13 June 1937: Leg 16. After refueling the Lockheed Electra 10E Special at Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan continue on to Massawa, Eritrea, 459 miles (739 kilometers) further on.
“Exactly two hundred miles out we crossed at right angles at Athara River which flows northward into the Nile. Thence the low desert roughened and rose, first into sloping sandy foothills, then mountains where green vegetation, almost the first we had seen in Africa, began to appear below us. Well into Eretrea we flew over the headwaters of a second considerable river, the Khor Baruka, which drains this highland region northward into the Red Sea. Heated air blasted up from the mountain slopes, buffering the ship unkindly. Even above 10,000 feet it was rough going. . . Massawa admits to being one of the hottest cities in the world. In the summer the thermometer often hits 120 degrees in the shade. . . On the evening of our arrival the thermometer registered 100 degrees, but that night it became comparatively cool. . . It had been a long day, what with the landmarkless desert flying, the stop at Khartoum, the rough going over the mountains the long trip down, and there was fair reason for a pilot to feel famished. (As usual I had forgotten to eat.) “Are you hungry?” an English-speaking officer asked me. “As hollow as a bamboo horse.” —Amelia Earhart
13 June 1937: Leg 15, El Fasher (Al-Fashir) to Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 437 nautical miles (503 statute miles/809 kilometers).
“East of El Fasher our route crossed a cartographical blank space as large as an outstretched hand with not a contour line on it or a river or the name even of a ‘village of the sixth grade’. . . The first half is utterly flat, arid, uninhabited, and lacks landmarks altogether. . . Two hours in Khartoum! So . . . we refueled and paid our respects to the cordial British officials whose language sounded so very pleasant to our ears. That done, and our bill for 3 pounds 22s. landing fee settled, we were on our way again. . . .”
12 June 1937: Leg 14. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan fly the Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, from Fort-Lamy in French Equatorial Africa, to El Fasher, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, a distance of 609 nautical miles (701 statute miles/1,129 kilometers). A leak in one of the Electra’s landing gear struts took several hours to deal with.
”Because of the late start we made the objective of that day’s flight El Fasher, in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. With a following wind we negotiated the journey to something over three hours. As expected, thanks to the day’s heat, which caught up to us, it was particularly bumpy flying, with a particularly desolate region below us.”—Amelia Earhart
11 June 1937: Leg 13. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan flew the Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, from Gao, French Sudan, to Fort-Lamy, French Equatorial Africa, a distance of 910 nautical miles (1,047 statute miles/1,685 kilometers), landing at 1:55 p.m. G.M.T.
“As usual, our arising at Gao was before dawn, a start made notable by a marvelous breakfast, whose chief d’oeuvre was a mushroom omelet supplemented with cups of fine French chocolate. Thence our revised route took us to Fort Lamy about a thousand miles away. On this day’s flying to Lamy and the next, we crossed stretches of country barren beyond words, a no-man’s land of eternal want, where the natives cling tenaciously to an existence almost incomprehensible to westerners. . . .” —Amelia Earhart
10 June 1937: Leg 12. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan flew their Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, from Dakar, French West Africa, to Gao, French Sudan, a distance of 1,016 nautical miles (1,169 miles/1,882 kilometers), in 7 hours, 55 minutes. They landed at 14:50 GMT. They informed local officials that they would remain over night and continue on their Around-the-World flight the following day.
“Weather reports at the Dakar air field were not altogether encouraging. There were barometric lows threatening tornadoes, or their local equivalent, in the Sudanese region through which our route lay. So, instead of going to Niamey as at first planned, on the advice of Colonel Tabera, I decided to shift the course slightly to the north, making our objective Gao on the upper reaches of the River Niger. Just before six o’clock we were in the air and seven hours and fifty minutes later came down at Gao in the French Sudan. . . Our course from the coast inland over the Senegal and Niger districts lay almost exactly due east. Loafing along at a trifle under 150 miles an hour, the 1,140 mile journey ended pleasantly in the early afternoon.” —Amelia Earhart