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Posted: Aug 27 2009, 06:40 PM
Member No.: 7,482
Joined: 23-July 06
Hi all, new to the forum. Love CC and his characters. Don't like technical screw ups.
How is it that the P3 is badly damaged flying through the eye wall of the storm yet somehow a helicopter arrives to land on the floating hotel. I know helicopters cannot fly high enough to get over the storm and come down through the eye. So that one kind of sucks.
The other is when they talk about the boring machine can do 150 feet a day and later in a meeting with the top brass, Sandecker states it is capable of doing 1 mile a day.
Maybe I read it wrong on both of these. This is my second read, I am going through my collection and really do enjoy them second/third time through.
Posted: Aug 28 2009, 06:07 AM
Philosopher, Pirate, Poet, Poseidon & The Admiral
Group: CCForum admin
Member No.: 23
Joined: 24-February 04
Maybe it's an advanced technology copter.
Posted: Feb 4 2011, 05:02 AM
Member No.: 7,564
Joined: 13-September 06
I have a feeling the OP won't see this because it's been 3 years since they posted but I just came across this question. In another forum (Dave Hyatt's) this question was posed as well. The following is the answer I figured out after doing some research. While it doesn't answer the question definitively it does provide (in my mind) a plausible story for making it happen.
First the background of the story.
In Trojan Odyssey there is a hotel called the Ocean Wanderer which is half underwater and can be towed around to different places. Early in the book NUMA meteorologist Heidi Lishnerness called the hotel to warn them that Hurricane Lizzie - a category 5 - could be heading towards them and to evacuate.
The hotel director - Hobson Morton - is giving the owner a tour of the hotel with just over 1000 customers on board. He gets the message to evacuate and the owner - Specter because he really endorsed anonymity - tells Morton to not do anything because it would send bad press towards the hotel.
As the book continues Hurricane Lizzie keeps growing and finally Specter leaves just before the storm hits, leaving the hotel and it's guests to the mercy of the storm. When the storm hits the hotel it is anchored to the oceanfloor by four cables to resist the 200 mph wind and VERY huge waves. During the storm the cables snap and there is a danger the hotel will drift into the rocky coast of the Dominican Republic and be destroyed.
The NUMA vessel Sea Sprite is about 70 miles northeast of the Dominican with Dirk and Summer. While Dirk and Summer are in the Pisces - an underwater laboratory - the Sea Sprite gets word of the hurricane and tries to outrun it but finally realizes they can't. So Capt. Burnam decides to head into the hurricane and take it on. During this part of the book they get word that the Ocean Wanderer is in serious trouble so Capt. Burnam heads to them to see what they can do after Admiral Sandecker says it's up to them.
Back on the hotel Morton and his staff do a great job of keeping everything running smoothly until the eye of the hurricane finally gets to them. It is in the eye of the hurricane when Dirk and Al show up and help create a rigging to attach to the Sea Sprite to pull them away from the rocky shore.
Needless to say they are successful in saving the hotel and even make it back to the Pisces to save Dirk and Summer just before they run out of air.
With that backstory the biggest thing people say about the impossibility of the story is that Pitt flew a helicopter through the hurricane. Well according to Chapter 10 (page 99 in the Penguin paperback) Pitt and Al are lowered onto the roof of the hotel by a helicopter while the hotel is in the eye of the hurricane.
Well it never says Pitt was the pilot of the helicopter. Plus what sense would it make to have him pilot the helicopter and then give up the controls to another pilot so he could be lowered to the hotel. So basically when people say that Pitt flew a helicopter through a hurricane that is probably not true since it doesn't say he was the pilot and the likelihood of him being the pilot is very slim. So that criticism doesn't hold any weight.
Now the other thing people say about the situation is that you can't fly a helicopter through a hurricane because the winds would cause it to crash. Well I agree with that but I don't think the helicopter ever was in the hurricane winds that reached 200 mph.
Here is what I think happens
Hurricanes travel in a slightly southeast to northwest direction so in my scenario the eye of the hurricane would have hit the Ocean Wanderer last.
If you look at a map you see two islands - one in the west is the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican and to the east is Puerto Rico. Now the Ocean Wanderer is two miles off the coast of the Dominican. Sixty - eight miles to the east of the hotel is the Sea Sprite. Now in the book Capt. Burnam tries to outrun the hurricane and goes full speed in a west / northwest direction for 8 hours. So in that time the Sea Sprite would have been farther west than the Ocean Wanderer when Capt. Burnam decides to turn and run into the hurricane.
So while in the hurricane that is when the Sea Sprite decides to try for the Ocean Wanderer. On the way there is when the eye reaches the Ocean Wanderer and Pitt and Al show up to get the rig ready.
Now this poses the question to me - Where did Pitt and Al come from that they could reach the hotel in a helicopter? Well the information that allows me to make this conclusion comes a little later in the book. In chapter 14; page 143 Pitt, Al, Dirk, Summer, Rudi and Sandecker are standing on the deck of the Sea Sprite as it is coming into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale FL. In this conversation everyone is congratulating Pitt and Al on what they did. Pitt replies "Let's just say we were lucky to have been on a project off Puerto Rico when Heidi Lisherness called from our hurricane center and described the situation." So this is where I will take over.
Pitt and Al were on a project off the west coast of Puerto Rico, which is east of the Dominican, Ocean Wanderer and the Sea Sprite, when the hurricane hit. They had to be in either a really big boat to handle the hurricane with a helicopter strapped down on the deck OR they were on some sort of rig (like the ones that drill for oil) in the ocean that could hold a helicopter. Now the eye would hit them before it ever hit the Ocean Wanderer or the Sea Sprite.
In the book Pitt tells Morton the eye of the hurricane is about sixty miles wide. My theory is that Pitt and Al heard that Burnam was going to try and reach the Ocean Wanderer and decided to help. They waited until the eye reached them and they waited until the east inside edge of the hurricane was almost on them before they took off. So they traveled inside the eye until they reached the hotel and dropped off Pitt and Al. Since they couldn't reach the place they left from the helicopter continued on to the mainland of the Dominican where they landed and rode out the storm.
Now Pitt and Al could meet up with the Sea Sprite, hook up the hotel and save the day without ever getting into the more severe winds of the hurricane. To make this possible the US Coast Guard uses a helicopter called HH-65A Dolphin Helicopter for rescue missions at sea. It has a range of 400 nautical miles. In the Dirk Pitt world it's not unreasonable that NUMA had one of these helicopters available where Pitt and Al were. This helicopter is outfitted to work in very high winds, although it cannot fly in a hurricane. As we all know the winds in the eye of the hurricane are virtually nonexistant so that is what makes it plausible for the helicopter to reach the hotel during the storm.
So basically what you have geographically is
West to East
Dominican Republic----Ocean Wanderer----Sea Sprite----Pitt and Al----Puerto Rico----Hurricane Lizzie
Now I can't prove all this beyond a doubt but with the availble data it does create a plausible scenario.
Posted: Mar 2 2011, 07:35 PM
It's safe to say that one does not read a Clive Cussler novel for a "plausible scenario".
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