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TWA 800 : The Truth - Your Opinion  
User currently offline777kicksass From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 668 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1701 times:

Now i apologise if you guys feel this topic has been discussed enough but i recently saw a programme showing the diffferent possible causes.

Which one do you guys think is most viable? In case you don't know of them here they are: (sorry if I missed one!)

i)Fuel vapours in center tank heated to exploding point by air conditioning unit underneath.

ii)US missile testing. (picture of streak across sky seen at approximate time of explosion)

erm can't think of any others.!

I think the one about the fuel vapours is most viable as there is usually a minimal amount of fuel in center tanks for trans-atlantic flights (JFK(?)-CDG) and the placement of the AC unit does raise eyebrows!

What do you think?

May all souls aboard R.I.P.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1660 times:

Missile Tests in this areas!
I prefer the fuel version.
After the accident when an US warship shot an Iran Air airbus i think or hope that the us forces has become more clever.
When you listen to the ATC www.Airdisaster.com you hear the Pilot of an Virgin Atlantic describing the explosion he observed. There was no word of an streak they saw.
How about the terrorist version that a bomb exploded in TWA800.
We don't know if the NTSB really knows what exactly lead to this drama.

My best wishes for all the relevants that lost friends, wifes, husbands or kids.

User currently offlineKonaB777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1632 times:

I think it was a short from a wiring bundle in the fuel tank...remember, that 747 was like 26 years old when it crashed.

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1624 times:

Still, you'd think a centre fuel tank explosion would have happened before TWA800. Can you remember ANY other centre fuel tank explosions before TWA800? I can't. The NTSB's "zoom-climb" theory seems to be also rubbish. The front section of the 747 aparantly climbed 13000ft (?) without wings or engines. Also, remember that 747 the NTSB blew up on the ground, showing what a centre tank explosion would have been like -- the 747 was filled with hydrogen, NOT avation fuel. They tried it with avation fuel and they couldn't get it to explode. Plus, the FBI were heavily involved in the investigation. I think the NTSB weren't even allowed to intervied some of the witnesses on the ground. All these facts put together make the official account a bit fishy.

Whatever the reason, may all those on board TWA800 rest in peace.

User currently offline777kicksass From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 668 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 17 hours ago) and read 1610 times:

Yes the programme did mention there being a 100-1 FBI-investigator ratio!!! I think a missile cover-up is likely!!!!

User currently offlineAC340 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 12 hours ago) and read 1593 times:

When the story of a possible missile hit the news media, they were all talking about a handheld, stinger missile weren't they? It couldn't be a stinger as stingers are heat sensitive missiles, which would have gone for the engines, not the centre fuel tank. Even if it was a missile from the US Navy, I think that would be very difficult to cover up for 5 years.

Personally, I believe that the NTSB's centre fuel tank explosion is the most likely. Remember an explosion on the ground is far difference from an explosion in a pressurised airplane at around 13000 feet. I think it would be interesting to see a controlled explosion in the centre fuel tank at the same altitude and quantity of fuel as TWA 800.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13192 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (13 years 12 hours ago) and read 1591 times:

There have been fuel tank explosions before, and since TWA800.
EADS cannot reproduce what happened to the AF Concorde's fuel tank 5 last year, are you telling me that didn't happen?
This topic has been done to death recently, so search back and read, unless the whole point of starting it was to get the conspiracy mob out of the woodwork.

User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (13 years 12 hours ago) and read 1579 times:

Missile cover-up is possible. But the tank explosion makes sense as well, so the truth will probably never be known anyway. Remember that TW800 left JFK, another unsolved mystery... Big grin

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (13 years 11 hours ago) and read 1567 times:

Whoever said the NTSB concusion is rubbish -- of course, that is remotely possible, but not likely. I think I would believe their assessment before I would believe the news media who embraced the missile story at the exclusion of everything else.

I'll go with the experts on this one.


User currently offlineDeltaflot From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 63 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (13 years 10 hours ago) and read 1562 times:

I usually don't buy conspiracy theories but the TWA 800 crash was unique. I'd have to go along with the missile theory. I flew into JFK that same day on a Swissair MD-11 from Geneva and it was hot, and I saw some TWA 747's at parking locations around the airport. Along with other old 747's from Tower, El Al, Virgin, BA...how come their aircraft didn't go into the Atlantic on their return flights that evening? They were sitting idle with fuel vapors in their tanks. And about age...it isn't a factor as 747's older than the one used on TWA 800 that evening are still flying into JFK sitting idle on the ramp all day long. My boss is a 75/76 FO for TWA and when I asked him about TWA 800 about a year ago, he said....think about it, "We're getting a new plane every month and have no money to buy them!" He implied that TWA crews believed that this was some kind of government payoff. Sure it may have be an internal rumor but it makes sense. Regardless, we'll never know what REALLY brought TWA 800 down but I highly doubt it was a technical problem.


