(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Circumnavigation

“I was once told that flying involves long hours of boredom, interrupted by moments of extreme fright”*…


Boeing Model 314 Clipper “California Clipper,” Pan American Airways [source]

On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, there was a Pan Am Clipper proceeding to Auckland, New Zealand [from its San Francisco base] when the radio operator announced to the crew, in a panicked voice, that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. The Captain realized that this was not a joke, after looking over at the radio operator’s face, and said, “Please confirm the details of your news with Pan Am headquarters in New Caledonia.”

When the radio operator returned to the Captain’s side he advised that the news was in fact correct and they advised me to tell you the following, Implement Plan A.” The Captain reached for a sealed envelope from his jacket…

And so began a globe-circling trek that ended on January 6, 1942 at La Guardia’s Marine Air Terminal: total flight time was 209 hours; total distance, 31,500 miles (a circuitous route that involved dodging first Japanese then German military aircraft that considered the American plane “a strategic military resource” to be destroyed).  It was the first around-the-world flight by a commercial airliner… the hard way.

Read the fascinating story of this unintended circumnavigation at “The Long Way Home….Pan Am Flight 18602.”

* “Franklin W. Dixon” (the shared pseudonym of the many authors of The Hardy Boys novels)


As we buckle our seatbelts, we might recall that it was on this day in 1920 that Lt. John H. “Dynamite” Wilson of the 96th Aero Squadron, Kelly Field, Texas, leapt with a parachute from a De Haviland B airplane at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet and made a safe landing in a turnip patch.

 source (and larger version)


Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 8, 2018 at 1:01 am

The Law of Large Numbers…

from the always-amusing xkcd

As we work on our routines, we might spare a commemorative thought for Ferdinand Magellan, whose expedition returned to Spain on this date in 1522, at the end of the first circumnavigation of the globe– almost three years to the day after the fleet– reduced to a single ship from the original five– had departed.  Magellan never made it; he was killed by a poison dart in a battle on the island of Mactan in the Philippines in 1521.

Magellan's ship "Victoria"-- the one that made it

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

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