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# Amelia Earhart PNG Theory

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# Amelia Earhart PNG Theory

6th Apr 2018, 19:06

Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Despite all the conjecture, hypothesis and supposed facts. To have reached ENB she would have had to be in the air,at cruise power, for some 35hours.Not possible.
As Caesar wrote recounting how a surfeit of optimism led the Gauls to attack a fortified Roman encampment from which they were beaten back amid horrendous losses, “what men desire they are generally prone to believe“.
6th Apr 2018, 20:44

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
For greg47...

Agreed, absolutely and definitely impossible to go out towards Howland, get to the vicinity, not see it and turn around and reach East New Britain at Cruise Power.

"Vicinity" means: The area near or surrounding a particular place.

"Near" means: A short distance away.

Neither of the two words defined above apply to the Hypothesis put out by the website written by me.

Neither does using Cruise Power for the whole flight apply to the intent of the Hypothesis.

The Hypothesis is all about explaining "how" it would be possible to get the Electra back to ENB.

Take off Power, Cruise Climb power and Cruise Power as used in the Hypothesis do apply up until the time that Noonan discovered that the wind was hgher then forecast. That realisation came when the Electra was turned onto the direct heading for Howland after it was discovered that NUKUMANU was not dead ahead but lay off to their right as they had been blown to the West of Nukumanu by the abeam wind. This resulted in Earhart giving a Lat/Long Tx for a PR at 0718GMT after Noonan had worked out what had caused the error.

At that point after the knowledge that the wind was 23 Knots (26.5 mph) and more than double the low end forecast (12mph) and approaching double the high end forecast (15 mph), the "Crew" would have to decide, whether to turn back for LAE or whether to continue towards Howland. At that point with around 1680 miles to run, their ETA changes from an ETA of an original FP time of 18.5 hours or 1830 GMT to an FP of 20.5 hrs with an ETA at 2030 GMT because they had only averaged 127 mph to that point. The new ETA therefore has a 2 hours difference.

Therefore, if they are to make it to Howland and still have a reserve for The Contingency Plan, they must conserve FUEL. This logical process is nowadays termed as "Thinking Ahead..."

At 0800GMT, Harry Balfour heard, "On course for Howland at 12,000 feet".

In making the Hypothesis from Top of Climb at what I used (a TOC of 10,000 feet) I then used the Electra Best Lift Drag ratio speed for the AUW of the Electra in short periods of time in a MS Excel file to use that Best L/D speed to conserve fuel. The Best Lift/Drag Ratio attained by the Electra is around 12:1, not bad for a 1936 aircraft.

This then resulted in no real increase in speed because the Velocity for Minimum Drag (Vmd) used in conjunction with Best Lift/Drag as a ratio results in the Electra actually decreasing speed as the AUW decreases, this has to be done to maintain the Best Lift/Drag ratio... hence the power used is very gradually reduced to maintain the Best L/D speed. Speed decreases, as power decreases thus "conserving fuel".

Note and I repeat... I used an altitude of 10,000 feet from the 0800GMT TOC as the maintained height from that point up until TOD (Top of Descent).

I used 10,000 feet as the generally accepted "Oxygen required limiting altitude." I am now considering whether Earhart, in calling 12,000 feet at TOC stayed there at that Altitude where conservation of fuel would impove slightly. It is known that Earhart did fly the Electra at 12,000 feet in the U.S. (Example NYC to Phoenix). It may also be that she moved to 12,000 because of the night-time cloud layer... we do not know, because she never said.

Once again Greg, you have not correctly read what the Hypothesis says.

There may therefore be a case for reviewing the fuel used at 12,000 feet from 0800 GMT up until TOD; 1912 GMT; 2014 GMT and what it would look like in fuel remaining at the point where the Electra was overhead TABITEUEA. All as a HYPOTHESIS of course. Don't expect a quick answer, it does take time to get the old brain working...

Last edited by David Billings; 6th Apr 2018 at 21:35.
7th Apr 2018, 09:26

Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
All i see is the aircraft in the air for a minimun of 35hrs to travel to the vicinity of Howland and to late afternoon possibly back in ENB . It was 20 hrs i understand, before it turned around, lets say.1200 gallons of fuel thats hard to accept its possible. I think its in the water around Howland. Youve done a lot of work obviously and i wish you well
7th Apr 2018, 10:51

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
Greg 47...

On the numbers, 33 Hours at reduced power at Best L/D for he AUW.... It was "a Floater"... 458 square feet of wing area supporting 8000 lbs empty weight at the end...

Et Tu...
7th Apr 2018, 16:47

Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Best L/D is not best range. They want the best distance covered for the fuel consumed not endurance which is holding speed. Practical holding is some increment greater to cover power inputs to return to speed
8th Apr 2018, 00:16

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
Endurance and Range...

