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Author Topic: Ray Lahr vs NTSB re: TWA 800
Captain Ed
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Eighteen years into retirement, and I am still very much involved in aviation, although not in a way that I ever dreamed of. I am suing the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for its calculations of the hypothetical zoom-climb of TWA800 after it exploded off Long Island on July 17, 1996. Thousands witnessed the explosion and hundreds reported a missile prior to the explosion. But a missile shoot-down would have ruined the Olympics which were about to open and would have damaged the presidential election campaigns just commencing. The FBI shoved the NTSB aside. The FBI conducted the witness interviews and took control of the evidence and the laboratory testing. The FBI spokesman, James Kallstrom, immediately suppressed talk about a missile and the NTSB spokesman, Robert Francis, passively went along.


This suppression of the obvious prompted a parallel investigation by aroused citizens. James Sanders wrote a book, The Downing of TWA800, for which he and his wife were severely punished by the government. Commander William Donaldson did a fantastic amount of research and formed ARAP (Association of Retired Aviation Professionals). ARAP has several high ranking members including Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ARAP requested that Congress conduct its own investigation (www.twa800.org). Dr. Tom Stalcup, a physicist, formed FIRO (Flight 800 Independent Researchers Organization). FIRO petitioned the NTSB to reopen the investigation (www.flight800.org). My compatriot, Captain Richard Russell, received a FAA radar tape showing a missile approaching TWA800 (Dick and I both dedicated a major portion of our careers to ALPA safety work for which we each received the ALPA Safety Award). Seeing that tape drew me into this investigation.



Months later, the FBI did release some of the witness reports, but the identities had been redacted which prevented verification. Fortunately, many of the witnesses had already spoken to the press so their stories and identities were known. Somehow, these witnesses had to be discredited. During the 17 months leading up to the first public hearing, the CIA was called in. It was the CIA that dreamed up the zoom-climb. This is quoted from the CIA briefing of the NTSB on April 30, 1999:



CIA ANALYST #1: The conclusion that the eyewitnesses were only seeing the burning aircraft was made at 10:00 p.m. at night on the 30th of December 1996.



Mr. Walters (ALPA representative): Was it really?



CIA ANALYST #1: Yes, as I was sitting behind the computer. It's -- up until then, what we're doing is trying to interpret these reports the way you are now. If it's a streak, where is the streak originating from? What external source could there be for the streak? There was a realization, having all the data laid out, that you can explain what the eyewitnesses are seeing with only the burning aircraft.



The subsequent CIA zoom-climb video animation was prepared in coordination with the FBI using data and conclusions provided by the NTSB. It portrayed the nose and cockpit being blown off of TWA800 by a fuel explosion of unknown origin. The CIA claimed that not a single eyewitness saw this initial explosion because the sound had not yet reached them (a ridiculous claim since several airborne eyewitnesses saw the initial explosion where sound was not a factor). Then, even though the sound still had not reached the ground witnesses, the CIA claimed that they looked up and saw TWA800 trailing flames in a zoom-climb from 13,800 feet to 17,000 feet. At the peak of the zoom-climb, there was a hypothetical second fuel explosion. Supposedly, this zoom-climb and second explosion is what the witnesses mistook as a missile, even though the witnesses saw the missile rising from the surface, not a point two and a half miles in the sky. One month before the first public hearing, James Kallstrom showed this CIA video on national TV, and he announced that the FBI was withdrawing from the investigation because it could find no evidence of criminality. The aviation community laughed. Still, the NTSB stuck with the story and hastily prepared its own modified versions of the CIA video which it showed at the first public hearing on December 8-12, 1997. Would you believe that not a single eyewitness was allowed to testify at either of the two NTSB public hearings, even after a group of these eyewitnesses took out a full page ad in the Washington Times asking to be heard? Unprecedented.



I don't believe the zoom-climb ever happened. Boeing provided before-and-after data to the NTSB, and it was published in the accident report. Eighty thousand pounds of nose and cockpit were blown off. This shifted the center-of-gravity far aft and generated about 6,000,000 ft-lbs of nose-up torque. The aircraft immediately pitched up and stalled. The wing probably failed right then since its center box structure had been blown apart. But using Boeing's data, I calculated that even if the wing had held together, the most it could have climbed is a few hundred feet, not the 3,200 feet claimed by the CIA. That is why I want the data and calculations that were used to produce the CIA and NTSB videos. It is against all of the principles of accident investigation to base a conclusion, such as the zoom-climb, on secret evidence, data, and calculations.



