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Author Topic: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.  (Read 448852 times)

JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #120 on: January 06, 2012, 07:27:47 PM »

Also, GL sez: "...The lights on Nauru are 5,600 feet above sea level. According to the telegram, that's the height of the 5000 cp fixed light (singular), not necessarily the lights (plural) from the mining operation.  What do we know about the altitude of the mine?  The fixed nav light would likely have been on the highest point of land, and on a tower.  The mine would obviously have been at some lower altitude.

Stupid question but Wikipedia (font of all accurate knowledge) states the highest point of the island is is 200ft so thats got to be some tall mother of a lighting rig?

Right on Chris   Nauru has an elevation of 180' above sea level.  No mountains or hills.  Yet somehow there is a light that is 5600 feet above sea level which is twice the height of the worlds tallest free standing structure.  See this Wilipedia link.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures_in_the_world#Tallest_structure_by_category   
Something seems not right with the reported elevation.  Todays tallest guyed masts are tv towers typically topping out at 1330 feet.
Well, duh, what did you expect? Remember what they were doing there, they were shoveling that mountain of guano into ships so it is no wonder that the island is a lot lower today, 75 years later, than it was in 1937.

gl

Gary, you gotta be s... ah,

Are you SERIOUS???  5000 feet worth???  That's one HECK of a pile of bird... DUNG!!!  WOW!!! 

WHAT mountain?  Where did you land on that?

I am utterly amazed... had no idea there could have been enough productive birds in the entire Pacific Ocean since the dawn of time to produce ANYTHING like that! 

I thought maybe the telegram had a typo in it.  A WWII era picture shows a relatively flat island in 1943, as best I can tell - so they must have moved much faster than the 75 years you suggest...

But I do still see how lights at Nauru could be visible for a long, long way - even at 200' elevation - their glow, if not directly, for that matter.

Think maybe they had a nice, tall "560'" tower by chance?  Not bad for a small <200' elevation place like Nauru - would still be a heck of a beacon.

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 07:44:48 PM by Jeff Neville »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #121 on: January 06, 2012, 07:39:12 PM »

Also, GL sez: "...The lights on Nauru are 5,600 feet above sea level. According to the telegram, that's the height of the 5000 cp fixed light (singular), not necessarily the lights (plural) from the mining operation.  What do we know about the altitude of the mine?  The fixed nav light would likely have been on the highest point of land, and on a tower.  The mine would obviously have been at some lower altitude.
Hey, I was just going with the idea of shoveling guano.

gl

Stupid question but Wikipedia (font of all accurate knowledge) states the highest point of the island is is 200ft so thats got to be some tall mother of a lighting rig?

Right on Chris   Nauru has an elevation of 180' above sea level.  No mountains or hills.  Yet somehow there is a light that is 5600 feet above sea level which is twice the height of the worlds tallest free standing structure.  See this Wilipedia link.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures_in_the_world#Tallest_structure_by_category   
Something seems not right with the reported elevation.  Todays tallest guyed masts are tv towers typically topping out at 1330 feet.
Well, duh, what did you expect? Remember what they were doing there, they were shoveling that mountain of guano into ships so it is no wonder that the island is a lot lower today, 75 years later, than it was in 1937.

gl

Gary, you gotta be s... ah,

Are you SERIOUS???  5000 feet worth???  That's one HECK of a pile of bird... DUNG!!!  WOW!!!  Where did you land on that?

I am utterly amazed... had no idea there could have been enough productive birds in the entire Pacific Ocean since the dawn of time to produce ANYTHING like that! 

I thought maybe the telegram had a typo in it.  A WWII era picture shows a relatively flat island in 1943, as best I can tell - so they must have moved much faster than the 75 years you suggest...

But I do still see how lights at Nauru could be visible for a long, long way - even at 200' elevation - their glow, if not directly, for that matter.

Think maybe they had a nice, tall "560'" tower by chance?  Not bad for a small <200' elevation place like Nauru - would still be a heck of a beacon.

