Gary LaPook – Navigation Consultant

team-lapookBased in California, Gary has been interested in the Earhart disappearance since the 90s and his expertise in many different fields is invaluable. Gary learnt celestial navigation in the 1960s and is an experienced pilot of over 30 years. In the 80s he became a practising solicitor, working for a firm that specialised in aircraft crashes. It is no under- statement to say that Gary is arguably the most knowledgeable and experienced celes- tial navigator in the world today, which gives Stratus the benefit of really understanding the navigation behind the flight and the workings of Earhart’s navigator Fred Noonan

“This is the holy grail of aviation mysteries”

A word from Gary…

gary“It is easy for me to determine the exact point when I became interested in the Earhart mystery. I read in the April 1992 edition of “Life” magazine that another group had announced that they had found Earhart’s shoe heel on an island 400 miles away from her planned destination, (it proved not to be her heel.). The article explained the celestial navigation method that, according to their theory, got her to that island and I knew instantly that they were wrong. In 1992 I had been a professional pilot for twenty years and had been using celestial navigation for thirty years, both on boats and planes. I had taken many hundreds of sextant observations in flight, I had taught university courses on this subject and had ferried planes as small as a Cessna 172 across the Atlantic using celestial navigation in those days before GPS. Based on my background I investigated the disappearance from the perspective of the navigation being done in 1937 and then expanded my investigation to look at the piloting and engine operations perspectives. I have written hundreds of thousands of words on this subject and they can be found with a simple internet search. The conclusion that is obvious to me is that, in the end, she was still attempting to find her destination of Howland island when she out of fuel and crashed into the ocean in the vicinity of that island.”