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Author Topic: A reef in time!  (Read 39952 times)

Chris Johnson

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A reef in time!
« on: September 04, 2012, 01:50:10 PM »

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Better than average luck
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 02:06:51 PM »

Thanks for the link Chris! :D
Woody (former 3316R)
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 02:27:57 PM »

You're being a smart aleck now. Unfortunately, you are also very correct. ::)
Woody (former 3316R)
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Dave Potratz

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 02:51:20 PM »

Wow, what an uncanny account . . . and a canny response some nine months later requires not very much of a stretch.   I can't imagine, had she heard of it, that she would not have been exceptionally interested.   

I think the fact that the landing had in fact been succesfully managed would have spoken volumes to her, particularly the documented rationale for landing with intent to take-off again.

"We can do this, Fred!"

LTM,
dp

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Bruce Thomas

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 04:19:02 PM »

Kudos to Art Johnson, who I believe is the one who brought to our attention the General Aircraft Ltd ST-18 Croydon aircraft and its 1936 reef landing, complete with pictures, through his Forum posting of 10 days ago. A really nice piece of research, Art!
LTM,

Bruce
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Bob Lanz

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 04:33:31 PM »

You're being a smart aleck now. Unfortunately, you are also very correct. ::)

Agreed Woodman, but this old geezer is not only computer savvy I do social networking as well.  At least I know how to spell savvy unless that is the UK version.  ;)

Oops, now I have to moderate myself and all this off topic stuff to the Chatterbox, however I am not sure where I will put it there.  Maybe a new topic called Nonsense..   :-\
See what you made me do Woody?  ;D
Doc
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« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 04:55:52 PM by Bob Lanz »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 06:27:09 PM »

I think the fact that the landing had in fact been successfully managed would have spoken volumes to her, particularly the documented rationale for landing with intent to take-off again.

I found that one of the most interesting parts of the article.  I get the impression that the whole crew would have loved to have saved the plane.  It appears that landing on the reef rather than ditching near the fishing boat was a deliberate choice on their part.
LTM,

           Marty
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 07:44:40 PM »

You're being a smart aleck now. Unfortunately, you are also very correct. ::)

Agreed Woodman, but this old geezer is not only computer savvy I do social networking as well.  At least I know how to spell savvy unless that is the UK version.  ;)

Oops, now I have to moderate myself and all this off topic stuff to the Chatterbox, however I am not sure where I will put it there.  Maybe a new topic called Nonsense..   :-\
See what you made me do Woody?  ;D

Just blame it all on me. I can take it. 8)
Woody (former 3316R)
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 07:54:43 PM »

I think the fact that the landing had in fact been successfully managed would have spoken volumes to her, particularly the documented rationale for landing with intent to take-off again.

I found that one of the most interesting parts of the article.  I get the impression that the whole crew would have loved to have saved the plane.  It appears that landing on the reef rather than ditching near the fishing boat was a deliberate choice on their part.

Several of the other pilots here don't agree with me, but I was always taught, and I firmly believe, that if you can save the aircraft you will save your own hide. If there was any way possible, that's what I would have tried to do. In this case, the airplane was one of a kind.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Monty Fowler

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 08:36:30 AM »

What we tend to forget, and what might have played a major role in Amelia's thought process at the time, was that a large part of her personal "fortune," as it were, was tied up in that shiny hunk of aluminum. People will do the most incredibly irrational things to save money, just as they will do the most incredibly irrantional things to make or get money.

LTM, who still picks up pennies on the sidewalk,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 09:20:44 AM »

I am sure AE and FN would have been aware of this event and, kept a mental note of it. I wouldn't be surprised either if the rescuers considered this option as well. Lambrecht mentioned a reef/beach landing as a contributing factor in the planning of searching the Phoenix group.
http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Letters/LambrechtGoerner.pdf
This must be the place
 
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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 10:02:52 AM »

What we tend to forget, and what might have played a major role in Amelia's thought process at the time, was that a large part of her personal "fortune," as it were, was tied up in that shiny hunk of aluminum. People will do the most incredibly irrational things to save money, just as they will do the most incredibly irrantional things to make or get money.

