Hunter Brothers Record, Stinson SR-10, Convair P2Y-1s in Sitka, Alaska, all corrections. Also, addenda:
Lindbergh-1931 in Sirius, Doolittle-1929 "blind" flight, Amelia Earhart-1937, Pearl Harbor-1941
The flying book referred to on this page is pictured just to the left. This web page begins with four* Errata, offered by helpful readers of the book to whom I am indebted. Following the Errata are Add-ons, information which I discovered after the book was published.
* Until January 2013, when reader Phil Gilson informed the author that the Mitchell Field entry here and in two of my published books was mispelled, and should be Mitchel Field, named after a Mayor of New York City. So that made five errors called to the author's attention.
Addenda Examples: When I originally discussed, in the flying book pictured above, Charles and Annne Lindberghs' trip to the Orient, I had to make a guess on what was happening in the Sirius cockpit, as described by Anne Lindbergh, during a descent that Charles made to get under a cloud cover along the Kurile Islands, that had slipped under their Lockheed Sirius. I guessed right . But I only confirmed my guess in a later discovery in the Smithsonian archives. The flight situation that Lindy encountered was very challenging, so read and enjoy it in my book at the upper left or in more detail in Anne Lindbergh's "North to the Orient," and find out what Lindy and his Sirius aircraft did not have on the Orient trip. Similarly, Jimmy Doolittle had been credited with the first 'blind flight' in Smithsonaian archives, as covered in my book. Read here how I deduced that he could not be credited with the first 'instrument flight!' I got the full story out of a 1930s parts manual in the Sperry archves.
/s/ Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. author.
Published Book Errata: The published book(see cover, upper left) on instrument flight contains five errors discovered to date. Credit is given to originators. An interesting "further explanation" on one of the corrections is offered by Northeast Airlines author/pilot, Robert Mudge. (If you came to this page from this flying book's intro web page, here is a quick way to get back to that page: flying2.htm For more on author/pilot Robert Mudge on this website, go to Northeast Airlines' Yellowbird; memorable moments Boston-LaGuardia by author/pilot Robert Mudge)
The errata corrections have historical importance.
Following the errata discussion, you will find Add-ons in the following order: Add-on No. 1. A followup on a "a blind flight " attributed to Jimmy Doolittle, discovered from National Geographic and Smithsonian citations. Add-on No. 2. Lockheed Sirius Instrument Panel #1. Add-on No. 3 A decision to land at Idlewiild. Add-on No. 4 Lambert family discovers family records of service on the USS Lexington in 1937, containing USS Lexington's track chart (a rare piece of history not available elsewhere) in the search for Amelia Earhart, and a scene from the USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. These add to our knowledge of historic events.
So, let us begin.
Erratum #1: Illustration 2 - on pages ii and 6. The aircraft identified in "near background" on page 6 is not a Stinson Detroiter but a gullwing Stinson. The author uncritically accepted the photo identification from the photo source. The author thanks pilot Mark R. Sellers for first bringing the faulty identification to the author's attention. Pilot and author, Robert Mudge, commented further: "Just to be a real nit-picker, I would add, while it is a gull wing design, and that term was used to describe the wing configuration, I think you will find the model was a Stinson Reliant. Northeast Airlines (NE) flew them (SR-8s, SR-9s and SR-10s) in their instrument flight school in Boston and later at Burlington, VT. They were a great airplane. I flew them at Burlington as a student, then as an instructor before I got on the line. Then I flew them as the corporate pilot for Northeast after its school closed down. Northeast took the best one from the school, an SR-10 model, and painted it all up in NE livery. Not only that, as the "captain," I got 4 bucks an hour. Big money for a copilot in those days!"
Erratum #2: Page 334, in the paragraph crediting Midwest pilot Jerome Gerald Schnedorf . In the fifth line, the author has Schnedorf "instructing" at Louisiana State University. He was actually studying technical writing there.
