but as a pilot you have more expertise that I do about the likelihood of surviving a water ditching versus landing on untested wet ground. However beyond the point of saving the electra ( which as you point out would have involved some magical thinking by AE about the speed of her rescue to avoid the tides) I have been assured on other threads here that putting the Electra down into salt water either in the lagoon or ocean would almost immediately and permanently disable the radio equipment and end any chance to send further  SOS messages, which would be a fairly potent influence.

I always think of bill's strong statement as what is taught now after learning these things the hard way during WWII. before WWII most planes were fixed gear so the option wasnt even thought of. you wouldn't ditch in the water if there was ANY land available that looked remotely usable. most of earharts time was in fixed gear planes.

I also remember reading a WWII diary about a corsair pilot who got lost and tried to land in what he thought was a nice flat section of ground in a pacific island. it turned out to be mud and the plane flipped......
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pilotart

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #280 on: August 24, 2012, 11:10:30 AM »

Well there is, U wouldn't be able to radio for help for a start, nor would u have the ability to refuel an take off again

Richie - you don't think about that.  You concentrate on: First - survival and Second - rescue.  And - you don't care if your airplane can get you out of there once down.

Anyway,
Here's what Lambrecht said: "Here, signs of recent habitation were clearly visible but repeated circling and zooming failed to elicit any answering wave from possible inhabitants and it was finally taken for granted that none were there."   -This means that they circled and "buzzed" the area several times without seeing anyone after giving them plenty of opportunity to make themselves available for rescue.  Those biplanes were not hi-speed jets.  They were very, very slow circling at 400 feet altitude and buzzing the island with spotters.  If Earhart had been there, they would have been seen. 

Or else they didn't want to be rescued.  Does that make sense?
I must agree with what Gary LaPook has posted about likelihood of surviving on Gardner Island and that they 'should' have been greeting the Bevington Party when they showed up in October.  I also agree with what he has posted about why they 'should' have found Howland Island and could add more 'evidence'  about why they 'should' have had success with their RDF to point to the Itasca.

Bill Roe is no doubt a heroic Military Pilot with 100% success in his SAR Missions.  My one SAR mission was also 100% successful (August 13, 1974 shortly after takeoff for a nighttime 'pleasure-flight' in our Luscombe, I was asked to look for a Navy Pilot reported down off Bonita Beach in the Gulf of Mexico.  He was easy to spot as he had a strobe on his life-jacket plus he fired his flare gun as we approached.  I then just circled over him until his rescue helicopter arrived from Key West.) so there can be no doubt that the Colorado's Scout Planes 'should' have seen them.

And as far as the 'Air-Search' being a surprise, that afternoon's passing within sight by the big Battleship should not have been a surprise, why no smoky signal fire for that event...  I suppose that when you have to accept that they landed on that reef, you will then need to buy the Hooven Report.... ::)
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"...they were abducted by the Japanese, some time before the 9th of July when the Colorado search planes arrived. Their plane was then either hoisted aboard or dumped into the ocean."
This is all about what makes it such a mystery and I am not willing to accept Colorado not finding them as 'Proof Positive" that they could not possibly have landed on Gardner Island.


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IF AE & FN were on Gardner, THEN they would have been seen?    Nope, doesn't follow, IMO.

dp

I think you are mis-stating Bill's logical proposition.  To me it reads "IF the search was good enough to see the signs of habitation, THEN it was also good enough to find AE and FN if present."  Of course we are all free to agree or disagree with either or both of those ways of reading what Bill said.

Yupper and thank you.

And, again, my opinion comes directly from SAR experience in the military.  In fact, I suggest that it's more than an opinion.  And I'll say it again with authority - after literally dozens of SARs, my experience dictates that if Earhart and Noonan were on Gardner Island during the USN aerial search(es), they would have been seen.

I'll also say again as an experienced pilot, if I had been the pilot of that Electra;  and If I had to ditch under the same circumstances as described here;  that airplane, my navigator and I definitely would have come down, gear up, in the lagoon.  No question about it.  There is not another logical scenario that would provide a better chance of both survival and rescue.  No brainer.

Thank you again, Alan.

I have no doubt that Bill is correct about what he posted about what he and "good pilots" he has known would have done, in fact if they knew that there were possibly parachutes available, that would have been their #1 choice!

I have tried here and here to explain why that would not have been the case for Amelia & Fred.  I based this on expert experience training civilian pilots on emergency procedures as well as many hundreds of instances of selecting sites for 'off-airport' landings as a Bush Pilot.  I also had many years and thousands of hours of experience as a Charter Operator throughout the Caribbean finding islands before Loran and GPS in Cabin Class and Turbine Twins.