O.K. I believe in the Factual side of this Project and I have continually said that I am not so concerned with the “Hypothetical”…. I provided a Hypothetical side of the Project because people basically demand to know how it could be done.

That is correct. Best Range is slightly higher than Best L/D (gives endurance). I wanted to attack "a worse case" scenario. My own experience when flying range was of an aircraft which had the Performance Tables based on 1.1 Vmd and designed in the late 50's early 60's….presumably for range because it could not do much else… designed for Short Range lifting, it was used for Medium Range and failed. The MAX Payload Weight Capacity was 29,000 pounds. On one flight from GANDER (Newfie) to LAJES (Azores) we worked out we could only carry just over 1000 pounds. That flight is not in my Logbook as there were two FE's on board and I did the preceeding leg. I recall the flight was over 8+ hours over the Atlantic avoidiing Wx at night with St.Elmo's fire around the windscreens....

As I said previously, “There may therefore be a case for reviewing the fuel used at 12,000 feet from 0800 GMT up until TOD; 1912 GMT; 2014 GMT and what it would look like in fuel remaining at the point where the Electra was overhead TABITEUEA. All as a HYPOTHESIS of course. Don't expect a quick answer”

I am busy today and for the next three days and will think about starting a 1.1Vmd case based on the earlier work. Mainly because "I want to know"...

In the meantime…. The early part of the flight is of no consequence to most people, they want to know what happened at Howland but for me the interesting part is the early part and I post this brief now for thought.

In the Earhart saga, we have to accept a few things.

The First thing is that they went by way of CHOISEUL Island (To avoid a LOW off the eastern end of New Britain) and that the 0518 GMT call giving a Lat/Long of 7d 3' South and 150.7 E was erroneous for the Easting and should have been received as 157.0 East, giving us a PR over Choiseul and if we accepted the time of 5 hrs 18 minutes (5.3 hours) to do the distance of 686 Sm we get an AV, G/S of 129 mph which includes the Cruise Climb out of LAE..

Second is that from Choiseul to NUKUMANU the distance is 224 Sm and we have timings of 0518 and 0718 (two hrs) between PR Tx's which only delivers an AV G/S for the distance of "112 mph", which cannot be correct as we know they are in an abeam wind. The islands of Ontong Java were off to the Starboard side. It is likely that when scanning for the Atoll (12 miles wide) as the FP time came up after not seeing it "dead ahead", they saw it out to the right and changed their heading and that Noonan did a timing from the turn and later worked out where they had been "at the turnpoint" in a rough Lat/Long which gives us the PR: 4d 33.5' S, 159 07’ E which was then broadcast after he had worked it out and she sent it at 0718 GMT which was her "normal" broadcast time....

Third is that the call "Ship in sight ahead" made at 1030 GMT was the ONTARIO and that they were overhead by 1036 GMT giving us a 10.6 (in decimal) hours flight time to cover the 1362 Sm from Lae (through the doglegs of Choiseul and Nukumanu),

That then delivers an average G/S so far of 128.5 mph LAE-ONTARIO.

If we knew what the actual time at the "Nukumanu Turnpoint " was we can obtain an AV G/S NUKUMANU-ONTARIO. I believe the turnpoint was at 0700 GMT and arrival overhead the ONTARIO was at 1036 GMT giving a sector time of 3.6 hours. The USN position was at a distance of 417 SM but the actual was 446 Sm (acc. Google Earth). These two distances deliver AV G/S’s of 116 mph and 124 mph respectively, the question then being: “Did Noonan take an Astro shot to determine the ship’s position within the ten-mile “Circle of Position” ? ...and get his correct sector G/S".

The G/S’s included the climb out from the NUKUMANU area but are still “low” against the FP average speed of 138 mph planned for a 12 mph wind. In the first instance the wind would be around 34 mph and in the second the already known 26 mph wind.

We do not know the wind at 10,000 feet or 12,000 feet whichever ALT they were at but we do know that the surface wind was 20 Knots from 082 degrees as recorded in the Log of the ONTARIO. When I first started working on the speeds and range, to "make" time and distance, I kept getting a wind at Altitude overhead the ONTARIO of 35 mph from the East.

This was somewhat borne out by what result they had got at Nukumanu by their Tx of a wind at 8,000 of 26.5 mph from which a Vector diagram confirmed their mileage drift to the West.

Fourth is that we cannot accept that the PR's (Choiseul and Nukumanu) are PR's at the time transmitted. The closest we have for a PR is the 1030 call and we accept that was the ONTARIO laying some distance ahead and below.

That is a basis of what we have to accept from the meagre information transmitted from the Electra and from the log of the Ontario.