Erratum #3: Illustration 18 - on pages ii and 154. The aircraft, identified as P2Y-2s, are P2Y-1s. The author uncritically accepted the original identification. The author thanks Jack E."Old Jack" Reich, Sitka flyer, for bringing this to his attention. [September 18, 2009: This morning, Jerry Thuotte, Founder and Director of the Port Townsend (WA) Aero Museum, informed me that "Old Jack" Reich had passed August 1, 2009. I only knew Jack as an e-mail correspondent in the latter years of his life. He had worked at the Naval Aircraft Factory, and then was a civil servant in the CAA, or CAB, and FAA before retirement to the Pacific Northwest. Jack was a teacher for anyone insterested in learning, and you became an avid learner because he made things interesting. He was a teacher because he was a learner. Aviation will miss him.]
A formation of P2Y-1 Navy seaplanes
Erratum #4. page 40. "Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine regained the endurance record with a 647 hour flight in their original Robin now emblazoned with the name Greater St. Louis." On 12/17/2008 at 11:19:14 AM, in an e-mail to the author, Robert H. Hayes of Sparta, Illinois, wrote: "You state that Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine regained the endurance record with a 647 hour flight in the Greater St. Louis area. It was reported that their plane made a secret landing for repairs on a St. Louis County farm. The National Aeronautical Association (NAA) rejected the (Jackson/O'Brine) claim because 'the formal report was not made out properly."
Discussion on Errata #4. The book author's source was the Standard Quarterly Review of October 15, 1930 in which that publication reported that the 647 hour record flight claimed by Jackson and O'Brine landed August 17, 1930. Reader Hayes took his information from the Sparta News Plaindealer, a weekly, in its issue of February 5, 1931. Hayes further noted that the Plaindealer stated that the NAA and Federation Aeronautique International recognized the Hunter Brothers as the record holders with their flight of 553 hours, 41 minutes and 30 seconds, spread across June and July of 1930. The Standard Quarterly Review, again in its October 15, 1930 issue, reported, "Jackson and O'Brine had previously set an attendance record of 420 hours in the St. Louis Robin. In June 1930, this record had been broken by John and Kenneth Hunter in the plane, City of Chicago." Robert Hayes in a later e-mail on 12/17/08 at 8:21:45 PM, states, "In addition, a New York Times (NYT) article from June 28, 1935, reported the breaking of the Hunter Brothers record by the Key Brothers of Meridian, Mississippi. The Times article, according to Robert Hayes, referred to the Jackson-O'Brine record as an 'unofficial mark of 647 hours.' Hayes goes on to say that the Keys Brothers went on to set an endurance record of 653 hours, "exactly 100 hours longer than the record set by the Hunter Brothers." The upshot of reader Hayes' extensive search of NAA records, and pages of newspapers, is that the Hunter Brothers were the holders of the flight endurance record from the time they beat the Jackson-O'Brine 420 hour record, in June 1930, with a flight of over 553 hours; their record held until the Keys Brothers became the record holders with a 653 hour flight reported in the NYT of June 28, 1935. One must therefore conclude that, after the Hunter Brothers record setting 553 hour endurance flight, Jackson-O'Brine were no longer record holders in the endurance flight category. Hayes has certainly done extensive research on the Hunter Brothers, including visiting the son of Albert Hunter. In addition to Robert Hayes's sources mentioned so far, he has stated that the Davis-Monthan web site and the Belleville Illinois News Democrat are sources with information on this subject. A reader might be forgiven for recognizing that the Keys Brothers, in beating the Hunter Brothers by 100 hours, a memorable number, also managed to beat the contested or unofficial flight record claimed by Jackson-O'Brine by six hours. Just in case, maybe.
Erratum #5. Credit Phil Gilson for picking up this spelling error. Wherever found in "The Triumph of Instrument Flight," Mitchell Field should be, Mitchel Field. The error is found in the Index to the book on page 321, and as that Index notes, on page 32 in a discussion on a "blind flight" by Jimmy Doolittle, and on page 139 in connection with the 58th Pursuit Squadron, a prewar fighter group in the U.S. Army Air Corps. This misspelling of mine is likely also found on some other pages on this website.
