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Free Flow: If The Fuel Tanks On Airplanes Could Talk
International Herald Tribune ^ | 12 July 2006 | Don Phillips

Posted on 07/12/2006 11:09:51 AM PDT by Hal1950

Ten years ago this month, a Boeing 747 was climbing away from New York, headed for Paris, when an explosion ripped off the front section and sent fiery debris and bodies plunging into the Atlantic Ocean, just off Long Island.

Few crashes before or since Trans World Airlines Flight 800 have produced as many conspiracy theories, which included terrorists, stray missiles and meteorites. Hundreds of U.S. agents spent four years chasing down thousands of leads. In the end, they agreed with accident investigators that an exploding fuel tank had caused the disaster, killing 230 people.

But a decade later, steps designed to prevent another such catastrophe have yet to be fully implemented.

While much of the evidence drifted away in the Atlantic or was blown into dust before it could be analyzed, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board concluded that TWA 800 blew apart on the evening of July 17, 1996, because of an explosion of fumes in the nearly empty fuel tank in the belly of the plane. The board found evidence of high-energy electrical arcing in wires near the fuel tank that could have sent a charge into the tank itself through the fuel measuring rods that go into the tank.

"Roughly 100 percent of the civil aviation fleet has wiring problems," said John Cox, a former airline pilot who heads a consulting group called Safety Operating Systems. Cox wrote a peer review study of smoke and fire aboard aircraft that was being distributed in the aviation community.

(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: flight800; twa800; twaflight800

1 posted on 07/12/2006 11:09:56 AM PDT by Hal1950
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To: Aeronaut

(((.)))


2 posted on 07/12/2006 11:15:22 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Yay! It's Riding Season!)
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To: Hal1950

Like the Eveready Bunny, the lies of the Clinton Administration keep going and going and going...


3 posted on 07/12/2006 11:20:12 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: Hal1950

"explosion of fumes in the nearly empty fuel tank"

right, after which the plane rose 1800 ft without a nose.


4 posted on 07/12/2006 11:20:56 AM PDT by zek157
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To: Hal1950
Maybe mice ate the wires:

Hidden video finds dozens of mice, dead and alive, in AA plane

5 posted on 07/12/2006 11:24:41 AM PDT by FReepaholic (Why aren't lawyers ever accused of price gouging?)
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To: Hal1950
Why would a plane traveling from New York to Paris have a nearly empty fuel tank?
6 posted on 07/12/2006 11:26:36 AM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: Hal1950

"Few crashes before or since Trans World Airlines Flight 800 have produced as many conspiracy theories, which included terrorists, stray missiles and meteorites."

Ten years ago!!!

And I still stick with my first gut reaction. TWA Flight 800 was a terrorist action and not the first against the United States.


7 posted on 07/12/2006 11:26:53 AM PDT by malia
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To: #1CTYankee

Apparently the wings tanks were full and the center tank was empty.


8 posted on 07/12/2006 11:30:54 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.)
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To: malia

If the problem has not been fixed in the ten years since the "accident", why hasn't it occurred again? It never sounded plausible, and apprently it's not really a problem.


9 posted on 07/12/2006 11:31:59 AM PDT by WangoPundit
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To: zek157

yes, a "near empty" fuel tankat the START of its transatlantic flight??


10 posted on 07/12/2006 11:34:28 AM PDT by LN2Campy
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To: zek157

yes, a "near empty" fuel tank at the START of its transatlantic flight??


11 posted on 07/12/2006 11:34:47 AM PDT by LN2Campy
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To: Hal1950

You know.... sometimes shyt just happens.


12 posted on 07/12/2006 11:35:05 AM PDT by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: AxelPaulsenJr
"Apparently the wings tanks were full and the center tank was empty"

Apparently being the key word?

13 posted on 07/12/2006 11:36:39 AM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: Seruzawa
",i>You know.... sometimes shyt just happens."

Hey, this is cereal!

14 posted on 07/12/2006 11:38:31 AM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: #1CTYankee
Why would a plane traveling from New York to Paris have a nearly empty fuel tank?

