TWA 800 wingtip separation

Date:         10 Dec 97 04:05:05 
From:*intel*.com (Wayne Dohnal)
Organization: Intel Corp
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During the Monday night TWA 800 NTSB hearings, the "sequencing team"
reported that both wingtips separated from the inner portions of the
wings fairly early in the breakup sequence.  The man giving the report
tried to explain the logic of this, and the panelists shook their heads
like they understood what he was saying, but I still can't understand!

Can anyone explain how it make any sense for the wingtips to separate
when they weren't anywhere close to the explosion or structural breakup
area?  After watching the load test and breakup of the 777 wing on TV,
I concluded that there was no possible way for a wing to break up in
flight.  (I realize these are different aircraft, but I'm assuming
Boeing would have similar wing strength across the product lines).

Wayne Dohnal

not representing my employer