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Author Topic: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?  (Read 40668 times)

richie conroy

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2011, 05:05:36 PM »

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/MapsandPhotos/maps/Phoenixmap.html

this explains better what i meant by going over lagoon passage an then turning left goin over seven site heading to mckean as its probably closest island to gardner  :)
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richie conroy

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2011, 05:11:05 PM »

also what i was trying to say is, on the poss loss images, the lines run thru the 2 islands is there any way, to find out if first post loss message was line nearest to gardner, an the last one nearest to mckean
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richie conroy

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2011, 05:19:39 PM »

right 1 is first post loss on gardner 2 3 4 are moveing round island heading for mckean
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2011, 01:08:16 PM »

Quote
this explains better what i meant by going over lagoon passage an then turning left goin over seven site heading to mckean as its probably closest island to gardner 

By them not physically identifying (at least in the captured credible messages) Gardner one could surmise that they/she was not sure exactly were they were, that being said, if they didn't know where they were, how could they know that they were close to any other islands and if they were what direction they'd have to go to find them.

LTM,

Don
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2011, 08:10:59 PM »

Hi Don,

I have been thinking that it was a last desperate action by desperate people and not supposed to mean it was a well thought out and planned action. If AE and FN were any good at planning they would have likely made Howland.

You're comment dovetails into the thread about why wasn't Gardner mentioned in the post loss radio messages. I have made some comments as to why I think it wasn't mentioned there.  But I too believe they did not know the name of the island. I believe they were aware of there being a group of islands to the south of Howland. They landed on one. Uninhabited, no regular supply of fresh water, no "european" food, no news media.  And no sign of help.  They have a plane with some fuel, at least one serviceable engine, likely two, a sick FN and a pilot with an ego. Why not fly it away and look for a better island?  Or for any sign of rescue ships?  Just some speculative thoughts.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2011, 09:33:10 PM »

Thanks Jeff

A very reasonable observation. Like I have said previously if it did happen it would have been an act of desperation. I believe AE's nonchalant attitude in her planning and perhaps a bit of a "Super hero" attitude may have led her to believe that rescue was inevitable. She may even have spent her daytime hours thinking about giving speeches about her time as a castaway.

And yes, it's possible she flew away, but not likely due to the other evidence.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2011, 07:59:36 AM »

I've watched this thread for a bit, and have come to the same conclusion as Jeff. IF the Electra were capabile of flying, and IF there was enough fuel, McKean is about 70 nm, and Canton is about 200 nm away. So, thinking that Fred was injured, but able to get a star sight to fix their location, he "may' have been able to plot a course to Mckean or even Canton. Fuel? who knows. McKean would be 1/2 hour +-, and Canton would be 1.3 +- @150 mph. They would have to have known that if they DID get airbourne, and ran out of fuel, they would be no better off than they were on Niku. If they made it to McKean or Canton, were they going to be any better off? Who's to say.
We know that there were radio signals from the plane within 36 hours previous to the search flights over Niku by the Colorado planes. So, within that 36 hour window, this pretty large aluminum airplane went missing. As Ric has said, the tide heights were increasing, and probably too, the wave heights. So, I'm guessing the question is, Did AE and FN fly off the reef to ---whereever?, Or, did the increasing tides and wave action take the Electra off the reef?

For what its worth, I think that they didnt fly off the reef. I'm thinking that during the original landing, there was some damage to the Electra to prevent it from flying. Possibly a bent port side prop ( because they landed facing north (?), and the water was deeper than on the starboard side), and possibly the port side landing gear strut/and or wheel assembly, caught in a trench in the reef (Nessie?). IF so, running the port engine with a bent prop woud be a disaster worse than they already had. So even if the landing gear were ok and the plane would roll freely, it wasnt going to take off on one engine. There just wasnt enough room. Secondly, IF Nessie was the port landing gear strut, then the Electra wasnt taking off anyway.

The other evidence of artifacts at the 7 site indicate that AE was there. So, how long did it take her to get from the reef landing site, or the original base camp, to the 7 site? My bet is more than 36 hours, considering she would be searching for food, water, and anything else to be able to survive with. With all of this in mind, I still think that the Electra is on the bottom, near the reef ledge.   
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« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 01:26:05 PM by J. Nevill »
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2011, 08:59:20 AM »

Quote
I got to this place with scant fuel for more flight but maybe enough for some radio efforts, had enough trouble finding this 'blue lagoon' as it is and missed my little grey-brown target elsewhere, odds of flying far / long enough on what's left sloshing in the tanks to randomly spot something else as good are not great considering what I did NOT see on way here...

Nah, this bird's gonna cling to the wire it found and try to get some attention from there.

NOT that it's impossible at all.  An airplane that made a reasonable landing and is intact enough can fly again, given even a bit of fuel.  And it's interesting to think of a fly-away - and it could explain some things (like 'where's NR16020).

