Here Comes the Sun
Copyright ©2009 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.
The title is appropriated from a favorite song in the Beatles' album Abbey Road, released in 1969, fully 32 years after the incident in this puzzle, which occurred five years before songwriter George Harrison was born.
Her round-the-world flying adventure ended tragically on July 2, 1937.  That morning at 10:00 AM (0000 GCT), Amelia Earhart took off in her customized Lockheed Electra on the longest leg, an over-water flight along the Equator from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island for a landing on an unlighted runway.  The route is depicted below. Navigator for the 18-hour flight, Fred Noonan, intended to use dead reckoning in the daylight and celestial navigation at night.  Was he able to do both?


TIGHAR Earhart Project used by permission

Sophisticated solvers have everything they need to answer the question -- everything except the hours of sunlight along the route during the flight. The Sunrise and Sunset Calculator will instantly do that job for any place on earth and for any date, past or future.  So, then...
 

Did Fred Noonan choose the appropriate take-off time? 

NOTE: Charts of the last Earhart/Noonan flight emphasize the "advanced"  157o / 337o 'sun-line' at the destination.  It has no bearing on the Here Comes the Sun puzzle but will play a dramatic role in the solution to Which way, Amelia?

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