The Missing Pilot
Do you know this name: Amelia Earhart? I think you don’t. But Amelia Earhart was a remarkable personality. She was one of the most famous pilots in the U.S. history, one of the successful authors and one of the most stylish women of her time.
She was born 1897 in Kansas, wanted to study medicine, but saw a small airplane take off in the air show of Toronto, Canada, and decided she wanted to fly. Amelia Earhart broke a world record: was the first woman to fly a plane alone across the Atlantic Ocean.
She wanted to be the first woman to fly a plane around the world. Starting in California on May 20, 1937, she and her co-pilot Fred Noonan flew across the U.S.A. south to Brazil, and across Africa, Asia, and Australia. On June 29 they arrived in New Guinea.
On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan left New Guinea for Howland in the Pacific. This was the longest and most dangerous part of their trip around the world. Earhart had trouble shortly after takeoff. The weather was stormy, so she had to fly at 3,000 meters. Going this high, the plane used gas quickly.
After about twenty hours, Earhart and Noonan approached Howland Island. The island was only about 105 kilometers away, but the bright sun was shining in their faces so they couldn’t see it. Near Howland, a ship, the Itasca, was waiting. Earhart contacted the ship: “Gas is low,” she said. The Itasca tried to maintain* contact with her but got no response*. The plane disappeared*.
Finally, the Itasca called for help. A lot of ships of the United States Navy and aircrafts searched for Earhart and Noonan for 2 weeks. Despite the searchers’ efforts*, they found nothing.
What happened to Amelia Earhart? No one knows for sure. During the flight, she probably headed in the wrong direction because the sun was bright and it was hard to see. So she got lost; soon after, her plane ran out of gas, and she died at sea. Another idea is that she survived the plane crash, swam to an uninhabited island, and later died there. Still others think she survived the crash and secretly returned to the U.S. with a new identity.
Although the first theory seems most likely, none of these ideas has been proven. Today, people are still investigating* Earhart’s and Noonan’s disappearance. Their bodies have never been found. Whatever happened, Amelia probably died as she wished. “When I go,” she said, “I’d like best to go in my plane.”
to maintain = to support smth, to keep doing smthresponse = answer
to disappear =to vanish
efforts = hard work
to investigate = to search smth very carefully, to find out the truth
Choose the best answer for each question.
1. Another title for this reading could be _____.
Pilot Mystery Is Finally Solved
Amelia Earhart Breaks Another Record
What Happened to Amelia Earhart?
The Last Female Pilot in the U.S.A.
2. Why was flying to Howland Island difficult?
Earhart was sick.
Noonan didn’t have a map.
Their plane was damaged.
It was very far from New Guinea.
3. Shortly after taking off from New Guinea, what happened?
Earhart’s plane ran out of gas.
There was a bad storm.
Fred Noonan died.
Earhart’s plane crashed.
4. When Earhart says “When I go, I’d like best to go in my plane”, what does go mean?
5. Which statement would the writer of the text agree with?
Amelia’s plane probably ran out of gas and she died at sea.
It is possible that Fred Noonan killed Amelia Earhart.
Amelia Earhart probably died on an island in the Pacific.
Fred Noonan might still be alive today.
Use the correct form of the words in bold from the text to complete the definitions.
If you _______________someone or something, you try to find out the truth about them.
A(n) _______________ is a trip you take by plane.
A(n) _______________is an answer or reply.
If you _______________someone or something, you come closer to him/it.
When the sun or other light ___________, it gives out a bright light.
If you _______________ something, you keep or continue it so it does not change.
A(n) ________________ is when someone or something vanishes.
If you make a(n) _______________ to do something, you try very hard to do it.
If you ______________ to a certain place, you go to that place.
If you __________________ , you stay alive after that.
Ex.4 In both texts find words or expressions that mean:
the desert island __________________________
to vanish ________________________________
mobile phone _____________________________
to stay alive _______________________________
to find out the truth _________________________
to come closer to smth_______________________
to keep doing, to support _____________________
a lost pilot _________________________________
to go straight ahead to a place _________________
Complete the information with words from the box. One word is extra.
approached bright disappearance efforts flight survive headed investigate maintain response shine
On September 3, 2007, American adventurer Steve Fossett vanished in the Nevada desert. Why is Fossett’s ___________________ so unusual? Fossett was a skilled pilot, and his _________________on September 3 wasn’t long or difficult. When Fossett didn’t return, search planes _________________to the desert to __________________. Despite their ___________________, the missing pilot could not be found.
What happened to Fossett? Maybe the weather caused him to crash and he didn’t _______________.
On September 3, the sun was _________________; it was a beautiful day. However, Fossett was flying near mountains in the Nevada desert. Winds here can be dangerous. Maybe it was windy as he ___________________ the mountains. Perhaps this made it hard to __________________ control of his plane and he crashed.
But some things about this story are strange. For example, on September 3, Fossett didn’t tell anyone exactly where he was going. Later, people tried to call his cell phone, but they got no _______________. Fossett didn’t take his phone with him that day. The question is why? As with Amelia Earhart, we may never know how this story ends.
I know I want to know
5 –W Chart
1. What happened?
2. Where did it happen?
3. When did it happen?
4. Who was there?
5. Why did it happen?
6. What did they do there?
How did they do that?