Re: Could TWA800 really have happened this way?

Date:         27 Dec 96 19:09:39 
From:         jfmezei <>
Organization: SPC
References:   1
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Chris Jardine wrote:
> real authoratative comments on this. Some people have said that the
> fuel/fumes in the center tank were solely responsible for the
> accident.

Jim Kalstrom (sp?) the FBI guy, stated that they know that the centre
fuel tank exploded and that it was at the centre or close to the
explosion which began the destruction cycle. He stated that they had
NOT ruled out criminal acts such as missile or bomb.

(I guess bomb would include a device wich would have detonated the

My guess is that in the process of investigating TWA800, the NTSB
found weakenesses in the tank design of later 747 models and released
the recent findings. Media reports did state that the some/all the
recommendations did NOT apply to the 747-100 whose centre fuel design is
different (more robust) than the later models.

So, some media like to sensationalize and blame TWA800 on a static
discharge or empty fuel tank.

In fact, all this recent finding told us is that the 3 air conditioning
packs below the fuel tank may have contributed to heating up the
almost empty fuel tank to a level where the fumes were warm enough
to explode GIVEN A CATALYST.

There are speculations on what that catalyst would have been, but
no conclusive evidence.

> seems really hard to believe that NOTHING from the critical area of
> this plane hasn't been found. Are the searchers not looking in the
> right place? Has some of this material been found? If so, why doesn't
> anybody seem to know about it?

Just because the newscasts don't report on TWA800's daily progress like
they did during the first week of the investigation does not mean that
the NTSB is taking a long coffee break.

For instance, I have not heard about the results of that supposed
dredging operation. Or seen recent pictures of the reconstructed