Detail #4 of Ruth Elder Hydrographic Office Chart

U.S. Navy hydrographers computed an alternate course for Elder and Haldeman after they disappeared. One surprising aspect of Elder and Haldeman's flight is that they set off fairly late in the season. They encountered some significant storms early in the flight, including some icing. This caused them to decide to dump fuel, which altered the weight and balance of the aircraft. Elder had to climb into the tail to compensate for the weight shift. Sometime during this process an oil line began to leak and their oil pressure steadily dropped. Their survival was near miraculous and highlights the danger of these early crossings.

Caption:
U.S. Navy hydrographers computed an alternate course for Elder and Haldeman after they disappeared.
Type: Map
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
NASM-9A08381-Uncorrected-Course
Navigators & Inventors
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U.S. Navy hydrographers computed an alternate course for Elder and Haldeman after they disappeared.
Aviator Ruth Elder and her co-pilot/instructor George Haldeman disappeared over the Atlantic creating a desperate scramble to determine their whereabouts.