Dick Russell and I went to the second NTSB hearing. No questions were allowed from the floor. During the coffee break, we tried to question Dennis Crider, NTSB author of the zoom-climb. Dr. Bernard Loeb, NTSB Director, intervened and cut off any answers. So I wrote to Jim Hall, Chairman of the NTSB. We exchanged several letters, but still no answers. This led to my filing Freedom of Information Act requests with the CIA and NTSB. The CIA responded that it had used data and conclusions provided by the NTSB. The NTSB responded that it couldn't release the information because it was proprietary to Boeing. But Boeing had previously issued a press release saying in part, "While we provided basic aerodynamic information to assist in the CIA's analysis of the airplanes performance, we are not aware of the data that was used to develop the video". My appeal of the NTSB decision was refused, so my only recourse was a lawsuit.



Normally, the NTSB would have formed a group to study the trajectory of TWA800. Not this time. This is a quote from ALPA's official statement (www.ntsb.gov ): "Furthermore, although ALPA does not doubt the technical capability of the NTSB, we are concerned that this analysis was essentially accomplished by only one individual at the Board, with little or no party input or participation." The NTSB's refusal to release the zoom-climb information suggests that the zoom-climb was a fabrication to void eyewitness reports such as the following. Major Fred 'Fritz' Meyer, National Guard helicopter pilot, saw a missile arc across the sky followed by two or three bright ordinance explosions and then the huge fuel explosion. All of the debris fell downwards out of the fireball. Master Chief Petty Officer Dwight Brumley was aboard US Air 217 which was overhead of TWA800. He saw the flare rise and pitch over followed by the explosion and the downward descent of the flaming debris. Furthermore, the ground witnesses used in the CIA video flatly reject the CIA's interpretation of their testimony.



TWA 800 was climbing to 15,000 feet eastbound and Eastwind 507 was descending to 16,000 feet westbound. They would have cleared each other by a thousand feet. Captain McClaine had been watching the lights of TWA800 for several minutes. He reached up to turn on his own landing lights to signal that he had TWA800 in sight. At that moment, TWA800 exploded and fell to the water (full McClaine interview is at www.ntsb.gov/events/TWA800/exhibits/Ex_4A_appZ.pdf ). Captain McClaine had been watching the lights of TWA800 right up to the moment of the explosion. Therefore, TWA800 was still intact and the electrical system was still operating so there couldn't have been a zoom-climb prior to the explosion. Here are three pertinent radio transmissions from the Boston ATC transcript:



0032:01 [Eastwind Airlines 507] ah we just saw an explosion up ahead of us here *(somewhere's about) about sixteen thousand feet or something like that it just went down – in the water



0032:10 [Allitalia 609} alitalia six oh nine confirms just ahead of us



0032:25 [Virgin Atlantic 009] Boston virgin zero zero nine I can confirm that out of my nine ah three my nine o'clock position it looked like an explosion out there about five miles away six miles away.



Well, there it is. Three airline crews witnessed and confirmed that TWA800 exploded and "just went down". If there had been a zoom-climb after the explosion, these crews most certainly would have seen it. Therefore, there was no zoom-climb. Since there was no zoom-climb, that probably means that the rising bright streak was a missile.



The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly, but I finally have a hearing set for 10:00 a.m. on December 15, 2003, before the Honorable Judge A. Howard Matz, Courtroom 14, United States District Court, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. I would welcome some friendly faces there, but check with me before you make the trip (these schedules often change). raylahr@charter.net (310) 459 2232.



The odds of an individual winning against the NTSB, the FBI, and the CIA are not good, but I am just dumb enough to try. Ray

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nyc6035
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I have a question regarding what I had until now assumed was 'fact.'

Did the radar track from that night record that TWA800 climbed from 13,800 toward 17,000 ft in a 'non-standard' manner?