LTM, who still picks up pennies on the sidewalk,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER

Because of the Hawaii-crash, Mr.Putnam was a little bit pressed for money. Amelia knew that. The only way to make money was to promote the successful world-flight, therefore the plane had to be saved. I don't think that's irrational in any way.
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Nathan Lapointe

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 10:35:00 AM »

Quote from: Chris Johnson
Latest resaerch Bulletin on website via facebook

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TIGHAR # 3199
Sometimes I can be a pain

Wow, what an incredible find!  The similarity between this and the Niku hypothesis really are stunning.  It really makes you wonder if Noonan had read this article before they left?  No way to tell for sure, of course, but it's fascinating to speculate.

"Hey Amelia, do you see that little island down there, with the ship?  It looks familiar to the one the Croydon landed on near Australia a few months ago ... why don't we try and land on it like they did?"

As an aside, has TIGHAR considered trying to get Hollywood interested in a movie based off of the Niku hypothesis? 

Nathan.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 04:00:08 PM by Nathan Lapointe »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 01:27:15 PM »

As an aside, has TIGHAR considered trying to get Hollywood interested in a movie based off of the Niku hypothesis? 

Let's prove the case first.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: A reef in time!
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2012, 12:56:37 AM »


The question for me (I'm not AE, of course...) would first be whether a reef landing appeared to be more survivable (to the ship and therefore me) than a ditching; having read about and looked at pictures of Niku's reef I'd take the reef (AE remains to be seen, we hope).  Wheels up or down would be next question - wheels down can be an off-airport hazard - but not always.  At Niku I believe I'd try for wheels down, given big fat airwheels like the Electra had - that reef isn't much worse than some strips that bird likely saw in her day.  This other adventure worked out OK, good to see.

Again, none of us can say about AE for sure, of course - but my own consideration for the reef would be doubly positive had I found myself there and knowing of this fascinating precedent - which was brought to us in this string. 

Many thanks, Chris - very cool.

I posted this a few months ago when we were discussing parachutes:
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Back in 1972 a friend of mine, Bob Staehling, had an engine failure one day while flying N7984C, an SNJ, the Navy version of the AT-6, which has the same engine as Earhart's Electra. He made an emergency landing in a plowed farmer's field, the plane flipped onto its back crushing the canopy and killing Bob. Bob had been shot down three times in WW2 and he parachuted into the Pacific each time and floated in his life raft, the first time for nine days, before being saved. We all thought it to be terribly ironic that he had survived being shot down in the Pacific three times and then got killed on dry land only a mile from his house. I wouldn't be at all surprised if his last thoughts had been "gee, I wish I had worn a parachute on this flight."

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Bob's son was riding in the back seat and was severely injured but survived and he told us that his father said, as they were on the approach to the farmer's field, that he was going to put the gear down to try to save the plane and minimize damage. If he had kept the wheels in the wells the plane would have slid on its belly, damaging the belly, but they both would have walked away. I actually suspect his very last thought was "why the $#@^& did I put the ^%$# gear down!"

When I instruct I carefully explain the concept of being "pilot in command" since "command" is not a term used in civilian life. We are all good at making decisions where we choose between good result and bad result. But when you are in command you may have to make decisions where the only choices are bad result and very bad result, the "good result" choice is not on the answer sheet. An army commander might have a mission to take an enemy occupied hill. He thinks it through and if he attacks from the east he estimates he will have fifty killed and if he attacks from the west he estimates he will loose seventy. He doesn't want to have any of his troops killed but he must capture that hill. So he chooses the least bad option, attack from the east. Landing gear up on the reef and doing damage to the belly of the Electra is a bad option but landing gear down and having a wheel get stuck in a hole, flip the plane and kill everybody on board is a really bad result. I can't tell you how many cases I had with dead people because the pilot in command tried to get to a destination when he didn't have the fuel in the tanks to make it, the "good result" choice was not available, rather than make a safe precautionary landing on a dry lake bed and then deal with the hassles, a bad result. So instead they got the really bad result with a bunch of dead people in the plane after running completely out of gas over dangerous terrain.

These  guys were lucky. What if, on the landing roll, one of the main wheels had gotten caught like the tailwheel did, destroyed plane and with dead or injured occupants.

gl
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