So having failed to open his mind with my opinions, may I now offer some contemporary (to AE/FN) proof of the option for "Landing on a reef".

This Croyden ST-18 was a 1936 competitor with the Electra for the ten passenger Airliner market.  When they failed to get any orders for their homely craft, they decided to set some records for Australia - England flights for good publicity.



On 7 October 1936, during the return flight from Darwin, navigation errors occurred during the flight over the Timor Sea, and the aircraft made a successful forced landing on {Would you Believe} a coral reef (Seringapatam Reef).  Here is a photo showing success on a reef that does not look nearly as inviting as the one by the Norwich City.



Although they did break their tailwheel off, there is no doubt that they could have taken off again if they had avgas before the tide swept it away.

Since this happened during Amelia's preparations for her around the world flight, it's hard to imagine her (and Fred) not knowing about that event.

I could not find it now, but recall reading in the email forum about a noted aviator (Harold Gatty ???) being quoted telling a British Colonial Official (after the disappearance) that a reef landing was the most likely conclusion of Amelia's flight.
Art Johnson
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #281 on: August 24, 2012, 11:20:24 AM »



Of COURSE I'm assuming. 99.9% of this forum is. But we all take our little bits of experience and knowledge and try to apply it to what would have happened. In this case there is grounds for seatbelt removal. prior to 1960 the biggest argument against safety belts was that you could become trapped in the event of a crash. It is very likely that they would think "if I might end up in the water I want to be able to get out quickly"

Noonan was in the co pilots seat during the hawaii crash. a fully loaded ground loop on takeoff would be a completely different result than a completely empty gear snag on landing. since you like making "kitchen analogies" see how much easier it is to spin a two liter soda bottle when it is empty vs when it is full. now picture you are in the back the plane when it spins. Do we know what kind of seat noonan had?? is it reasonable to assume he could have hit something during the landing even if he was belted in?
Well, then, where was Manning sitting during the Hawaiian ground loop? There were only two seats up front so at least one person was sitting in back and that one person also escaped injury. There were only two people in the plane after Hawaii so what makes you think that Noonan (a pilot) would not be sitting up front (we all like the front seat, the view is better) for each takeoff and landing? And is there anything that would have prevented Noonan from moving up front for the Gardner landing?
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The knife artifact found on Gardner and mentioned in the Luke Field Inventory, see this prior message. The skin of the Electra was 0.032 inch thick aluminum which is easily cut with a pocket knife. I have kicked lots of aluminum around at wreckage inspections and have cut off pieces with my swiss army knife for examination by my experts. If you don't believe me that you can cut this aluminum with a pocket knife then do this little experiment, go out to your refrigerator, take out a soda, drink it, and then cut the can open with your pocket knife. Pretty easy wasn't it? Off course the aluminum of the can is thinner than the aircraft skin, it is only 0.016 inches so you have to push a bit harder to cut the aircraft skin. If you think this experiment was not representative then pull off the pop top lever from the can and cut it with your pocket knife. It is tougher because it is 0.053 inches thick, much thicker than the Electra's skin but you will still be able to cut it with your pocket knife, see the photos I have attached.

you are comparing a soda can which is made of 3XXX series non heat treatable aluminum (chosen for exceptional corrosion resistance) with the skin of an aircraft which in this case is made of alu clad (the pre curser to what is today called 2024 which is strong but highly corrosive hence it is clad with pure aluminum) which is heat treatable. you cannot compare the two. heat treated 2024 cannot be worked unless it is re-heated to 0 temper. generally this is done with an acetylene torch. You set up a sooty flame on your torch and cover the object you want to be able to work with the black soot, then you heat the aluminum up until the soot burns off. the soot just so happens to burn off at the correct temp for the aluminum to lose it's temper.

O.K. a coke can is not the exact same kind of aluminum as used on planes but the airplane wrecks from which I cut pieces of skin were not made from flattened out beer cans  :D so the pieces of aluminum skin that I cut off of plane wrecks were so I know that it can be cut with a swiss army knife. The next time I am at the airport I will try to scrounge up a piece of .032 aluminum and make another You tube video of cutting it with my pocket knife.
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Where do you get them being dehydrated before they even get to Gardner? Putnam said they carried water in the plane for emergency purposes so why do you speculate that they didn't carry even enough water for the length of the flight? I always carried two six packs of cokes for over ocean flights (and an empty plastic milk bottle too) and the other ferry pilots also carried lots of stuff to drink. But we don't have to take my experience since you can find videos of Earhart herself saying that she carried tomato juice (I always liked the way she pronounced it "ta-mah-to" not the usual midwestern "ta-may-toe.") So we basically have it from the horse's mouth that she carried liquids when she flew so you are, again, wildly speculating contrary to the known facts.

