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Author Topic: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air  (Read 123219 times)

Tim Collins

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #75 on: November 18, 2011, 10:59:58 AM »

If there were any official guidelines nobody mentioned them.  It's clear that Lambrecht and Co. were looking for an airplane but it's also clear that they paid close attention to signs of people. In fairness, we should remember that Gardner was only the second island they looked at.  This was a rescue mission.  For all they knew AE and FN could be near death on the beach at the next island.  Landing in the lagoon would be dangerous and accomplish little.  It's not like they could taxi to shore, get out and look around.  The water near the lagoon shore is way too shallow.  Lambrecht landed at Hull but only because there were people there who could come out in a canoe and talk to him. For Colorado to heave to and send a boat ashore through the surf would be hazardous and would probably take all day.

Is this to suggest that the the Lambrecht/Navy search was less earnest than it could have been?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #76 on: November 18, 2011, 12:14:49 PM »

Is this to suggest that the the Lambrecht/Navy search was less earnest than it could have been?

It's not for me to pass judgement.  I'd urge anyone to read the primary source material and form their own opinion.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #77 on: November 18, 2011, 12:43:28 PM »

No Brit (did i just type that?) would greet a stranger with "cherrio"

You're a better judge of that than I am old chap.

and some of the island reports appear 'padded' out to make the story bigger and the search more intense.

Lambrecht's submission of his article for publication was not well received.  A memo to Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet dated 27 July 1937, from Commander Battle Force (Colorado's captain's boss) reads in part:
"Certain undesirable features in this correspondence including the undue informality of expression in certain portions, are being taken up with the Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Colorado , in separate correspondence."

In other words, Friedel lost a chunk of his butt for not keeping a tighter rein on his senior aviator's language.  You can bet the manure continued to travel downhill.  "Mr. Lambrecht, the CO would like to see you in his cabin."
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Phil T Martin

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #78 on: November 18, 2011, 01:23:20 PM »

I'm under the impression that what seems like a less than earnest search, if it was in fact lacking earnestness, was due to the lack of spotting an Electra - or recognizable parts of one. First and foremost, the plane was what they were looking for - find the plane, find AE and FN. No plane, no inhabitants in sight...move on to the next island. That's my take...
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Ricker H Jones

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #79 on: November 18, 2011, 05:33:58 PM »

 Wayne H. Heiser’s U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Aviation, Volume I, 1916-1942 Chronology includes the following description of the Naval Aviation flight training syllabus at Pensacola in 1935
 
     “The primary and advanced flight training syllabus at NAS Pensacola was revised on 1 May 1935.  The new syllabus required completion of about 300 hours of flight instruction and 465 hours of ground school instruction in a period of one year.  The flight syllabus was divided into nine weeks in primary seaplanes, eighteen weeks in primary landplanes, nine weeks in observation landplanes, nine weeks in service seaplanes, and seven weeks in fighter planes.  There was no distinction between training given to regular Navy students and aviation cadets except that the cadets had to complete an additional 90 hours of indoctrination in naval subjects.
     Training was not ended for aviation cadets with the designation as naval aviators and assignment to the Fleet.  Comprehensive syllabi were prepared and followed for training in all aspects of flying at sea.  In addition, to correct deficiencies in general seagoing knowledge, training and study courses were conducted aboard ship in gunnery, engineering, etc.”
 
It looks like the doctrinal training for specific military tasks was conducted at the unit level after the aviator was assigned to sea or shore duty, and not during flight training. Never-the-less, it appears there was a pattern in the search for AE by the Colorado’s planes in that each island was evaluated in a similar fashion:
 
Circle Island, Search target will be: Plane/raft,
            If none, check for:
                      Habitation, Evaluate contemporary or dated?
                                    If recent,
                                                Determine presence of people: Circle and Zoom
                                                            If  people present:  land
                                                                        Interrogate witnesses
                                                                                    If no news of sightings
                                                                                                Continue on
 
                                                            If people not present, observe conditions suitable for forced landing report such for additional searches if required.
 
It wouldn’t be surprising if the experience gained by the Colorado’s air crews during the Earhart search was used for unit level “training” for new pilots and observers, and the Earhart searchers used what advice they could glean from previous search experiences.
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #80 on: November 19, 2011, 06:23:03 AM »

Cherrio, toodle pip, goodbye!

or

whatho! hello, good morning!

Just to be clear about this, am I correct in understanding that "Cheerio" is an alternative to "Good Bye," never "Hello"?  Hence, Lambrecht's claim that the resident manager at Hull greeted him "with a cordial Cheerio" is evidence that Lambrecht embellished his narrative?
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #81 on: November 19, 2011, 02:17:42 PM »



Chris
AE/FN on land, then plane also on land.  Not necessarily.

