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Author Topic: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.  (Read 453132 times)

Heath Smith

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #255 on: January 26, 2012, 04:10:01 AM »

Quote
Although the 0718 Z position is on the direct line from Lae to Howland it is also on the line from the 0519 Z position over Choiseul to Nauru.

I am not seeing how your argument that "also on the line from the 0519 Z position over Choiseul to Nauru." makes sense.

The circle around Nauru is 150 SM.

So does your theory require that FN changed his mind at 7:18 GMT to head to Nauru? If not, why not head directly to Nauru from Choiseul? I think the headings argue that this is not the case.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 04:12:56 AM by Heath Smith »
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JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #256 on: January 26, 2012, 10:20:16 AM »

Interesting argument about diverting to Nauru.  I don't buy it.

Too much construct, too little motive for AE and FN to have done it when I look at the whole context.  Why would FN drive extra complexity into the effort?  As 'simple' as it is for the navigator making a pure case here, it also would drive many more opportunities into the flight for error.

Is that the sum of your point, Gary?  That FN  pressed an exercise into the flight which compounded opportunties for error - and that the pair finally got caught in that web somehow? 
Can you describe how Noonan's taking the normal celestial sights, that were already part of the plan, only this time taking some of those  sights over a brightly lit island that they could find just by ("go to the light, Luke" ) following the lights in from 150 miles out, which provided a reliable visual checkpoint, provided compounded opportunties for error ?

gl

Yes -

Just as you seem to see that it somehow adds assurance, it also distinctly adds more variables than just following the lubber and verifying along the way with celestial - more heading changes, more points for AE to process, etc.  There's also the not so minor point of needing to consider if one really wants to trash their night vision over the sea by approaching that flame of light at Nauru, like a moth - not to mention what it might do to FN's ability to take clear shots for some time.  I believe you helped describe the mining lights yourself earlier - or if not, think about it.  Not good.

Not that I think I need to defend the idea - I think it's more logical for someone floating these variation theories to put up strong reasons, not just possibilities, if they expect them to stand.

Often 'less is more' - and in my own humble experience with navigation and flying, the simpler you can keep your approach the better off you are.  I have severe doubt that FN needed the 'binky' of 'flying to the lights' - like a moth - and see no need of it.  I also see no credible evidence that they did such a thing in the body of material that we have on the flight.

You also posted -

"Noonan and Earhart did exactly what any flight crew would do, make new plans that incorporated new information. Airplanes do not run on rails nor are they constrained by lines painted on pavement, they can go anywhere they please on a whim, making changes in their route "on the fly."..."

We don't "know" anything about what they actually may have done -

It is logical that they would adapt their plan as required given new observations, etc.  Of course they could "go anywhere they please on a whim" on their magic carpet (NR16020), but that gets us close to recklessness - that's only an option if one is willing to squander surety.  I think the pair would have had to have very clear and compelling reasons to deviate from a direct path to Howland.  Hypothetical after-the-fact permutations and what-ifs don't tell us much about what really compelling reasons they may have encountered that would lead to such deviations in a direct flight.

Just my views, Gary - to each his own.

LTM -

- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 10:28:21 AM by Jeff Neville »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #257 on: January 26, 2012, 10:57:33 AM »

Interesting argument about diverting to Nauru.  I don't buy it.

Too much construct, too little motive for AE and FN to have done it when I look at the whole context.  Why would FN drive extra complexity into the effort?  As 'simple' as it is for the navigator making a pure case here, it also would drive many more opportunities into the flight for error.

Is that the sum of your point, Gary?  That FN  pressed an exercise into the flight which compounded opportunties for error - and that the pair finally got caught in that web somehow? 
Can you describe how Noonan's taking the normal celestial sights, that were already part of the plan, only this time taking some of those  sights over a brightly lit island that they could find just by ("go to the light, Luke" ) following the lights in from 150 miles out, which provided a reliable visual checkpoint, provided compounded opportunties for error ?

gl

Yes -

Just as you seem to see that it somehow adds assurance, it also distinctly adds more variables than just following the lubber and verifying along the way with celestial - more heading changes, more points for AE to process, etc.  There's also the not so minor point of needing to consider if one really wants to trash their night vision over the sea by approaching that flame of light at Nauru, like a moth - not to mention what it might do to FN's ability to take clear shots for some time.  I believe you helped describe the mining lights yourself earlier - or if not, think about it.  Not good.

Not that I think I need to defend the idea - I think it's more logical for someone floating these variation theories to put up strong reasons, not just possibilities, if they expect them to stand.


"Thrash their night vision," I put that in the category of "grasping at straws." Have you ever flown over lights at night, say over a large city? Oh, I guess not, because if you had you would have "trashed your night vision", lost control of the plane and crashed and died and wouldn't be posting on the TIGHAR Forum. I'm still laughing about this one. :D

I did give good navigational reasons to confirm their position and their navigational methods and equipment by a slight deviation off the straight line (which they hadn't been following up to that point, anyway) adding only about 10 NM to the flight distance. To me, your counter-arguments seem contrived and not compelling, but YMMV ;)

Keep up the good work, I like these discussions.

gl
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #258 on: January 26, 2012, 12:23:42 PM »


I personally don't brlieve any position reports given by AE.  I believe she was just reading positions off of the reciprocal Williams information for a particular time into the flight and presenting them as her position.

