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    Re: Amelia Earhart's aerial navigation
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2009 Nov 19, 13:17 -0800

    Item 23 of the inventory
    
    23      *1      "   Signal Pistol, No. A-56, Mark III, one inch
    
    
    was the flare gun or "Very Pistol." It used the the standard one inch
    diameter cartridges (which we now call 25 mm) and item 33 shows 14 of
    the cartridges.
    
    see:
    
    
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/978/95017969.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.dkimages.com/discover/DKIMAGES/Discover/Home/Technology/Transportation/Ships-and-Boats/Safety-Equipment/Very-Pistol/Very-Pistol-2.html&usg=__DJiHwQ0eqAB1SY37wYr8-X6Qtk4=&h=378&w=475&sz=43&hl=en&start=3&sig2=8SNiYHhJFq0WVQl_oHAW7A&um=1&tbnid=pnBAEhrivFxBzM:&tbnh=103&tbnw=129&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dvery%2Bpistol%26ndsp%3D21%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1&ei=D7UFS6u2Don5nQek1IHICw
    
    gl
    
    
    gl
    
    On Nov 19, 11:10�am, Gary LaPook  wrote:
    > To answer your question i am copying this post form an Earhart forum:
    >
    > � � Dear Colleagues,
    > � �Some "check and diggging" in the books gives a general impression
    > that the life raft was still aboard the AE's Electra at takeoff in
    > Lae... altough still not for 100% probability i'd say.
    >
    > � The book "Amelia, My Courageous Sister" (M.Morrissey, C.Osborne), on
    > the pages 191-192, reproduces a photocopies of 2 pages from the "New
    > York Herald Tribune" from March 7, 1937.
    > � � �In particular, it says:
    >
    > � "In the fuselage will be a two-man rubber lifeboat, instantly
    > inflatable from capsules of carbon dioxyde. Likewise a Very pistol for
    > firing distress signals, flares that ignite on the surfaceof the water,
    > and, as she [AE - alex] says, "a very orange" orange kite. "If we sit
    > down somewhere in the Pacific and stay afloat, I'd like to be noticed,"
    > says Miss Earhart ".
    >
    > � � In the same book, starting from page 256, an extensive "summary
    > report" of the Commander Lexington Group to the Commandant, 14th Naval
    > district is quoted. The report lists the related data available and used
    > during the search - being "grouped" into "categories", of which two
    > first ones are: "A.Known Facts", and "B. Probabilities arising from
    > rumor or reasonable assumptions".
    >
    > � In a category "A", the point 3 says: 3). That a two man rubber life
    > boat, life belts, flares and emergency water and rations were carried.
    > (page 257 of the book).
    > � In a caregory "B", the point 3 says: 3). That the color of the
    > lifeboatwas yellow. (Page 258 of the book).
    >
    > � � �In the book "The Hunt For Amelia Earhart" (D.Westfall, R.K.Mater),
    > on page 3 there is a statement:
    >
    > � �"...emergency equipment was carried as well, including a multi-color
    > flare gun, a bright-yellow inflatible lifeboat, parachutes...". Page 51
    > of the same book mentions the message sent by GP to Washington in July
    > 2, 1937, - requesting the Navy's aid in a search for AE, and quoted by
    > "San Francisco Cronicle":
    > � "There was a two-man rubber lifeboat aboard the plane, together with
    > lifebelts, flares, a Very pistol and a large yellow signal kite which
    > could be flown above the plane or the liferaft".
    > � The same information is quoted in the book "Amelia" (D.Goldstein,
    > K.Dillon), page 241.
    >
    > � � In the Mary Lovell's book "The Sound of Wings", on page 259, there
    > is an evidence of Joe Gurr - one of AE's radio consultants and advisors
    > - about the preparations for the "first attempt".
    > � �Gurr "had spent an entire day with Manning laying out all the safety
    > equipment in front of the hangar, testing - as far as possible -
    > everything. They inflated the life raft..." -
    >
    > �- i.e., certainly the life raft WAS a part of the equipment AE did have
    > in that moment. �
    >
    > � �In the same book on the page 267, there is a following quote however
    > - about the final preparations at Lae:
    >
    > � �"...Her obsession with weight may have been taken to extreme length,
    > for according to Harry Balfour, radio operator at Lae, survival
    > equipment was also taken off. Balfour claimed that "she unloaded all her
    > surplus equipment on me including her [Very] pistol and ammunition,
    > books, letters and facility books"".
    >
    > � � This word "including" makes the whole phrase puzzling... as if the
    > listed items {Very pistol, books etc.} were only a part of what was
    > unloaded - so what else from the "surplus/survival equipment" could be
    > unloaded too?... No answer for this.
    >
    > � �On the page 288, describing the imaginary scenario of the emergencywater 
    landing, Lovell wrote: "the life raft and emergency equipment were
    >
    > housed behind the rear cabin bulkhead at the rear of the plane"...
    > clearly assuming that it was still aboard. �
    >
    > � �In general, it seems to me, it all makes an impression that most
    > probably the life raft �should be still aboard - IF only AE and FN,
    > because of their "obsession with weight", did not unload it before the
    > Lae-Howland leg... But, as it seems, the searchers of the time
    > (Lexington Group) obviously assumed that AE and FN still did have it
    > aboard, on that leg.
    >
    > � Kind regards - sincerely, Alex
    >
    > 
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > I responded:
    >
    > Alex wrote, quoting Lovell's book:
    >
    > � "...Her obsession with weight may have been taken to extreme length,
    > for according to Harry Balfour, radio operator at Lae, survival
    > equipment was also taken off. Balfour claimed that "she unloaded all her