I had until now thought that this was a fact not in dispute.

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Captain Ed
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That's one of the bones of contention.

Ray and I have been discussing this for a long time. Ray is actually doing something about it.

The A/C was the very one I flew for my ATP in 1972, so it's kind of personal with me.

Ray and I disagree on the missle thing. I think it was a bomb, the same kind, placed in the same spot as downed PAA over Lockerbie.

Examine the wreckage of both. The nose section blew off from the rest of the fuselage at the same station.

[ 09-22-2003, 13:57: Message edited by: Captain Ed ]

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warthog
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Well I was begining to think I was one of the very few that threw out the missle thing. The eye witness thing does not take into account how many of them had ever witnessed a missle shot!! It would be easy to confuse buning fuel and a/c wreckage. My only thoughts, if it were not what the agency conclusions were, then it was a bomb. I may not be correct in my next conclusion so maybe some one can correct me. I was informed the A/C had just returned from ATH. My first thoughts in that regard were the numerous accounts of bombs [ one 707 loss and in one they found the bomb before takeoff ], hijackings and shoot outs we have had at ATH. Lets not forget, it was someone in ATH comessary that placed the weapons for the 727 hijacking. As a F/E instructor in my early days, the walk around in the inside of a 747 cargo area with out containors was massave. It would have taken a bomb less than the size of a cigrette pack with a delayed fuse, and placed in the right place to make it all come together. However, having said all this, the situation happened just when the F/E was suppose to change his fuel feed situation [ all tanks to each respective engine, and feed all engines from #2 and #3 tanks ]then place the fuel sump pump ON. This was to drain what little fuel was fed to it in excess during start up and taxi. To the best of my knowledge there was NO center tak fuel loaded but this feed back process make a little. There are a lot of ideas out there, this is just my small input.
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Captain Ed
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warthog - Thanks for the input. Right about the number of witnesses who saw NO Missle.

Also, those who reported seeing a missle had conflicting sightings regarding path of missle, orig of missle (Ground or cruising), etc..

On the tank itself:

Take a look at the maintenance manuals for the B747 (ask
an engineer, he would probably copy them for you; one or two
have done so for me). You will see that the design of the tanks is
such that no wires go through to the tank proper. All motors and
such are mounted externally. They have to be, so they can be
fixed or replaced without busting open the tank. Even the transfer
valves have their actuators mounted externally and drive rods are
connected to the valve in the tank.

Boeing has made a great deal of effort to prevent just such a
disaster, as I am sure have the other airplane manufacturers.
The fuel quantity measuring system also has external wiring. The
sensors go into the tank but they use such a low voltage that a
spark is virtually impossible and in fact the investigators have
admitted that this was not the reason for the ignition. They are
trying to say that a high voltage wire shorted with the capacitor
wiring but that too would have been external to the tank, and any
sparks would have occurred at the point of contact, surely.

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AABob
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Ed, you still banned in PpRuNe land? What a bunch of whacko's over there. [Big Grin]
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Captain Ed
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I sneaked back under a new screen name.

Whacko's yes, but out of 62,000, there are a few level heads, commedians, etc..

Far to politically correct for me, as are most EU forums.

They are under court order to be that way, and face shutdowns and fines if they violate PC rules.

I'm afraid it's coming to the USA under the guise of something or other, perhaps The patriot Act II.

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Jetman
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In addition to James D. Sanders book "The Downing of TWA Flight 800" he has produced two very convincing and professional videos. He can be contacted at:

James D. Sanders
4-Justice
1861 N. Federal Hwy, PBM 145
Hollywood FL. 33020-2827

Mr. Sanders produced the videos in conection with a newsman, Jack Cashill. There is a great link to the work that Jack Cashill has been doing concerning TWA Flight 800:

www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLEID=33223

The computer generated inage of TWA 800's demise produced by the NTSB, CIA and FBI is a farce.

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Jetman
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On my last post the link needed a blank:

www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=33223

Hope this works.

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Captain Ed
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Jack contacted me a while back and asked my views on this. I supported the bomb theory vs the missle for most of the reasons stated above. Also, let's not forget this - Assuming it was a light missle such as the hand held variety, i.e. Stunger etc., it would be a heat seeker, and would mosy likely flown up a tailpipe. They were operating at climb thrust.

