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The Mysterious Final Flight of Amelia Earhart:

from on July 7, 2017
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The Mysterious Final Flight of Amelia Earhart:

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The Mysterious Final Flight of Amelia Earhart:  
by W8LV on July 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Could you imagine using Celestial Navigation to find a single runway 2000 miles away, on an island that is really no more than these dimensions itself, with no waypoints, by Sextant, from an AIRCRAFT? Bomber crews would end up somewhere other than their own targets, just on the relatively short trip from the UK to Germany several years later, and that was WITH Dead Reconing AND at least a few Waypoints, Outbound. Beams and Beacons and Radar were just starting, on both sides. Of course, so was jamming them. But here, in 1937... Wow... E6B's and a Sextant. Over all of that water. Sure they might have had some reporting of from ships, but Wow think of the real time weather data and winds aloft data that can be have today! And Icing and Turbulence Reports, much better weather modeling, and all of it! Not to mention really really accurate clocks to figure Longitude.

Did they even have the means to place any kind of VOR beacon on Howland in that era? Or was it simply a light beacon?

No ELT's then, either.

If they indeed DID send long dashes via AM (hold the mic
down method) on their limited aircraft generator power (provided that "The aircraft did land on an adjacent Atoll Theory" is True) a 500 kHz CW set would have required "less" to do "more", both power wise and noise wise. As we all know. And toss in the Propagation God's, who may or may not be with you on a given night.

Finally, there's the sad contrast and comparison to the guy on one of the ships near Titanic, who it is believed was hearing the "SOS/CQD" of the Titanic just 25 years earlier, but who couldn't understand Morse Code other than a few characters if sent very slowly.

In both instances, Man, Technologies, and machines were exceeded. Such as it is now was not then. But we must appreciate the fact that Pioneers in many ways shape the
NEXT Technology.

It sure does make me appreciate the GPS, and the GMDSS as we have it today. And the "Little SOS Button" located near the Dome Light on my Toyota!

I still do think that as we adopted GMDSS Technology, we threw out the Baby with the Bath Water, when the 500 kHz was chucked: Placing a call on 500 kHz and simply the closest ship(s) able give aid eliminates a LOT of GMDSS Steps: My God, all of that Rescue Center Coordination. I just don't see how a gimbaled satellite dish can stand up in a storm, in comparison to a simple piece of wire.

Indeed, I wonder if getting rid of 500 kHz was a Terrible Mistake. Of course, GMDSS has been here for some time now, and seems to be doing the job. Sometimes miraculously.

73 and All the Best!

DE W8LV Bill

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