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Author Topic: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland  (Read 313943 times)

Heath Smith

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #420 on: March 21, 2012, 05:42:44 PM »


I would rather have that last 25 miles, a long way to swim, versus floating down 1000ft to an ocean to drown or be eaten by sharks.
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Erik

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #421 on: March 21, 2012, 06:10:00 PM »

Earhart was of the mindset that parachutes would do no good over the open ocean.  I know... I know... Gary's gonna argue the water temerature thing.  But, that is not evidence of what she was thinking.

There are also newspaper reports from other aviators where abandoning parachutes in lieu of rafts was prefered for flying over open water. 

I dont see what good a parachute would do you over open water anyhow.  Unless, you had an accompanying raft with provisions waiting for you.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #422 on: March 22, 2012, 03:05:42 AM »

Earhart was of the mindset that parachutes would do no good over the open ocean.  I know... I know... Gary's gonna argue the water temerature thing.  But, that is not evidence of what she was thinking.

There are also newspaper reports from other aviators where abandoning parachutes in lieu of rafts was prefered for flying over open water. 

I dont see what good a parachute would do you over open water anyhow.  Unless, you had an accompanying raft with provisions waiting for you.
Which is exactly what Putnam said she had in the plane so parachute plus life raft equals much better chance for survival than ditching. You don't seem to get it, ditching is a very dangerous undertaking, a high percentage of the occupants never get out of the plane, while a parachute is almost perfectly safe. I'm sure you have ridden on amusement park thrill rides, they are scary but you know when you strap in that they are perfectly safe. The same thing for parachutes, the idea of using a parachute is scary but, just like the roller coaster, they are extremely safe.

gl
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 03:08:20 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #423 on: March 22, 2012, 04:07:03 AM »


I agree with you Erik. Unless there was a raft on board parachuting to the ocean would just provide for a few minutes of life in an almost certain jump to your death if you did not jump with a raft. It would defy common sense that AE and FN were not keenly aware of this. That is why I was trying to draw some attention to whether the raft was indeed on board. According to the documentary that I posted earlier, they claimed that the raft, parachutes, and some lucky charm were left in Miami. There must be some basis for this story as I cannot believe the folks that put together the documentary just invented this.

I am sure you guys have already seen this Amelia Earhart's Crash Reconstruction.

Conclusion:
 
Based on the analysis results the ditching event should be classified as a survivable accident. A survivable accident is where sufficient cabin structure and seats remain to aid survival of one or more occupants, and where further loss of life is the consequence of drowning, or other post- crash incidents. Providing that there was no lap belt failure and that she was able to egress the aircraft, unless she was rescued within hours of the crash event she would have been exposed to the elements without any survival gear. More likely she would have drowned.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #424 on: March 22, 2012, 05:07:33 AM »


I agree with you Erik. Unless there was a raft on board parachuting to the ocean would just provide for a few minutes of life in an almost certain jump to your death if you did not jump with a raft. It would defy common sense that AE and FN were not keenly aware of this. That is why I was trying to draw some attention to whether the raft was indeed on board. According to the documentary that I posted earlier, they claimed that the raft, parachutes, and some lucky charm were left in Miami. There must be some basis for this story as I cannot believe the folks that put together the documentary just invented this.


And did they also have the mythical phone call from Lae the night before the takeoff to Putnam and Vidal in New York?Wait,Putnam was in Oakland and there was no telephone service, even locally, in Lae til 1939.

Putnam said she had the raft in the plane when she departed Lae, don't you like Putnam? And he put that information out on July 2nd and you would expect him to put out accurate information since the Navy and Coast Guard would be relying on it in their search to save the life of Putnam's wife.



gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #425 on: March 22, 2012, 05:10:06 AM »


I am sure you guys have already seen this Amelia Earhart's Crash Reconstruction.

Conclusion:
 
Based on the analysis results the ditching event should be classified as a survivable accident. A survivable accident is where sufficient cabin structure and seats remain to aid survival of one or more occupants, and where further loss of life is the consequence of drowning, or other post- crash incidents. Providing that there was no lap belt failure and that she was able to egress the aircraft, unless she was rescued within hours of the crash event she would have been exposed to the elements without any survival gear. More likely she would have drowned.