To hit 800 broadside, it would indicate a radar guided type, requiring a rather eleborate ground or ship borne setup.

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warthog
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I totally agree Capt Ed. A sholder fired would have gone for the tail pipe. However at 10,000 it is very much out side the envelope, a luck shot at best. Also, a radar shot would have required a lot of people and equipment. All kinds of guesses out there but none of them make much since, some are very far fetched. If it is not what the NTSB boys came to then it had to be a small bomb in a critical place.
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Jetman
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Persons that were able to see the remains of TWA Flt 800 could see very obviously an entry point of a missle and an exit point. In fact, early observations by the FBI alluded to this fact and were later denied. People that I know that were involved with the reconstruction of the aircraft told me that the FBI took certain parts to another site as they arrived at the collection dock.

I can't let loose of this "conspiracy"

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extwacaptain
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Never having fired anything more deadly than a 50 caliber machine gun, please forgive this question regarding heat-seeking missiles. The principle is obvious, however, if the missile was fired from anywhere other than behind the intended target, (for example from a point on the ground AHEAD of an approaching aircraft) does this modern technology direct and maneuver beyond the target and then return for a “tail pipe” entry?

It would seem that with 4 engines running at rather similar temperatures this would create a “cone of confusion”, causing the point of impact to be somewhere between those four engines, which would obviously be the fuselage.

Just a thought.


Randy Kramer

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Subsonic Transport
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I've posted in other threads about what I think happened with this bird. I have always said that a missle hit it from a/c left.

My basic arguement is that the skin of the plane on a/c left looks pushed in and no scorching while a/c right shows the skin in many pieces pushing out and very scorched. I make the assumption that the missle hit the left side and plowed through the plane causing an explosion, First Class separation and then exiting a/c right.

My other question is, how does the CIA know that the plane kept flying after the nose serarated? They claim 2 minutes. They couldn't have used the black boxes because they shut down as soon as the nose came off. There is no way that plane flew for 2 minutes. The CG would have shifted to 1 mile behind TEMAC not even taking into consideration the lack of any aerodynamics. "They" know something and they're covering it up so Hillary can run for President in 2004. Ewwwww!

Please make sure we keep this subject alive. Tell your kids about it and then your grandkids. Cause by the time the paperwork is declassified, we'll all be dead and buried.

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Jeff I.
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Subsonic -

I go with your theory and have always believed it. And, in fact, have talked about it a bit with my 13-year old son. Of course, we've also recently had extensive discussions about the JFK assassination because his social studies class is currently studying the 1960's.

I'm really not a conspiracy nut and I tend to discount most of what is out there. When it comes to November 22, 1963 and July 17, 1996, though, I remain convinced that the official stories have no relation to the truth.

Jeff I.

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Subsonic Transport
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The other thing thats bothered me for a while are the squelching of the witnesses. So many people claim one thing and the government counters it.

I remember when just after the 800 explosion a witness came on and said he saw it from somewhere on the north side of Long Island Sound...PVD? I too dismissed what he said. To far away I thought. But since then, I've changed my mind.

A few years ago I was up at the family cottage on Lake Erie just west of Port Colborne, Ontario Canada for the Fourth of July. It was dark out as I sat on the breakwall watching fireworks in the area with my binoculars. The sky was clear and visibility was beyond 50 miles.

I noticed to the South, fireworks on the other side of Lake Erie behind the rising terrain. I watched them for a while. Some of the fire works climbed above the terrain while some didn't. Anyway, when I got home I dragged out my Detroit sectional chart and drew a line to where I thought the fireworks were. I estimated Mayville, NY near Jametown[JHW]. Mayville to where I was sitting is approximately 35nm miles or so. I then looked at the New York sectional and measured the distance bewteen 800 and the observer. Almost the same.

Where I live I frequently see international traffic from Asia passing nearby BUF. Many times depending on winds aloft they will pass to the east of BUF. With 747's I can tell the difference between ANA, JAL, NWA or Korean. So, TWA's livery at the time was the big red tail with the red stripes. Very easy to distinguish between TWA and others.