There you go, asking inconvenient questions again. Just accept it and move on with your life. It's not like terrorists are living among us. /sarc

15 posted on 07/12/2006 11:40:20 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: theDentist; E. Pluribus Unum; zek157; malia; WangoPundit; #1CTYankee
The following detailed report was personally prepared by two airborne witnesses shortly after the disaster and posted by them on the internet - but it does not appear to be included in the witness portion of the NTSB;s final report. Those who believe the NTSB should include it are encouraged to contact the NTSB direct and press them to do so. Witnessing The Downing of Flight 800
16 posted on 07/12/2006 11:43:09 AM PDT by Hal1950
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To: theDentist
"There you go, asking inconvenient questions again."

I thought this was a load of horsepucky when I read about here years ago and I still do.

Don't they have to heat this stuff and spray it into a mist to get it to burn?

17 posted on 07/12/2006 11:44:01 AM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: #1CTYankee
Apparently being the key word?

Ok, I admit it, I shot the plane down.

18 posted on 07/12/2006 11:44:53 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.)
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To: LN2Campy
yes, a "near empty" fuel tankat the START of its transatlantic flight??

Yes, in a plane that is designed to fly much further than from New York to Paris, one tank, the center one, might actually not be needed. Why carry the extra unused weight?

19 posted on 07/12/2006 11:47:05 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.)
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To: theDentist
yes, a "near empty" fuel tank at the START of its transatlantic flight??

Normal. Excess fuel hauled around is wasted by having to use extra fuel to burn the extra weight. Make sense? They only like to carry enough to get where they're going, plus extra for diversions to alternates.

20 posted on 07/12/2006 11:49:01 AM PDT by Big Giant Head (I should change my tagline to "Big Giant Pancake on my Head")
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To: Hal1950

bump


21 posted on 07/12/2006 11:49:12 AM PDT by VOA
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To: malia
TWA Flight 800 was a terrorist action

TWA 800 "It wasn't terrorists. It couldn't have been."

ML/NJ

22 posted on 07/12/2006 11:51:13 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: AxelPaulsenJr
"Ok, I admit it, I shot the plane down."

Ha!

And I was only two when I shot JFK

23 posted on 07/12/2006 11:51:59 AM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: Hal1950

Wasn't there also a Swiss Air flight out of NY in the 1990s that crashed into the Atlantic. And I seem to remember an Egypt Air flight as well. Planes don't fall out of the sky from high altitude--but along this particular route they seem to.


24 posted on 07/12/2006 11:57:36 AM PDT by LSUfan
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To: #1CTYankee
> Don't they have to heat this stuff and spray it into a mist to get it to burn?

And then some. I recall reading about an incident that happened to another 747 where a lightning bolt hit one wing, traveled through the center wing tank and out the other wing, and even THAT didn't blow the tank!.
25 posted on 07/12/2006 12:02:48 PM PDT by ADemocratNoMore (Jeepers, Freepers, where'd 'ya get those sleepers?. Pj people, exposing old media's lies.)
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To: theDentist
NY to Paris is only about 3,000 miles. 747 can fly much further with full tanks--not needed for that trip.

Plane went up in altitude when nose blew off because plane just lost a lot of weight, and became tail heavy.
26 posted on 07/12/2006 12:04:07 PM PDT by johnandrhonda (have you hugged your banjo today?)
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To: LN2Campy
a "near empty" fuel tankat the START of its transatlantic flight

Quite possible. They only take on a full load of fuel if it's needed for the flight plus reserver. If the plane isn't fully loaded they'll take less fuel because the extra weight adds to the fuel consumption.

27 posted on 07/12/2006 12:04:07 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Yay! It's Riding Season!)
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To: #1CTYankee
Don't they have to heat this stuff and spray it into a mist to get it to burn?

No, you're thinking of diesel oil; jets burn kerosene. Whenever you mix air with fuel vapours, things can go kaboom. That's why empty gas tanks give an explosion while full tanks just give a fireball.