Because, at her 10k foot cruising altitude it is much cooler than sea level. it is a well known fact that the danger of becoming dehydrated increases with the cold because the air is dryer so you lose more fluid through breathing. You do not feel as thirsty in the cold weather so you tend not to replenish it. add to that the increase in breath rate for the altitude and it compounds the problem. You do not even realize you are becoming dehydrated, and why would she worry about it when she was going to be landing and could drink all she wanted without worrying about having to pee mid flight. (like I said, I've watched those survivor shows too)

You definitely do notice that you are getting thirsty when flying for long periods at ten thousand feet in an unpressurized plane and you drink lots. Haven't you noticed that the flight attendants on commercial flights come around all the time offering drinks? They do this because passengers do notice that they are thirsty and the cabin altitude in airliners is only 8,000 feet. The interesting thing is that you urinate very little because the low absolute humidity and low cabin pressure causes you to transpire a great deal of moisture through your lungs lessening the amount of urine you produce.
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More speculation, Putnam said she carried water and she could make a still, capture rain from the storm, etc.

more speculation on your part. Putnam was thousands of miles away with no real idea of what she kept or discarded during the flight. if there was water, if she had tools, if she didn't just say "I'm famous they will pick me up within a couple days so I won't do anything"

Do you have any document or witness statement saying that she did not carry water with her, if not, then Putnam's statement is the most authoritative.
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I guess you have never spent any time on south pacific islands so maybe you are basing your assumptions on the King Kong movie, it's not really like that. Gardner island is no more life threatening than the beach at the Club Med on Moorea or Bora Bora and I've seen many people survive a week there with no injuries. They don't give you any special class when you arrive, "HOW TO AVOID INJURY ON THIS ISLAND" so you must just get by with what your mother taught you about being careful, just like Earhart and Noonan. You are just as likely to stub your toe on a coconut or cut your foot on some sharp coral at the Club Meds on Moorea and Bora Bora as at the Club Med on Gardner. One difference however, at the Club Meds Moorea and Bora Bora you exchange plastic beads for drinks while at the Club Med on Gardner you have to fix your own drinks. But we have even more direct evidence that staying on Gardner does not cause anyone to suffer life ending injuries. There was a full scale experiment done in which 24 men lived on the beach on Gardner without shelter for five days in 1929 and none of the men who made it to shore died and we are talking about at the exact same spot as figures in the TIGHAR theory.
gl

this is where I find your arguments get very confused. you say they are just hanging around like they are on vacation one minute, then the next you say they are spending all of their time digging wells, constructing stills or gathering food. None of those tasks are without risk. have you worked sheet metal without gloves? with primative tools? walked a reef face?? gotten an infection from a cut sustained in these conditions??

More horribles and they both managed to sustain injuries and infections that killed them in only seven days? Actually in only four days since Earhart didn't say that she was injured on the Betty Radio Show.
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btw, the crew of the norwich city had food and water the entire time they waited for rescue. If I remember correctly they even had some sort of shelter. A tent of some sort. they had been in contact with a port after the crash and knew rescue was coming. that is a completely different scenario.

They're still on the same beach suffering the same heat and the same opportunities to injure themselves and get infections and the same crab nips so it doesn't look like a completely different scenario to me.

gl

« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 08:22:35 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #282 on: August 24, 2012, 11:21:56 AM »

Whoa!  Nice work!  An aircraft of similar size and configuration to the Electra (despite being butt-ugly) lands successfully on a reef worse than Gardner's, loses the tail wheel, and gets washed off the reef and lost?  This needs further investigation.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #283 on: August 24, 2012, 11:33:31 AM »

Although they did break their tailwheel off, there is no doubt that they could have taken off again if they had avgas before the tide swept it away.

Did the tide sweep it away?

Same day? 

Days later?

It's a fascinating story--I haven't heard this before.

And it sure was an ugly aircraft!   ;D
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #284 on: August 24, 2012, 11:43:12 AM »

Great find Art!
The plane looks like something out of Flight of the Phoenix only instead of an empty desert they landed next to an old School Bus
It looks top heavy and it didn't nose over, and the tall landing gear didn't break off
Very interesting.
3971R
 
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