Why did TWA Flight 800 explode?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by co80610, May 18, 2017.

  1. co80610

    co80610 Filing Flight Plan

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    I don’t know, but I have a qualified opinion to share.

    While employed by the Air Force, I investigated material failures in turbojet engines. My specialty was hydrogen embrittlement (HE), a field little known in industry and somewhat akin to water seeping into apparently solid rock, then freezing and tearing apart the rock. Only in the last few decades has HE been identified by accident investigators as a significant threat, earlier called “Metal Fatigue.” For example, Titanium can soak up hydrogen during manufacturing if not properly treated and eliminated. HE can then cause cracks that can rupture apparently solid materials. There were no ADs connected with HE nor tests for hydrogen saturation at the time of Flight 800. HE failures in aircraft turbine engines have existed for at least 75 years and parts from uncontained failures can travel over 3,000 feet, damaging other engines, fuel tanks and aircraft systems along the way.

    There is no doubt that a large group of highly qualified investigators participated in the investigation. However, I don’t know how many investigators were needed to disassemble a commercial engine and write a report. There were very few of us at the Air Force “unsatisfactory reports” facility where uncontained failure engines were disassembled. More than two on one engine would be getting in each other’s way. Not exactly a large group that might leak secrets, more like just a few that could be controlled to not tell.

    I have found that most accident investigators are divorced from the other’s specialty areas and any deviation, when there is a strongly held pre-conclusion by management, can easily be suppressed by fear of reprisal; which can be career ending if not “harmful.” So, I have good reason to believe the NTSB Final Report might have been compromised.

    Referencing TRACON radio reports: TWA Flight 800 had been ordered to climb from 13,000 feet to 15,000 feet. A pilot of an oncoming Eastwind Airlines Flight 507, descending to 16,000 feet, reported seeing a light on the 747 climbing towards him, which he assumed was a greeting. However, just one light might be more indicative of an uncontained engine failure, especially since it was quickly followed by an explosion within the aircraft.

    It appears to me that engine #3 then may have separated from the aircraft, moved forward still under thrust and then fell, burning, rearward into the sea; based the published evaluation of the powerplant group. The burning engine would also leave a smoke trail, as reported in TRACON radio transmissions.

    Starting with a highly likely engine separation, substantiated by the recovered fuel gage for engine #3, which indicated a far greater fuel flow than normal, indicative of the fuel line tearing apart, engine #3 would have ended up directly below the 747’s flight path, miles from the main debris field. The smoke trail was also observed by many people on the ground as a falling object. It is this location, which can be confirmed by the navigation logs of the USS Grasp recovery vessel, where engine #3 was finally found, after an extensive search.

    Therefore, the NTSB claim that all four engines were found in the main debris field appears false.

    On disassembly, engine #3 was found to have entered the water rearward, indicated by the fact that the compressor section was also found to be “sooted” from the smoke of burning oil. No other engine was disassembled. If there was any material defect found in engine #3, the NTSB concealed its existence.

    Therefore, the NTSB may have withheld evidence of the cause of failure.

    One reason I know an uncontained engine failure is a likely probability is that a now retired NTSB investigator, who assisted in the Flight 800 747 reconstruction, wrote about puncture holes in newly recovered portions of skin on the right side of the 747 and the CWT. He also detailed efforts by an apparently authorized individual to hammer these holes or tears flat, essentially concealing evidence of an uncontained engine failure.

    I was sent photos of these puncture holes by a former associate, including one photo with round holes that appear to have been made by engine bearings. There is also one photo of a turbine bucket imbedded in the tail section. Unfortunately, these disappeared. I have since searched online for similar photos, but found none to date. There is an online photo of engine #3 being lifted aboard the USS Grasp, appearing to be an uncontained failure. One can see this among the many online pictures of the Flight 800 disaster.

    What one may not see are photos of engines #1, #2 and #4. The photos I saw show these engines all entered the water intact and in a forward attitude, still attached to the wings by their pylons. The pylon for engine #3 was apparently scrapped, possibly to remove evidence of engine ejection.

    Therefore, the claim by the NTSB that there was no engine uncontainment may be false.

    Many nearby pilots reported seeing an explosion. A pilot of Flight 507 reported there were two smoke trails, small and large. 507 did NOT see the 747’s nose section separate, when he passed several thousand feet above and to the left of the intact aircraft, as it descended into the sea. There is evidence, a smear of red paint, which indicates the nose section folded back onto the right side of the fuselage at a later time, then tore completely loose and ended up to the right of the flight path, some distance away from the main debris field.

    Therefore, the “Zoom, Climb” claim by the NTSB that the nose section immediately separated from the main section and the main section then climbed from 13,500 to 17,000 feet may be false.

    On close inspection, one can see the right side of the fuselage has puncture holes while the left side does not. I suspect an uncontained engine failure projected parts everywhere in the vicinity, with only one part needed to cause the CWT to explode.

