Re: Could TWA800 really have happened this way?

Date:         07 Jan 97 07:20:19 
From:         wen@infi.net (W.E. Nichols)
Organization: InfiNet
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cjardine@wctc.net (Chris Jardine) wrote:

+cjardine@wctc.net (Chris Jardine) wrote:
+
+Just a quick followup on some of the comments made here.
+
+1) Considering the fact that jet fuel is "Basically!" similiar to
+diesel fuel. My brother is a diesel mechanic who said that they weld
+on fuel tanks that are full, half full, near empty, and empty. They
+don't have to worry about explosions due to the high ignition
+temperature of this type of fuel. I wonder whether static electricity
+would have the heat potential to ignite a fire in a fuel tank. ?????

This is blatantly wrong.  Jet A fuel has a flash point of 140 degrees
Farhenient.  The auto ignition temperature is not much higher that the 140
degrees either.  Need I say more.

+2) I haven't seen any authoratative discussion of the ability of this
+type of fuel to cause catastrophic failure of the structure of an
+aircraft at the rate required to see what happened here.

Probably a discussion on this subject is not necessary.  I guesstimate there
was 1300+ cubic feet of fuel vapor in the CL tank.  From various reports,
the fuel temp was 115 degrees F.  With the right amount of "spark" there is
sufficient energy to cause significant damage.

Nick
W.E. Nichols    If a frog has wings, it wouldn't bump it's
wen@infi.net    it's ass everytime it jumped.