If he was standing on the Long Island Sound shoreline he would have had no obstructions to his view for an a/c at 17000. If I can see fireworks at 2000 feet at 35nm then I'm convinced he could see TWA at 17000 feet at 35nm

I have no doubt this guy saw the explosion.

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Captain Ed
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I selected Printed Form, and e-mailed it to Ray. He was very pleased with it all.

Keep it coming.

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Subsonic Transport
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Making the assumption that the missle was a heat seeker what if it picked up the 747 from the side?

Not being a missle engineer my point may not be valid. Seeing as how the 727 and the 747 systems are similar I looked up the air conditioning in my 727 mx manual. What if the missle picked up the heat exchangers on the a/c packs?

I couldn't find any solid numbers indicating what temperatures are coming out of the heat exchangers but there are a few sensors and overheat switches that will at least give a max limit.

Looking at the drawing for the a/c pack there is a 390F temperature overheat switch between the air cycle machines [ACM]compressor and the secondary heat exhanger. This value will at least provide a max limit on whats coming out of the secondary exchanger.

While just breezing through the manual I haven't found the temps that come from the engines compressor sections [7 and 13 I think]that supply the a/c packs. I know the numbers are in here but at the moment I can't find them. So, therefore I don't know what the temps are at the primary heat exchanger which will be hotter than the secondary exchanger but cooler than the engine exhaust.

So, based on 727 numbers, does anybody think that the heat exchangers will be hot enough to attract a missle from the side in the absence of another heat source?

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Captain Ed
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Sub - That has been discussed in other forums. That area does get very hot on the ground in the summer, and I don't know how we could determine the temp. at 12,000' but somehow it seems to me it would not attract a heat seeker with the 2 engines on that side at climb power. Just my opinion of course.
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Don Capt Skypig Foldy
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It was discussed at Calverton, and I recall that, due to hi bypass flow of the engines ("exhaust temp"), and at 12k moments after takeoff (all packs on and not yet coldsoaked structures surrounding), it was determined the packs probably had a more significant heat signature given the existing conditions.
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Captain Ed
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Could someone post a link that shows a missle entry point on the fuselage side? I lost my links when I lost my computer.
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extwacaptain
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This “up the tail pipe” with a heat- seeking missile is reminiscent of the claims made during WW11 regarding the Norden Bombsight. “You can hit a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet.” We all know, or have heard, that this device did improve the accuracy of bombing from a high altitude. At times, however, the photos of the target area, after a bombing mission, would indicate that a much larger barrel would have been helpful. (maybe one the size of a wheat field in Kansas)

Has anyone on this board ever fired a shoulder-fired heat-seeking missile or had a missile fired at them in combat? Without getting into security issues, it is my understanding that pilots in highly maneuverable fighter type aircraft can, at times, take evasive action to avoid being shot down by these weapons.

Certainly this does not imply that an unsuspecting airliner would be capable of such action, but merely raises the question of just how accurate SOME of these devices really are. How do these respond as they approach a target and encounter not one, but several, sources of heat? How rapidly can they maneuver in the final moments prior to impact? And one final question…Should something come between it and the intended target, does it GO AROUND IT?
I don’t think so.


Randy Kramer

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Captain Ed
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Randy - Any target above 10,000' for a Stinger fired from the surface has a good chance of being missed.

I flew Banshee's but we never had missles, but during my flying days I had a lot of opportunity to speek with pilots that did, and tailhook Symposiums, cockpit talk, etc..

Hitting a 747 at 13,000' climbing, making 300kt + is a long shot. They were designed specifically for low level targets, and raised hell with the USSR heavy helicopters when we were fighting on the side of the Taliban.

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donuway
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Randy,

Even though I was never a TWA employee, 800 really hit home with me primarily because of a remark I made to my wife one month prior to 800, as we left LAX departing over the Pacific.

My wife came downstairs where I was working to say, "do you remember what you said about never hearing about jets going down over water? One just did out of New York. Yes, it was a TWA"

I lived with a radio tuned to my ear for weeks afterwards. I distinctly remember right after the crash the news reporting a radar tape went to the feds for review. It was said that something appeared to be approaching the jet and circling it right before it went down. A few days later, it was stated that nothing was on the tape.