LTM -
Hey, I was just going with the idea of shoveling guano. But why not, the birds were doing it for millions of years. The radiogram is pretty clear, it says "5600 feet above sea level" it couldn't be clearer than that. Ric always says we should only rely on primary docments and this is a primary document. There was the guano trade to the west coast of South America for well over a century where windjammers loaded up with guano for shipment to Europe. The birds had piled it up very high in lots of places.

gl
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 08:03:15 PM by Gary LaPook »
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richie conroy

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #122 on: January 06, 2012, 08:41:43 PM »



Amelia said at 10:15am must be on u but can not see u

Amelia said at 12:14pm we are on line 157 337 we are running north and south

337 north

157 south

her saying 157 first tells us she was on the 157 side of the LOP line and she was running north to south meaning she was going south on 157 LOP

from her saying must be on u  at 10:15am she had been in the air running south for 2hrs before her last message running north an south

so if they got to were howland was meant to be on map, an it were'nt there, they have then turned right an gone south down 157 LOP which has taken them close enough to see gardner an from a distance seeing ship by reef they probably thought it was the itasca as they wouldnt of known it was a wreck till they landed as they were probably running on fumes an didnt have a chance to do a fly around

just my thoughts on this topic  :)     

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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #123 on: January 06, 2012, 09:01:06 PM »



Amelia said at 10:15am must be on u but can not see u

Amelia said at 12:14pm we are on line 157 337 we are running north and south

337 north

157 south

her saying 157 first tells us she was on the 157 side of the LOP line and she was running north to south meaning she was going south on 157 LOP

from her saying must be on u  at 10:15am she had been in the air running south for 2hrs before her last message running north an south

so if they got to were howland was meant to be on map, an it were'nt there, they have then turned right an gone south down 157 LOP which has taken them close enough to see gardner an from a distance seeing ship by reef they probably thought it was the itasca as they wouldnt of known it was a wreck till they landed as they were probably running on fumes an didnt have a chance to do a fly around

just my thoughts on this topic  :)   

Say this out loud, "west and east;"    "south and north;"  "three three seven one five seven."
Now try this, "east and west;"  "north and south;"  "one five seven three three seven."

I think you found that your mouth naturally pronounced the second line while you had to force your mouth to say the first line. There are phrases in our minds that are standard and come out easily like "pork and beans," just try saying "beans and pork."  So don't put too much significance on the order of those words as recorded in the Itasca radio logs.

gl
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John Ousterhout

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #124 on: January 06, 2012, 09:23:04 PM »

Here's a link to a photo of Nauru in 1943.  There's no mountain of phosphate, although some of the web information mentions the "plateau" as the central deposit.  By the 1980's, the phosphate mining era was over, leaving a "moonlike" terrain with limestone pillars up to 75 feet tall.  This may indicate the deposit was about 75 feet thick.  A beacon light in 1937 isn't likely to have been up at 5600 feet as described in the telegram.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nauru_Island_under_attack_by_Liberator_bombers_of_the_Seventh_Air_Force..jpg
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #125 on: January 06, 2012, 09:28:42 PM »

Here's a link to a photo of Nauru in 1943.  There's no mountain of phosphate, although some of the web information mentions the "plateau" as the central deposit.  By the 1980's, the phosphate mining era was over, leaving a "moonlike" terrain with limestone pillars up to 75 feet tall.  This may indicate the deposit was about 75 feet thick.  A beacon light in 1937 isn't likely to have been up at 5600 feet as described in the telegram.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nauru_Island_under_attack_by_Liberator_bombers_of_the_Seventh_Air_Force..jpg
I was just talking about shoveling guano. :D

gl
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JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #126 on: January 06, 2012, 09:35:51 PM »