User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 8 hours ago) and read 1549 times:

777236ER; How well do you know you aviation anyway? There was a 737 in the Philipines that blew while it was about to take off. The blast was so powerful the it's roof blew right off. There have been 16 aircraft (not including the Thai 737-400) that were lost due to center fuel tank explosions. The FAA were worried about such accidents since the 70s but they put the issue on the back burner fdue to the pressure from the airlines and the manufactururs. Rmember that the FAA tends to play politics with safety ie Valujet and PA 103.

Remember that the US Governemnt couldn't hide the Helsinki Warning or hide the fact that they blew up an Iran Air A300 and A DC-9 with over a 100 people years before the A300 incident. I do belive that the US Gov is quite capable of covering up but they do it very sloppy. Remember when Ronald Regan denied the A300 shoot down? Rembmer when the US Gov tried to cover up the Helsinki Warning? Most of the time the US Gov is quite sloppy in covering things up because it is way too big of a secret. Unless if they are getting better than I doubt the throery but I'll keep an open mind. Remember that James Calstrom of the NYC Office of the FBI had close friends aboard that jet and he was quite affected by it. Along with Lead NTSB Investigator Robert Francis and Ret NTSB Chairman Jim Hall. I just wish we had more men like them.

When Calstrom retired he did not officially close the case. Just dormant until new evidence or something happens to arise. If the US Gov did do it they would cover it up because they wouldn't want to feed fuel to the anarchists or the malitia who would find a reason to over throw the US gov, The other reason would be that the US Gov doesn't want to pay compensation and actually say he two simple words "I'm sorry" The gov does not apoligize to anyone because they want to keep their ego intact like the time they held a Jordanian citizen for the Oklahoma Alfred Murrah Federal Building Bombing. They Gove gave him 10,000 compensation but he returned it and siad he wanted a letter of apoligy. I don't think he ever got it.

Also remember that the ties between US and France are a little strained so who would want to tell France that they accidentally shot down a plane with 8-10 (I think that's how many French citizens were onboard? Including a popular French Coutyr gutarist) of their citizens on-board without having then screaming bloody murder. The entire world would be pissed off at them.

Part of me wished that either TWA got rid of their old and out dated 747s earlier or went wout of business with PA and EAL or AA would've bought them out at the time they bought their LHR routes otherwise 230 people wouldn't have died at all. An airline can be replaced but lives can't. But I also wished that the maintinance people checked the wires and fuel tank closely before allowing TWA 800 to take off.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Best explanation I heard was meteor strike. It sounds plausible, would explain the explosion of the fueltank (large influx of energy) and the streak in the sky (which was reported to be going down instead of up).

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

Jwenting; The Meteour strike is quite possible. I did see that same photo and it looked to me like a metour. I've see quite a few of those whenever I'm at Jones Beach or out at the Hamptons at night. Those things pack a powerful punch. Much more than a missle.

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 hours ago) and read 1520 times:

VirginA340, please don't insult my knowledge of aviation. If you read the Boeing report, sent to the NTSB, they state that they could find no possible set of circumstances that would lead to a centre tank explosion on TWA800. The fuel and fuel vapours inside the tank simply could not have been hot enough, with or without arcing from electrical wires.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years ago) and read 1502 times:

I'm not insulting you; I'm not agreeing with you. The wires on TWA 800 were in bad shape. There were 25 year old 747-100 and 200 with bad wiring along with planes still flying that were a potential hazard to the tank. I not you are not insulting me because 16 fuel tank incidents didn't pop out of no where prior to TWA 800.

As far as Boeing defending their plane. They made the damn thing so naturally they'll defend it.

User currently offlineGalaxy5 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2034 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (13 years ago) and read 1499 times:

my god . please stop already how many times is this subject gonna be posted. but here is a question 4 ya, how many on you here actually are considered aviation experts. do you fly, are you technicians or engineers or are most of you just bystanders that make up your own conclusions.

"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
User currently offlineGrowly150 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1481 times:

Galaxy5, the topic is titled "your opinion". If it bothers you, don't read the post, its as easy as NOT clicking on the link.

