One hundred years after Amelia Earhart took her first flight in December 1920 the search to discover her final resting place continues. Research teams from Nauticos, Rockwell Collins, Dynamic Aviation, and the national landmark vessel, Nellie Crockett, will come together in Virginia for an important experiment that may define the most optimal search area leading to the discovery of Earhart’s legendary Electra 10E aircraft, along with the answer to an 83-year old question: What happened to Amelia and navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937?
Amelia ran out of fuel only minutes from locating the airfield on Howland Island where the US Coast Guard Cutter Itasca was on station receiving her last radio transmissions. It is this critical communication link that draws Nauticos and their specialized team of Collins Radio Engineers (CARC) together with Dynamic Aviation and the historic vessel Nellie Crockett. By recreating the total HF communications system as accurately as possible, the distance to Amelia’s plane at each transmission can be estimated with greater accuracy than before. This information will be crucial in laying out future search areas on the ocean floor. Until recently, obtaining and restoring all of the scarce 1937 equipment prevented such tests.
The team will come together in Charles, Virginia in late August to conduct the operation. A Beech 18 aircraft, outfitted with vintage equipment and antennae, will fly to a point 200 miles out to sea and begin transmissions, attempting to recreate the voice of Amelia as she called desperately to Itasca on that day in in 1937. CARC radio engineers aboard Crockett positioned just offshore, using vintage equipment, will listen for these transmissions and take readings.
The Nauticos team gratefully acknowledges the continued financial support of Alan Eustace, retired executive from Google, engineer, aviator, and stratospheric explorer. We believe this test will take us a critical step closer to solving the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.