Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 08:32:12 -0500
From: Joel Carpenter <>
Subject:  Mantell Endgame


The initial climb to 14,000 ft may help explain some questionable aspects. If they were at about 5,000 ft to start, the spiral climb to 14,000 ft probably would have taken about 5-6 minutes, and this would probably have been at the best rate of climb speed of 180 mph. Then they basically level off, only climbing about 6,000 ft in the course of the ~80 miles to the vicinity of Bowling Green. In this phase they could have been moving fast, maybe as much as his claimed 360 mph, although that's straining the planes at high power. Then around this time and place the wingmen break off (I will add that). Possibly in the last phase he makes a sprint toward 25,000 ft, which would have taken another 5 minutes or so (at this altitude the climb rate is dropping due to thinning air). Then there's the "3 lazy circles" and the terminal dive, another 3-5 minutes.