28 posted on 07/12/2006 12:07:27 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Yay! It's Riding Season!)
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To: LSUfan

The Swissair flight was brought down by an electrical fire in the cockpit. The crew were trying to divert to Halifax but didn't make it.


29 posted on 07/12/2006 12:09:27 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Yay! It's Riding Season!)
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To: ADemocratNoMore
I recall reading about an incident that happened to another 747 where a lightning bolt hit one wing, traveled through the center wing tank and out the other wing, and even THAT didn't blow the tank!.

That's because the airframe acts as a Farraday cage, directing the energy around everything inside. The NTSB report cited arcing INSIDE the tank.

30 posted on 07/12/2006 12:11:30 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Yay! It's Riding Season!)
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To: #1CTYankee

It's one of several tanks that are fillable independently.


31 posted on 07/12/2006 12:24:45 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (Don't you think it's interesting how death and destruction seems to happen wherever Muslims gather?)
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To: malia
I'm not a tin foil hatter(not implying you are either)...but I have to agree. This whole thing smelled bad right from the beginning. With Clinton running for reelection in a few months the last thing they needed was a terrorist incident. While it may very well have been an exploding fuel tank, I have a hard time with that since jet fuel (aka Kerosene) is not as flash flammable as gasoline.

Include my complete distrust of anything Clinton and we now have the makings of a conspiracy.
32 posted on 07/12/2006 12:30:29 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (Don't you think it's interesting how death and destruction seems to happen wherever Muslims gather?)
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To: LN2Campy
yes, a "near empty" fuel tank at the START of its transatlantic flight??

A 747 burns 125 pounds of fuel a minute at idle! Most of the fuel is carried in the wings anyway.

33 posted on 07/12/2006 1:23:24 PM PDT by Aeronaut ("Endless repetition is not a coherent argument." —Thomas Sowell)
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To: #1CTYankee

Because the plane has at least 3 fuel tanks, and it is awesomely expensive for planes to carry more fuel than they need to reach their destination, due to the extra weight. This plane is capable of longer flights, and if it had been going to, say Moscow, this tank wouldn't have been empty.


34 posted on 07/12/2006 1:50:28 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: johnandrhonda
Plane went up in altitude when nose blew off because plane just lost a lot of weight, and became tail heavy.

The center fuel tank is in the wing box for the main wings. When it blew up, the wings came off. What you are saying happened, didn't.

35 posted on 07/12/2006 7:43:25 PM PDT by Big Giant Head (I should change my tagline to "Big Giant Pancake on my Head")
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To: Hal1950

Found this on IMDB.com:

"In the middle of the film, Dolly Parton and her colleagues send a nosy secretary to the Aspen Language Center in Colorado to learn French. The particular TWA 747 shown in the film later was used in reality on the ill-fated flight of TWA 800, which exploded off of Long Island, NY."

Kinda goes with this thread.


36 posted on 07/12/2006 7:50:36 PM PDT by NCC-1701 (RADICAL ISLAM IS A CULT. IT MUST BE ELIMINATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.)
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To: NCC-1701

BTW, that was from "9 to 5"


37 posted on 07/12/2006 7:51:33 PM PDT by NCC-1701 (RADICAL ISLAM IS A CULT. IT MUST BE ELIMINATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.)
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To: #1CTYankee

"Why would a plane traveling from New York to Paris have a nearly empty fuel tank?"



Welllll, you know how those EMPTY tanks can explode so much better than a FULL tank would have exploded. The EMPTY tank can explode with the force of a few gallons of fuel, whereas a FULL tank explodes with 1000's of gallons of fuel, which of course isn't nearly as powerful as the empty tank full of air.

All that liquid fuel from the full tank just douses out it's own flames, especially after being ripped and cooled with air at over 400 MPH. You know, the way that Challenger was saved when the liquid tank came apart and that fuel quenched the flames out.


/sarc


38 posted on 07/12/2006 8:07:27 PM PDT by HighWheeler (A true liberal today is a combination of socialist, fascist, hypocrite, and anti-American.)
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