User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1474 times:

The Boeing company does not seek to defend it's aircraft when researching accidents. It is very interested, however, in seeking to make it's aircraft as safe as possible. After the two consecutive crashes of 737 aircraft, at Colorado Springs, and Pittsburgh, respectively, the Boeing company spent millions of dollars, over three years and over 75,000 engineering man hours in an intensive investigation.
I have had the opportunity to talk with many industry veterans, two of which former 747-100/200 pilots, and all have explained that in their opinions, the missle theory is most probable. I do know however that the explosive fuel tank problem does exist in several types of aircraft other than the 747-200, but do not believe this is what brought down TWA800.
Also, I believe the age of the aircraft was not an important factor here.
Safe flying,

User currently offlineGalaxy5 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2034 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1468 times:

that is my opinion. if you dont like it then dont read it.

"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1464 times:

Galaxy, I do not work in aviation but I do have a Ba in physics and a longterm interest in aviation and astronomy.
I do not call myself an expert, but I would say I know a bit more than the average highschool dropout about what makes aircraft (stop to) work...

I wish I were flying
User currently offline777kicksass From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 668 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1453 times:

Guys, if you're fed up of reading these, then don't look at them! It's really quite simple.

I happened to only find one previous topic on this and i don't consider that to be too much.

User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1447 times:

777236ER - sorry mate, but heat doesn't cause explosions - a mixture of oxygen and an inflammible gas (eg fuel vapour) plus an ignition source does! As for the forward section taking off - it was effectively ejected like a cork from a champagne bottle. The profile of the same section of Pan Am 103 was not too dissimilar - which is why it was lying in a field on its own some distance from the rest of the weckage.

I've taken a very keen interest in wiring issues and an associate company of mine has parted out three ex TWA B747s. The condition of the wiring in those aircraft would scare the hell out of you, people!! Shoddy maintenance would appear to be the primary causal factor.

Now, as for the missile theory - the only way that this could possibly work is if it was acquired, set up and launched by one person. Why one? Because with every additional person involved, you have an exponential risk of the truth coming out. Now, how many people serve on a missile cruiser? Say 250? That gives you a 'leakability' factor of 250x250=62,500. Something as illegal and immoral as the shooting down of a US passenger airliner - even by accident - would never have been covered up this long - at least, not unless the entire crew of the ship had been wiped out!

The reason so many FBI agents were involved was that this was around the time of the Unabomber as well as domestic/foreign acts of terrorism; so everyone's first thought that this may well have been a re-run of a Pan Am 103 scenario.

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1433 times:

I didn't say heat causes explosions, but heat aids explosions. Arcing still requires the heat of the fuel vapour to be high enough. As weird as it seems, if the fuel vapour was cold enough, the arcing wouldn't have made a difference, and the energy from the arcing would have been carried away THROUGH the fuel vapour, without causing an explosion. If the vapour is hot enough (admittedly, that doesn't have to be too hot) it'll explode. However, Boeing recreated the conditions TWA800 was under once on the ground, and once in the air (operating the a/c packs as they were being operated in TWA800, so the same amount of heat would transfer through to the fuel tank) and in both of the tests they found the fuel vapour temperature to be quite a bit lower than that required to cause an explosion.


User currently offlineGrowly150 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1428 times:

I think this is a great topic, and a terrible trajedy. I believe 100% that a missile took down flight 800. The gov't would not have "rebuilt" the aircraft if they didn't have something to cover up.

User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 24, posted (12 years 12 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1426 times:

I watched the TWA 800 US Senate hearings on C SPAN a while back. Very interesting and informative as all who testified were expert in their fields.

An interesting point was that Mr Kalstrom of the FBI was on the verge of declaring Flt 800 a victim of a bomb/missile but was last minute convinced otherwise by his expert metalurgists. The metalurgists said that their was no entrance or exit damage necessary to conclude that a missile struck the aircraft.

The hearings also shed light on the fact that their was bitter fueding and turf battles being waged between the FBI, NTSB, FAA and other governmental agencies in which information was not readily shared and cooperation was minimal. This holding back of information between agencies led much of the public in believing a conspiracy was being perpetrated against them.

I've also heard TWA'ers amongst others reason that since TWA was in desperate financial shape, yet nonetheless taking delivery of new aircraft meant that the government was keeping them quiet via financial incentive. I find this very hard to swallow. When I worked for Continental (1987-91) thru their lean years in which huge losses were the norm, they were always taking delivery of new jets like their 737-300 & MD80's.

You're only as good as your last departure.
25 RC Pilot : the missle idea is rediculous. the streak was the fire from the plane after it exploded and was climbing into the sky. sound travels so there is a del
26 RayChuang : I think there are some big problems with the so-called missile theory of the crash of TW 800. First, remember the plane is at some 13,500 feet off the
27 Carioca Canuck : Missile.
28 Delta-flyer : One can believe the missile theory, if one so wishes. However, since we are not privy to the all of the facts, there is not a single one of us in this
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