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Author Topic: FAQ: Octane Analysis  (Read 70376 times)

Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2011, 11:44:35 AM »


My answer is strictly an opinion.
AE, rememberibg her groundloop experience at Hawaii and the misinformation concerning takeoff power and octane, dedicated one 81 gallon tank to 100 octane fuel and filled that tank at each refuelibg point.  Discovering that Lae had no 100 octane gas, she didn't want to dilute what high-test she had.(about 40.5 gallons)

The real question is why, during the extensive planning stage for the World Flight, didn't they discover that Lae didn't have 100 octane?  I'm sure that George Putnam could have arranged to have a few barrels (55 gallons each) at Lae waiting for AE's arrival from Darwin.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2011, 01:32:26 PM »

My answers are always my opinions too. As far as my wife is concerned I'm not right very often.

 You raise a good point Harry. Jeff's post shows more 100 octane being delivered to Howland than she had room for in that 81 gallon tank.  None at Lae but too much at Howland. Poor planning?  Or careful planning by making sure extra was available. (Even though she didn't "need" it. Right Gary?). 

Hard to say on that one.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2011, 02:11:28 PM »


My answer is strictly an opinion.
AE, rememberibg her groundloop experience at Hawaii and the misinformation concerning takeoff power and octane, dedicated one 81 gallon tank to 100 octane fuel and filled that tank at each refuelibg point.  Discovering that Lae had no 100 octane gas, she didn't want to dilute what high-test she had.(about 40.5 gallons)

The real question is why, during the extensive planning stage for the World Flight, didn't they discover that Lae didn't have 100 octane?  I'm sure that George Putnam could have arranged to have a few barrels (55 gallons each) at Lae waiting for AE's arrival from Darwin.

What 'misinformation' about take-off power and octane?  We have no direct evidence that she was so mis-informed that I can see.  We have Gary's opinion that nearly everyone other than him is misinformed - and that of whomever may agree with him (and if that's you, sorry).

Even if AE had been 'misinformed', and thereby had 100 octane aboard 'illadvisedly', what material impact would it have had on ANYTHING to do with any segment of the flight, or with the Luke Field event?  It would be completely benign and would impose no negative effects - excepting the one argument about AE having limited her range by possibly an hour due to a short fuel load at Lae.

I seriously doubt that AE always kept only one 81 gallon tank reserved for 100 octane the whole trip.  The 200 gallons Black was bringing to Howland suggests something: fill a couple of tanks with 100 octane FIRST - top off with 80 in the remaining tanks and thereby assure a running reserve of 100.  That may well have also been done as a reserve tactic prior to Lae for all we can tell at moment; if that's important to someone maybe they can find the records.  It is also clear that AE wanted plenty for the take-off at Howland - which suggests the 40 gallons or so aboard at Lae would have been expected to have been consumed.

Why didn't they know Lae had no 100 octane?  We don't "know" that AE, Putnam & Co. "didn't know": Chater never indicated that as a surprise, just a fact; I can't tell from his statement that Lae never had it, either - maybe not, or maybe just at that time.  That AE still had 40 gallons or so of high octane fuel at Lae is not inconsistent with AE ensuring that she arrived Lae with a supply for the next take-off or so, either. 

In any case, the absence of 100 octane at Lae did not create any problems - unless one is critical of AE leaving there with less than a full bag of fuel.  Route distance, etc. can show why they may not have felt they needed the full bag, rationally enough.  Of course we can argue otherwise, endlessly.  Point is that's how they departed there, and their rationale can be understood, whether it is what we'd do or not.

One funny thing about all of this whole discussion - pick apart whatever piece of it one will as ill-advised and tsk-tsk over what one sees as ignorance all one will, but the truth is AE's whole round-robin effort was folly and ill-advised for good reasons anyway - one of which stares back every time we engage in this chase:
It was fraught with unnecessary peril. 
Had AE not succombed to that unwarranted peril we would be chasing a different holy grail - and presumably picking it apart, feather-by-feather... 

LTM -

Jeff you are absolutely right. It makes no difference to the particulars of her flight.  But after all this time and with TIGHAR's extensive investigation there is still no "conclusive evidence" that the theory is right. So, in my opinion, you need to step back and look at the puzzle from other angles. Gary's skepticism of the theory makes people defend it and I believe the arguments put forth generally strengthen the theory's viability. Just look at your dialogue with Gary over the last few days!  Great stuff from both sides!!  I believe that if this type of back and forth carries on in ALL of the threads in this forum then the theory will continue to strengthen and perhaps even new facts may come to life.  There are many people out there who read these forum topics but don't contribute. They really should. Every new idea, and the regurgitation of the old ones, is important. Even when the threads don't make a big impact on material fact. Like the topic of this one. "Octane Analysis".  If it makes people think then it's worthwhile.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2011, 06:22:21 PM »

From the "Chater Report" -

"July 1st — after the machine was tested the Vacuum Oil Co.’s representatives filled all tanks in the machine with 87 octane fuel with the exception of one 81 gallon tank which already contained 100 octane for taking off purposes. This tank was approximately half full and it can be safely estimated that on leaving Lae the tank at least 40 gallons of 100 octane fuel – (100 octane fuel is not obtainable in Lae)."

