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Author Topic: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook  (Read 27399 times)

John Balderston

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 07:18:29 AM »

I'm not commenting on the validity of Betty's notebook, but the notion that PAA radio bearings don't point to Gardner as a likely source.  Five of the seven PAA radio intercepts (over 70%) resulted in bearings within plus or minus five degrees of Gardner.  The intersection of these bearings creates an area of probability that encompasses Gardner.   

Given signal strength and duration of transmission, the PAA operators demonstrated solid technical proficiency to get within plus or minus five degrees (of our hindsight Gardner Island location).  Please refer to Mr. Brandenburg's RDF Analysis research paper, page 3, paragraph 3 which describes the operator's procedure for obtaining a bearing:

"A signal bearing was indicated by an aural null. But instead of measuring the null bearing directly, the operator observed bearings on each side of the null where the signal level was high enough for accurate measurement, over a period of 2 to 3 minutes, and averaged those bearings to obtain the null bearing. the accuracy of the bearings on each side of a null, and thus the accuracy of the average bearing, would be adversely affected if a signal was weak or of short duration."

In summary, the area of probability formed by PAA's radio bearings was an excellent indicator of where to search.

JB
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« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 11:23:08 AM by John Balderston »
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John Ousterhout

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 07:52:40 AM »

GL sez: "For this scenario to make any sense she had to know she was on Gardner so why not just say "GARDNER ISLAND" over and over again? None of the alleged post loss messages, and that includes Betty's, contain the word "Gardner" nor the word "Phoenix" not any other position information."

To continue the scenario a bit, she didn't 'have to know she was on Gardner' - that would depend on what charts she had available.   The charts she had may not have identified Gardner by name.  I've previously used the example of a chart from Gary LaPook's site  that Fred used on the Atlantic crossing that did not name tiny dots of islands in the Cape Verde group that were comparable in size to Gardner.

However, even a large scale map of the Pacific would reasonably be expected to have the Phoenix group labeled, even if the individual islands weren't.  In that case, why wouldn't Amelia's messages from Gardner contain "Phoenix" repeated as often as "3" and "8"?  Do Betty's notes contain words that might suggest "Phoenix", but misunderstood?
Cheers,
JohnO
 
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:44:44 AM by John Ousterhout »
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John Hart

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 09:04:44 AM »

I would add that 158/338 could be a measured bearing and range (in NM) from Howland to Gardner depending on accuracy of the map used. Still a skeptic just pouring gas on the fire.

JB
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 09:46:56 AM »

I would add that 158/338 could be a measured bearing and range (in NM) from Howland to Gardner depending on accuracy of the map used. Still a skeptic just pouring gas on the fire.

JB

I think it burns well enough without the gas John ;)
This must be the place
 
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Dave Potratz

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 01:34:55 PM »

I think that continues to be the greatest category of misunderstanding/obfuscation offered by the "typical" naysayer, i.e, that because THEY would certainly say, do, or understand a certain thing, that AE/FN obviously MUST also have.   There must be a name for the application of such a fallacy...Marty?

dp
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2012, 09:47:43 PM »

I think that continues to be the greatest category of misunderstanding/obfuscation offered by the "typical" naysayer, i.e, that because THEY would certainly say, do, or understand a certain thing, that AE/FN obviously MUST also have.   There must be a name for the application of such a fallacy...Marty?

dp

A good point - my personal approach to both sides of this general debate is to question what each offers as evidence. That may seem to make me a double naysayer or just someone who will do anything to start an argument. The answer is of course neither.

Evidence offered to support a hypothesis needs to be rigorously tested for only that way can we satisfy ourselves as to its value in contributing to the hypothesis proof. The equal applies to the naysayer's objections. Of course the most unsafe thing that one can propose is the argument which begins "Well if I was in that position ..." because if one was in that position one could enlighten us all with a first hand verifiable account, and clearly as we are debating the subject then clearly that is not the case.

As regards Earhart and Noonan on Nikumaroro I admit to scepticism but equally one must say that scepticism is not absolute denial, it is just simply not absolute acceptance. One of the reasons why I rather dislike the hypothetical cases offered to explain post-loss behaviour on Nikumaroro is that they actually encourage "Well if I was in that position ..." type answers rather than ones which are useful such as properly checked artifact provenance and properly carried out surveys - the things which TIGHAR has done as one should expect. 

