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via White Plains Road

12 years ago TWA Flight 800 Crashed!

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Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800 was a scheduled international passenger flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York to Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport (FCO) in Rome, Italy, via Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), Paris, France. On July 17, 1996, at about 20:31 EDT (00:31 on July 18 UTC), the Boeing 747-131 flying the route (tail number N93119) exploded in mid-air and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York. All 230 people on board (two pilots, two flight engineers, 14 flight attendants, 212 passengers) were killed and the aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft had left JFK 12 minutes earlier. While investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) traveled to the scene, arriving the following day, much initial speculation centered on the crash being a terrorist attack. Consequently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated a parallel investigation into the crash. On November 18, 1997, it announced that no evidence had been found of a criminal act and the NTSB assumed sole control on the investigation.[/color][/font][/b]

 

The NTSB investigation ended with the adoption of their final report on August 23, 2000. In it they concluded that the probable cause of the accident was "an explosion of the center wing fuel tank (CWT), resulting from ignition of the flammable fuel/air mixture in the tank. 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."

 

Alternative theories propose that an external missile strike by a U.S. Navy vessel or terrorist, or, alternatively, an on-board bomb, caused the crash. The NTSB investigation considered the possibility that a bomb or missile caused the mishap, but "none of the damage characteristics typically associated with a high-energy explosion of a bomb or missile warhead (such as severe pitting, cratering, petalling, or hot gas washing) were found on any portion of the recovered airplane structure".

 

On the day of the crash the airplane departed Athens, Greece, as TWA Flight 881, and arrived at the gate at JFK about 16:38. Upon arrival at JFK, there was a crew change, and the aircraft was refueled. In charge of the crew this evening was Captain Steven Snyder, an experienced veteran of more than 6,000 flying hours.

 

TWA Flight 800 was scheduled to depart JFK for CDG around 19:00, but the flight was delayed for just over an hour due to a disabled piece of ground equipment and a passenger/baggage mismatch. After it was confirmed the owner of the baggage in question was on board, the flight crew prepared for departure, and the aircraft pushed back from the gate about 20:02.

 

Data recovered from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) indicated a normal departure from JFK about 20:19. TWA 800 then received a series of generally increasing altitude assignments and heading changes as it climbed to its intended cruising altitude. The last radio transmission from the airplane occurred at 20:30 after the flight crew received and then acknowledged instructions from Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) to climb to 15,000 feet. TWA 800 was in the process of climbing when the CVR and FDR both abruptly stopped recording data at 20:31:12. This was the same time as the last recorded radar transponder return from the airplane was recorded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar site at Trevose, Pennsylvania.

 

At 20:31:50 the captain of an Eastwind Airlines Boeing 737 first reported to Boston ARTCC that he "saw an explosion out here", adding "ahead of us here...about 16,000 feet or something like that, it just went down into the water."[13] Subsequently, many Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities in the New York/Long Island area received reports of an explosion from other pilots operating in the area. Other witnesses on land and sea later stated that they saw and/or heard explosions, accompanied by a large fireball over the ocean, and observed debris, some of which was burning, falling into the water. About one-third of these witnesses reported that they observed a streak of light moving upward in the sky to the point where a large fireball appeared.

 

Individuals in various civilian, military, and police vessels reached the crash site and initiated a search within minutes of the initial water impact. They did not find survivors.

 

Family members of Flight 800 victims, investigators, media members, and TWA employees gathered at the Ramada Inn at JFK Airport, causing the hotel to be called "Crash Central."

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Oh wow, such a sad moment that night, I hope the passengers rest in peace during this anniversary. A plane crash going to Paris is just heartbreaking.

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I remember that sad day very well. It was a terrible day.

 

Edited to default text and color for easier reading. If you're going to post an article please use normal text and weight.

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I remember that sad day very well. It was a terrible day.

 

Edited to default text and color for easier reading. If you're going to post an article please use normal text and weight.

 

Same here. I recall watching the news, and viewing pieces of the plane scattered over the surface of the water.

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Man, a sad Anniversary Indeed. I remember flying on a Airplane on Vacation when I was almost 9 years old. This was a few weeks before the 9/11 Attacks. The 9/11 Attacks and the crash of Flight 587 of American Airlines back in November 2001 all scared the living hell out of me because I was just getting used to planes and then those two events occured.

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Very much a tragedy.

 

The two good things to come of this, was that the FAA developed new tools for accident investigation, and recently announced that it will be removing the threat of exploding fuel in tanks by having aircraft companies modify planes to replace the fuel with inert nitrogen gas instead of plain air as the fuel is used up. Someone that my family sorta knew was on that flight, and every time an airplane related event happens we think of her.

 

- Andy

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I remember that sad day very well. It was a terrible day.

 

Edited to default text and color for easier reading. If you're going to post an article please use normal text and weight.

Yeah, I remember my father watching the coverage on that all day.

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It was this accident (and not 9/11) that made me squeamish about flying ever since. I think the extensive media coverage really got to me, considering I was only 8 years old at the time. What scared me the most at the time, being so young, was the fact that nobody survived - that all 230 people aboard the plane were killed.

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