Amelia said at 10:15am must be on u but can not see u

Amelia said at 12:14pm we are on line 157 337 we are running north and south

337 north

157 south

her saying 157 first tells us she was on the 157 side of the LOP line and she was running north to south meaning she was going south on 157 LOP

from her saying must be on u  at 10:15am she had been in the air running south for 2hrs before her last message running north an south

so if they got to were howland was meant to be on map, an it were'nt there, they have then turned right an gone south down 157 LOP which has taken them close enough to see gardner an from a distance seeing ship by reef they probably thought it was the itasca as they wouldnt of known it was a wreck till they landed as they were probably running on fumes an didnt have a chance to do a fly around

just my thoughts on this topic  :)   

Say this out loud, "west and east;"    "south and north;"  "three three seven one five seven."
Now try this, "east and west;"  "north and south;"  "one five seven three three seven."

I think you found that your mouth naturally pronounced the second line while you had to force your mouth to say the first line. There are phrases in our minds that are standard and come out easily like "pork and beans," just try saying "beans and pork."  So don't put too much significance on the order of those words as recorded in the Itasca radio logs.

gl

I agree.  It is tempting to try to assign directional meaning but all we have is a LOP definition and that she's running 'on it' - direction not stated.

Now if she'd said "I'm over a big mountain of guano..."  ;D
- Jeff Neville

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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #127 on: January 06, 2012, 09:37:49 PM »


"Gore Vidal: "Well, just the night before the final flight, she reported in and they had a code phrase, 'personnel problems,' which meant Noonan was back drinking. And my father said, 'Just stop it right now and come home,' and G.P. agreed and said, 'Come back, abort the flight, forget it, come home.' And then she said, 'Oh, no,' and she said, 'I think it’ll be all right,' something like that. So you may put that down to invincible optimism or it may have been huge pessimism."


"Personnel unfitness" (or if "personal unfitness") was apparently a very private term devised between AE and GP which seems intended to import real meaning but without bringing negatives to the light in their publicity efforts.  What was so dark about it that they didn't want it creeping into the headlines?

If the Vidal observation is reliable the term carried potentially grave meanings - it would be no light thing to cancel plans, and AE resisted it at least on the occasion mentioned by Vidal.



On the TV program "The American Experience" Gore Vidal says that his father, Gene Vidal, was
at the Harold Tribune office with G.P. the night before the departure from Lae. A phone call
came in from Earhart reporting the code phrase "personnel unfitness" meaning that Noonan was
drinking and that Gene Vidal told her not to fly with Noonan but that they would get her another
navigator.

On the show "Vanishings" they also say that she called Putnam from Lae the night before the
departure.


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


We know that she sent a radiogram to Putnam on June 30th, two days before the departure,
reporting "personnel unfitness,” did she also telephone him with the same information the night
before the departure?

Youngsters who have unlimited long distance calling on their cell phones have no conception of
what it cost to communicate in the past.  When I was a kid in the '50s I remember that we didn't
make any long distance phone calls because they were expensive. If you thought about making a
long distance call you would first call the long distance operator "211" and get an estimate of the
cost before deciding if you could afford the call. We old guys remember making "person to
person" calls which were really coded messages to let people know that we had arrived safely or
to have someone call us back at a cheaper "station to station" rate since, if the recipient told the
telephone operator that the person we had asked for (often a made up name which was actually
the code word) was not there, that there was no charge for the attempted "person to person" call.

I was curious just how expensive those long distance calls were in the '50s so I did some
research. In 1950 a five minute call from New York to Los Angeles cost $3.70  which doesn't
sound so bad. But when you adjust it for inflation, that $3.70 would buy the same amount of stuff
that costs $33.44 today. In 1930 a three minute call from New York to London cost $368.70 in
2010 dollars. I wonder what a phone call from Lae to the U.S. cost in 1937.

