A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Hewitt Schlereth
Date: 2019 Oct 29, 15:06 -0700
John, I agree. Too little solid info.
I do accept a few things as fact, though:
- They left two hours of flying time in steel drums at Lae. (Long book)
- Itasca could hear Amelia; she could not hear Itasca. (AE radio trans.)
- However it was selected, they flew a 157-337 course (AE radio trans.)
- During the above flight AE radioed they had 30-40 minutes of fuel left.
The second item indicates neither Amelia nor Fred knew how to work the RDF or establish two way radio contact with Itasca. Had they been able to establish two way communication, Itasca might have told them how to use the RDF.
The course flown in item three might have been an LOP. I originally thought it was, and believed it based on an ETA for Howland using the island itself as an AP. But, as you noted, AE was notably chary with position info; possibly because she had no indications her transmissions were heard.
The first and last items mean they arrived in the vicinity of Howland (radio range, anyway) without enough fuel to fly a large search pattern or time to get two sun sights for a running fix.
Anyway, as of now, my mind has let go of the mystery and shifted to a picture of Amelia and Fred, their time running out; and in the windows of their plane only open ocean all around.