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Author Topic: Waitt search report.  (Read 64963 times)

Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2012, 04:14:40 AM »

They are describing the common scattered cumulus clouds found over the ocean, called "fair weather cu's" that top out usually below 10,000 feet.

Where did you see scattered? The forecast from the previous day predicted rain squalls 250 miles East of Lae.

Although they did not receive the following report, this might be a clue as to the actual conditions.

As the machine was leaving the ground the following weather reports were received at the Lae Wireless Station –

"EARHART LAE

ACCURATE FORECAST DIFFICULT ACCOUNT LACK OF REPORTS YOUR VICINITY PERIOD CONDITIONS APPEAR GENERALLY AVERAGE OVER ROUTE NO MAJOR STORM APPARENTLY PARTLY CLOUDY WITH DANGEROUS LOCAL RAIN SQUALLS ABOUT 300 MILES EAST OF LAE AND SCATTERED HEAVY SHOWERS REMAINDER OF ROUTE PERIOD WIND EAST SOUTH EAST ABOUT TWENTY FIVE KNOTS TO ONTARIO THEN EAST TO EAST NORTH EAST ABOUT 20 KNOT TO HOWLAND

FLEET BASE PEARL HARBOUR

and

BARO 29.898 THEMO 83 WIND EASTERLY 3 CLOUDY BUT FINE CLOUDS CI CI STR CU CUMI MOVING FROM EASTERLY DIRECTION SEA SMOOTH. NARU 8 AM UPPER AIR OBSERVATION 2000 FEET NINETY DEGREES 14 MPH 4000 FEET NINETY DEGREES 12 MPH 7500 FEET NINETY DEGREES 24 MPH".

So if the clouds were at 10,000ft or below they might have headed South-East and decided to climb above the clouds at 10,000ft. They probably could not fly much higher if they wanted to. I believe the recommended altitude was 8,000ft for the first six hours or more. This would suggest that this was some attempt to avoid the conditions outside of Lae.

Arrangements had been made between the plane and Lae station to call at 18 minutes past each hour and arrangements made to pass any late weather information, but local interference prevented signals from the plane being intelligible until 2.18 p.m.

Could that interference been caused by the storms outside of Lae? If so, perhaps the 2:18pm and 3:19pm were actually earlier in time, as they approached the storm and reception was still possible.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 06:09:38 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #61 on: January 20, 2012, 02:30:06 PM »


"ONE FIFTY <pause> SEVEN, " is a far cry from the normal flowing "ONE FIFTY SEVEN". It could have easily have been "ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DEGREES EAST SEVEN MINUTES SOUTH". As I stated before, this is simply impossible to know since Balfour was probably sitting there by himself.

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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #62 on: January 20, 2012, 04:25:08 PM »


"ONE FIFTY <pause> SEVEN, " is a far cry from the normal flowing "ONE FIFTY SEVEN". It could have easily have been "ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DEGREES EAST SEVEN MINUTES SOUTH". As I stated before, this is simply impossible to know since Balfour was probably sitting there by himself.
Except that your newest proffered interpretation suffers the same problem as all of your other interpretations of the 0519 Z position report, that they all end up requiring completely impossible ground speeds. This newest incarnation places the plane, as reported at 0519 Z, 487 SM from takeoff meaning it only maintained a ground speed of 92 mph and also flying a course that was 54° off the direct course to Howland placing it 400 SM north of course, and you always advocate that they would have stayed on the direct course. Then, the second leg from this new position to the position reported at 0718 Z is 726 SM, requiring a ground speed of 363 mph! There is also the problem of how would Noonan have been able to determine those co-ordinates since there is no land nearby for a visual fix and, as I explained before, this position could not have been determined by celestial observations.
You will come back and say that the position was actually reported at an earlier transmission time and that the just forgot what time they heard it and put down the time of the 0519 Z scheduled report. Let me give you some free legal advice. If you are ever drafting your will and you want to make sure that your ungrateful son gets nothing, DON'T just leave him out of the will completely without him being mentioned at all. If you do he will claim that he was not mentioned only due to some mistake or inadvertence and will sue to break the will and get his greedy hands on your money.  What you do to make sure that he can't make this argument is to mention him in your will and leave him one dollar. Since he is in the will he can't claim that he was left out by mistake.

Chater wrote:


"Arrangements had been made between the plane and Lae station to call at 18 minutes past each hour and arrangements made to pass any late weather information, but local interference prevented signals from the plane being intelligible until 2.18 p.m. The Lae Operator heard the following on 6210 KC –“HEIGHT 7000 FEET SPEED 140 KNOTS” and some remark concerning “LAE” then “EVERYTHING OKAY”. The plane was called and asked to repeat position but we still could not get it. The next report was received at 3.19 pm on 6210 KC – “HEIGHT 10000 FEET POSITION 150.7 east 7.3 south CUMULUS CLOUDS EVERYTHING OKAY”. The next report received at 5.18 p.m. “POSITION 4.33 SOUTH 159.7 EAST HEIGHT 8000 FEET OVER CUMULUS CLOUDS WIND 23 KNOTS”.

