Re: TWA flight 800 and the missile theory

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         31 Jul 96 12:29:44 
References:   1 2 3 4
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Robert Dorsett writes:
>>experience.  That is one reason why catastrophic failure has not been
>>ruled out, but is considered unlikely--such a totally sudden catastrophic
>>failure has never been experienced with the 747 before, so it seems

>- JAL 747-SR aft bulkhead failure.
>- Iranian Imperial Air Force wing loss following lightning strike

Was this the one in 1976, near Madrid?  (Coincidentally, one of the
former TWA planes.)

>- El Al multiple catastrophic engine failure and subsequent damage causing
>  severe control problems.

If you're going to mention this one, you should also mention the
similar China Air 747-200F crash in November 1993, not long after
departure from Taipei.

However, I think the key difference here is that none of these, with
the possible exception of the Iranian Air Force accident, produced a
sudden, catastrophic failure of the aircraft.  The JAL plane flew for
the better part of an hour after the initial failure, El Al flew for
at least a few minutes, and I suspect China Air did as well, with some
reporting from the pilots of what was going on.  There was not the
near-instantaneous failure evident in the case of TWA 800.

Karl Swartz	|Home
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