01/31/2012. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Lockheed 10-E Electra NC14972 c/n 1042 was delivered December 6, 1935 to Pan American Supply Corp., and on December 3 transferred to PAA's subsidiary, Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, registered XA-BCJ. It was subsequently returned to Pan American World Airways on June 14, 1937 under its original registration.
The plane was operated by PAA subsidiary, Panair do Brasil in Rio de Janiero, and transferred to Panair do Brasil flying the east coast routes between Rio and Buenos Aires, re-registered as PP-PAX.
On April 20, 1943, the aircraft was taken over by the Brazilian national airline S.A. Empresa de Viacio Aeria Rio Grandense (VARIG) in Porto Alegre and reregistered PP-VAP on June 14, 1943. On January 23, 1956 the aircraft was transferred to Don Cardiff, a Provincetown Boston Airways (PBA) representative, as N2068A and was ferried to Martha's Vineyard on Cape Cod, to be used for flying the Cape Cod-Boston-New York routes. It was reregistered as N35PB on June 12, 1957.
On February 18, 1970 the plane was sold to Zepherhills Parachute Center, Florida, and reregistered N355B it was used for sky-diving operations. Read this story about the pictured sky-diving episode.
The plane was transfered to Vikings of Denmark Inc. on October 1, 1976 and was operated by Raeford Parachute Center in Raeford, North Carolina. Three years later, on September 15, 1979 the aircraft was sold to Dolf Overton and stored at Wings and Wheels Museum in Orlando, Florida.
New Jersey flight instructor Grace McGuire purchased the plane August 3, 1982 and named the old Electra "Muriel" after Amelia Earhart's sister Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey. Grace met Muriel in the late 1980s at the Wings Club in New York City, the oldest aviation club in the world, and they became good friends and traveling companions. Grace plans to someday publish letters exchanged between them.
Grace reports: "It took nearly two years to find the same model plane as Amelia Earhart's in order to realize my ambition to recreate her flight. Christie's in New York was auctioning off the contents of the Wings and Wheels Museum in Orlando, Florida but my L-10E was not included in the sale due to its awful condition and was left to rot in the back lot... it was going to be cut up and sold for scrap! Muriel was the saddest looking plane you have ever seen but I had a feeling we belonged together.. It was instant love the moment we met. So I purchased Muriel and it was trucked to Rentschler Airport in Hartford, Connecticut to be restored for the flight. My first mechanic was Ward Oakly who was one of Earhart's mechanics. Ward called in Eddie Gorsky, Amelia's mechanic on her 1932 Atlantic flight.
Grace hoped to recreate the Earhart flight with everything identical to her 1937 flight, except she planned to use the correct coordinates for Howland Island. She was able to determine in 1986 that Earhart and Noonan were using an outdated map showing incorrect coordinates for Howland Island, placing them 7 mls (11 km) off course. On the little island, a coral reef really, in the middle of nowhere, there's a derelict lighthouse named for Earhart. The point NW of Howland where Amelia and Fred were circling has been named McGuire's Point.
08/31/2017. Remarks by Ron Dupas: After 34 years, due to complications of Lyme Disease, Grace concluded that the recreation of the Earhart flight would not become a reality. On October 16, 2016 Muriel was once again prepared for transport on a flatbed trailer to Atchison, Kansas, birthplace of Amelia Earhart where she will be preserved by the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation.