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Across the Atlantic

In the darkness on June 7, 1937, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan walked the length of the secondary runway at Parnamirio Airport, Natal, to help establish guiding landmarks. The primary runway was currently unavailable as "a perverse wind blew exactly across it." At 3:15 a.m. the Electra took off on the 1900 mile flight across the Atlantic to Africa. This would be Amelia's third flight across the Atlantic, and she would be the first woman to make the flight from Brazil to Africa.

Shortly after takeoff, total darkness swallowed the plane. "However, the blackness of the night outside made all the more cheering the subdued lights of my cockpit, glowing on the instruments which showed the way through space as we headed east over the ocean." The trip, according to Amelia, was uneventful. "The weather was exactly as predicted," which included head winds roughly 20 mph for about the first half of the trip. Following the headwinds "came a stretch of doldrums" clear skies followed with area of low clouds and finally "the heaviest rains I ever saw. [...] The water splashed brown against the glass of my cockpit windows, a soiled emulsion mixed with the oil spattering from the propellers."

As the plane neared the African coast a thick haze hung about. Using the fishing pole, which had been attached to the upper part of the fuselage to be able to pass notes from the cockpit to the navigator's table in the back and vice versa, Fred sent a note forward indicating a turn to the south. However, a left turn "seemed to me in order and after fifty miles of flying along the coast we found ourselves at St. Louis, Senegal." Originally intending to land at Dakar, St. Louis was only 163 miles north. On the bottom of the note Noonan had passed forward AE had written "What put us north?"

The Miami News, Monday, June 7, 1937

Visalia Times Delta, Monday, June 7, 1937

Honolulu Star Bulletin, Monday, June 7, 1937

Honolulu Star Bulletin, Monday, June 7, 1937


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