Add-on No. 1. A followup on a "a blind flight " attributed to Jimmy Doolittle, discovered from reading National Geographic and Smithsonian citations......Some have asked why I did not credit Jimmy Doolittle's 1929 Mitchell Field flight as the first instrument flight. I was conflicted about that. The record tells us that he took off, under a hood, using a Sperry autopilot (Elmer Sperry first called them 'gyrostabilizers,' a term earlier applied to the Sperry ship stabilizing systems), went to altitude, used a local radio aid to find his way back, and landed. There was actually a 'safety' pilot aboard the 1929 flight. A September 2003 National Geographic '100 years of flight' insert folder, credited Doolittle as the "first to fly 'blind' guided only by navigational instruments." The records of the time, to the best of my research, do not tell us what instruments were on the panel, but plainly informed the public that the 'autopilot' was flying the aircraft. The safety pilot was aboard to see outside the aircraft. Most student pilots in the WW II era flew, as part of their instrument training, 'under the hood' with a safety pilot, who was their the instructor and not 'under the hood.' Those were instrument training flights and not instrument flights. Doolittle left an enormous legacy to aviation history and some day a record may surface to substantiate an award to him for the first 'instrument flight.' My book establishes that all the 'makings' for instrument flight were contained inside Sperry autopilots but it was not until the gyro horizon and directional gyro functions were duplicated outside the autopilot by Elmer Sperry (and Elmer Sperry Jr.) and put on the pilot's panel as discrete instruments, were conditions established for instrument flight. I should have been more precise and referred to piloted instrument flight as a distinction from autopiloted instrument flight. In my book there is a photo of a Lockheed 10 Electra instrument panel containing the necessary "firsts," the pair of key instruments.
Add-on No. 2. Lockheed Sirius Instrument Panel #1An Author's amplification to pages 44 and 45 of "The Triumph of Instrument Flight: A Retrospective in the Century of U.S. Aviation." .......The Lockheed Sirius plane flown by Charles and Anne Lindbergh to the Orient did not have gyro-horizon and directional gyro instruments. At the time the first edition came out in mid-2004, I could only infer that from Anne Lindbergh's account of their 1931 flight in an episode in her book, "North to the Orient." Her pilot husband got into a touchy situation as their two-pontoon plane flew down the Japanese island chain, and he had to make a descent to a water landing with fog and overcast shrouding the island cove where he would have to tether their seaplane for the night. It took a third heart-throbbing descent attempt before he could make visual contact for a water landing. I have since had access to National Air and Space Museum (NASM) archives. Sirius was re-outfitted for the Lindberghs' Atlantic rim (including much of Europe) survey trip in 1933, with an engine change to increase power to 710 hp, and, according to the NASM archives, "A Sperry artificial horizon and directional gyro had been added to the instrument panel since the previous flight....(to the Orient)..."
I am indebted to B-52 pilot Joe Waldroff for helping me find this photo of this early Lockheed Sirius instrument panel. Note the 'turn and bank' right in the center. Some call it the 'needle-ball.' It was the first gyro instrument to reach the panel, but not sufficient for safe flight with no visual horizon. (That turn and bank instrument, in a Stinson Tri-motor piloted by Hazen Bean for Boston-Maine Airways, with paying passengers aboard, was the "voila" incident that led to the book pictured in the upper left. Hazen and his plane are pictured on the cover.) The Lindberghs, Charles and Anne, bought the first of the 14 Sirius aircraft built. This panel could well be the panel of the plane they flew to the Orient in 1931. I have strained my eyes to read the legends and at least one looks like a radio frequency. Mrs. Lindbergh (Anne) flew in the back seat as navigator and radio operator, mostly the latter. Her beautifully written book, "North to the Orient," also contains some of the very critical radio communications she made for information from the stations ahead on each leg of their epochal 1931 flight.
Next, let me offer pilot Harry Schmidt's experience, in his own words, in getting his Navion down, onto Idlewild Airport (now J.F. Kennedy Airport) with that field under declared IFR (fog) conditions. My own heading for this story would have been, "Don't Do This!" (Harry's story took place in my home territory for 45 years. I never landed at "East Hartford" airfield but did so many times at nearby Hartford-Springfield Airport, known to most air travelers as Bradley Field.)
Add-on No. 3 A decision to land at Idlewiild. .... "During my work with P&W, although my primary assignment was as an engineering test pilot stationed at Edwards, there were occasions when I would travel back to Hartford for meetings or other temporary assignments. One of those temporary assignments included acting as the pilot of a corporate Navion that was kept in East Hartford but primarily was used to transport top executives of Hamilton Standard, a United Aircraft subsidiary in Windsor Locks CT. One lovely spring morning I had such an assignment. I picked up the president of Ham Standard at the crack of dawn to fly him to JFK (then called Idlewild) for an early morning airline departure. He sat in the co-pilot's seat as we flew south across CT, then continued south at low altitude across Long Island Sound, and continued south to the south shore of Long Island. Then we headed west along the south shore of LI on this beautiful morning. There were no clouds, no aircraft traffic, no turbulence ... nothing to distract from the beauty of nature at low altitude watching birds in their flight and the lovely LI seashore. Shortly after passing the famous Jones Beach I knew we were approaching IDL, so I called IDL tower telling them of my VFR flight plan, location about 5 minutes east of IDL, altitude 1500 feet, and asked for landing instructions. Just at the same time I noticed a low hanging cloud layer or fog bank hanging over the south shore further west. IDL tower replied to my call and advised that the field was closed to all IFR traffic stating that they were zero-zero in heavy fog. A couple minutes later we were over IDL at 1500 feet, well above the fog bank. But as we flew over IDL we noticed that vertical visibility was sufficient to see the ground, the buildings at IDL, and their runways. We judged that the fog bank was several hundred feet thick ... but we could clearly see the ground looking down through the fog. However, the fog had to be very dense and horizontal visibility was probably just about zero as the tower said.
"My high-ranking passenger told me that it was very important that we land and therefore encouraged me to figure out some way of completing the landing. I told him that I first needed to receive approval from the tower to land and that our first indication was that the tower would refuse such a request. At his urging, however, I called the tower a second time telling them of our location, now right above the airport, and asked again for landing instructions. Their reply was the same ... "Field closed due to zero-zero visibility in heavy fog." Their refusal to allow me to land merely reinforced my desire to land. They obviously didn't know I was an engineering test pilot at Edwards, and could not know that I previously had flown F-94s in an all-weather squadron in the Far East. If I could land an F-94 on a short 5000 foot runway with water at each end at 130 knots in bad weather, certainly I could land a Navion on a great 10,000 foot runway at 80 knots. And since I could see the runway from above maybe I had a plan?
"I called the tower a third time, this time telling them I was VFR, could see the field and the runways clearly, and although I knew the field was closed to IFR traffic, I asked them for permission to land VFR. My request obviously took them by surprise and it was quite a while before they replied, this time asking me to restate my request. Again I told them I had the field in sight VFR and asked for permission to make a VFR approach and landing. Again there was a long delay, but finally the tower replied that we were cleared for a VFR landing on runway 22R. My passenger smiled, gave me a thumbs up and I had my challenge for the day. It was clear that I would lose all forward visibility once we entered the fog bank, and hence planned my approach carefully. I had to be perfectly lined-up with 22R before entering the fog bank, and I had to have a very steep rate of descent to get thru the fog in the quickest period of time. We started the descent using a combination of visual and instrument techniques; the wings were kept level with the attitude gyro, the heading kept at 220 degrees with the directional gyro, a high rate of descent with the vertical speed, all the while keeping an eye out the window, looking straight down, waiting to see the runway more clearly right below. Through this combination of using both VFR and IFR flying cues we were able to land someplace in the middle of runway 22R.
"But once on the ground we were lost - indeed the horizontal visibility was zero. I could not even see the side of the runway. I called the tower telling them we were safely on the runway, but lost. We were unable to taxi since we couldn't see anything. The tower sent a follow-me jeep to find us (how they found us I will never know), and then we followed the jeep to an airline gate. My passenger thanked me for the extra effort and fine landing and left the aircraft. I was on my own.
