Re: TWA flight 800 and the missile theory

From:         don@rata.vuw.ac.nz (Don Stokes)
Organization: Victoria University of Wellington
Date:         31 Jul 96 12:29:44 
References:   1 2 3
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In article <airliners.1996.1439@ohare.chicago.com>,
doug wakefield <wakefiel@access4.digex.net> wrote:
>Timo Niroma (timo.niroma@tilmari.pp.fi) wrote:
>: point in my opinion to one direction: a meteorite.
>:
>: As NASA recently announced the amount of meteorites pouring into our
>: atmosphere is grossly underestimated.
>
>Just an additional statistic, According to Author Ken Davis, the Chances
>of getting in a car accident are 100 to one, in a plane accident 20
>thousand to one, being hit by a meteor 7 thousand to one.  People do die
>in plane crashes enough so people worry about flying, maybe the meteorite
>idea should be taken a little more seriously.

As far as I am aware, most if not all recent meteorite victims have lived
to tell the tale.  People do occasionally get hit by meteories, and what
happens most of the time is that it hurts a bit.

A meteorite of the 7000-to-one variety hits the ground at maybe 100mph,
if that (what _is_ the terminal velocity of a small stone?), and at at
temperature often below the boiling point of water (since the merotite
ablates leaving the hot part in the atmosphere and the body of the rock
fairly cool).

A 7000-to-one meterite hitting an airliner will simply bounce off.  It
would have to be a several-million-to-one meteorite to have any chance of
doing any damage.

--
Don Stokes, Network Manager, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
don@vuw.ac.nz(work) don@zl2tnm.gen.nz(home) +64 4 495-5052 Fax+64 4 471-5386