..that's all for now.
8th Apr 2018, 01:18

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: WA STATE
Age: 73
Posts: 1
SLF here again and wondering if there was any mention by the OZ type - who found the ' tag' as to which way the props were bent ? Seems to me (and discussion and observation ) by more than a few real aviators that if bent back- engines were off- dead and if bent forward engines were running and crash was CFIT. due to flying at low altitude under cloud cover ?

And as to max powered flight time- might it be worthwhile to calculate-estimate where the maximum ' turnaround ' point/distance was under worst and best case times in order to reach the ' apparent "- probable crash site ?

Just my .00000001 worth.
8th Apr 2018, 01:27

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
CONSO...

Blade bent backwards on the detached engine.
8th Apr 2018, 02:58

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: WA STATE
Age: 73
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by David Billings
CONSO...

Blade bent backwards on the detached engine.
Thanks - IMO that means most probable out of gas instead of CFIT.

Which then ' supports ' some sort of turnaround significantly before getting near or as close to Howland as most believe.
10th Apr 2018, 23:54

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Equatorial
Age: 46
Posts: 339
Can’t have this thread disappearing like Amelia... bump...

It’s interesting reading about the facts and the hypothesis, it seems to me at least that it is factual that there is an aircraft where Dave says. The fact it’s been buried is alarming. However if an army unit found a plane then there must be a plane.

Now the hypothesis, like any accident investigation it’s aligning the Swiss cheese with facts and reliable assumptions. To me in the words of the myth busters it seems very plausible that the aircraft the army found could just be it. Again what is lost in finding an old aircraft wreck?

With unreliable radio nav, cloud cover possible blocking the stars, did it come down to DR? Temporarily unsure of position so put a contingency in place? It’s never a good feeling and I’m sure most of us have been in a similar position in the early days.

So I say again, I support Dave’s cause, even if it’s just to find a lost aircraft and possibly lay some aviators to rest.
11th Apr 2018, 00:35

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North Up
Posts: 489
However if an army unit found a plane then there must be a plane.
There is. MACR16020.

It's a B-17.

The 16020 number is easily confused with a totally unrelated aircraft which bore that number more than a decade earlier and crashed in the sea, probably somewhere to the Nor'ard of Howland.
11th Apr 2018, 01:12

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: WA STATE
Age: 73
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by Cazalet33
There is. MACR16020.

It's a B-17.

The 16020 number is easily confused with a totally unrelated aircraft which bore that number more than a decade earlier and crashed in the sea, probably somewhere to the Nor'ard of Howland.
Learn how to read B-17 registry
2439 delivered to Salt Lake SAD Dec 2, 1941; assigned to Project X Feb 11, 1942; transferred to Mobile Nov 16, 1942;
transferred to Sebring Jan 4, 1943; transferred to RFC and sold for scrap at
Kirtland, Albuquerque, NM Jun 15, 1945. Also listed as crashlanding New Britain Aug 7, 1942 MACR 16020.
That is airframe serial number 2439!
MACR I believe refers to Military aircraft crew report .

Have to be careful when you google numbers and simply reguritate the short paraphrased portion of the answer !!

I believe Most ( all? ) b-17s used Wight 182X series engines

I think the engine tag found on engine support identified the engines as a P&W Wasp series

Electra 10-EPowered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp S3H1, 600 hp (450 kW) each; 15 produced. The version used by Amelia Earhart.

And AFIK most all B-17s had 4 engines- and fabric covered flaps...etc

Hmmmm ...

Last edited by CONSO; 11th Apr 2018 at 01:47.
11th Apr 2018, 22:57

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
Wasp versus Cyclone....

We have been all over this before...

The Vets were told that the U.S. Army response to the Patrol A1 Report was that the engine A1 had found was a Wasp. A Pratt and Whitney Wasp, not a Pratt and Whitney Twin Wasp or a Wright Cyclone. Being a "Wasp" they were not interested. I have said previously that if it had been a Twin-Wasp they wouldn have been interested.... Cyclones were not mentioned. ALL Operational B-17's were fitted with Cyclones.

They, Patrol A1, first bumped into a detached engine from which a metal tag hanging by wire was removed. The Patrol Leader walked on to a vine and tree debris covered mound and saw the main wreckage. Lt. Backhouse's sketch of the wreck he saw is shown in the sketch (on the website) as pointing to the East and is shown to be located at the end of a ridgeline which is the one we do want to search. It points to the East because one detail we omitted from the sketch depiction is that Backhouse made a reference to their first night camp being down below the ridge and as their camp was to the East of the depiction the aircraft nose is therefore pointed to the East. The sketch shows the wreck to have 'wings' and two engine placements. Backhouse said the wreck was of a twin-engined aircraft, the No. 2 engine was there and he looked down into the remains of the cockpit area which was smashed backwards. He could not remembers the tail unit at all. The wreck appeared to be unpainted "all-metal" and bore no military insignia.

