Almost 100 years after American aviator Amelia Earhart took her first flight, her resting place has yet to be found but a local aviation group is helping to find an answer.
What happened to Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan after they disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during her final flight in 1937 is one of aviation’s greatest mysteries.
Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater has loaned its Beechcraft Model-18 aircraft to be used in new testing performed by Nauticos, a deep ocean exploring organization and Collins Radio Engineers off Cape Charles, Virginia.
At the end of the month, the group will recreate Earhart’s communication link between aircraft and by boat.
“What we’re going to do is simulate the actual flight into what would be Itasca and simulate that flight that lasts part of her flight in 1937,” Tom Vinson of Collins Radio Engineers said.
The Beech-18 will be equipped with radio equipment and antennas to measure the signal strength of Earhart’s last transmission.
“It makes a perfect platform then for us to add on high-frequency antennas on it and direction-finding loop like she had on hers,” Vinson said.
The test is now possible with current technology, but the same radio equipment Earhart was using in the 1930s will be used on the tests.
A female voice similar to Earhart’s will also be played during the test. “Through the tests we can narrow down the band of how far was she for her last several transmissions,” Vinson said.
The group of volunteers hopes to use the data they collect from the tests off the coast of Virginia, to where they believe Earhart’s craft is and bring it back home.
“We would like to have it taken back to Hawaii and then Hawaii to California to finish her flight, to finish the Earhart flight,” Vinson said.