But it's just inconsistent with too many things IMHO, and I might also not want to have to risk another landing attempt on the coral, either.  I'd really want to know where I was, and where I could get to that held better advantage, before I'd risk it.

Ditto!

Quote
They would have to have known that if they DID get airbourne, and ran out of fuel, they would be no better off than they were on Niku.

How could that be?  They were on dry ground with at least hopes for rescue, I would consider that far better off than running out of fuel and the resulting ocean landing.

LTM,

Don
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2011, 09:12:37 AM »

Tha t was my point Don, if they got airbourne and ran out of fuel, they were in reaaly bad shape. so staying on Niku would have been better.
Jeff-----if the electra were able to be moved inland from the landing point, I agree that it would have been better off for using the radio, and possibly refuge. I'm thinking that the further inland it (may have been) moved, then it would also give it some relief to the rising tides and wave action. But, we know that somehow in the time the last radio call was made, until the search over-flight, the Electra disappeared. I would think that being further inland towards the shoreline would have bought some time before the waves could have washed it over the reef. At the same, it would have extended the time that the Electra would have been visible on the reef/beach for the overflight to see. Maybe I'm wrong---probably!
Tom
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2011, 09:33:46 AM »

I have said many times that the inshore part of the reef is jagged and pock-marked with holes that are waist-deep at low tide.  Moving the airplane more than a few meters from the area near the reef edge that is smooth enough for landing was not an option.
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Rich Ramsey

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2011, 10:41:07 AM »

Besides the reef being jagged and pock-marked as ric tells us, we have to follow our clues and account for all of them. If we are to believe the photo of Nessie is the landing gear than the plane isn't going (or wasn't) anywhere.  No matter if they wanted it or not, they had to know that the Electra was done for and it was only a matter of time before the sea claimed her. Think about it, the force that must of been at play to rip the Electra from the gear strut and it didn't move! There was no way that plane was moving inland, let alone take off for who knows where.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2011, 11:04:02 AM »

I have said many times that the inshore part of the reef is jagged and pock-marked with holes that are waist-deep at low tide.  Moving the airplane more than a few meters from the area near the reef edge that is smooth enough for landing was not an option.

Yes Marty has mentioned that the waterbetween the reef and the beach is also very deep.  Coupled with your comments Ric it's pretty clear that the Electra may have been moved a little or it may have been turned to take the surf action better but it wasn't going up onto the beach.   Question Ric, was the simulated landing in the overflight video accurate as to how far out from the beach you think the plane actually landed?  I know we wont know for sure but you have been on that reef flat and, as a pilot, you would have gone through looking at the geology and making an educated "guess".   The video narrative says the tuna boat captain permitted TIGHAR's cameraman to go on the overflight, but did you get a chance to ride on the helicopter too?  If yes then is your overhead observation the same as your observation from the ground?   I ask because it seems like the simulated landing is further out from shore than may be necessary. 

Based on the description of the reef flat and the channel and geology between the flat and the beach, I dont see much room to protect the Electra from the high, rising tides and the surf action.  It would have been sitting out in the open like a giant silver beacon for the aerial searchers if it wasn't gone. 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2011, 11:13:07 AM »

Besides the reef being jagged and pock-marked as ric tells us, we have to follow our clues and account for all of them. If we are to believe the photo of Nessie is the landing gear than the plane isn't going (or wasn't) anywhere.  No matter if they wanted it or not, they had to know that the Electra was done for and it was only a matter of time before the sea claimed her. Think about it, the force that must of been at play to rip the Electra from the gear strut and it didn't move! There was no way that plane was moving inland, let alone take off for who knows where.

However, if the plane was being subjected to all of these pressures, then it stayed intact long enough for AE and FN to enter the cockpit, start the right engine, transmit messages and then, presumably, get back out up until the Wednesday night at 8.18pm local Gardner time (last credible post loss message).  Then within 36 hours its gone so completely that aerial searchers saw no sign of it.  Thats a 36 hour window where the surf did the most damage.  Ric has stated before in this thread that he speculates it may have been getting pushed slowly towards the edge of the reef flat and then finally went over during the 36 hour window.  Since there were no credible post loss radio signals on the Thursday night then the suggestion may be that it went over sometime during the high tide on Thursday. 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 12:17:47 PM by Irvine John Donald »
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2011, 12:38:26 PM »

True but where is "nessie"?  Something sticking up out of the water when the Nowix City was also breaking up could have been a railing for all we know.  Look at the Niku overflight and note Ric's narrative pointing out the huge steel plates on the beach.  If the surf could move those then how do we know the "nessie" isn't a piece of the Shipwreck.  In fact if you were just looking at that picture and weren't looking for a plane wreck would you not "assume" that "nessie" was more than likely a piece of the shipwreck?
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2011, 12:45:13 PM »

The wreckage from the Norwich City moves SE of the wreck in the direction that the currents move.  Also the wreck was mostly intact when the photo was taken.
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