Doesn't anyone else find it curious that FN is never heard giving any position information?  I do.
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Heath Smith

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #259 on: January 26, 2012, 02:04:17 PM »

Harry,

I have been wondering about these position reports out of Lae altogether.

Why is it that Lae could pick up AE many hundreds of miles away (at least 890 miles at 7:19 GMT) yet no one else could hear this? Nauru did not hear this one yet they were at a lesser distance at around 612 SM. Nauru also only reported the single 10:30 GMT ("Ship in sight") but nothing else was heard by them.

Nauru and Itasca could only pick her up at ranges probably less than 300 miles or so. At 16:23 GMT she was probably about 400 miles away from Howland yet nothing could be heard, only that she was keying down. She probably was reporting at 0:15 and 0:45 the whole way yet nothing after 7:19 GMT could be picked up greater than a couple hundred miles.

This seems a bit odd.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #260 on: January 26, 2012, 04:01:06 PM »


I personally don't brlieve any position reports given by AE.  I believe she was just reading positions off of the reciprocal Williams information for a particular time into the flight and presenting them as her position.

Doesn't anyone else find it curious that FN is never heard giving any position information?  I do.
The problem with your theory is that none of the position reports from Earhart match any of Williams' meticulously computed by hand, using log/trig tables, positions on the great circle course from Lae to Howland, see attached. (I checked his work and his and my points  are exactly the same except for one point where they differ by only one-tenth of a minute in latitude. It's lots easier to do with a calculator.)

I don't know what Williams' qualifications were, he gave himself the title "Consultant in Navigation." Earhart had used him to compute her solo route from Hawaii to California and she managed to find California, so I guess that was proof enough for her to use him again to compute the planning documents for the RTW flight. But, the fact that he went through all the work to compute the points along the great circle route from Howland to Lae, which saves only one-tenth of a nautical mile, three seconds of flying time, compared to the simple rhumb line, (a much easier calculation,) shows me that he lacked a basic understanding of navigation that, for practical navigation, there is no difference between a rhumb line and a great circle when flying near the equator. What else didn't he know about navigation, especially flight navigation?

gl

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Irvine John Donald

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #261 on: January 26, 2012, 09:02:35 PM »

Well said Jeff. I used to read Gary's posts. I don't anymore. I need to understand where he stands on this and I don't believe he will state that. He seems to enjoy posting to see how others react so he can show off his talent for spewing minute details.  Seems very one sided.  It's pretty clear you can't really attack Gary's hypothesis if he doesn't state it. Pretty safe stuff for him. Quite sad actually.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #262 on: January 26, 2012, 10:11:35 PM »

... you can't really attack Gary's hypothesis if he doesn't state it. ...

It's not at all hard to figure out.

He thinks that they did a box search for Howland, then splashed and sank.

The whole box searched has to be located to the west of Howland, though what its
north/south endpoints would be is an open question.

In brief, they came down nowhere near Niku.
LTM,

           Marty
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #263 on: January 27, 2012, 06:36:17 AM »

... you can't really attack Gary's hypothesis if he doesn't state it. ...

It's not at all hard to figure out.

He thinks that they did a box search for Howland, then splashed and sank.

The whole box searched has to be located to the west of Howland, though what its
north/south endpoints would be is an open question.

In brief, they came down nowhere near Niku.

That may be what you think Gary's theory is Marty, but it needs to come from Gary to be more than someone guessing at it. If you are quoting a post from Gary then please post the link. Thanks.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #264 on: January 27, 2012, 08:12:25 AM »

He thinks that they did a box search for Howland, then splashed and sank. ...

In brief, they came down nowhere near Niku.

That may be what you think Gary's theory is Marty,


Yes, that is what I think Gary's theory is.

Quote
... but it needs to come from Gary to be more than someone guessing at it. If you are quoting a post from Gary then please post the link.

If I had a single post, I would post the link.

I've been involved in the Forum since 2000.  Gary has been involved since 2002.  I'm pretty sure I've read everything he has written at least once.  I've visited his website a few times.  He has mentioned the grid search several times in this Forum in recent months.  He doesn't think they came down at Howland, Baker, or Gardner.  I don't think any of his renavigation puts them east of the 337-157 line through Howland, so that means to me that the search box was west.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #265 on: January 27, 2012, 12:48:46 PM »

He thinks that they did a box search for Howland, then splashed and sank. ...

In brief, they came down nowhere near Niku.

That may be what you think Gary's theory is Marty,


Yes, that is what I think Gary's theory is.

Quote
... but it needs to come from Gary to be more than someone guessing at it. If you are quoting a post from Gary then please post the link.

If I had a single post, I would post the link.