Chater clearly mentioned the one hour earlier report, 0418 Z (2:18 p.m.), so we know that the "ONE FIFTY SEVEN" report was not received then. Chater also clearly did not accidentally omit mention of the earlier expected reports to be received at 0118 Z, 0218 Z and 0318 Z and stated that local interference prevented hearing them. You would have to be claiming that the 150° 07' longitude report was received at one of these earlier times that were covered up by local static. If these co-ordinates (or any of the other permutations that you have proposed) had been received at the immediately prior reporting time, 0318 Z (0118 p.m.,) then you end up with ground speeds that are way too high and even worse if you claim it was at an even earlier time.

In order to support your theory, you have had to make multiple changes to the reported evidence, all without any reasonable explanation supporting those changes. If you have to make multiple changes then it is unlikely that you have the correct explanation, an example of Occam's Razor. My theory requires correcting only one piece of data and I have given a reasonable explanation supporting this change based on mishearing  "ONE FIFTY SEVEN" as "ONE FIFTY    SEVEN", the type of error that is quite common and understandable to anybody with an open mind. This interpretation is supported as the correct interpretation since the resulting ground speeds then fall right into the reasonable range based on what we know about the winds and the airspeed of the plane and this interpretation also explains how Noonan could determine those co-ordinates by a visual fix on Choiseul Island since celestial navigation was not possible at that time of day.

gl



« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 07:20:58 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #63 on: January 20, 2012, 07:25:54 PM »

They are describing the common scattered cumulus clouds found over the ocean, called "fair weather cu's" that top out usually below 10,000 feet.


and

BARO 29.898 THEMO 83 WIND EASTERLY 3 CLOUDY BUT FINE CLOUDS CI CI STR CU CUMI MOVING FROM EASTERLY DIRECTION SEA SMOOTH. NARU 8 AM UPPER AIR OBSERVATION 2000 FEET NINETY DEGREES 14 MPH 4000 FEET NINETY DEGREES 12 MPH 7500 FEET NINETY DEGREES 24 MPH".

So if the clouds were at 10,000ft or below they might have headed South-East and decided to climb above the clouds at 10,000ft. They probably could not fly much higher if they wanted to. I believe the recommended altitude was 8,000ft for the first six hours or more. This would suggest that this was some attempt to avoid the conditions outside of Lae.

Arrangements had been made between the plane and Lae station to call at 18 minutes past each hour and arrangements made to pass any late weather information, but local interference prevented signals from the plane being intelligible until 2.18 p.m.


Does anybody know what type of clouds the code "CUMI" means? I have never seen it before and I taught meteorology classes at the University of Illinois.

gl
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2012, 07:17:47 AM »

CU is Cumulus but i've not been able to find a sub class of cloud that could be MI.  Could it be a typo instead?
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2012, 12:45:48 PM »

CU is Cumulus but i've not been able to find a sub class of cloud that could be MI.  Could it be a typo instead?
That was my thought too. The other ones are the standard ones, cirrus, cirrostratus, and cumulus. "Cirr" means high clouds, above about 20,000 feet so have nothing to do with storms, and normal "cu's" also do not mean storms either. Also, the typo in the barometer reading (one too many digits) supports the typo theory. If you believe that the barometer number isn't a typo, remember what the barometer numbers mean, the height of a column of mercury in inches, try measuring that to a thousandth of an inch. If using an aneroid barometer, the needle is wider than the one-hundredth of an inch marks. Also, such a small unit of measurement has absolutely no significance. As proof of this, the standard way of coding barometer readings for transmission by radio during the '30s only differentiated by one whole millibar, which is equivalent to 30/1000ths of an inch 30 times less precision than implied with the "29.898.". A barometer reading of 29.898 would have to be encoded as either a "12" meaning 29.89 or as a "13" meaning 29.92, there were no choices in between, there was no way to report an intermediate value such as the "29.898." This level of precision is all that is necessary for weather reports and weather forecasting, no need to read out to 1/1000th of an inch. (See attached Table VIII.)



gl
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 03:53:04 PM by Gary LaPook »
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2012, 07:54:43 PM »

I'd be surprised to see Cumulonimbus mentioned in such a generic weather report, and I doubt that "CUNI" was the standard notation even at that time - it's "CB" now, but the operator might not have known the notation and used what he thought was good enough.  We'll never know.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2012, 10:00:34 PM »

I'd be surprised to see Cumulonimbus mentioned in such a generic weather report, and I doubt that "CUNI" was the standard notation even at that time - it's "CB" now, but the operator might not have known the notation and used what he thought was good enough.  We'll never know.
The American Practical Navigator, U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office Publication Number 9, 1938 ed. uses Cu. for cumulus, Nb. for nimbus and Cu.-Nb. for cumulo-nimbus so the "CUMI" can't mean thunder storm clouds.
gl
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 10:02:50 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2012, 10:23:44 PM »


The "N" is right next to the "M" on the keyboard (assuming they were using the QWERTY board) so maybe it was intended to be CUNI for CumuloNimbus??
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2012, 12:09:59 AM »


The "N" is right next to the "M" on the keyboard (assuming they were using the QWERTY board) so maybe it was intended to be CUNI for CumuloNimbus??
No because then it would be "CUMB" if he replaced the "N" with an "M" because the correct coding for cumulo-nimbus is "CU-NB" not "CU-NI."

GL
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