Best Known For
Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, mysteriously disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
Watch a short video about Amelia Earhart and fly through her childhood as a daring little child to her mysterious disappearance as an adult.
After a plane ride at an air show, Amelia Earhart decided she would learn to fly. After becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, she embarked on her flight around the world and disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.
Amelia Earhart embarked on the longest non-stop flight by a woman.
Remains of Amelia Earhart's plane lead to theories about her demise. From the "Biography: Amelia Earhart - Recovery Expedition" video.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
After aligning themselves with Howland's correct latitude, they would run north and south looking for the island and the smoke plume to be sent up by the Itasca. They even had emergency plans to ditch the plane if need be, believing the empty fuel tanks would give the plane some buoyancy, as well as time to get into their small inflatable raft to wait for rescue.
Earhart and Noonan set out from Lae on July 2, 1937, at 12:30 PM,
heading east toward Howland Island. Though the flyers seemed to have a well thought-out plan, several early decisions led to grave consequences later on. Radio equipment with shorter wavelength frequencies were left behind, presumably to allow more room for fuel canisters. This equipment could broadcast radio signals farther distances. Due to inadequate quantities of high-octane fuel, the Electra carried about 1,000 gallons—50 gallons short of full capacity.
The Electra's crew ran into difficulty almost from the start. Witnesses to the July 2 take off reported that a radio antenna may have been damaged. It is also believed that due to the extensive overcast conditions, Noonan might have had extreme difficulty with celestial navigation. If that weren't enough, it was later discovered that the flyers were using maps that may have been inaccurate. According to experts, evidence shows that the charts used by Noonan and Earhart placed Howland Island nearly six miles off its actual position.
These circumstances led to a series of problems that couldn't be solved. As Earhart and Noonan reached the supposed position of Howland Island, they maneuvered into their north and south tracking route to find the island. They looked for visual and auditory signals from the Itasca, but for various reasons radio communication was very poor that day. There was also confusion between Earhart and the Itasca over which frequencies to use, and a misunderstanding as to the agreed upon check-in time; the flyers were operating on Greenwich Civil Time and the Itasca was operating on the naval time zone, which set their schedules 30 minutes apart.
On the morning of July 3, 1937, at 7:20 AM, Amelia reported her position, placing the Electra on course at 20 miles southwest of the Nukumanu Islands. At 7:42 AM the Itasca picked up this message from the Earhart, "We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet." The ship replied but there was no indication that Earhart heard this. The flyers' last communication was at 8:43 AM. Though the transmission was marked as "questionable," it is believed Earhart and Noonan thought they were running along the north, south line. However, Noonan's chart of Howland's position was off by five nautical miles. The Itasca released its oil burners in an attempt to signal the flyers, but they apparently did not see it. In all likelihood, their tanks ran out of fuel and they had to ditch at sea.
Realizing they had no more contact, the Itasca began an immediate search.
profile name: Amelia Earhart profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Some went where no man had gone before. Icons like Jacqueline Cochran, Mae C. Jemison, Annie Smith Peck and Zora Neale Hurston have held the torch for women to follow in the fields of anthropology, astronautics, aviation and mountain climbing. Take a look at some of the world’s top women adventurers and the terrains they’ve explored.
Daring Female Adventurers 15 people in this group
Aviation Accident Victims 21 people in this group
An unsolved crime never fails to fascinate us, especially when it involves the death of a celebrity. Over the years many famous individuals, from movie stars to politicians to rockers, have died in mysterious circumstances. Conspiracy theories and accusations of foul play abound, but we may never know fact from fiction. Here's a look at some of the most famous mysterious deaths.
Mysterious Deaths 28 people in this group