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Author Topic: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland  (Read 292499 times)

Erik

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #435 on: March 27, 2012, 12:29:21 PM »

However, as one who has never jumped, my thoughts remain with 'ditching' - although I've never ditched either, and realize it's no picnic.  That's simply a bias based on my own experience, and I don't mean to say it's the best option.

But it leaves me with believing I would like to understand more about the conventional wisdom at the time before trying to think of how AE may have seen it.  The information AE would have had offered to her, etc. would have a lot to do with my own opinion about how strongly she would feel about insisting on chutes for this leg, or not.  Jungle is a no-brainer; sea, less so, for me anyway, as stated. 

This article might help.  Amelia's comments to newspaper reports in the 30's reflect the same 'thinking'.  Reading between the lines, it looks as though parachutes were only taken aboard because they were required by the Air Corps.

New York Times; July 09, 1927
REAL STORY OF THE ARMY FLIGHT TO HAWAII
Left Parachutes Behind, but Took a Rubber Raft With Them
"When we climbed aboard the plane, we left our parachutes behind for the first time since leaving Dayton.  Parachutes would have been of little help out in the open sea.  As a matter of fact, this was the first time we had flown without parachutess since 1922, that being the year when they were required to be worn by order of the Chief of the Air Corps.
Parachutes are considered useless for landing in the open sea, since the chances are too great that the flier will become entangled in the harness upon striking the water.  In any case, we would be without means of staying afloat after such a landing."

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Chris Johnson

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #436 on: March 27, 2012, 02:30:56 PM »

Q the argument re shuits and life raft then!!!

(sits back for pages 31-33)
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #437 on: March 27, 2012, 03:17:32 PM »

Q the argument re shuits and life raft then!!!

(sits back for pages 31-33)
I would settle for the life raft when flying over oceans, the airline industry would back me up on this, they supply life jackets, not parachutes ;)
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #438 on: March 27, 2012, 05:05:51 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
That's a cool video, obviously Brits from the camouflage pattern. That seems to be a strange body position to use, American paratroops keep their hands on the reserve chute. We had a similar setup in the jump planes I flew, and jumped out of, to deal with the same "jumper in tow" situation. The static line had a snap that, instead of being connected directly to the plane, was connected to a "D" ring on a short piece of webbing, the other end of which was connected to the male portion of a capewell parachute riser quick release fitting and then a short piece of webbing went from the female capewell fitting to a snap that was then connected to the "D" ring on the floor of the plane.  The plan was that if we had a "jumper in tow," if he was conscious he was supposed to signal us by putting his hands on top of his helmet at which point the jump master would open the capewell, releasing the static line and the jumper, and he was then supposed to pull his reserve ripcord. If we didn't get the signal that he was awake then the jump master (me if I happened to be the jump master on that lift) was to take his reserve chute off of his harness, snap his reserve onto the "D" ring on the static line, snap a short static line to the ripcord of the reserve and then open the capewell allowing the jumper to fall away and the reserve chute would open and lower the jumper to the ground at the other end of the static line, just like in the video. We gave this some thought and realized that we couldn't do this if the static was wrapped around the jumpers neck because, when the reserve opened, it would have snapped his head off. In this situation we planned to fly the plane down as though landing, slow the plane down to about 55 knots, and then when the jumper was within a foot or two of the ground, pop the capewell. No system is perfect but that would maximize his chance of survival. It turned out we never had the occasion to use this system but the video shows that it would have worked.
(For those not familiar with the operation of a capewell, you pull open the cover, the ring pops out, you hook your thumb into the ring and then pull the ring which moves the locking lever down which then releases the male fitting. This can easily be done even under the full 5,000 pounds of tension due to the mechanical advantage of the design. Modern skydiving parachute releases use an entirely different design called a "three ring circus" which also provides a very large mechanical advantage so that the chute can be released under tension.)


gl
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 06:31:10 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #439 on: March 27, 2012, 05:56:32 PM »

Sounds like a similar method to the HUPRA Gary...
The video is of 'recreational' parachuting by members of the British Army and, from the view of the surrounding area it looks like the Weston on the green drop zone area near Brize Norton (ex US airbase now no1 parachute training school home). The exit positions were dreadful for a static line jump, ok for freefall though. I noticed he gave the thumbs up after a while, probably been notified of the successful HUPRA hook up and iminent deployment. Would liked to have seen the contents of said camo trousers on landing ;)

"In the event of a parachutist or his equipment being entangled in the parachute static line (also called retaining strop) outside the aircraft, the HUPRA release assembly can be deployed rapidly to free the parachutist and enable his descent. A rapid reaction is essential to prevent injury to the parachutist and damage to the aircraft. Airborne Systems HUPRA is the sole solution specifically engineered to release a hung up parachutist without the need to use the aircraft mechanical winch for recovery.
 
A Recovery System
 
The HUPRA consists mainly of a second parachute that can be attached to the aircraft anchorage cable via the cable assembly and snap-lock connector and enable the release of the fouled line. The recovery parachute is a highly-engineered, critical emergency parachute. This Aeroconicalâ„¢ Type 5000, which is also used on ejection seat systems, has a canopy diameter of 21.3 ft (6.5m). The assembly is comprised of a 10 ft (3 m) extension strop, a snap-lock connector assembly and a 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in) steel wire cable sub-assembly."
http://www.airborne-sys.com/pages/view/hupra
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #440 on: March 27, 2012, 06:18:13 PM »


A Recovery System
 
The HUPRA consists mainly of a second parachute that can be attached to the aircraft anchorage cable via the cable assembly and snap-lock connector and enable the release of the fouled line. The recovery parachute is a highly-engineered, critical emergency parachute. This Aeroconicalâ„¢ Type 5000, which is also used on ejection seat systems, has a canopy diameter of 21.3 ft (6.5m). The assembly is comprised of a 10 ft (3 m) extension strop, a snap-lock connector assembly and a 3.58 m (11 ft 9 in) steel wire cable sub-assembly."
http://www.airborne-sys.com/pages/view/hupra
I guess we should have patented our system. :)

I see it comes with a hook-blade knife to cut the anchorage cable with instead of having a capewell as in our system.

gl
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 06:23:12 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #441 on: March 27, 2012, 06:38:16 PM »

Absolutely correct Gary, never seen one used in real life but, nice to know it was there just in case. Never had any real problems jumping just one incident of entanglement with another jumper from the opposite stick when the plane suddenly lurched to one side. We exited at the same time and became entangled when we met up in the slip stream. A few swear words warning him about not opening his reserve and, kept the canopies apart till touchdown. Didn't help when he released his weapons container too soon, nearly took my head off.
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #442 on: March 27, 2012, 07:58:02 PM »


I mentioned somewhere on the forum that at one time I had a desire to learn to jump out of a plane but that I got over it.  Here's how.

A co-worker and friend with whom I had gone to grad school decided that he would learn to jump and I went to watch his first jump.  All went well and Tom jumped, his chute opened. and he was floating down.  A young lady jumped out after he did, her chute didn't open, she froze and didn't pull the reserve.   Tom said she passed him like a rocket.  The mess on the ground exceeded the worse that I had ever seen, and I had been on a voluntary fire dept for years. Up to then the worst I had ever seen was the result of a race between a train and a group of 6 teenies in a Pontiac convertible in which the teenies lost.

I decided then and there  that I didn't want to jump outa planes after all.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #443 on: March 27, 2012, 10:14:02 PM »


I mentioned somewhere on the forum that at one time I had a desire to learn to jump out of a plane but that I got over it.  Here's how.

A co-worker and friend with whom I had gone to grad school decided that he would learn to jump and I went to watch his first jump.  All went well and Tom jumped, his chute opened. and he was floating down.  A young lady jumped out after he did, her chute didn't open, she froze and didn't pull the reserve.   Tom said she passed him like a rocket.  The mess on the ground exceeded the worse that I had ever seen, and I had been on a voluntary fire dept for years. Up to then the worst I had ever seen was the result of a race between a train and a group of 6 teenies in a Pontiac convertible in which the teenies lost.

