25 Jul 2012

No success reported by Earhart expedition

1:50 pm on 25 July 2012

An expedition to find out what happened to US pilot Amelia Earhart in 1937 is returning to Hawaii without the evidence it was looking for.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery believes she and her navigator crashed on a Pacific island and died soon after.

The $US2.2 million expedition was searching for evidence of the wreckage in the waters around Nikumaroro.

Tighar is planning a return voyage to the island next year. It believes Earhart may have survived for a short time.

On 2 July 1937, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan took off from Papua New Guinea in their Electra 10E aircraft, en route to Howland Island.

Many experts think a navigational error caused them to run out of fuel over the sea. They were never seen again.

They were three-quarters of the way through a circumnavigation of the globe around the equator.

The BBC reports artefacts that could have belonged to Earhart and Noonan have been found on earlier visits to the island and a photograph of the coast from October 1937 could show a blurred image of part of the plane.

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, in 1932.