"I had two options - I could have waited for the fog to clear and then return to Hartford, but that could have taken hours and it would have involved no challenge. Or ... instead, I called JFK tower once again and asked for takeoff instructions. The tower replied that the field was zero-zero in heavy fog and closed to all IFR traffic (sounding exactly as they had 30 minutes before when we were in the air). I called them back reminding them that I was the Navion that landed a little while ago VFR and requested permission to takeoff VFR on 22R. Once again there was a lengthy delay, but eventually they called me back and gave me permission for a VFR takeoff on 22R. I had to call them for the follow-me jeep to take me out to runway 22R, and some minutes later there I was, someplace in the middle of 22R, getting ready for takeoff. And I still couldn't even see the sides of the runway. My compass confirmed that my heading was 220, so I called the tower telling them I was ready for my VFR takeoff. They cleared me to takeoff VFR. The lightly loaded Navion was off the ground in a few hundred feet and quickly I had climbed above the fog layer and into the sunlight. The flight back to Hartford was as beautiful as the flight down - mission completed, passenger happy, and the JFK tower still probably wondering what they had approved? I would like to have been in the tower and listened to the conversation the controllers had among themselves after approving those two VFR operations while the field was zero-zero in heavy fog. My log book simply showed a flight to and from IDL. Can you imagine trying to do that today at JFK?"
Add-on No. 4 .....Lambert family of Louisiana discovers family records of service on the USS Lexington in 1937 and USS Maryland in 1941 which add to our knowledge of epic events, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and the tragedy of Pearl Harbor.
Let me first offer a short background on a family whose son, George "Beppo" Lambert appears in my first book, "Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945." George Lambert was in the second of the three Lambert families sired by Tom Lambert of Louisiana. George graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935 where he won national fame as a member of one of the Academy's greatest football teams; Lambert's team mates included 'Buzz' Borries and 'Slade' Cutter.
I first met Lt. George Lambert, USN, in July 1942, when he was assigned as my mentor on the USS Edison, DD-439, a Livermore class destroyer, commissioned early in 1941. George was Gunnery Officer of the Edison.
Lieutenant George Lambert had fully mastered Edison's all-new destroyer armament and had already passed it along to "Jake" Boyd, Class of '38, who was in turn passing it along to Dick Hofer, '42, one Naval Academy class ahead of my '43 class. Rapid progress was a necessity, because war was taking its toll of officers, and new construction was gobbling up the remaining ones. Lambert departed when I had been on board less than six months. He was ordered, now a Lieutenant Commander USN, to the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420) as her Executive Officer. It was on that ship in October 1943, hit and sunk by a submarine-fired torpedo off Salerno, Italy, that George Lambert was lost in the explosion and rapid sinking. He is shown in a photo in my book, on the Buck's bridge, shortly before she was lost.
There were four children from Tom Lambert's marriage to his first wife, four (all boys) from his second marriage, and eight from his third marriage. The Dean Lambert who became my Lambert contact when I covered the loss of the Buck in my first book, came from the third family. Dean was the Police Chief of Many, Louisiana, when we began our e-mail friendship about 1999. Dean is now helping once again to revisit that second family of Lamberts. Dean supplies a quote, originating in October of 2009, from the British Daily Mail's story of a British father who sired twin children at the age of 71. "The world's oldest father of twins is recorded as being Tom Lambert of Louisiana who was 78 when his children were born in March 1948." Dean is one of those twins.
Dean Lambert has made a new (March 2010) discovery in papers left behind by his half-brother, George. One of George's three full brothers was Phillip H. Lambert, a career enlistee in the Navy in 1929 at age 17; he was aboard the battleship USS Maryland when that ship was tied up at the dock at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Dean sends along excerpts from an interview Phillip gave the Sabine Index, a Louisiana paper. This interview reveals some of the Navy life of Phillip Lambert, who left us a hand-drawn chart, representing a unique historical artifact on still another event of world interest. Some interview excerpts:
On December 21, 1929, (Phillip) Lambert began an active duty Navy career as a repairman on the (Navy repair ship) USS Medusa in San Pedro, California. He served on the Medusa until June 30, 1932 when he was transferred to the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier. Lambert served on her until March 31, 1938, when he was transferred to the USS Maryland. Another of Phillip's full brothers was James Clifford Lambert, the Aircraft Radio-man on the USS Maryland and that is why he (Phillip) requested transfer to the Maryland. (Phillip used U.S.S. in his writings, common at the time)
While serving on the USS Maryland, on Dec. 7, 1941, Phillip Lambert recalls explosions and confusion that ripped the Sunday morning peace at Pearl Harbor. "I was sorting out my laundry, when all at once I heard (felt) concussions and explosions going off somewhere. All of a sudden, someone said the Japanese are bombing Ford Island. I could feel the concussion from the torpedoes hitting the USS Oklahoma, a (battle) ship tied (up) next to us," Lambert recalls.