That's all very nice but Earhart did not have the benefit of a modern computer analysis of a ditching and had to make her decision based on the information available to her which included that it is safer to bailout, with a raft attached to the parachute harness, than to ditch.

gl
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #426 on: March 22, 2012, 10:01:12 AM »

Excellent point Gary.  I have to believe that parachutes are provided as a form of "last chance" survival gear.  Developed in the First World War for Balloon Observers to bail out of burning balloons because the observer was deemed to be "valuable" enough to save in a war where men died by the hundreds in frontal assaults.  The parachute was not offered to fighter and bomber pilots as it was believed they would abandon their aircraft in an effort to save their lives instead of saving their aircraft.  That mentality changed thankfully and all pilots and crew were issued parachutes as a safety measure in all the military forces around the world.  But they are safety equipment designed to be used in a dire emergency.   Not for the sport of parachuting.  Thats parachuting for a different reason.  We know that AE and FN had life jackets so bailing out without a raft and surviving was still possible even if only for a few hours or days.  Why do we focus on needing a raft?  A raft would of course increase the chances of longer survival.  Why would anyone making a "first time trip around the equator" NOT carry the necessary safety equipment?  I struggle with this as we know AE was quite "independent" in her thinking but would FN let her make that kind of decision for him? 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #427 on: March 26, 2012, 02:15:35 PM »

Parachuting into water is frought with difficulties and should only be attempted by those trained to do so.
Main problem being that if you are still in the harness when you hit the water (you will go under) you will end up with dozens of rigging lines and a huge silk mushroom on top of you and, wrapped around you. Now, you will have to exit the harness, untangle the rigging lines and escape from the silk while underwater, good luck. The idea is to unstrap and exit harness at 20 to 50 feet thus leaving you clean on entry into water.
As I mentioned previously we stopped training jumps over water due to a number of factors which resulted in near fatal and fatal incidents.
So for safety don't jump at night over water and, always have a reference point so you can judge your height when exiting harness. We had dummies exiting the harness in excess of 100 feet! OUCH!!!
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #428 on: March 26, 2012, 04:28:38 PM »

Parachuting into water is frought with difficulties and should only be attempted by those trained to do so.
Main problem being that if you are still in the harness when you hit the water (you will go under) you will end up with dozens of rigging lines and a huge silk mushroom on top of you and, wrapped around you. Now, you will have to exit the harness, untangle the rigging lines and escape from the silk while underwater, good luck. The idea is to unstrap and exit harness at 20 to 50 feet thus leaving you clean on entry into water.
As I mentioned previously we stopped training jumps over water due to a number of factors which resulted in near fatal and fatal incidents.
So for safety don't jump at night over water and, always have a reference point so you can judge your height when exiting harness. We had dummies exiting the harness in excess of 100 feet! OUCH!!!
How many times did you land a parachute in the water? There may very well be a good reason to not make training jumps into the water since they carry a higher risk than jumps onto land, so why not avoid that extra risk, especially since jumping into water is NOT part of the mission of paratroops? It is part of the mission of Navy SEALS and they do make lots of jumps into water for training and for real. If Earhart did decide to jump from the plane into the Pacific, it would not be a training jump, she would already be in a dangerous situation. There are no good choice when the engines stop making noise over the ocean so you are forced to choose the lesser of two evils. Yes there is danger parachuting into the ocean and yes there is even greater danger ditching a land plane into the ocean. Thousands of pilots have chosen option "A" and survived parachuting into the ocean and the only training they had was a verbal briefing on how to land in the water or only from reading their manual.