A 16th Battalion AIF Patrol found the wreck of the B-17 41-2429 in early 1945 and noted its location, so that wreck was a known wreck to the Intelligence Section of 6 Brigade before the 11th Battalion even arrived at the Fighting Zone in April 1945. There is a signal in the AWM about the find by the 16th Bn patrol.

I have personally been to the wreck of the B-17 41-2429 and it rests near the top of the main hill to the South of the Mumus Ruver and points to the Southwest, one mile away from the locale of where the Backhouse sketch depicts. This B-17 wreck has no cockpit and nose area as it seems to have a clean break at a production joint. I did read that the cockpit section was found (I do not know where) after the war by an Australian recovery team. There are no engines on this wreck and I did not see any engines lying around in the local area. This B-17 blew up at altitude and there are pieces of it scattered all over. The empennage is down in the Mumus River valley and I saw that sticking up out of the river bank in 1994. I have only seen one Cyclone and one outer wing panel down in the Mumus River. There are no intermediate wing panels and no outer wing panels on this wreck. The centre-section carries no engines only the built-up fairing for the inboard nacelles. When 41-2429 was lost in late 1942, it was in full two-colour camouflage paint on the top surfaces, bearing white stars on a blue background. That paint would still be on it in early 1945, two and a half years later. There is s picture of 41-2429 at Brisbane on PW.

MACR16020 is an absolutely amazing coincidence to be carrying that number.

Lightning does strike twice in the same place. There are two aircraft wrecks one mile apart.... one which looked like it had been there for some time (8 years) and one which in 1945 would have been there for three years.
12th Apr 2018, 03:37

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 12
David,

What do you think of the wheel that the patrol commander saw on top of the wrecked aircraft ?
I would think that in the circumstances the wheels would have been tucked away when the loss of control took place, so I wonder how one of them finished up where it apparently did.
Could the wheel have been moved by someone ? Locals ? The Japanese military ?
Maybe the soldiers of Patrol A1 were not the first people to explore the wrecked plane.
12th Apr 2018, 03:53

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Darwin
Posts: 2
Well this thread was an easy way to lose an hour, fascinating stuff!
12th Apr 2018, 05:58

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
A15:

The scenario that can be visualised (....and for those who would differ, I will say the scenario is "Hypothetically" made......) is: fuel exhaustion followed by propeller hunting, propellers out of synch, followed by loss of control, followed by possible catastrophic failure, followed by a drop into the trees, some of which are 200 feet high.

The landing gear was electrically driven by a single electric motor driving shafts extending out to the nacelles which had cog wheels at the ends. The cog wheel ran in a large toothed "quarter-quadrant" attached to the gear leg (each side) and which "wound-up" the gear legs into the semi-faiired position in the back end of the nacelles with part of the wheels exposed (a la DC-3/C-47). I have no idea about the "uplock" system, or the "downlock" system and it may have been that there was a cable operated latch for end of travel. There would have been limit switches to stop the motor when full up or full down was reached.

Eight-thousand pounds going into trees is a fair weight and who can say that the driveshaft for the gear did not break at the weakest point and the wheels were flung down and sheared off. I don't know, that's a guess. I will say that when I visited B-17 41-2429 on the hill above the Mumus River one of the wheels was under the port side of the wing centre-section, laying flat on the ground, so in that case that wheel did break off the B-17 gear leg.

As for anybody finding it before the men of Patrol A1... entirely possible being as there were the nomadic and feared Molkolkol around and also possible Japanese troops in the area.

Last edited by David Billings; 12th Apr 2018 at 11:46.
12th Apr 2018, 08:37

Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: hertfordshire
Posts: 36
Electra contents

The possibility of Japanese troops, or local people, coming across the wreckage first and removing some contents opens up other interesting points.
Notably the briefcase ending up elsewhere.
12th Apr 2018, 13:18

Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: hertfordshire
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by YPDN
Well this thread was an easy way to lose an hour, fascinating stuff!
The website is even more interesting with detailed calculations and other information. https://earhartsearchpng

Around 100 pages of fascinating information.

I am very surprised that Mr Billings is having difficulty raising what is a fairly modest amount relative to the significance of this.

Anybody reading the website must be impressed with Billings work.
12th Apr 2018, 21:35

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North Up
Posts: 489
There are two aircraft wrecks one mile apart
There is one aircraft wreck. It's a B-17.

Sixteen or seventeen failed attempts to find the non-present second aircraft clearly show that there is a B-17 there. That's all.

Endlessly repeating an experiment and expecting a different result must surely be the definition of something or other. A recurrent characteristic of these searches of places such as Gardner and PNG is that they always result in a conclusion that a further search is required. No wonder the supply of sponsors eventually dries up.
12th Apr 2018, 23:45

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 79
Posts: 198
Whatever you say Cazalet 33....