"I looked out the port hole and could see the Japanese planes machine-gunning houses on Ford Island, as the USS Oklahoma had already started rolling over. We were throwing out life-lines and ropes to the survivors on the USS Oklahoma. The entire bombing lasted approximately an hour and a half. There was a lot of confusion naturally, on something like this." (That "confusion" earned Phillip Lambert a Silver Star medal)
(Phillip) Lambert added, "We were lucky we didn't get much damage. Our ship was hit twice in the bow. It was the way the Japanese dropped their torpedoes that kept us from receiving more damage than we did. We were in the right position at the right time. Out of the 1,500 men on the USS Maryland, we sustained only two deaths." Lambert remarked, "It is no fun when someone is shooting at you."
"We then moved to Washington's Navy Yard near Seattle, along with the other damaged ships, for an over-haul, new anti-aircraft guns and shells. We then returned to the South Pacific to the New Hebrides Islands, where we were engaged in several battles sinking many Japanese ships."
Phillip Lambert continued his naval career up until his retirement as Chief Water Tender (CWT), Nov. 15, 1948. He was then put on a retainer list for ten years. In April 1951, Lambert was called to serve his country once more in the Korean War, where he served three years as a trained Naval Recruiter in Bainbridge, Maryland.
When asked why he joined the Navy and if he would do it again, Lambert had this to say, "When I joined at the age of 17, the depression was going on. Good people were looking for jobs everywhere and none to be found. With my parent's signature, I enlisted. It was the only thing to do." In answer to the second question, Lambert said, "If I was 18, I would gladly serve my country again!"
From the interview above, note Phillip Lambert's six-year tour of duty, 1932-38, aboard the USS Lexington. The "Lex" was laid down, along with her sister ship, the USS Saratoga, as a battle cruiser. In mid-construction, the 5-5-3 Treaty was signed with Britain and Japan, and these two hulls would put the U.S. over the treaty limits agreed to for that class of capital ships. So the U.S. converted the two unfinished hulls to aircraft carriers, an isolated twist of good fortune in the many disarmament efforts agreed to by the U.S. What Dean Lambert discovered in George Lambert's papers, in addition to the foregoing newspaper interview given for a Pearl Harbor day observance in 1985, was a hand-drawn chart. See below.
This browned, aged chart almost certainly originated in the Lexington's Navigation Dept. "Pacific Ocean" looks official. It is intelligently detailed. Anyone aware of 20th century aviation history would take immediate notice. I would assess it as a USS Lexington sea chart fragment showing her 1937 transit, in response to orders to find a missing aircraft, the specially configured Electra 10 model, piloted by Amelia Earhart. (A Lockheed Electra 10, and Amelia, are featured, for unrelated reasons, in another of my books, "The Triumph of Instrument Flight: A Retrospective in the Century of U.S. Aviation.")
The short curved segments around Howland Island would represent Lexington's aircraft, launched for intense coverage in a perimeter around the island Earhart was attempting to reach, non-stop, from Lae, 2201 nautical miles away. (First numeral verified on original.) Phillip hand-drew the profile, unmistakably the Lexington. To put dates in context, Amelia's takeoff from Lae was 2 July E. Long.; that would be 1 July in West Longitude.
For the apparent double exposure, Dean Lambert suggests: "The only thing I can imagine is that when it was put into the scrap book, after years and years it bled over to an adjoining page, it was removed briefly and put back, and then it bled back onto the original. A little weird, but I cannot imagine anything else. This map has been stuck in this old scrapbook for over 70 years, so a lot of chemical reactions could have occurred."
Booknotes:: The 4th Edition of Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945, with a new ISBN 0966625153, came out January 1, 2009, and is the currently available edition of this book; it is priced the same, but has 44 more pages than the Third Edition. These pages comprise an original Index created by Dutch scholar, Pieter Graf, complete with corrected European/North African names and their spellings.