I also looked into the cost of radiograms. As of January 1, 1937 it cost 39 cents per word from
San Francisco to Manila. I doubt that it was less expensive to cable Lae than it was to cable
Manila. 39 cents in 1937 is the same as $5.91 in 2010 dollars. The 40 word June 30th radiogram
cost at least $236.40 in 2010 dollars! She sent a longer radiogram the day before the departure
since the Tribune agreed to pay the cable costs. Her last message was 94 words (including the
address) costing the Tribune at least $555.54 in 2010 dollars!

Putnam was running short of money which is why he had to get the Tribune to pick up the cost of
the last cable. Who was going to pay for the telephone calls to Putnam and to Lockheed?

Is there any reason to even believe that telephone calls from Lae to the U.S. were even possible
in 1937? There was no undersea telegraph cable to Lae then, which is why the messages
exchanged were by radiogram so what would make anybody think that there was an undersea
telephone cable available? What about radio telephone calls on short wave? That's a pretty long
distance to cover by voice radio which is why Morse code was used to pass messages and, even
for Morse messages, they had to be passed in a series of relays,  so I think it is highly unlikely
that it would have been possible to make a radiotelephone call to the States from Lae. I have attached
a map of the cables across the Pacific in 1939, none goes near Lae.

Bottom line, I don't believe the claims Gore Vidal. Note that this claim is hearsay. Gore Vidal
said his father told him, Gore wasn't actually there. (And Gore Vidal was also the source for the
supposed romance between his father and AE shown in the recent movie so it calls that claim
into question also.)

I have probably understated the cost of radiograms to Lae. I used the 39 cents per word rate,
which was the rate from San Francisco to Manila as being comparable to cost of radiograms  to
Lae. But the map of undersea cables shows that there was an undersea cable to Manila so they
didn't have to send radiograms. Cablegrams are less labor intensive than radiograms since radiograms
require a series of radio
operators to take down the message and then retransmit it onto the next station in line towards
the destination. An example is given in Staffords book on page 124. Messages from Hawaii to
Lae were sent first to Samoa, onto Fiji, then to Sidney, onto Rabaul, thence to Salamaua ,and
finally to Lae. This process took a minimum of six and a half hours and required seven separate
radio operators to take down the message and then retransmit it  about a half hour later to the
next station. Because of this I believe that the cost of radiograms would be quite a bit higher than
the cable rate to Manila since the cable didn't need the intermediate operators.

gl
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JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #128 on: January 06, 2012, 09:49:44 PM »

Excellent research, Gary.

As I said, Gore Vidal's report was at least 'third hand' -

But we may disagree on the reliability of what was understood between AE and GP.  It doesn't sound to me like a telephone call happened - and maybe even no reply by radiogram from GP to AE.

But that doesn't mean GP didn't have sentiments, and didn't voice them to Gene Vidal; it also doesn't mean GP didn't know AE well enough realize about what her answer would be.  I can see something like that as reasonable, and that Gore later could recount what was told him as if there had been two-way dialogue between GP and AE.

Too bad.  If GP had such thoughts, he might have persuaded AE - but may have realized there was no good way to reach her before she bugged out of Lae.

My thoughts still come down to FN's behavior and whether he was up to this flight.  There is enough about FN's history, other than that of accomplished navigator, to make me wonder about it.  I have my doubts, that's all.
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richie conroy

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #129 on: January 06, 2012, 10:08:16 PM »

on a compass north is top south is bottom

337 north

157 south

she said 157 first which mean's she was on the south side of equator on LOP

she said running north to south

not running north from south

and if they didnt add on the extra miles from going round thunderstorm clouds they were probably 60 odd miles short ov howland,  when they decided to go down LOP 157 which took them to gardner