By Chater's report, this is what "AE did", and thereby Chater has stated "the reason for it".  I find no good reason to question this.  It also just happens to be consistent with an L10E "book" take-off at 36.5" MP boosted / 2300 rpm / 600 at sea level for 1 minute from Lae.  That's fits the criteria as published today; apparently the same was understood at that time. 

In the Report of the Tenth Cruise to the American Equatorial Islands, Richard Black reported:

"Four drums (200 gallons) of 100 octane gasoline (special for take-off) and numerous spare parts, supplies, and tools are being carried to (H)howland for the Earhart flight."

It is interesting what history can tell us.

---

Quote from Gary LaPook -

"I've said it several times, she was misinformed about the capabilities of higher octane fuel as are almost all people, even today.

gl"

That's your judgment; apparently then so must have been everyone else around her, Gary.  Too bad she didn't have you for an advisor to overcome the ignorance of others, like Kelly (Lockheed), Mantz, Noonan, Marshall (P&W), Hooven...  I disagree for more objective reasons than your judgment.

"PLANK".  Yes he was, and good for you - and thanks for your service.

LTM -
Jeff,
"PLANK... service."
I have no Idea what your are talking about.

In my prior post I wrote, "I'll leave you with just one word, PLANK.  ;)," I was just being humorous and I fully expected that you would recognize the standard aircraft engine thermodynamic formula for computing horsepower by the use of "PLANK." Since you didn't even recognize this standard formula, I now take it that you never learned how to compute horsepower and this probably  explains your misunderstanding of the power settings contained in the P&W TCDS E-143 and in the P&W power setting table for the S3H1 engine. I thought that this formula was taught to all A&Ps (you are an Airplane and Powerplant Mechanic, right) so did you miss class that day, or what?
I have attached the FAA test questions for the A&P General Exam, try questions 34, 36, 37, 38, 44 and 57 as a review.
As long as we are at it Jeff, since you also post about Noonan's navigation, I have attached the FAA Flight Navigator test questions, let me know how you do on them.

gl
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 05:03:08 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2011, 12:00:17 PM »


Three Things
1. Ric said in a post somewhere on the forum that drums of fuel with AE's name on them were pre-positioned at fueling points.
2. Chater said that an 81 gallon tank was half full of 100 octane fuel but wasn't filled because there was no 100 octane at Lae.
3.  Black said that there was 200 gallons of 100 octane (for takeoff purposes) was on board the ship to Howland.

My guess is that AE took off from Darwin with a full 81 gallon tank of 100 octane anticipating the use of about half (40 gallons) at takeoff from Darwin and half at takeoff from Lae, then refueling the tank at Howland.  This would explain why they didn't assure a supply of 100 octane at Lae.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2011, 12:06:43 PM »

It does seem like value has been credited towards 100 octane fuel as being necessary based on Harry's summary.  And by lots of knowledgable people. But even still the 100 octane coesnt really advance the theory. It has little impact. IMHO
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Irv
 
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2011, 12:50:00 PM »



I wasn't aware that we  were attempting to "advance a theory".  I thought we were testing an hypothesis against known facts and conclusions in order to explain what happened, why/how it happened and what can/should be done to prevent it from happening again.

I suggest the reading of a book entitled "Destination Disaster "(subtitled Ford Trimotor to DC-10) by Paul Eddy, Elaine Potter, and Bruce Page as an example of how an Accident/Incident (A/I) Investigation takes place and where the various threads lead.  Note especially the FAA's fix to an A/I that killed nearly 400 people.
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2011, 04:01:41 PM »


The primary cause of the 1974 DC-10 crash was a failure of the baggage door locking mechanism, resulting in a collapse of the passenger compartment floor and the shearing off of the control cables.  The FAA's fix was to require that a sign be posted near the door instructing the gorilla/baggage handler to look and be sure the door is closed and locked.  The message was in English, the handler was Turkish.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2011, 10:13:45 PM »



I wasn't aware that we  were attempting to "advance a theory".  I thought we were testing an hypothesis against known facts and conclusions in order to explain what happened, why/how it happened and what can/should be done to prevent it from happening again.

I suggest the reading of a book entitled "Destination Disaster "(subtitled Ford Trimotor to DC-10) by Paul Eddy, Elaine Potter, and Bruce Page as an example of how an Accident/Incident (A/I) Investigation takes place and where the various threads lead.  Note especially the FAA's fix to an A/I that killed nearly 400 people.

