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After 25 Years, NTSB to Dismantle TWA 800 Reconstruction

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will soon dismantle the skeletal reconstruction of Trans World Airlines flight 800, the Boeing 747-100 that exploded over the Atlantic Ocean nearly 25 years ago. ( Daha Fazlası...

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I was an engineer for Batesville Casket Company 25 years ago. They purchased all the caskets from Batesville. The caskets were all the identical model. One couldn't miss those identical caskets going down the assembly line. We all knew what they were for. I tried to touch as many as I could, smoothing the fabric, adjusting the comforters, trying to make them the best for the families. We were very sad at the factory.
H Williams 11
TWA 800, what a tough memory. I was having a one-on-one business meeting with a client (business owner) when he received the phone call that TWA 800 was missing and his son was on-board. Surreal moment to this day. Such a stark moment and reminder to me to remain grateful for each day. Thank you Carolyn for posting your kind gestures taken and your connection regarding this very sad event. It is valuable.
Win DeWitt 0
Do you know Dan Parker? My husband's former business used to cast urns for Batesville.
lk2855 13
I was able to visit it at the NTSB training center in Ashburn a number of years ago. I is a very impressive display. We could see it, but no photos. They had a great deal of respect for the families of the passengers and crew. I'm sure they will treat the remains with the same respect.
I made a graphic for the Sacramento Bee on that day. I still have the front page of the newspaper
fireboy63 4
Thank you for sharing that. I am a graphic designer, too, so I can appreciate what it must have been like to have to create this: a tragic event, which I assume there was still little information about when you had to make this graphic, and probably while trying to hit a deadline...and then the humanity of the moment factors in...I'm sure it was tough.
I was flying for TWA at the time. I think there were about 60 employees non-reving on 800 that night. One of our pilot's sons was a new hire F/E on the flight, receiving a check ride. The Check F/E was a retired Captain that I had flown with on the DC-9. I think every single employee knew at least one person on the flight. Dark days at our great airline. And FWIW no, I don't think it was a missile.
Win DeWitt 1
Having lived eastern long island at the time, there was much fairly credible talk that it was a missle gone awry. So I have remained skeptical of the official reason. Seeing the reconstructed airplane could put that theory to rest one way or another I suppose.
If it was a shootdown, then the reconstruction should resemble that of MH17 in some form or other.
Has anyone read the full NTSB investigation report?
How it was determined a short circuit in electrical wiring caused the explosion.
As I was waking up this morning details of the NTSB analysis came back to me. I have not taken time yet to dig this up on the interest. NTSB made a presentation showing a pump in an open top container with a shallow level of amber liquid. They displayed some wires, I think an open bundle. They overloaded a wire that started smouldering and I expect but do not recall ignited the shallow liquid. So their summery appears with, 12 minutes into this intercontinental flight this main tank was near empty, yet they were drawing fuel from it during initial climbout. This resulted in a high flashpoint fuel exploding. I do find it hard to believe the wires to a submerged pump are not well sealed in a conduit and the center tank was already bingo fuel level with the pumps powered up. Time to find that 20Yo presentation.

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If the plane was struck by a missile, there’d be a huge chunk missing from the reconstruction, like a bite out of a ham sandwich.
If the plane's fuel tank were to explode from a wiring fault, there’d be a huge chunk missing from the reconstruction, like a bite out of a ham sandwich.
A fuel tank explosion is less powerful than a warhead explosion, so a fuel explosion would not disintegrate the fuselage the way a missile would.
Unless you are familiar with missiles, you may think an exploding missile is like in the movies when its not. Most missiles have small warheads and actually explode with shrapnel that damage aircraft, NOT a huge explosion. I can only think of one movie where this is properly depicted, Behind Enemy Lines
or watch the MH17 Netherlands report video
Shouldn’t there be similar damage to TWA 800 as there is to MH17 if the former was a shootdown?
there would have been shrapnel holes somewhere, but none were found. The theory is that either a terrorist or a US Navy submarine shot TWA 800 down.
It could have been a large missile with a large explosive warhead, but highly unlikely. No terrorist could have gotten such a large missile, and even back then they published most military training exercises especially in an area of high air traffic.
So, TWA wasn't a shootdown.
The NTSB asked the FBI and the NY Terrorism task force to join AFTER they realized the aircraft exploded and did not suffer a mechanical issue, confirmed by the lack of any mayday call. Maybe there was a cover up (God knows how many the US has) but most likely the aircraft and souls were lost due to an internal explosion in the center fuel tank.
The FBI left the investigation after 16 months, and the NTSB continued investigating for 33 months after that.
Andy Mason 2
not everything is explained by "conspiracy" or "cover-up" - it's just a tragedy. I read the NTSB report and the more I read, the more I anticipated where it was heading and the conclusion just broke my heart for all those lost.
Good to note, there were changes made as a result of this - which is NTSB's mission - related to wiring harnesses, regulations about how they're manufactured, and if memory serves, venting inert engine exhaust gases into empty tanks so they were less likely to contain an explosive atmosphere.
lndseaair 2
I heard the same info, within days of the tragedy, my friends father was on that plane.

