Why the Experts Failed to
the TWA Flight 800 and How
Could Happen Again
by CNN investigative reporter
Negroni has generously donated a limited
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288 pages -
Hardcover - Feb. 2000
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winning journalist, Christine Negroni, has worked for CBS News, PBS
and CNN. Covering aviation at CNN enabled Negroni to get a
first hand look at the interactions and the work of the NTSB, FBI,
FAA, and Boeing during the investigation of the in-flight explosion
of TWA 800 on July 17, 1996. Her book represents a well
balanced, factual account of the largest, but very chaotic, crash
investigation ever undertaken.
It seems another 230 lives were lost because of a fuel system design
problem discussed and dismissed for almost 40 years at Boeing.
The 25 year old plane had experienced several electrical
malfunctions which can be symptomatic of wiring problems.
Couple that with the airline industry's common practice of flying
with the center fuel tank in an explosive state 30 percent of the
time, and you have the recipe for disaster. Even more shocking
is Boeing's attitude and inaction to correct the design flaw that
permeates the entire Boeing fleet from the 707 on up. .
It's called "acceptable risk" by industry "bean
counters". This book will make you think again before
stepping onto an older Boeing product where the wiring may be
compromised and a single failure can cause a crash.
Even worse is the inadequate regulation from the FAA on wiring and
known design flaws. The military, on the other hand, has given
high priority to preventing mid-air explosions. Considerable
effort was initiated in the early 1980's to install fuel tank
inerting systems and solve faulty wiring problems.
Deadly Departure will give you an inside look at the struggle
between the NTSB and the FBI for control of the investigation, the
problems experienced by the search and rescue teams, TWA and the
response teams along with stories about the crew, the victims and
their families. Background on the terrorist/bomb and missile
theories is explained along with details on the tombstone regulation
policies of the FAA, the difficulties assembling the plane, the
search for the cause of ignition and the dealings with the media,
the politicians and the rumors. Also addressed is Boeing's
conflict of interest while participating as a "party" in
the investigation as they gathered, rather than shared information
in a forthright manner.
In the author's words, "If there was a conspiracy to hide the
truth about what really happened to Flight 800, it began long before
the crash, and it wasn't an effort to cover up action, it was a
conspiracy of inaction." In 1968, the question was asked,
"Would the public, if given a choice, choose movies or a good
fuel explosion prevention system?" Today, we might ask a
similar question: "Would the public choose in-flight
Internet services or a good fuel explosion prevention
system?" Incredibly, the airline industry continues to
put lives at risk for the sake of the bottom line.
To read a statement by Jim Hall, former Chairman of the NTSB,
regarding the final report on the crash of TWA Flight 800, go
. After loading Adobe
Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher on your computer, you can either print
or read the report online at http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/2000/AAR0003.htm
in PDF format.
Title: Aviation Accident Report: In-flight Breakup Over the Atlantic
Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800, Boeing 747-141, N93119, near
Moriches, New York, July 17, 1996
NTSB Report Number: AAR-00-03, adopted on 08/23/2000
NTIS Number: PB2000-910403
Printed copies will
be available from the Public Inquiries Branch (while supplies last),
or for purchase from the National Technical Information
Service. See http://www.ntsb.gov/info/sources.htm
for more information.