Friday, June 28, 2013

Aviation Update

More on the TWA 800 story, which continues to get press in the aviation sector.  Here's Popular Mechanics, who effectively debunked the 9/11 conspiracy theories, providing three reasons to doubt any conspiracy here:
All the holes near the wing, where the fuel tank that exploded was located, were low-velocity impacts. About 95 percent of the airplane was reconstructed, and the missing parts were too small to hide bomb or missile damage. To fake these lab results would require a cadre of engineers at Boeing, as well as the NTSB to be in on the conspiracy or be willing to sit quietly as their tests were rigged. Either way, there is a slew of outside voices involved with the tests that could contradict the government's story.
Hmm, well a couple of the 'whistleblowers' are forensic pathologists. Were any metallic objects found in the bodies that would suggest explosive material?  And speaking of the wings, where are they? We have a mock-up of the fuselage but no wings. What kind of damage did they sustain? Obviously, according to the official theory they remained attached to the fuselage (even after the CWT explosion ripped the nose off) to facilitate the 'zoom climb' to explain away the streaks people had seen.
To be fair, many conspiracy theorists have used the existing radar data to back up their own ideas of what brought the airplane down—especially the behavior of some boats and radar anomalies from one of the radar sites that registered objects in the area moving at high speeds, then vanishing. (These were judged to be phantom returns from building reflections.) None of these radar returns show anything in the air intersecting the path of the airliner, or any vessel behaving in an overtly suspicious way.
OK, but the whistleblowers' data shows that the NTSB track was at least a mile off. Why?
The investigators studied it all: the chemistry of the fuel, how the fuel/air vapor could ignite, how the flames could move through the wing after bursting from the tank. They established two independent models to simulate the pressure differences inside the wing, a key part of how the fiery fluid would spread. The Safety Board contracted the University of Nevada to analyze the properties of jet fuel vapor. The team ran hundreds of simulations, brought in Boeing engineers to assess the damage of the airliner's remains, and solicited the opinion of an explosives dynamics expert at the California Institute of Technology. There were flight tests done at the same temperature and conditions as TWA Flight 800 and full-scale fuel tank explosion tests conducted in England.
... In the end, NTSB found that TWA Flight 800 would not have perished without a flammable fuel/air mix in its central wing tank, but investigators were never sure what sparked the explosion in the first place—the closest they got 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 other words, there really was no probable cause because they never figured out exactly what sparked the initial explosion, which got the airlines off the hook for expensive follow-ups while having certain political benefits.  All in all a disappointing effort from PM because they shined no new light on causation.  We're left back at square one- why?

Meanwhile, some may be wondering how many official closed cases the NTSB has re-opened in the past per new information/requests: it's more than some might guess. Take this one, which appears to show a case of crony bias:
In 2006, the NTSB reopened a case involving a 1967 Piedmont Airlines Boeing 727 and a Cessna 310 near Hendersonville, N.C., at the urging of amateur historian Paul Houle.
Houle believed the NTSB mistakenly blamed the Cessna pilot because the agency's lead investigator was the brother of Piedmont vice president Zeke Saunders. US Airways, which had merged with Piedmont, opposed the reopening. In 2007, following a 14-month investigation, the NTSB declined to change its findings because its review indicated that the Cessna pilot had flown off course.
What new data caused them to re-open that case just so they could re-shut it?  Former member Peter Goelz was quoted on this 800 group's petition:
"They disagree with our analysis of the radar data and they have new eyewitnesses," he said. "Fine, but neither one is sufficient to reopen the investigation."
So what new data and witnesses did Mr. Houle have? And another question for the media is how many times have groups petitioned to reopen cases and were denied.


This is an update, so all the aviation news doesn't have to be morbid conspiracies.  Here's something you don't see everyday...

For some reason this reminds me of a scene (NSFW) from the old John Candy movie "Who's Harry Crumb".

The oddest part of the story is that Southwest Airlines is saying it's not a story
"He was simply taking the equipment to their office for their standard upkeep and standard maintenance," Mainz tells Today in the Sky. "So nothing out of the ordinary. It (the stair car) had all the proper plates and tags they need to do so. He certainly was not going to get pizza."
This after the story appeared on the Today Show and a NY Port Authority rep was ready to call out the posse or the NSA and find the offender.  You just can't make this stuff up. Or maybe you can!


Right Truth said...

All the latest reporting seems to have done is muddy the water and keep questions alive. Which makes me wonder exactly what the truth is.

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

Read this...

The key here has always been the eyewitnesses and the Clinton admin's monkeying around to make the spark theory fit with what was seen. Cashill simply destroys both CNN and the CIA animation in that piece.

I'm still wondering why the wings were not part of the mock-up. Maybe there was a reason, I just can't remember.