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Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved by Elgen…

Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved (1999)

by Elgen M. Long, Marie K. Long (Author)

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Another book about Amelia Earhart, my second in recent times. This one is considered a primary source on her disappearance. It covers only her round-the-world flight....it postulates the simple solution; the Electra ran out of gas and went down in the Pacific ocean within 100 miles of Howland, Island on July 2, 1937. Why? Lots of reasons; radio incompatibility and training, communication miscommunication and the fact that Howland Is. was plotted six miles off its actual location on the navigator's charts. The author, a career pilot, suggests a search just a few miles West of Howland using deep water surveillance technology available in the 21st century. ( )
1 vote buffalogr | May 12, 2014 |
Despite the idiotic title, this is a gripping, meticulously researched study of the flying, communications and navigations techniques and technologies that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan used on their ill-fated 1937 circumnavigation of the globe, What becomes clear on reading it is both the accomplishment of these pioneering aviators and the serious risks and limitations they fought to overcome - from bad weather, faulty maps and the weight of fuel, through to near-constant equipment failure, necessarily imprecise celestial navigation and radio direction-finding equipment so new that it was in the end poorly understood and misued. It's a story of needless disaster - an accumulation'of small errors and bad luck and cultural difference: an American encountering the different methods and expectations of international air space. The portraits the Longs paint of both Earhart and her navigator are of accomplished aviators who perished despite the effective execution of their duties.

Is this really how it all went down? Maybe. It's a persuasve argument because it is, ultimately, a work of aviation scholarship - a detailed study of technical limitations of the day, the particular limitations of Earhart's plane, the miscommunication of radio protocols, accidents and oversights, and the margins of error that were inevitable. The fuel consumption charts, mapped areas of navigational uncertainty, and exhaustive details of the Electra's equipment modifications make for a far more interesting and persuasive argument than wishful fantasies that put the Electra on some deserted atoll!

Just as compellingly, the Longs give a very realistic idea of what kinds of activities preoccupied Earhart and Noonan during the flights - as well as how they spent their time on the ground - checking weather, sending cables to clarify radio protocols, writing news dispatches, trying to get accurate time checks for chronometers, arranging for fuel, parts and necessary repairs. The enormity of this international coordinated effort begins to take shape and to make clear the commitment and resources that Earhart and her husband George Putnam brought to bear on the project.

Readers should understand though that this book is really about the round-the-world flights. People seeking a broader understanding of Earhart's life and activities prior to this period would do better to find a good biography. ( )
  cocoafiend | Nov 13, 2009 |
The Longs have written a very detailed analysis of what went wrong with Earhart's last flight. After 25 years of research including interviewing individuals who were involved in the preparations for the trip or were participants at the way stations around the globe or were members of the search parties who looked for her after her disappearance, they have written what should be the most complete work on the last flight. They even suggest where modern day searchers should look for the plane so the last nagging questions about what went wrong can be answered. ( )
  lamour | Oct 29, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elgen M. Longprimary authorall editionscalculated
Long, Marie K.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684860066, Paperback)

Drawing on a recently discovered long-lost radio message, Elgin and Maria Long re-create the events inside the cockpit of the doomed Electra flown by Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. The authors debunk the myths that Earhart and Noonan were captured by Japanese soldiers or cannibalistic island tribespeople. Instead, they offer overwhelming evidence that the plane ran out of fuel short of its Howland Island destination. Letting the facts speak for themselves, the authors go well beyond simply solving the long-standing mystery of Earhart's disappearance and vividly brings to life the primitive conditions under which Earhart flew, in an era before radar, with unreliable communication, grass landing strips, and poorly mapped islands. In AMELIA EARHART, the authors remind us how daring early aviators were as they pushed the technology of the day to its limits, and beyond, to the point of risking their lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:34 -0400)

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Attempts to reconstruct the events that led up to and followed the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

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