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richie conroy

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #130 on: January 06, 2012, 10:20:30 PM »

also on purde website there is a letter to mr putnam from amelia which she sent on arrival at lae airport before take off saying noonan drove them to airport an she wont be home for 4th ov july

so noonan couldnt ov been that drunk on take off  :o or cud he
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #131 on: January 06, 2012, 10:27:35 PM »

on a compass north is top south is bottom

337 north

157 south

she said 157 first which mean's she was on the south side of equator on LOP

she said running north to south

not running north from south


and if they didnt add on the extra miles from going round thunderstorm clouds they were probably 60 odd miles short ov howland,  when they decided to go down LOP 157 which took them to gardner
She said "running on line north and south" (logged as "running on line north es south") That grammatical construction in English using the present participle means repetitive actions, not just one iteration. So this message did not mean just one leg heading north and then followed by just one leg heading south but many of each. Other examples "jumping up and down;" "looking right and left." ( Notice, you never say "jumping down and up.")

gl

gl
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 10:41:49 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #132 on: January 06, 2012, 10:36:34 PM »

No one wants to think that FN had a drinking problem and was incapacitated enough that this contributed to not finding Howland but it must be considered.

Let's consider this, then, if we "must."

AE sees Fred drinking.  She decides that they can't leave because he won't navigate well, and sends the previously-agreed upon code that means, "Fred is drunk as a skunk."

Now, having established her bona fides as an estimator of inebriation and a cautious pilot who thought she was too young to die.

The telegram you quote was from June 29.

The airplane did not take off until July 2.

Apart from the recorded difficulties with the chronometer and weather reports, you are now asking us to entertain various undocumented suppositions:

1) Fred stayed drunk for the next four days, but did get his chronometers set in spite of his intoxication.

2) Only Earhart noticed this condition (we have no evidence of unusually heavy drinking on Fred's part in Lae; many pilots were heavy drinkers in the Golden Age of Aviation; such things do not happen nowadays, of course).

3) Rather than continue to exercise prudent restraint on July 2nd, she cast her fate to the winds and set off to get lost with the drunken sot instead of exposing him to the withering wrath of society.  She could not bear to use the secret code again to signal her displeasure to her husband, so she decided to take her chances on Fred sobering up before the real heavy lifting began 20 hours into the flight.

So, now that I have considered what must be considered, what conclusion must I come to?
LTM,

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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #133 on: January 06, 2012, 10:46:25 PM »

No one wants to think that FN had a drinking problem and was incapacitated enough that this contributed to not finding Howland but it must be considered.

Let's consider this, then, if we "must."

AE sees Fred drinking.  She decides that they can't leave because he won't navigate well, and sends the previously-agreed upon code that means, "Fred is drunk as a skunk."

Now, having established her bona fides as an estimator of inebriation and a cautious pilot who thought she was too young to die.

The telegram you quote was from June 29.

The airplane did not take off until July 2.

Apart from the recorded difficulties with the chronometer and weather reports, you are now asking us to entertain various undocumented suppositions:

1) Fred stayed drunk for the next four days, but did get his chronometers set in spite of his intoxication.

2) Only Earhart noticed this condition (we have no evidence of unusually heavy drinking on Fred's part in Lae; many pilots were heavy drinkers in the Golden Age of Aviation; such things do not happen nowadays, of course).

3) Rather than continue to exercise prudent restraint on July 2nd, she cast her fate to the winds and set off to get lost with the drunken sot instead of exposing him to the withering wrath of society.  She could not bear to use the secret code again to signal her displeasure to her husband, so she decided to take her chances on Fred sobering up before the real heavy lifting began 20 hours into the flight.

So, now that I have considered what must be considered, what conclusion must I come to?
I also didn't see him stumble when he helped Earhart climb up the wing in the last takeoff movie.
gl
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richie conroy

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #134 on: January 06, 2012, 10:48:28 PM »

ok but common sense tell's me if she say's

were running on LOP 157 - 337

she is on the 157 LOP

she said running north and south

if she thought she was north of  howland she would naturally head south

i.e am going asda and primark

means going asda first then primark

otherwise she wud av said running south and north meaning she was south heading north

also i dont trust the itasca logs because if u look at originals the first 2 pages the paper is same but the last 3 pages the paper is diffrent

dont think they had choice of paper in them days like we do now   
 
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