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Waitt Institute

The Waitt Institute is a non-profit research organization that serves as an exploration catalyst, enabling scientific pioneers to transform the ways in which discoveries are made. More »

Difficult Search

The search for Amelia Earhart’s plane is compared to finding the RMS Titanic…

Locating the wreckage of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra is no easy task. The Electra 10E had a 55-foot wingspan, an overall length of 38 feet, seven inches and height of 10 feet, one inch. Most of the Pacific Ocean surrounding Howland Island is extremely deep, up to 18,000 feet in many areas. Also, considering the aircraft was traveling at 150 knots at the last transmission, the potential search area spans approximately 2,000 square miles.

Locating the Electra is Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack


Team members talk about the difficulty of finding Amelia’s Electra…

By contrast, the RMS Titanic 31 was a massive target over 882 feet long and 175 feet tall with a last reported position broadcast from a stationary ship. The Titanic wreckage was located September 1, 1985 at a depth of 12,500 feet within a search area of roughly 100 square miles.

Titanic a ‘Walk in the Park’ Compared to Amelia



Waitt Institute founder and President Ted Waitt discusses the search for Amelia Earhart and her Electra compared to the relatively easy recovery of the Titanic.