Amelia left Lae at precisely 00:00 hours Greenwich Mean Time on July 2. It is believed that the Electra was loaded with 1,000 gallons of fuel, allowing for 20-21 hours of flying.
At 07:20 hours GMT Amelia provided a positon report placing the Electra on course at some 20 miles southwest of the Nukumanu Islands. The last weather report Amelia was known to have received was before take-off. The head wind speed had increased by 10-12 mph, but it is not known if she ever received the report.
At 08:00 GMT Amelia made her last radio contact with Lae. She reported being on course for Howland Island at 12,000 feet. There is no real evidence as to the precise track of the aircraft after Nukumanu. No one saw or heard the plane fly over.
Several short transmission were received by the Itasca with varying signal strengths but they were unable to get a fix on her location because they were too brief. At 19:30 GMT the following transmission was received from the Electra at maximum strength...
"KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be on you but cannot see you...gas is running low..."
At 20:14 GMT the Itasca received the last voice transmission from Amelia giving positioning data. The Itasca continued to transmit on all frequencies until 21:30 hours GMT when they determined that Amelia must have ditched at sea and began to implement search procedures.
It has been determined that the plane went down some 35-100 miles off the coast of Howland Island. A life raft was stowed on board but no trace has ever been found the raft. Some experts felt that the empty fuel tanks could keep the plane afloat for a period of time.