"... improves the glide performance."

Gary, do you have any estimate of the expected descent rate with both engines out and both props in "low drag" position?

With most twins you don't lose both engines at exactly the same time

because the engines are being fed from two separate tanks and they don't

hit empty at exactly the same time. Earhart's plane was different and

the fuel system did supply both engines from the same tank so AE would

lose both engines at the same time when she ran out of fuel. From repoort 487

I computed that her max L/D ratio was 11.89 which would be approximately her

glide ratio but it would be something less, due to the drag of the windmilling

propellers so a ratio of 10 to 1 is reasonable to assume. At her empty

weight, the best glide speed would be about 100 mph so this means she

would be going down at a rate of 10 mph which is 14.7 feet per second.

One thousand feet divided by 14.7 feet per second means the airplane

would splash down in 68 seconds. Different reasonable assumptions for

glide ratio and best glide speed won't make a big difference in the time

to splash.

Every book that discusses ditching recommend making a controlled

ditching prior to using the last drop of fuel. With power still

available you can choose the best heading that is parallel to the swells

and you can adjust your touch down point to avoid hitting the face of a

wave and can land on top of the swells which gives you the best chance

for survival. According to AFM 64-6,

*Aircraft Emergency Procedures Over*

Water, with winds less than 25 knots you do not try to land into the

wind but land parallel to the swells. If the swells are not

perpendicular to the wind then choose the heading that is parallel to

the swells and has the larger headwind component. Only with a wind speed

greater than 35 knots should you select a heading directly into the

wind. Between 25 and 35 knots you choose an intermediate heading.

gl