I've been involved in the Forum since 2000.  Gary has been involved since 2002.  I'm pretty sure I've read everything he has written at least once.  I've visited his website a few times.  He has mentioned the grid search several times in this Forum in recent months.  He doesn't think they came down at Howland, Baker, or Gardner.  I don't think any of his renavigation puts them east of the 337-157 line through Howland, so that means to me that the search box was west.

Fair enough, Marty.  But the problem is, we don't have a single post from Gary as to his theory - lots of boxing and details get batted around, but no summary theory to be examined as to outcome

But, I still have hope - he did promise that soon, after he wraps up a few things (see reference above - his own words).

Thanks for sharing your view, of course - that's valuable as you've certainly covered a lot of ground.  But if Gary would challenge Gardner, etc., it seems fair he'd take a risk with his own view, clearly put.

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #266 on: January 27, 2012, 06:34:24 PM »

He thinks that they did a box search for Howland, then splashed and sank. ...

In brief, they came down nowhere near Niku.

That may be what you think Gary's theory is Marty,


Yes, that is what I think Gary's theory is.

Quote
... but it needs to come from Gary to be more than someone guessing at it. If you are quoting a post from Gary then please post the link.

If I had a single post, I would post the link.

I've been involved in the Forum since 2000.  Gary has been involved since 2002.  I'm pretty sure I've read everything he has written at least once.  I've visited his website a few times.  He has mentioned the grid search several times in this Forum in recent months.  He doesn't think they came down at Howland, Baker, or Gardner.  I don't think any of his renavigation puts them east of the 337-157 line through Howland, so that means to me that the search box was west.

Your saying Marty that Gary has been involved in this forum since 2002 but yet you have no link or posted message by Gary where he says what his hypothesis is.  Shouldn't he say for himself what he believes rather than you and others guessing at what it is?  Isn't that kind of opinion forming considered "speculation".  Wouldn't someone like Gary, who is very concerned with getting facts and details right, want to state what he thinks.  Just to keep the record straight?
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #267 on: January 27, 2012, 09:21:13 PM »

Shouldn't he say for himself what he believes rather than you and others guessing at what it is?

My impression is that he HAS said it.

I imagine that his final version will have more calculations in it, based on fuel considerations.

Start at the end and work backwards. 
  • At what time would they run out of fuel, all things considered?
  • How big a rectangle could they search with that fuel after starting the search close to the 337/157 message?
  • How close could that rectangle be to Howland? 
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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JNev

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #268 on: January 27, 2012, 09:48:58 PM »

Shouldn't he say for himself what he believes rather than you and others guessing at what it is?

My impression is that he HAS said it.

I imagine that his final version will have more calculations in it, based on fuel considerations.

Start at the end and work backwards. 
  • At what time would they run out of fuel, all things considered?
  • How big a rectangle could they search with that fuel after starting the search close to the 337/157 message?
  • How close could that rectangle be to Howland? 

Well, if he has said it, it's not that clear to me, but I haven't been following Gary for as many years as you.  I guess I'm more piqued by what he said he'd provide.

I respect Gary's knowledge very much, but all the calculations can only carry you so far in figuring out what happened to the flight.  I can understand the temptation - there is definitely a mathmatical finality to what finally happened to the flight - but the problem with discerning what it is means you would have to consider millions upon millions of tiny variables and permutations, and then discard the ones that don't work...

The closest we humans can probably get to that is something like the Monte Carlo analysis.  Maybe that's what Gary has in mind.  He didn't agree with much of the assumption used in the well-known one done for TIGHAR so maybe he'll do his own with inputs that suit his beliefs better.

But even the Monte Carlo is but one element in a comprehensive theory - there are so many other clues to be considered even after one gets the plane into whatever vicinity of Howland one thinks reasonable - and then it's 'what happened next' - in the face of stuff like 'we are on the line', the fact of lands to the SE, certain of the findings on Niku, to name a few.

Interesting.  It would just be interesting to see all the bloviation on navigation actually take the discussion forward instead of in circles... the box search is growing kind of stale.

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: The flight plan, magnetic course, headwinds.
« Reply #269 on: January 27, 2012, 10:11:06 PM »

Shouldn't he say for himself what he believes rather than you and others guessing at what it is?

My impression is that he HAS said it.

I imagine that his final version will have more calculations in it, based on fuel considerations.

Start at the end and work backwards. 
  • At what time would they run out of fuel, all things considered?
  • How big a rectangle could they search with that fuel after starting the search close to the 337/157 message?
  • How close could that rectangle be to Howland? 

Marty. Your "impression" is your opinion. No question.  You can "imagine" what he said makes sense to you. No question. I respect your right to your opinion.

But anyone can give their "impression" of what someone else is saying. I would rather hear this from Gary so there is no misinterpretation.  Just the same as if someone "imagined" what Ric's opinion on a subject was. Perhaps interesting to hear but I would like to hear it directly from Ric. Of course if you're right about Gary then he can simply confirm it by saying "Marty's right".  Or he can say "Marty's wrong" or he can just not respond at all. It's up to Gary to tell us. 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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