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well said I wonder if they learn soething from it.
Charlie North -6
It probably was a short circuit, cause of this short circuit might well have been caused by an outside projectile detonating near the pump. Not having eyes on to look at the regional deformation of material I expect we will never know the truth.
Roy Hunte 6
I never knew they still had it assembled.
such a sad reminder of a be sure the faa will dispose respectfully of the pieced together aircraft..a few years after the accident i met the widower of a young woman who had been travelling to paris with their two young daughters on that plane,and he struck me as still grieving..understandable...
Robert Mack 5
A friend who had lost his son told me when I had lost mine - “it is something you will get through but never get over”. That was 19 years ago and he was right. This young man who lost his wife and children as well as the others who lost loved ones will most likely carry the grief for as long as they live.
The NTSB got it right on this no matter what you believe. At that time I was a flight line maintenance foreman for Delta. After their findings we had to examine all the older Boeing aircraft fuel tank pump electrical harnesses for evidence of arching and condition and we found plenty of harnesses that had to be replace on our older fleet of B737's. Their condition wase close to causing the same problem. So under the right conditions or should I say wrong conditions, this could have happened on other aircraft. Have you heard of the term, perfect storm?
Hopefully it will go to a museum
The article says the NTSB promised the widows, widowers and orphans that it would never go on public display.
"The NTSB had moved the jet’s remains to Ashburn years ago under the condition, agreed to with victims’ families, that it would never turn the structure into a public exhibit."
Henry Hughes -4
Wonder when the federal government made a promise and kept it?
It is a shame that the past actions of our various agencies cause us to distrust what they are telling us now. Who knows?
I was horrified to read that there are people in this country that say this was fake, never happened.

America is becoming, or has become, a nation of brain dead simpletons who openly flaunt their stupidity. And I read that CPAC is whipping up the need for another insurrection. The people that want to end America have no clue what it will be like without laws and regulations. It'll be Texas in steroids covering the nation. Or like India...
Dale Nelson 4
Man who got you believing that crap about CPAC? The people on the right want America to be a country of laws. Those who committed a crime should be prosecuted just as those who did for 6+ months on behalf and at the expense of the left financially but never heard dem's talking about locking up the rioters, looters, criminals that caused BILLIONS of dollars of damage to businesses throughout America. Those are the same crowds that are now all over social media saying "where's my $2000 stimulus check", yup the same ones who refuse to get off their arses as they feel Crack Nancy Pelosi will take care of them when she don't care as she's wiping her arse with $100 bill's that she's stealing from the taxpayers day in and day out with her corruption.

The Dem's in congress Want to restrict your rights in so many ways. Check out HR 1 and what they're trying to do.

Remember thy Russian Hoax staged by the left? Yup Trump luckily had a patriot stand up and see what was going on and help expose the dem's plot to steal America.

Watch the documentary free on Amazon Prime called, "The Plot To Steal The Presidency".

I don't care if Democrat is the last party in America or the world and I have to die for not voting for them as I'll take death over voting for them.

Learn facts rather than reading/watching all the properly censored media, fake newspaper dealing, multi major network lying B.S. coming out of every left major network and newspaper in America that's falling over themselves to let Biden run his fingers thru their hair.

