One of the Moody Institute of Science's educational films, SIGNPOSTS ALOFT examines the phenomenon where a pilot's senses deceive him, sometimes with fatal results. The film includes a lengthy segment about the famed WWII "ghost bomber" Lady Be Good (see below). The Moody Institute of Science was a production company spun off from the fundamentalist Moody Bible Institute, and its films (including this one) always examine God's role in man's affairs with the underlying message that God is responsible. The film ends with a discussion of the importance of the Bible and notes that "faith is the difference between life and death."
The film is notable for explaining vertigo and disorientation that can occur in flight, especially when the horizon is obscured by clouds, weather or darkness. It includes footage of several crash sites and an eerie air traffic control recording (at 9:15) of a fatal spin caused by an unqualified pilot who could not fly by instruments. A crash investigator discusses the issue of visual overload, and the reliance that pilots must have on instruments rather than their own physical feelings about their orientation.
At 5:57, barnstorming pilots are seen performing a variety of stunts and Cliff Winters flies into a building at 6:20. At 7:30, a search and rescue mission is seen looking for a plane lost in the mountains near Los Angeles. At 17:07, astronaut John Glenn discusses the problems of the human inner ear, and the need to have faith in instruments.
At 19:14, the story of the Lady Be Good is told, and the crash site visited in Libya. Lady Be Good was an USAAF B-24D Liberator that disappeared without a trace on its first combat mission during World War II. The plane, which was from 376th Bomb Group, was believed to have been lost - with its nine-man crew - in the Mediterranean Sea while returning to its base in Libya following a bombing raid on Naples on April 4, 1943. However, the wreck was accidentally discovered 710 km (440 mi) inland in the Libyan Desert by an oil exploration team from British Petroleum on November 9, 1958.
Investigations concluded the first-time (all new) crew failed to realize they had overflown their air base in a sandstorm. After continuing to fly south into the desert for many hours, the crew bailed out when the plane's fuel ran out. The survivors then died in the desert trying to walk to safety. All but one of the crew's remains were recovered between February and August 1960.
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