I have spent some time this evening reviewing the definitions of "theory" and "hypothesis".  It's clear there is a distinct difference between these two terms. You are correct Harry. My use of the phrase "advancing a theory" was incorrect. TIGHAR is testing a hypothesis and I apologize for my indiscretion. My phrase misrepresents TIGHAR's work. 

A theory is an explanation. A hypothesis is a testable idea.  You do not set out to prove a hypothesis, simply test it.  I wonder if Ric and other senior members could give us some insight into why they chose hypothesis over theory.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2011, 01:36:46 AM »



I wasn't aware that we  were attempting to "advance a theory".  I thought we were testing an hypothesis against known facts and conclusions in order to explain what happened, why/how it happened and what can/should be done to prevent it from happening again.

I suggest the reading of a book entitled "Destination Disaster "(subtitled Ford Trimotor to DC-10) by Paul Eddy, Elaine Potter, and Bruce Page as an example of how an Accident/Incident (A/I) Investigation takes place and where the various threads lead.  Note especially the FAA's fix to an A/I that killed nearly 400 people.

I have spent some time this evening reviewing the definitions of "theory" and "hypothesis".  It's clear there is a distinct difference between these two terms. You are correct Harry. My use of the phrase "advancing a theory" was incorrect. TIGHAR is testing a hypothesis and I apologize for my indiscretion. My phrase misrepresents TIGHAR's work. 

A theory is an explanation. A hypothesis is a testable idea.  You do not set out to prove a hypothesis, simply test it.  I wonder if Ric and other senior members could give us some insight into why they chose hypothesis over theory.
Right, and when you are confronted with evidence that conflicts with your hypothesis you re-evaluate your hypothesis, you don't just try to discredit and explain away and avoid the conflicting evidence.

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2011, 01:46:46 AM »


The primary cause of the 1974 DC-10 crash was a failure of the baggage door locking mechanism, resulting in a collapse of the passenger compartment floor and the shearing off of the control cables.  The FAA's fix was to require that a sign be posted near the door instructing the gorilla/baggage handler to look and be sure the door is closed and locked.  The message was in English, the handler was Turkish.
Yep, but it apparently worked, we haven't had a repeat of that accident. Here is a different DC-10 accident that I litigated.

http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/AccidentReports/k2yqxd455dcfn355i2k533551/U12112011120000.pdf

gl

gl
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2011, 11:20:51 AM »


Sary
No, it didn't work.
Prior to the Turkish Airways fatal crash in France with the DC-10 baggage door there had been an identical incident in the US which, because of the pilot's self-training and ability to fly the DC-10 without control of the control  surfaces, was survivable and without casualities.  He landed the plane safely using only the three engines.

That's when the FAA did the sign posting solution.  Not FIX THE DOOR LOCKING MECHANISM but put up a sign.  The Turkish plane had the sign, the gorilla/baggage handler couldn't read english   OOPS. 386 people perished.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2011, 04:03:34 PM »


Sary
No, it didn't work.
Prior to the Turkish Airways fatal crash in France with the DC-10 baggage door there had been an identical incident in the US which, because of the pilot's self-training and ability to fly the DC-10 without control of the control  surfaces, was survivable and without casualities.  He landed the plane safely using only the three engines.

That's when the FAA did the sign posting solution.  Not FIX THE DOOR LOCKING MECHANISM but put up a sign.  The Turkish plane had the sign, the gorilla/baggage handler couldn't read english   OOPS. 386 people perished.
I didn't search for accidents prior to the Turkish one. So there have been no similar accidents after the Turkish one which is why I said it worked.

gl

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2011, 04:12:46 PM »

It does seem like value has been credited towards 100 octane fuel as being necessary based on Harry's summary.  And by lots of knowledgable people. But even still the 100 octane coesnt really advance the theory. It has little impact. IMHO
The only point I was making is that having an additional hour of fuel on board might have made a difference in the outcome. I have proved that the plane would have taken off safely from Lae with only 550 hp from each engine which was certainly available with 87 octane fuel. (Actually P&W documents show that they could put out the full 600 hp with 87 octane but no reason to go through that battle again since no one yet (are you listening Jeff) is disputing the 550 hp with 87 octane.) So it turns out that there was no good reason to leave with less than full fuel and that might have made a big difference.

gl
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Octane Analysis
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2011, 04:55:41 PM »

But the TIGHAR hypothesis is that they landed on Gardner with fuel on board. IF they had filled that last tank at Lae, wouldn't this just mean they would have had more fuel in the tank when they landed?  It's not like AE flew around until her tanks went empty then crashed into the sea. The post loss radio messages say otherwise.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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