Saturday, June 12, 2010

Amelia Earhart

By Danya B.

Amelia Mary Earhart, also known as “Lady Lindy” (or “Meelie” which was what her family called her), daughter of Samuel "Edwin" Stanton Earhart and Amelia "Amy" Otis Earhart, was born July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, USA. She was the 16th women in the world to be permitted her pilot license, and was well-known for being the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Her husband was George P. Putnam, whom she married in 1931.

Amelia had planned to enter Smith College, but changed her mind to go to Columbia University, and enrolled in Medical Studies. Earhart was a nurse when the Spanish Flu pandemic hit. She had been helping many patients and even got diagnosed herself. She was hospitalized in November 1918, and was released in December of the same year. Eventually she decided to become a pilot.

When she was little, her dad took her to an air fair and she decided she absolutely hated planes, because they weren’t interesting at all. It wasn’t until her dad took her to a stunt show that she started enjoying planes, and dreamed of being a pilot because she liked the rush it gave her. A couple of years later, her dad took her to an amusement park, and while on the roller coaster it made her feel like flying, and since then, wanted to fly. She took flying lessons from Anita “Neta” Snook, an experienced female pilot. She had her very first flying lesson for only $0.75 on January 3, 1921.

When Amelia married George, they started planning their round-the-world trip and bought a new plane: the Lockheed Electra 10E, which she got in July 1936. Their first attempt was on St. Patrick’s Day 1937, but only made it to Honolulu when there were problem with the propeller hubs. After they were fixed, they ended up in the United States Navy’s Luke Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. From there they packed up and carried on 3 days later from Luke Field, but had a tire blow on Luke Field and the plane had to be shipped back for repairs.

On the second try, they flew west to east because of weather problems¸, and left from Oakland to Miami, Florida, where they would officially announce their flight. Earhart and Putnam departed Miami on June 1, and arrived in Lae, New Guinea on the 29th with only 7000 miles left.

On July 2, Amelia and her co-pilot, Fred Noonan, left New Guinea and headed towards Howland Island. While in flight to Howland Island, Earhart and her partner had been experiencing trouble with their radio signals, which is most likely because of an antenna that was torn off during takeoff at Lae. In one of the last signals received, Amelia said that they were running low on gas, and in the very last transmission received, she stated their position (running line north to south), and speed (6210 kilocycles). The transmissions received were believed to have been sent close to or at Howland Island.

Spasmodic signals over the next couple of days were reported but were not accommodating to any information of where they could be. After there weren’t any new signals, Earhart’s crew started worrying and went searching. All searches for Amelia and Noonan ended on July 19, 1937, with total search costs at $4 million, mostly funded by her desperate husband! They were declared dead January 5, 1939. They were never found, but during the search they did find two skeletons: one which was a male, and the other which was a female - they seemed to be European, and had all the features of Amelia and her co-pilot.

There are many beliefs and stories of how they went missing, such as the plane they were flying ran out of gas and they bailed into the ocean. Another theory is that after they were out of reach to send transmissions, they flew for another 2 and a half hours to Gardner Island, but landed on a reef and died. There is still no explanation on how Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan went missing, but it is unlikely that we will ever know.

Amelia Earhart Podcast from Stuff You Missed in History Class


Anonymous said...

This is really good love the pictures!


Anonymous said...

her death was so trajic how ever u spell it but I wish we could find her she was a wonderfull woman I wish she didn't have 2 die I dout she would still be alive but still

Anonymous said...

I didnt understand who the dad was?

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