We all await the results of this trip with interest. 
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Dr Stephen Vadas

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2013, 07:29:28 PM »

Perhaps the 158/338 was her heading, not LOP. I don't remember reading that she said it was LOP.
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Brad Beeching

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2013, 08:39:36 PM »

Well, It looks like things are as lively as ever here..  ;D

IF any of the post loss messages are true, who ever said that anyone ever heard ALL of any one message sent? Maybe they DID broadcast the position as best as they could work out, broadcast it repeatedly, over and over again, only.... no one heard it? Maybe what Betty heard, and what others perported to hear was only PART of the full message? Over and over again I read comments that dismiss the post loss signals always use the arguement that "Well, they never said they were on Gardner, so the messages must be false, or a hoax, or all the other gobbledegook I see, but none of the naysayers even consider that most of the reported messages were fading in and out at the time they were heard, so how do we know that they never broadcast where they were (if they knew)? And maybe, just maybe, they were actually doing what they said they were doing, flying a heading of 158/338, maybe the compass in the cockpit was one degree off? I'm not a pilot, but I have a few hours in my logbook, and as far as I can tell, MANUALLY herding an airplane exactly on a heading, with the needle never leaving the chosen degree mark aint easy, so maybe she WAS flying 338 instead of 337. Ok... I'll head back under my rock...
Brad

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C.W. Herndon

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2013, 08:43:56 AM »

And maybe, just maybe, they were actually doing what they said they were doing, flying a heading of 158/338, maybe the compass in the cockpit was one degree off? I'm not a pilot, but I have a few hours in my logbook, and as far as I can tell, MANUALLY herding an airplane exactly on a heading, with the needle never leaving the chosen degree mark aint easy, so maybe she WAS flying 338 instead of 337. Ok... I'll head back under my rock...

Brad, your evaluation of whether AE could have been flying an exact heading is probably "right on". A picture of what was probably her "primary compass" can be found here and is shown in the photos below. As you can see from the pictures, the compass was calibrated in 10deg increments which means there would have been some "estimating" of the exact heading in addition to the difficulty of holding the desired heading. She did, however, have an autopilot to help her out but we have no way of knowing how well it would hold a heading.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Bill de Creeft

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2013, 01:16:50 PM »

I believe the notebook and that the "158/338" was given to Amelia by Fred as the heading to fly (if this number was given by Amelia over the radio it was after the landing and after whatever injuries suffered by Fred in the landing...at which point he was almost incoherent).So it is my opinion (humble, of course) that she was on an island(unknown to her by name...but having on it a wrecked ship, referred to as something that sounded to Betty as the" New York " but which we believe to have been the Norwich City) and that she had flown a heading of 158 to get there.What she actually flew, or what her compass read doesn't matter. That would have depended on the wind and what heading she had to hold to maintain the correct track over the ground/sea.
In the air, Fred was okay, and he could have given her new bearings/headings(they are different) every few minutes as long as he determined that they were on the 158/338 that he believed would get them to the nearest land.
So sitting there with the tide comming in, 'transmitting in the blind', trying to get word out while she could and hearing no answer...she did what she could and repeated what she knew: that was the heading that she 'tracked' to get her where they were.

It should have been good enough to save her, if there were not so many "opinions " against her.

And don't overlook that as far as what hours she could transmit...even 8 or 10 inches above the water at 1500 rpm, which is what it takes for the generater to"kick in", the prop is picking up a considerable spray that envelopes the whole engine...I doubt  she was running the engine at the same time she was transmitting...doubt you could have heard Fred talking across the cabin to her over the mike...
If the prop is touching the water at all, it is about impossible to develope enough power to move the airplane especially if it is in danger off floating off the reef.

I have flown to a boat in trouble and helped the people on board to safety while the authorities were still talking to them on the radio about what kind of equipment they had onboard...two different worlds, I know, but I have little patience for conversation and theories when people are trying to stay alive..

As for knowing where she was, all she knew was there was something under her she could land on while she still had gas...and the charts,judging from what the Navy planes determined, were not accurate.
Even to me, this reads as kind of grumpy !?!
Don't mean to be!
Goes with being useless old guy...
Message to Self ; We're not saving lives, here, just solving  mysteries and its supposed to be fun!
Bill (proud to have a number now !!)
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Bill de Creeft

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« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 03:19:40 PM by Bill de Creeft »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2013, 08:53:12 AM »

And don't overlook that as far as what hours she could transmit...even 8 or 10 inches above the water at 1500 rpm, which is what it takes for the generater to"kick in", the prop is picking up a considerable spray that envelopes the whole engine

900 rpm was sufficient.  That's what Mantz said at the time and what we confirmed with engine tests at Covington Engines in Oklahoma using an R-1340 and an Eclipse E-5 generator (like hers) with a 2-1 ratio. (BTW, fuel burn at 900 RPM is 6 gph, just like Mantz said.)  In your experience, how much spray would be picked up at 900 RPM?