Look at Cuomo? Those women are young enough to be kids to him. As a matter of fact some are as young as his kids or younger and think about how many haven't stepped forward out of fear because the Dem's will smear you and not stop until they either have you commit suicide so they can further smear you or you walk back your accusations. IF they stand to LOSE big then they'll have you killed if the player is big enough. Just ask Epstein, oh wait he's dead just as others who crossed the Club pedophiles of the Elite groups.

Make no mistake they cover their tracks very well. History has shown that time and time again.

BTW TWA800 was a true accident.

When you have empty areas in a fuel tank and add a spark that's more dangerous than a fully loaded fuel tank. I use to weld on gas tankers and vapors are very very explosive compared to full fuel/gas tanks.
I wonder if the NTSB would consider some way to auction the parts? Not for anyone's profit. But if we can come together and buy the remains... the profits of same could be donated to the Families.
Dale Nelson 1
I'm sure the families got paid well enough that they not need to worry about auction profits plus when you sign settlements you give certain rights away that aren't penned in the settlement at the time.
That's probably true. But I cannot abide TW800 ending up in a scrapyard.
PEOPLE. Can we come together and buy the remains?
It's about time. The real evidence of what happened was corrupted a long time ago. The center fuel tank fable will forever be the final conclusion.
emkostiuk 0
I wonder what they have been doing with it all these years.
The article says they have been using it as training aid.
bbabis 6
It says in the article. It won't be gone though. They will be able to call it up in 3D and VR anytime they need it.
Dale Nelson 1
Probably using it for training inspectors and other activities maybe to help advance aviation?

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Stupidity once again rears it's ugly voice
Do you guys have no grey? Black and white thinking seems the norm. If somebody has a different opinion, so what?

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lndseaair -6
Unfortunately you are correct
I actually witnessed the event
lndseaair 2
I think you know the person I know from FRG whose father was killed on that flight
I also was on the Conn shore and saw a light traveling upwards, then the blast. Did not recognize what I saw at the time. It was only when news reports were coming out that I realized what I saw. But as a pilot and an A&P I have a pretty good idea of how things happen. Damn sad situation and real sad nothing was discovered if there was investigation into it being shot down. I have not paid attention to this for years.
The aircraft was high enough and far away enough that the "bang" you heard occurred earlier. What you "saw" was ignited fuel falling through the air. Sort of like lightning, see the flash and hear the boom - count the seconds between the flash and the boom, divide by 5 to get a guess at the distance in miles.

If you saw the explosion, the sound would have taken 10's of seconds to get to you. Also, the missles used by the Navy do not leave big red long lasting trails in the sky.
lndseaair 4
Very sad, there are many people, like yourself that saw what you saw
Military training accidents happened before, like the one in Detmold early sixties (63), Germany. A Belgian flying boxcar with paratroopers was downed by a British mortar round. Only 9 survived, kicked out by the dispatcher, the NCO (jumpmaster 1 Sgt Chabot) himself got killed in the crash. The British did not follow the rules while they were supposed to cease fire at 12:00. One section (squad) had 3 mortar rounds left and fired them anyway against the rules. As a result 33 Paratroopers and 5 crew lost their life that day.
As I recall from all the media coverage of the event (I was not an eyewitness) the Navy was conducting training exercises out in the ocean right near the area where the airliner exploded and began it's chaotic descent. Makes one wonder...could a mistake have happened?
The Navy ship was South of the point where the explosion took place, well beyond the range of any missle.
How many nm South ? What is the range of a cruise missile in nm ?
Craig Good 1
When it's convenient eyewitness testimonies are non valid. Who wants to accept that a US missile shot down an airliner in US territorial waters.
Meanwhile in July 1988 an Iranian Airbus was shot down by a US missile. That's okay, it was not a US aircraft and it was not in US territorial waters.
What about a bomb? Pan Am was destroyed 8 years earlier than TWA 800.
8 years it's all it took for the Wall Trade Center to collapse after the botched parking bombing of 1993 until September 11, 2001. Governments don't want to accept any responsibility and they claim their is conspiracy when too many evidences are against their actions.
I remember the bombing of CPAir in June 22, 1985 on the tarmac of Narita. A suitcase was being transferred from a flight from Canada to another Air India flight to Bangkok. 4 baggage handlers were killed. The next day Air India flight from Toronto via Montreal en route to India exploded above the Atlantic because a suitcase exploded in the cargo area.
Both were planned by Sikh separatist groups. For many years the Canadian government drags its feet to prosecute the authors of the bombings mainly because they were many south Indians leaving in Canada and they did not want to create a xenophobic climate against the Sikhs. Everybody knew the parties involved but you were considered a "conspirationist" by the mainstream media if you were writing about the Sikhs being the authors of the bombings.
"...The subsequent investigation and prosecution lasted almost twenty years. This was the most expensive trial in Canadian history, costing nearly C$130 million. The Governor General-in-Council in 2006 appointed the former Supreme Court Justice John C. Major to conduct a commission of inquiry. His report, which was completed and released on 17 June 2010, concluded that a "cascading series of errors" by the Government of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had allowed the terrorist attack to take place..."[13]
So my trust in NTSB reports is very limited.
Witness statements are only relied upon as primary sources of evidence in the absence of more concrete evidence. In the case of TWA 800, there was radar tracking the plane, both black boxes survived the accident, and the wreckage was all recovered.
But the one question that no one of the 'I saw a missile' believers have not been able to answer: Why.

