Holiday in Australia

The fond sighted of 6544- turned cut to be Boll’s Pyramid 12 IS miles south of Lord Howe and / did not- sight lord Howe Until trearly abreast of if.

I watched the tin drop in a smooth backward curve turning and twinkling, and I plotted the third hour’s flight to find that I had now flown 264 miles. When I needed to know the height to reduce the sextant reading accurately, I found that the needle of the dashboard altimeter was moving round the dial in endless jerks like a full-sized second hand on a clock. The vibration must have broken it. I felt despair – the wireless transmitter, the dashboard airspeed indicator, the compass seating, and now both altimeters broken. How long could the aircraft stand the strain?

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As for that pig of an altimeter, it had always tried to fix me. This rage cheered me up a bit. To hell with it! I could judge the height above the water myself; I was getting pretty good at it now. I got three good sights.

During the fourth hour the wind backed about eighty degrees and was now almost a beam wind. At the end of the hour I was 337 miles on my way. I was nearly five hours out, and should reach the turn-off point six hours out. I had to get another sun observation at the end of this hour.

At five hours and ten minutes out I got three good shots of the sun. In computing this result it happened that I was using the bottom of the scale on one of the slide-rule cylinders, and I had to read it sideways, because there was not enough room to hold it in front of me in the cockpit. The result showed that I was 26 miles short of my dead reckoning position. The spectres of every mistake I had ever made rushed through my brain. Now I remembered that the strut speed indicator was over-reading by 5 miles an hour, which accounted for 25 miles in five hours. It had been stupid of me to forget it. So I had done only 391 miles, instead of 417. According to the sextant, I was 100 miles short of the turn-off point.

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