    On hearing of the disaster, I wrote to the FAA and NTSB to see if they might need someone experienced in the identification of HE based failures. The FAA Center sent me nearly 2,000 reports of accidents, including dozens with detailed descriptions of Pratt & Whitney JT9D uncontained engine failures that caused crashes, fires and/or explosions. The NTSB never replied and I later found their Final Report to not be credible.

    I have no hope the NTSB will ever reopen the investigation. I just want locate a retired member of the Powerplant group with a good memory, who can tell me if there was an uncontained failure or not.
     
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  2. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I guess we haven't had a TWA800 slugfest in a while.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  3. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Snort...
     
  4. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    I too was in the Air Force, still am. Exploding tanks are not as tin foil as you make it out to be. KC-135s exhibited similar actual failures in their near-empty tanks. We also had identical warnings and cautions in the B-52H, which I flew, regarding uncovered pumps in empty tanks while flying. Tech Order instructed to never reset a circuit breaker on an uncovered pump that tripped/popped (aka unported aka near empty tank). Doing so may arc enough to go Kaboom. Sobering thought while coming home at 3am with an empty aft body tank the size of my apartment.

    I don't have a dog in the fight. With over 1000 hours in legacy Boeing military product in my rear view mirror, I'm perfectly comfortable with the exploding tank scenario explanation. I'm not here to defend the NTSB. I personally find their part 91 investigations bush league when it comes to probable causes, so it's not like I'm a federal alphabet soup sycophant. I'm only here to interject that exploding tanks in legacy Boeing products have extensive precedent set; it's not tin foil stuff in the least. Good luck to ya though, hope you find what you're looking for.
     
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  5. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    why-did-twa-flight-800-explode?

    Fuel + Air + a source of ignition.
    Pretty well the same ingredients of most explosions.
     
  6. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    I was just typing the almost exact same thing.
     
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  7. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    'It was caused by a frayed wire. A wire that frayed when it got hit by a surface to air missile.'
     
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  8. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    If the books were cooked, someone would have blabbed. Someone always does. Hammering tear holes flat? Disapearing photos, doctored reports of debris locations? Seems like too many people would have to participate in the fraud for it to remain secret.
     
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  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've been to the NTSB facility in Ashburn where the 800 wreckage is assembled and been through the materials. Even people who went through the investigation with the goal of PROVING that something shot at the plane have correlated the witness statements to realize they were mistaken. Almost all of them looked up because they HEARD a noise first. By the time you HEAR something at that distance, the event has already happened.
     
  10. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Who would go through an investigation trying to prove a theory??
    That's contrary to the investigative process.
     
  11. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The CIA shot Kennedy.
     
  12. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    No no.... it was the Russians that hired Oswald, but Trump arranged the whole thing.
     
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  13. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    Darn!
    So The Donald fired the extra shots from the grassy knoll.
    Whoda thunk?
     
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  14. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And now he is buried in the hills outside Terlingua. Some old gunsmith who lives in the hills and drinks bad coffee still has the shovel.
     
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  15. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Soooo post #1 is a conspiracy theory about TWA800?

    Hello to you too!
     
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  16. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I like turtles !
     
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  17. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    I visited the TWA museum a while back here in KC. The curators there are very much of the opinion that it was something other than a fuel tank explosion.
     
  18. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    JFK is actually black (he was dyed after his assassination was faked by LBJ), living a nursing home in east Texas with his buddy Elvis. Just sayin'.

    "Ask not what your rest home can do for you. Ask what you can do for your rest home."
     
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  19. co80610

    co80610 Filing Flight Plan

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    Some examples of uncontained aircraft turbine engine failures

    Starting in 1942, German jet powered aircraft were destroying themselves at an alarming rate due to turbine section failures. Inferior quality metal of blades or buckets used in the hot turbine section led to failures binding up inside the turbine section, rotating the aircraft or tearing the engine and airframe apart.

    In 1952, the first turbojet powered commercial transport, the British DH-106 Comet Jetliner, had engines mounted inside its wings for more aerodynamic efficiency. Engine failures were a serious problem, but no crashes resulted. However, Comet engineers surrounded their engines with armor plating.

    June 20, 1965, Pan Am Flight 843, 707-321B, had engine #4 fail, right outboard, which came loose, but then tore off 25 feet of the right wing. This failure convinced Larry Booda of Aviation Week to support my appearance before a Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Safety regarding a failure warning system.

    On 22nd August 1985, a British Airtours 737-200 suffered an uncontained engine failure during takeoff; which was promptly aborted. However, uncontained debris penetrated the center fuel tank causing a fire and explosion before all the passengers could be evacuated. Many died.

    July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, a DC-10, suffered an uncontained failure of an engine mounted internally inside the tail section. Debris severed all three hydraulic lines, leading to a total loss of flight controls. The aircraft broke up during a landing attempt in a nearby corn field with some fatalities.

