Type: History
Pages: 3 | Words: 714
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At night from the 2nd to 3rd July, 1937, 75 years ago, during the attempt to make a round-the-world travel on a plane over the Pacific Ocean, a woman-pilot Amelia Earhart disappeared. She was the first woman, who had made a transatlantic flight.

Amelia Earhart became the first woman who had flown through the Atlantic: on June 17th 1928, her plane crossed the ocean in 20 hours 40 minutes. In the spring, 1931, Earhart became the first female pilot who crossed all the territory of the USA on the autogyro “Pitkern PS-A2”.

In August, 1932, Earhart flew from Los Angeles to New Jersey, having established a world record of speed – 19 hours 5 minutes. At the same time, she became the first woman who had flown from one coast of America to another.

On January 11th, 1935, Earhart took off from Honolulu, Hawaii, and landed in Oakland, California, having overcome the most difficult Pacific route where lots of pilots had been lost. It was followed by other single flights: from Los Angeles to Mexico City in 13 hours 23 minutes and from Mexico City to New Jersey in 14 hours 19 minutes.

A number of episodes of the flight biography of the woman-pilot, including numerous record flights, including flights in difficult meteorological conditions, prove her high flight qualification. The best professional record-holder pilots and aviation experts of 1920’s — 1930’s appreciated her high professionalism and a “natural talent” of the pilot.

Nevertheless, exactly 75 years ago, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean as it is considered, near the Howland Island.

On May 20th, 1937, accompanied by the navigator Fred Nunan, Earhart took off for a round-the-world travel on the latest two-engine monoplane “Lokhid-Electra” L-10E, received as a present to her birthday from the university Pardyu in Indiana where she headed practical researches on aeronautics. By the beginning of July, the crew had flown by more than 22 thousand miles, having successfully overcome 80 % of the route through Atlantic, equatorial Africa, Arabia, India, and Southeast Asia. Some of 28 stages of the flight were officially registered as world records.

The schedule of the flight was very busy without leaving time for a good rest. On July 2nd, 1937, Amelia and Fred Nunan directed at the small island Howland, located in the central part of the Pacific Ocean. This stage of the flight was long and dangerous. It was necessary after nearly 24 hours of flying in the Pacific Ocean to find the island that was hardly rising over water. That was the most difficult navigation task for navigators of the 1930’s, who had primitive devices at their disposal. The slightest error of the onboard chronometer on such a distance could cost a miss wide of the mark on ten or even one hundred miles.

Earhart reported about rainy weather and poor visibility on the route. “The last radio signal from her plane was accepted 18 hours after the departure from Lae. Judging by the signal level, the plane should appear over Howland in a minute, however, it did not appear; new radio signals did not follow either”.

However, according to one of the later versions, during this stage of the round-the-world travel, Earhart’s plane should carry out a certain reconnaissance task, having far evaded from the declared route and having flown over the territories which were supervised by the probable opponent of the USA in the future war — Japan. Even if Earhart had no reconnaissance mission and her plane unintentionally evaded from the course, she could be brought down by the vigilant Japanese, or she together with her navigator could appear in captivity after the air crash. However, direct proofs of this version do not exist till now. The secret of the death “Lokhid-Electra” remains unsolved.

Amelia Earhart was one of the best-known women of the XX century. All her life was like a challenge. She was sure to be one of the most characteristic heroines of that incredible time, 1920’s — 1930’s of the last century, when the words “I will be a pilot” excited people’s minds and sounded much more abruptly and more desperately than the words “I will be a cosmonaut” now. A great many songs and verses were written about the life of the woman-pilot, some films were shot. She is the woman who is worth remembering.

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