Assume that they Ditched in the water but near enough to land to raft to it or swim to it.  Plane sinks, people safe on land.  The search needed to  be looking for a plane and/or people.

IMHO the searchers were less than enthusiastic about being sent out in the ocean to look for some publicity-seeking dumb ninny of a female "aviatrix" .  They went about the formality of boring holes in the sky and getting back to the ship.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #82 on: November 19, 2011, 02:43:11 PM »



Chris
AE/FN on land, then plane also on land.  Not necessarily.

Assume that they Ditched in the water but near enough to land to raft to it or swim to it.  Plane sinks, people safe on land.  The search needed to  be looking for a plane and/or people.

IMHO the searchers were less than enthusiastic about being sent out in the ocean to look for some publicity-seeking dumb ninny of a female "aviatrix" .  They went about the formality of boring holes in the sky and getting back to the ship.
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I think that is an unwarranted and unsubstantiated slur, impugning the professionalism and dedication of our Naval Aviators who, just a few years later, were fighting valiently in WW2. They may have thought that Earhart was a publicity hound but you have no reason to speculate that that would have kept them from doing their very best to find her. You should be ashamed of yourself.

gl
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #83 on: November 19, 2011, 03:02:40 PM »

Wm. Short's letter to his father includes the line "...However, if I can only keep my date with Amelia it will be worth it!", which sounds to me as though he took his duty seriously.  Neither he nor Lambrecht show any indication of anything less than dedication to the search.  The Colorado was sent on a rescue mission, participating in a search for one of the most famous people in the world. That's a big responsability, regardless of what they might have thought about her exploits.  Finding her would have been the biggest thing to happen to them all, as if there wasn't enough motivation already.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #84 on: November 19, 2011, 08:31:37 PM »

I think that is an unwarranted and unsubstantiated slur, impugning the professionalism and dedication of our Naval Aviators who, just a few years later, were fighting valiently in WW2. They may have thought that Earhart was a publicity hound but you have no reason to speculate that that would have kept them from doing their very best to find her. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Chill Gary. I too disagree with Harry's characterization of the search as "boring holes in the sky and getting back to the ship."  I think the pilots and observers probably did the best job they could under the circumstances, but I base that opinion on the available evidence, not upon some jingoistic prohibition on impugning the professionalism and dedication of "our Naval Aviators." 

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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #85 on: November 19, 2011, 09:26:08 PM »


Gary
The acronym IMHO stands for In My Humble Opinion.  I think we can still express opinions in this country and on this forum.  You of course may also express yours.  I served 6 years in service to my country and I don't need a personal attack from you.  Take a hike if you don't like my opinion.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #86 on: November 19, 2011, 10:29:33 PM »


Gary
The acronym IMHO stands for In My Humble Opinion.  I think we can still express opinions in this country and on this forum.  You of course may also express yours.  I served 6 years in service to my country and I don't need a personal attack from you.  Take a hike if you don't like my opinion.
------------------------
I read your "IMHO" as applying to your first sentence and your second sentence looked like you were stating a fact, not an opinion. If that is your opinion your are entitled to it. I used to flight instruct at Point Mugu Naval Air Station and you can't find a more dedicated, motivated and intelligent bunch of people anywhere else and I have no doubt that the 1937 version of these people was just as good, so your comment rubbed me the wrong way.

----------------------------------------

BTW, it was fun flying at NTD because the approach end of runway 27 is marked out just like a carrier deck and there was the same approach light system ("call the ball") and the arresting gear you find out on the boat. It looks like the proverbial postage stamp and was interesting getting the T-34 down on just the carrier deck and sharing the traffic pattern with F/A-18s.

gl
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 11:29:34 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #87 on: November 20, 2011, 08:21:58 AM »

Think I may be nit picking a bit.

Nit picking?? On this Forum???
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #88 on: November 21, 2011, 07:46:26 AM »

Good, I see the pattern there of how they may have approached each island search.

I don't think it was anything like that organized.  As far as I can see, the plan was:
Fly over each island and see if there's any sign of the lost plane or its crew.

The decision to land at Hull was a spur-of-the-moment thing.
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Dan Swift

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #89 on: November 21, 2011, 11:35:28 AM »

Don't understand why anyone can't get by the fact that ditching and sinking is not an option. 
Post loss radio transmissions.  Enough were credible.  Can't be explained away and can't be done from underwater either.  So it's not if she landed, it is where she landed is the first question.  Then what happened after the last transmission is the last question.   
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