    December 29, 1991, China Air Flight 358, 747-200, engine #3 failed and came loose, but went to the right and tore off engine #4. The aircraft was unmanageable and crashed, killing all the passengers and crew.

    October 4, 1992, El Al 1862, 747-200F, a freighter, lost engines #3 and then #4 on takeoff from the Amsterdam airport. The crippled aircraft crashed into apartments, killing the crew and many residents.

    November 4, 2010, Qantus Flight 32, an Airbus Super Jumbo A380-852, with Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, suffered an uncontained engine failure of engine #2, left inboard, shortly after takeoff over water. This damaged the nacelle, landing gear, flaps, braking system and ripped open two fuel tanks. A fire started near engine #1, left outboard, but burnt out, although it could have been worse and killed 585 occupants.

    August 27, 2016, a Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-700, with GE CFM-56 engines experienced an uncontained engine failure in the left engine, during which the nacelle’s inlet was ripped off by a fan blade breaking loose and exiting the engine. A 5-inch by 16-inch hole was also found in the fuselage, just above the left wing. While pressurization of the cabin was lost, the aircraft landed safely with one engine.

    October 28, 2016, an American Airlines’ Boeing 767, with GE CF6 engines, was taking off from O’Hare Airport, when a cracked turbine disk was reportedly blamed for the uncontained material failure of the right engine. Debris tore open a fuel tank in the right wing, creating a major fire. One piece of a turbine disk was found over 3,300 feet away. While a Kevlar shield had been installed to try to prevent uncontained debris escaping from the forward fan section, the adjoining wing had little chance of not being penetrated.

    Fortunately, the pilot was able to abort the aircraft take-off, bring the plane to a stop near the end of the runway, and everyone escaped relatively unharmed. Had the aircraft become airborne, all the occupants most likely would have died in the inevitable crash.

    November 14, 2016, an article in the Chicago Tribune indicated that engine failures were not uncommon with GE CF6 engines; with over 4,000 similar engines in service in 2016.

    January 4, 2017, a USAF B-52 bomber flying out of Minot AFB, ND, suffered a “catastrophic internal engine failure” in one of its Pratt & Whitney TF 33-P-3/103 engines. The engine ejected relatively harmlessly from one of four twin-engine pods and fell into a river bed about 25 miles NE of the base. An Air Force spokesman claimed this was a “one-off failure.” BS. I was hired by the USAF in 1958 to assist with a program created by the many uncontained failures of engines on B-52 and B-47 aircraft. Take care my friends.
     
  20. Acrodustertoo

    Acrodustertoo Ejection Handle Pulled

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    TWA 800 was carrying vital papers that proved fluoridation was a commie plot.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  21. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    That chemtrail liquid is pretty volatile stuff, too.
     
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  22. Fred Thomas

    Fred Thomas Filing Flight Plan

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    Dang, beat me to the chemtrail connection.
     
  23. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The old stuff was volatile. The new stuff is pretty safe. I use it to pickle Steingar's hard boiled eggs.
     
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  24. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It was a meteorite. That is the one and only explanation that fits ALL of the facts and the eye witness accounts. Of course, the NTSB will never admit that because there is nothing that can be done to prevent this in the future.
     
  25. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    Certainly engines can fail. But fuel tanks can explode also. So what?
     
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  26. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Naaa..... Jackie discovered Jack was diddlin' Marilyn Monroe and shot him from inside the car. The film shows her trying to escape over the back of the car but a secret service agent was there and blocked her escape.
     
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  27. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Pattern Altitude

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    Then they're idiots. Controversy is always much more exciting then reality.
     
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  28. tawood

    tawood Line Up and Wait

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    ^^^This. Well except for 9/11, which was done by the U.S. government. ;)
     
  29. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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  30. MtPJimB

    MtPJimB Pre-Flight

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    It was probably due to a failed AOA indicator.
     
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  31. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    The truth is, there was no flight plan filed .... TWA created one after the accident as not having one was the obvious cause. Secondary causative findings were the pilots failed to lean forward, and the lack of an AOA.
     
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  32. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Oh man, why do we even keep these troll threads?
    Mods, why can't we delete this pointless stuff? Sure, some view it as a source of entertainment but it gets old fast. (at least for me)
     
  33. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How about letting the rest of us decide for ourselves what we want to read?

    From the upper right of this page: Ignore Thread
     
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  34. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Indeed, that part of the tour got a little uncomfortable...
     
  35. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    747 has the same design flaw as the ICON A5 ;)
     
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  36. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    No....strobes.:yikes:
     
  37. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Wait, what? Nobody to tell us what to read and what to do?
    That smells like .... gasp ... democracy.
    Won't be tolerated on PoA! :D
     
  38. Shepherd

    Shepherd Pattern Altitude

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    The Navy accidentally shot them down.
     
  39. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    So ?

    The russian navy none the less.
     
  40. Norman

    Norman En-Route

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    It was Kim Jong Un's fault. His rocket wouldn't go any higher before it exploded.
     
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