    > surplus equipment on me including her [Very] pistol and ammunition,
    > books, letters and facility books"".
    >
    > What Balfour actually said was:
    >
    > "...[A]ll messages received from her were forwarded to her husband
    > together with some private papers she left with me at the radio station,
    > she also gave me her automatic pistol and ammunition and some radio
    > facility books, but these I do not have now they became lost during the
    > war."
    >
    > Letter from Balfour reprinted as exhibit 38 in Safford's book.
    >
    > Long also writes:
    >
    > "Earhart handed the package ...to Balfour...Balfour opened the paper and
    > inside was a 32-caliber handgun with a small box of ammunition."
    >
    > Long, page 192.
    >
    > So, there is no support for the idea that they left survival equipment
    > behind.
    >
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > The inventory done after the ground loop �in Hawaii lists a raft and
    > other survival equipment. See:
    >
    > http://www.tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Documents/Luke_Field.html
    >
    > gl
    >
    > Ronald P Barrett wrote:
    > > Greg, I taught sea survival for the international airlines and did
    > > actual exercises. One can well survive in the central Pacific open
    > > ocean in a life jacket for hours to days. Depends on the entry injuries.
    >
    > > Therefore I would ask: 1. Did AE have raft? �2. What type? Two man?
    > > One man? This relates directly to its size. �3. How was it bundled?
    > > The configuration is important. 4. What did it weigh? Important to
    > > weight & balance of this size of plane. 5. Was it tied down? 6. How
    > > was it tied down? 7. What were the rafts egress points? This is
    > > important, because it leads to what window or door could they get it
    > > out of. This then begs the question of what was the possible attitude
    > > of the plane in the water? If the plane went tail up: I doubt that
    > > they could have gotten the aft cabin door open to the point of the
    > > raft going out. 8. How was this type of raft to be inflated? 9.Did
    > > they have sea-dye? 10.Flares? 11. Did they have life jackets?
    >
    > > It is interesting that no floating debree was ever reported//// or was
    > > it? I had read the center fuel tank vent scoops were bottom centerline
    > > of the plane. Any one ever see tests data on possible water intake
    > > upon ditching on these?
    >
    > > Sea conditions are a big factor on the out �come of a ditching. What
    > > exactly were the reported sea conditions at that the possible ditching
    > > time? What are the out-comes known of Twin Beech ditchings over the
    > > years? Would the empty fuel tanks have rendered the plane "floatable?"
    >
    > > As a former Pacific Nav I really do wonder why nothing was found. I
    > > find that hard to believe.
    >
    > > DR'n away, Ron Barrett, President Air Force Navigators Observers
    > > Association (AFNOAwww.afnoa.org) USAF Ret.
    >
    > > --- On *Thu, 11/19/09, Greg Rudzinski //* wrote:
    >
    > > � � From: Greg Rudzinski 
    > > � � Subject: [NavList 10753] Re: Amelia Earhart's aerial navigation
    > > � � To: "NavList" 
    > > � � Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009, 11:54 AM
    >
    > > � � Excellent post Gary. Thanks.
    >
    > > � � A few more questions. The abrupt ending of voice radio transmission
    > > � � implies trouble. Is it possible that the batteries/magneto and or fuel
    > > � � pump failed then causing a ditch short of Howland on the LOP
    > > � � approach ? What were there chances without a life raft?
    >
    > > � � Greg
    >
    > > � � On Nov 18, 9:59 pm, Gary LaPook  > � � > wrote:
    > > � � > Greg Rudzinski asked:
    >
    > > � � > Maybe Gary can comment on the following:
    > > � � > 1. Time tick before departure.
    > > � � > 2. Sobriety of Noonan.
    > > � � > 3. Life raft.
    > > � � > 4. Radio antenna.
    > > � � > 5. Head winds.
    > > � � > 6. Celestial opportunities.
    > > � � > 7. Sleep deprivation.
    > > � � > 8. Was it possible to fly right over Howland Island and not see it?
    > > � � > 9. Was Howland charted correctly.
    > > � � > 10.What would have been a better less risky route?
    >
    > > � � > Gary wrote:
    >
    > > � � > Fred may have had a drinking problem but many people with such a
    > > � � problem
    > > � � > manage to show up sober for work on Monday mornings because
    > > � � their jobs
    > > � � > depend on it. Noonan had an even greater reason to show up
    > > � � sober, his
    > > � � > LIFE depended upon it. They landed in Lae on June 29th. The
    > > � � night they
    > > � � > arrived in Lae he went out drinking with Collopy and Heath and
    > > � � they got
    > > � � > toasted. Collopy took him back to his hotel about midnight and
    > > � � Noonan
    > > � � > was wobbly. On the 30th work was done on the plane and they
    > > � � attempted to
    > > � � > get a time signal so that they could leave on July 1st but were
    > > � � not able
    > > � � > to get the radio time signal so they had to delay the departure
    > > � � one day.
    > > � � > On July 1st Noonan turned down an invitation to go out again with
    > > � � > Collopy and went to the radio office where they finally got the time
    > > � � > signal at 10:20 p.m. Earhart and Noonan were back in their hotel
    > > � � by 11
    > > � � > p.m. so no bender the night before departure. They took off at 10:00
    > > � � > a.m. the next day, July 2nd and the flight lasted over twenty hours.
    > > � � > Even if Fred had had to be poured into the plane (and the movie
    > > � � of the
    > > � � > departure
    >
    > ...
    >
    > read more �
    
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