Re: NTSB announcement regarding flight 800

Date:         27 Dec 96 04:41:07 
From:         "Mark E. Ingram" <markt@mickey.mo-net.com>
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On 16 Dec 1996, P. Wezeman wrote:

>    [The NTSB] also announced that they consider it possible that the
> explosion was triggered by a static electricity discharge.

I do not wish to fuel any wild speculation here, but the other night,
while cruising at FL410, my F/O and I saw the the most intensely bright
meteor that either of us had ever seen.  It plunged vertically at what
*appeared* to be less than ten miles directly in front of our aircraft,
and almost certainly descended below our altitude before disintegrating.

It was close enough tha it had a phosphorescent, blue/white aspect that
resembled nothing so much as the light given off by an arc welder.
Moreover, the atmosphere imparted no perceptible yellowness or redness to
the light given off by this meteor, as is the case when they are more
distant from the observing aircraft.

Granted that the chances of a significanly-sized meteor hitting an
aircraft are infintesimally small, does anybody here have any idea how
large such an object would have to be to penetrate a 747's center-section,
and serve as an ignition source?  If, for the sake of argument, it is
proposed that a one-inch object were capable of doing this, then would it
also be possible that the entry damage caused by such a penetration would
be obscured by ancillary damage (and/or missing wreckage)?

Has this possibility already been totally discounted by the NTSB?

Mark E. Ingram

MarkT@Mo-Net.Com (also mingram@mail.orion.org)