Don

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nyc6035
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Don,

Regarding the radar tracks from that night. I seem to recall reading (I believe in the 'established press') that the NTSB or FBI asked the FAA to certify that there was no 'missle track' approaching TW800 that night.

As I recall story went that the FAA refused to make this certification based upon the radar they reviewed.

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Captain Ed
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Generally, small missles won't be picked up by ATC radar, according to a controller I spoke to.
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warthog
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Although I have fired a test missle from an A/C and was drilled on land based fired missles for defense, it is my humble opinion that a sholder fired heat seeker whould have little chance of hitting its target at 10K. Ten years ago, we were taught a heat seeker would be of little danger to an A-10 above 5K. In answer to SkyPig, the engines are much hotter signature than the a/c packs at 10K. Now, one thing we are missing here, when a missle hits a target it BLOWS up, it is not a bullet. I have heard all kinds of crazy theories about missles but none makes any since.
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Captain Ed
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Warthog - That sums it up nicely.

Ed

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extwacaptain
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Most of us are aware that missiles carry an explosive charge and do not just “punch a hole” and continue to fly for eight hours like air line pilots enjoy doing. As mentioned, missiles are designed to intercept, blow up and destroy a target.

It is, however, my understanding that the 12,000 to 13,000’ altitude range of earlier missiles has been extended by a version developed by the Chinese, which has been available for many years, with a greatly increased “sticker price”.

Was such a weapon available when our flight was possibly “shot down”? I don’t know.
I do know that the name of the weapon has been: MISSILE and not missle for many years. [Wink]


Randy Kramer

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warthog
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Sorry for my typo [sp] The SA-7 was the sholder fired I was talking about. The US "Stinger" is some what better but NOT to 10K. Have not been privy to the intel since 95, but prior to that the Chinese did not have a better version. Maybe you have a better intel sourse. As for your comment about it flying for eight hours, my comment about punching a hole like a bullet was there because many have stated it went through the hull and left MISSILE chemicals on the seats.
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warthog
Post Captain
Member # 1871

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Here is the spec for the US Stinger. Note the 10 K figure which is a direct overhead hit. In addition, this is a much improved version than the ones used in Afganistan [sp]
Primary function To provide close-in, surface-to-air weapons for the defense of forward combat areas, vital areas and installations against low altitude air attacks.
Manufacturer Prime - Hughes Missile System Company
Missile - General Dynamics /Raytheon Corporation
Propulsion Dual thrust solid fuel rocket motor
Length 5 feet (1.5 meters)
Width 5.5 inches (13.96 centimeters)
Weight 12.5 pounds (5.68 kilograms)
Weight fully armed 34.5 pounds (15.66 kg)
Maximum system span 3.6 inches (9.14 cm)
Range 1 to 8 kilometers
Sight ring 10 mils
Fuzing Penetration, impact, self destruct
Ceiling 10,000 feet (3.046 kilometers)
Speed Supersonic in flight
USMC Units Low-Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalions: 3 active duty, 2 reserve
Crew 2 enlisted
Guidance system Fire-and-forget passive infrared seeker
Warheads High explosive
Rate of fire 1 missile every 3 to 7 seconds
Type of fire "Fire-and-Forget"
Sensors Passive infrared
Introduction date 1987
Full-rate production 3QFY94
Unit Replacement Cost $38,000
Total program cost (TY$) 1060 systems $7281M
Average unit cost (TY$) $6M
Inventory ~13,400 missiles

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Captain Ed
unregistered


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I just got this from Ray:
http://webpages.charter.net/raylahr/

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Captain Ed
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http://flight800.org/probable_cause.htm

Another update.

New material supports missle strike.

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Subsonic Transport
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Member # 2139

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I wanted to run my own w/b and see what the change in CG is myself. After looking for my notes from many years ago I need some information about the 747.

I need the numbers for LEMAC and TEMAC so I can figure out MAC.

In one of my formulas there is a number that I don't know what it is. It's a constant. That number for the 727 is 446. The DC-9 is 372.8. What is the 747? This number is needed to calculate a new CG.

Thanks

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