A third article has been published in the December 2011 *European Journal of Navigation* by the originator of this thread here.

One of the puzzling aspects of Mr. van Asten's time with us was his very difficult to read writing style that made many of his points hard if not impossible to understand. Had he communicated with the same talent displayed in this article, he would have gotten along just fine!

I have read his third article and it is gibberish like the prior two. I am not going to get sucked into dissecting every aspect of this article but I will point out four items.

1. He uses the wrong weight for the plane, 16,400 pounds, while the weight at takeoff did not exceed 15,000. What is interesting in that it demonstrates Mr. van Asten's lack of knowledge by the way he calculated this. He started with the maximum gross weight of 16,500 pounds and subtracts 1,200 gallons of fuel weighing 7,200 pound giving him an empty weight of 9,300 pounds. He then adds the 6,600 pounds for the 1,100 gallons of gas the plane carried on takeoff from Lae plus 500 pounds for the crew and equipment coming up with his 16,400 pounds. What is wrong with this is his assumption that the only payload of the plane was the 1,200 gallons of fuel, he left out the crew, equipment and any cargo from the beginning of his calculation. The documentation actually shows that the empty weight was 7,340 pounds not the 9,300 upon which van Asten based his calculations. To this real empty weight we add 340 pounds of crew, 6,600 pounds of fuel, 562 pounds of oil for a total of 14,842 pounds leaving some extra capacity for equipment before exceeding 15,000 pounds. The effect of weight on range is inversely proportional to the weight and van Asten overestimated the weight by 9 or 10% causing him to underestimate the range by the same 9 or 10%.

2. He calculated the time to fly from Lae to Howland as exactly 18 hours, 50 minutes and

**8 seconds** but he doesn't tell us where he started the timing from, was it at the beginning of the takeoff roll, or when the tail came up, or when the main wheels left the ground, or when they cleared the end of the runway, or some other blade of grass on the runway. Mr. van Asten uses impossible levels of precision in his calculations which mean nothing in the real world.

3. He uses the Breguat formula for part of his calculations but this formula is only valid if the plane is flown,

at all times, at exactly its best range speed which get slower and slower as the plane burns off fuel and gets lighter and we know Earhart did not follow the Breguat regime but flew at considerably higher speeds, so the use of that formula is invalid for van Asten's calculations.

4. I get a real chuckle out of this one, he now admits the position report was

**received** at Lae at 0718 Z when in his prior arguments he claimed it was sent at 0720 Z in support of his complex calculations that showed that Noonan took an observation of the sun at exactly 0719:30 Z to produce that position report but this claimed observation would have been taken one and a half minutes after the report had been received at Lae. Now that he admits that the report was

**received** two minutes prior to the time that he thought the position report had been sent from the plane, this shows that he was wrong since you can't receive a radio report earlier than the time that it was sent. This was the subject of several months of postings earlier this year. A minute and a half error may not sound very significant to readers but it was absolutely critical to van Asten's theory in his two prior articles, everything flowed from that erroneous computation. In celestial navigation a one and a half minute difference in the time of a sight is

**HUGE** since it produces an error of 29 SM because the plane is moving and, more significantly, the Earth is turning at a rate 1,035 mph - 17.25 SM per minute. (I wonder if he will now go back and retract his prior erroneous articles but I doubt that he will.)

Here are links to what I have written about the quality of van Asten's prior articles.

Link1,

link2 link3.

So you can try to decipher his most recent article if you want. good luck.

gl