Exploding Wires: Volume 4
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William M. Conn J. Harald H. Weiss Appl. Hauser, L. Smith, D. Marlowe, and P. Yoder Appl. Sigmar L. Wittig, Robert A. Altenkirch, Edward P. Probst, and Arthur M. Mellor Appl. Bennett, D. Shear, and H. Burden J.
You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only.
You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. The NTSB considered the possibility that the explosive residue was due to contamination from the aircraft's use in transporting troops during the Gulf War or its use in a dog-training explosive detection exercise about one month before the accident.
Although it was unable to determine the exact source of the trace amounts of explosive residue found on the wreckage, the lack of any other corroborating evidence associated with a high-energy explosion led the NTSB to conclude that "the in-flight breakup of TWA flight was not initiated by a bomb or missile strike. In order to evaluate the sequence of structural breakup of the airplane, the NTSB formed the Sequencing Group,  : which examined individual pieces of the recovered structure, two-dimensional reconstructions or layouts of sections of the airplane, and various-sized three-dimensional reconstructions of portions of the airplane.
Computer modeling  : — and scale-model testing  : were used to predict and demonstrate how an explosion would progress in a CWT.
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During this time, quenching was identified as an issue, where the explosion would extinguish itself as it passed through the complex structure of the CWT. Recovery locations of the wreckage from the ocean the red, yellow, and green zones clearly indicated that: 1 the red area pieces from the forward portion of the wing center section and a ring of fuselage directly in front were the earliest pieces to separate from the airplane; 2 the forward fuselage section departed simultaneously with or shortly after the red area pieces, landing relatively intact in the yellow zone; 3 the green area pieces wings and the aft portion of the fuselage remained intact for a period after the separation of the forward fuselage, and impacted the water in the green zone.
Fire damage and soot deposits on the recovered wreckage indicated that some areas of fire existed on the airplane as it continued in crippled flight after the loss of the forward fuselage. At the start of FBI's investigation, because of the possibility that international terrorists might have been involved, assistance was requested from the Central Intelligence Agency CIA. As the investigation progressed, the NTSB decided to form a witness group to more fully address the accounts of witnesses.
Navy P-3 airplane that was flying in the vicinity of TWA at the time of the accident. The NTSB's review of the released witness documents determined that they contained witness accounts, of which were characterized as "streak of light" witnesses "an object moving in the sky Thirty-eight witnesses described a streak of light that ascended vertically, or nearly so, and these accounts "seem[ed] to be inconsistent with the accident airplane's flightpath.
Because of their unique vantage points or the level of precision and detail provided in their accounts, five witness accounts generated special interest:  : — the pilot of Eastwind Airlines Flight , the crew members in the HH helicopter, a streak-of-light witness aboard US Airways Flight , a land witness on the Beach Lane Bridge in Westhampton Beach, New York , and a witness on a boat near Great Gun Beach. The NTSB concluded that "the witness observations of a streak of light were not related to a missile and that the streak of light reported by most of these witnesses was burning fuel from the accident airplane in crippled flight during some portion of the post-explosion, preimpact breakup sequence".
In an attempt to determine what ignited the flammable fuel-air vapor in the CWT and caused the explosion, the NTSB evaluated numerous potential ignition sources. All but one were considered very unlikely to have been the source of ignition. Similarly, the investigation considered the possibility that a small explosive charge placed on the CWT could have been the ignition source.
To do so, all devices are protected from vapor intrusion, and voltages and currents used by the Fuel Quantity Indication System FQIS are kept very low. While the NTSB determined that factors suggesting the likelihood of a short circuit event existed, they added that "neither the release mechanism nor the location of the ignition inside the CWT could be determined from the available evidence. Though the FQIS itself was designed to prevent danger by minimizing voltages and currents, the innermost tube of Flight 's FQIS compensator showed damage similar to that of the compensator tube identified as the ignition source for the surge tank fire that destroyed a near Madrid in Evidence of arcing was found in a wire bundle that included FQIS wiring connecting to the center wing tank.
TWA Flight 800
The captain's cockpit voice recorder channel showed two "dropouts" of background power harmonics in the second before the recording ended with the separation of the nose. Thus the gauge anomaly could have been caused by a short to the FQIS wiring. As not all components and wiring were recovered, it was not possible to pinpoint the source of the necessary voltage. In it the Board determined that the probable cause of the TWA accident was:  : The source of ignition energy for the explosion could not be determined with certainty, but, of the sources evaluated by the investigation, the most likely was a short circuit outside of the CWT that allowed excessive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring associated with the fuel quantity indication system.
In addition to the probable cause, the NTSB found the following contributing factors to the accident:  : During the course of its investigation, and in its final report, the NTSB issued fifteen safety recommendations, mostly covering fuel tank and wiring-related issues. Six months into the investigation, the NTSB's chairman, Jim Hall, was quoted as saying, "All three theories—a bomb, a missile, or mechanical failure—remain.
Many internet users responded to the incident; the resulting web traffic set records for internet activity at the time. CNN 's traffic quadrupled to 3. After the tragedy, the website of The New York Times saw its traffic increase to 1. In , few U. The reconstructed aircraft is used to train accident investigators.
On July 18, , the Secretary of Transportation visited the facility and announced a final rule designed to prevent accidents caused by fuel-tank explosions. The rule would require airlines to pump inert gas into the tanks, and will cover the centre-wing tank on all new passenger and cargo airliners, and passenger planes built in most of the s, but not old cargo planes. Among other things, the Act gives NTSB, instead of the particular airline involved, responsibility for coordinating services to the families of victims of fatal aircraft accidents in the United States.
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In addition, it restricts lawyers and other parties from contacting family members within 30 days of the accident. The agencies needed a detailed protocol describing which agency takes the lead when it is initially unclear whether an event is an accident or a criminal act. This authority includes interviewing witnesses.
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The NTSB and the FBI have designated liaisons to ensure that information flows between agencies, and to coordinate on-scene operations. The memorial includes landscaped grounds, flags from the 13 countries of the victims, and a curved Cambrian Black granite memorial with the names engraved on one side and an illustration on the other of a wave releasing seagulls. In July , an abstract design of a foot-high 3. The lighthouse sits above a tomb holding many of the victims' personal belongings. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the documentary, see TWA Flight film. N, the aircraft involved in the accident, seen at Charles de Gaulle Airport in May The close-up view of the accident aircraft's front fuselage, showing the seven plugged windows on the upper deck. These plugs were blown out following the explosion of Flight The relinquishment of investigative priority by the [NTSB] shall not otherwise affect the authority of the [NTSB] to continue its investigation under this section. Snyder was seated in the first officer's seat and had 17, flight hours, with more than 4, of them on the Boeing As flight engineer trainee Crick was seated in the flight engineer's seat, Campbell was seated in the cockpit jump seat.
Flight engineer trainee Crick had 2, flight hours, though only 30 of them were on the Boeing The TWA press release gives Retrieved January 5, July 19, Retrieved April 5, The New York Times.
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