However, that is not the end of the discussion on whether parachutes were in the plane. We know that there were parachutes with Earhart in Darwin, either two she had with her previously, or two that she picked up in Darwin or four, the total from both sources. Putnam only accounted for the first two in his publishing of Last Flight and that story itself is suspect since it was not published in the story written by Earhart and cabled from Darwin to the Herald Tribune. So even if Putnam is correct, what happened to the two parachutes that she picked up in Darwin? The two Australian newspapers did not say "she picked up two parachutes that were awaiting her in Darwin and gave instructions to ship them back since she didn't think they were of use over the ocean," which looks like a pretty newsworthy part of the story IF THAT IS WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. No particularly good reason to leave them behind even if she didn't plan to use them over the ocean, they were going to be flying over some more jungle in New Guinea where she obviously thought they were of use as she said that flying over jungle was the part that most scared her about the world flight. So that is one good reason why they were still aboard. Another good reason is that she had to get them back to California one way or another, why not just keep them in the plane. And don't give me the old story that she was concerned about the slight amount of weight of the chutes. People have jumped on the "weight bandwagon" based on the long takeoff at Lae but that long takeoff was a result of Earhart's failure to follow the instructions from Lockheed contained in Report 487 by failing to set the flaps to the takeoff position, something she would not have foreseen prior to the actual takeoff. And the plane was only about 500 pounds heavier at Lae as it had been at Oakland and that takeoff went exactly like the data in Report 487 said it should and the plane had plenty of climb capability at the weight it was at on takeoff at Lae.

gl
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 03:25:57 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #429 on: March 26, 2012, 04:47:45 PM »


Quote
And don't give me the old story that she was concerned about the slight amount of weight of the chutes.

Telegram, 1937 July 2, Lae, NG, to Press tribune, Oakland, Calif.

It almost sounds pathetic, a briefcase with papers, clothes, and a toothbrush. And Fred had a little tin case that rattles.

Two days packing and repacking only the essentials. Sounds like someone was a bit concerned about weight. Obsessed? Perhaps.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #430 on: March 26, 2012, 04:49:52 PM »


Quote
And don't give me the old story that she was concerned about the slight amount of weight of the chutes.

Telegram, 1937 July 2, Lae, NG, to Press tribune, Oakland, Calif.

It almost sounds pathetic, a briefcase with papers, clothes, and a toothbrush. And Fred had a little tin case that rattles.

Two days packing and repacking only the essentials. Sounds like someone was a bit concerned about weight. Obsessed? Perhaps.
That's fine but none of that was emergency or essential equipment.

gl
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Heath Smith

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #431 on: March 26, 2012, 04:51:56 PM »


It would be impossible to know what she considered essential.
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Heath Smith

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #432 on: March 26, 2012, 05:09:46 PM »

Here is yet another version of the story, being repeated on the Internet, that they parachutes were not shipped from Darwin but from Lae. Does anyone have source information?

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The next legs were to Rangoon, Bangkok, Singapore, Bandoeng and Soerbaja, Java. At that point, Earhart was having problems with the fuel analyzer and electrical instruments, and she decided to return to Bandoeng for repairs. She had a bout with dysentery, the cause of which she thought must be the petrol fumes. After weather delays and sightseeing, they flew on to Port Darwin, Australia, via Koepang, Indonesia. They reached Lae, New Guinea, on June 29, 1937, after a 1,200-mile flight in 7 3/4 hours.

The engines were thoroughly checked, the spark plugs cleaned, and a fuel pump and the autopilot repaired. Everything not needed for the transpacific flight, including parachutes and some survival equipment, was packed to be sent home. Earhart cabled the last of several articles to the New York Herald Tribune. She then met with senior government officials and took care of details such as fumigation of the plane, a check of immunization certificates, and customs clearance.

Story Originally published by Aviation History magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006

« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 06:48:59 PM by Heath Smith »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #433 on: March 27, 2012, 10:34:08 AM »

I did seven jumps into water but, not at night. Here's the link regarding the Kiel canal disaster...
http://www.paradata.org.uk/article/6671/related/6864

Ditching would have been the best option, you would have something to cling to for a while, get something that floats from it and, be more visible to search teams IMHO, not written in stone and, open to debate.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #434 on: March 27, 2012, 12:12:10 PM »

On a lighter note, but not for the chap involved in this little incident. This is what happens when you exit the plane like a scarecrow (keep your arms tucked in to your body) Notice how his flailing arm gets caught in the rigging lines thus preventing deployment and detatchment.
HUPRA Hung Up Parachutist Release Assembly
http://youtu.be/pFSpNmjU84c
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