July 2, 2012
An undated picture taken in the 1930' s shows American female aviator Amelia Earhart at the controls of her plane. Seventy-five years after Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific, a research team is setting off July 2, 2012 with high hopes of resolving the mystery surrounding the pioneering aviatrix. For the tenth time in 23 years, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will set off for Nikumaroro island in Kiribati to establish whether Earhart survived the apparent crash of her aircraft. "This time, we'll be searching for debris from the aircraft," TIGHAR's founder and executive director Richard Gillespie, himself a pilot and former aviation accident investigator, told AFP. Earhart vanished on July 2, 1937 at age 39 with navigator Fred Noonan during the final stage of an ambitious round-the-world flight along the equator in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra. The holder of several aeronautical records, including the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air, Earhart had set off from New Guinea to refuel at Howland Island for a final long-distance hop to California.