...I doubt  she was running the engine at the same time she was transmitting...

I would think she'd be crazy not to.  Transmitting runs the battery down very quickly and an R-1340 can be hard to start.  If she runs her battery down transmitting without the engine running she may not have enough battery left to start the engine to recharge the battery. Game Over.

doubt you could have heard Fred talking across the cabin to her over the mike...

There has been a lot of discussion about that. An engine at ticking over at 900 RPM is going to make a lot less noise than at 1500.  The microphone aboard the airplane in the Luke Field inventory was a Western Electric 631b - a carbon mic.  We don't know what kind of mic was being used on the second world flight attempt.  Both Betty in Florida and Mrs. Crabb in Toronto reported hearing conversations or exchanges between AE and a man who was with her, although at different times.  Their reports are otherwise credible and seem to corroborate each other.

If the prop is touching the water at all, it is about impossible to develope enough power to move the airplane especially if it is in danger off floating off the reef.

Agreed.
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Bill de Creeft

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2013, 05:11:59 PM »

Sat for years behind a 1340 and an E-5 but just remembered the otter uses a geared engine where the prop runs 2/3 rds the engine speed !
So there goes any value to any guesses I have.
But I think I pointed out that the engine has to speed up above the 'kick-out' speed of the voltage regulator...and I would have said it was at least above 1200 rpm...but I concede all that because it was just a observation.
(Props cost a lot, so we didn't ever pick up spray...matter of pride...even when turning downwind on a windy day !!...so that was a big point with me)
What I did go by was: isn't there someplace in the records where the critical transmission heard by Betty is at the same time as the coast guard and the navy but discarded because they did not believe they could have come from Amelia because it was after she would have been down in the water so was ignored (I restrain from personal comment here) ...?
They remarked the engines "were not running because no background hum"...

But I only commented on all this because the hours of transmission had been calculated very precisely...It impressed me!..
and the 'clearance ' was tighter than would truly exist I think; and I still dont think the engines necessarily were running all the times...I have several times operated all day with no generator by just charging up at night and that's on floats where 'propping' it is a hassle (but the nose gearing helped the couple of times I had to prop it, and that on wheels.)
I have a mic like hers somewhere in my junk pile and the earphones and in fact had an old  radio(older than hers) that had "her" crystal in it...you just poked in a different crystal to change frequencies...and we took it apart to use as an on/off switch in the Travel Air when we restored it...and they are not Noise Cancelling, for what that's worth.
Wasn't the transmitter on the co-pilot seat and FN in the back? so where was he when they were talking to betty?
I'm not helping here, am I !?!
I'm Out.
Bill de Creeft

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C.W. Herndon

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2013, 06:44:17 PM »

Hi Bill.
I would suggest that you might want to do some research about the radios in Amelia's Electra. This is a good place to start if you look at all of the links in the article. Have fun with the reading, it will take a while.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2013, 06:58:49 PM »

isn't there someplace in the records where the critical transmission heard by Betty is at the same time as the coast guard and the navy but discarded because they did not believe they could have come from Amelia because it was after she would have been down in the water so was ignored (I restrain from personal comment here) ...?
They remarked the engines "were not running because no background hum"...

You're thinking of the operator at Nauru who heard unintelligible voice transmissions on the night of July 2nd that he recognized as the same voice he had heard from the plane in flight the night before "but without the hum of the plane in the background."  Two engines at cruise power would make a lot more noise than one engine loafing at 900 RPM.

Wasn't the transmitter on the co-pilot seat and FN in the back? so where was he when they were talking to betty?

The transmitter was in the cabin on the floor behind the fuselage tanks.  The receiver was under the co-pilot's seat.  The dynamotor was under the pilot's seat.  Fred would be in the right seat (or trying to climb over Amelia to get to the hatch over her head).  It's a tight cockpit.
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Tim Mellon

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Re: 158 / 338 in Betty's Notebook
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2013, 07:35:55 PM »

Two engines at cruise power would make a lot more noise than one engine loafing at 900 RPM.



It is also possible that the radio was being operated solely on battery power (fully charged) with no engine running, assuming, obviously, that a safe landing had preceded the transmission.
Tim
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