WASHINGTON, October 30, 2014 – Amelia Rose Earhart flew around the world again, 77 years after Amelia Mary Earhart disappeared in July of 1937 during an attempt to “fly around the wold” in Lockheed Model 10 Electra airplane.
The first Amelia’s plane, and her navigator Fred Noonan was lost somewhere over the Central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island creating a mystery that has kept generations fascinated.
Amelia Mary Earhart was named according a family custom, in which the child’s name is derived from the grandmothers – Amelia Josephine Harres and Mary Wells Patton.
Amelia Rose Earhart, 31, took her journey in honor of her namesake. Though the aviators do not share a genealogical history, they do share a love for flying and adventure.
Like Amelia Mary, Amelia Rose hopes to inspire girls, to get in the cockpit, to do what ever they want to do.
“By recreating and symbolically completing Amelia Mary Earhart’s flight around the world, I hope to develop an even deeper connection to my namesake and also encourage the world to pursue their own adventures,” the pilot wrote on the website set up to document her trip. “Amelia believed that, ‘adventure is worthwhile in itself’ and it is that type of attitude that spurs us to seek the unknown, push our limits and fly outside the lines.”
Amelia Rose earned her private pilots license in February 2010, first flying the transcontinental flight that Earhart flew from California to South Florida.
When Earhart took off on her final flight, she encountered errors not unlike her previous flights. On her transatlantic flight, she missed Paris landing in Ireland. Her first around the world flight, which took off toward Hawaii versus east across the US had her crash landing in Hawaii.
When she took off on the fatal flight, she also stopped in Miami, only landing at the 36th Street airport, missing the Miami Municipal airport that was waiting for her. During that landing, the plane was damaged, keeping Earhart in Miami for a week while the plane was repaired.
Miami Herald reports that a file photo they have from that landing show a patched rear window covered over by shiny aluminum.
“I think the window must have been broken or compromised by the hard landing in Miami,” Ric Gillespie, the executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) told the Miami Herald. “It wasn’t standard equipment and they found out it would take a while to replace it, so they just took it out and patched the fuselage instead.”
Gillespie felt that the wreckage found on Gardner Island in 1989, made from a Alcoa Aluminum, 24ST Alclad, used in the manufacturing of planes, including Earhart’s Lockheed Electra. Belonged to the lost aviator. Only it was pointed out that the rivet patterns on the photos, and the piece of scrap, do not match.
The photo taken by the Miami Herald shows the patch, which might account for the variation in rivet pattern.
“The replacement of that window had to be done in Miami, at a Pan Am facility that was helping Earhart,” Gillespie said. “They may have used different materials than Lockheed … If we can match that rivet pattern in the photo, I don’t see how anybody can argue against this any more.”
Gillespie’s theory that Earhart crashed at Gardner island are backed up by anecdotes including the 1960 interview by then 68 year-old marie Floyd Kilts, who, in an interview to a San Diego newspaper, said that a Micronesian tribesman told him that in 1938 they found a human skeleton and woman’s show.
Reports of a voice, claiming to be Earhart and sending an SOS out at the time of the plane disappearance included the notes of Betty Klenck who was listening to her father’s shortwave radio and picked up the voice of a woman.
The father took the girls notes to authorities who dismissed them. Klenck died at the age of 97 last week. But there are those that believe the woman in distress was Earhart and her reference to what could have been Norwich City, a freighter lost a seat that washed up on the reef off of Gardner Island, bolster the theory that Earhart crashed at the Island, where she eventually died.
Amelia Rose Earhart, aged 31, left Oakland, California on the 24,300 nautical mile journey flying a single-engine Pilatus PC-12NG aircraft. Her co-pilot is Theddy Spichtig.
“The reliability of a single-engine aircraft today in 2014 is vastly different than it was back in the 1930s,” Earhart told Boston NPR radio station 90.9 Wbur’s “Here and Now” program. “So, while there is still a component of adventure with any flight over water, I felt most connected to the Pilatus. It’s a beautiful aircraft. The cockpit is absolutely state-of-the-art — we’ve got synthetic vision, we’ve got dual GPS.”
You can follow the progress of Amelia’s flight on AmeliaEarhartProject.com.