I decided then and there  that I didn't want to jump outa planes after all.
Oh come on Harry, you could have gotten by that experience if you had given it the old college try.  Here is an example. I made my first jump and then one week later I was out at the drop zone to make my second jump. This was in the days before skydiving altimeters so we determined when it was the right time to pull our ripcords by counting seconds, "one thousand one...one thousand two...," for short delays or with a stopwatch for longer delayed free falls. We also had chest mounted reserve parachutes and they had an instrument panel mounted on them to hold the stopwatch.
We were standing around, waiting for our lift and watching the jumpers on the prior lifts make their jumps. We watched this one guy come out of the plane at 5500 feet to make a 20 second delayed free fall. We kept watching him, watching him, watching him until he hit the ground about 75 yards from where we were standing. He hit the ground face first, bounced up into the air about six feet and came down on his side about six feet from where he first hit the ground. We all ran over to him, he had hit the ground in the perfect, stable, standard "frog position" so the reserve chute pack hit the ground first and left a dent in the ground about six inches deep while the impression from the rest of his body was only about one or two inches deep. We rolled him over and his stopwatch, mounted on his reserve and  which had hit the ground first and penetrated about six inches, was still ticking! That would have been one for John Cameron Swayze and his Timex commercials, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking," except that this was a Heuer stopwatch. When we rolled him over I remember thinking that he was very flexible because none of his bones were longer than a couple of inches.

One week later I was at the drop zone to finally make my second jump. As part of my training,  I had to pack my parachute for that jump, the very first parachute I had ever packed. So now I am in the plane at three thousand feet about to jump the first parachute I had ever packed, I was a little nervous. The winds were the same as the last time I was at the drop zone so the "spot" (the place, upwind of the planned landing place, were you exit the plane so that the wind will drift you to the drop zone) was in the same place. I'm out on the step looking down and I can clearly see that body shaped indentation in the ground three thousand below me, then I jumped.

See, Harry it's not that hard, you should have kept at it.

Oh, the young guy was in boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, he was in trouble for stealing from others in his barracks, he didn't pull his ripcord, he left a note.

gl
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 07:24:14 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #444 on: March 28, 2012, 06:35:45 AM »

Basic parachute training, 2 weeks of OMG. Our jump instructors were always drilling us to 'don't jump with handbags'. Our weapons containers always had to weigh at least 35kg. First time up with a weapons container I didn't realise they actually weighed the bloody things! Got caught with 'it's too light, it's a ******* Handbag. Off we go to have it 'adjusted' with ballast, a dirty great paving slab!
Now 50kg + main chute + reserve, I could barely stand up never mind walk. On the practice exits in the dummy fuselage in the hanger I could only just keep up with the rest of the stick shuffling along the fuselage and collapsing in a heap outside the door, the theory behind jumping heavy is that the slipstream won't twist, turn or spin you on exit, nice clean deployment of chute, no twists in rigging lines.
First jump was 4 of us out of the balloon, I was the last of the 4. First jump from the c130 I was chosen to go first in the stick of 8. On asking the jump master why I was selected to go first, his reply? 'you have a stone face, we don't want someone who looks like a frightened rabbit standing at the door for 3 minutes, it scares the rest of the stick' bloody cheek!
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #445 on: March 28, 2012, 10:30:17 AM »


Gary, Jeff
To almost quote Rudyard Kipling
"You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"   hehe
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #446 on: March 28, 2012, 11:30:58 AM »

Now if only this guy had had a chute!!! 1933 Imperial Airways Dixmude crash He'd have got away with it?
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #447 on: March 28, 2012, 12:02:52 PM »


To All interested
A link to one of the best poems in English Literature IMHO. Gunga Din by Kipling
http://www.bartleby.com/103/48.html
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Erik

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #448 on: March 28, 2012, 01:19:41 PM »

Now if only this guy had had a chute!!! 1933 Imperial Airways Dixmude crash He'd have got away with it?

Nice!  A vintage version of DB Cooper...  :o
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Did Earhart carry parachutes on the flight to Howland
« Reply #449 on: March 28, 2012, 02:25:10 PM »


D.B. Cooper, now there's a mystery needing a solution.  I'll date myself, I remember when the bvack door on the 727 was actually used.  D.B. 's episode took care of that.
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