Why shoot down an airplane? Why that plane? It just doesn't make sense...

And as research into 'eye witnesses' has shown, it's very unreliable.
Craig Good 1
That's what you remember, but it's not what you saw.
Planes leave vapor trails in the sky at high altitude, and they appear to be flying vertically when flying toward an observer.
I would never downvote a statement made by Sparkie.

Has anyone who downvoted this post got detailed knowledge of the sensor used in the center tank of a 741 and that it would be carrying sufficient current to create a spark inside the tank if the tank was "empty" except for fumes from unusable fuel and air ?

At 13:09 local (20h09Z) on 21 February 2021 the crew of AAL2292 flying at 37,000 feet over New Mexico claimed an object resembling a missile passed over them at high speed. If the object had impacted their aircraft, even if the object only had a dummy warhead, the kinetic energy alone could have resulted in the downing of the A320.

There was naval activity south of Long Island on July 17 1996. A missile does not have to detonate a warhead in order to cause sufficient damage to bring down an airliner.
Missiles are equipped with self-destruct sequences that are intended to prevent accidental shootdowns. If a missile did hit TWA 800 without exploding, that would indicate that no attempt was made to activate the self-destruct sequence.
Or an attempt to self-destruct was made, but failed.

I believe that most people (myself included) do not have sufficient knowledge of all the actual facts to competently evaluate this incident.
Patrick Wahle -4
Please read the Wayne Madsen Report published in July 2014 about the tragedy of TWA 800.

Wayne Madsen is an American author and investigative journalist. He belongs to these people who are considered complotist when their reports do not match the official version.

Any way it's worth reading.
Craig Good 10
Nobody needs to read a conspiracy theory about this accident. His "report" doesn't match the official version because the official version matches the facts.
Your report is not better than mine. Many suppositions but no real conclusions. NTSB reports based on “technical facts” but ignoring eyewitness testimonies are biased. Some eyewitnesses did not rely on the sound of the explosion to witness the accident but saw before the explosion the trajectory and the impact.
When a judge sends a convicted killer to the gas chamber based on eyewitness testimony, it’s accepted because he was convicted by “his pairs”. None of the jury’s members were witnesses of the murder, its all based on testimonies and convictions. So it’s a convenient way to “satisfy the prosecution and the victim’s family.
When aircraft accidents happened, there is a major consequence based on the NTSB “findings”, it is “who pays”? Is it the airline insurance or the aircraft manufacturer insurance?. Is it an aircraft malfunction, a pilot’s error, a war act or an accident caused by a third party? The sums paid and the underwriters are not the same based on the final report.
I am interested in having some parts of TW800. Let's not let this sacred aircraft be scrapped. Is anybody with me?


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