Skip to comments.NTSB MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF CRASH OF TWA 800
Posted on 07/11/2006 5:24:00 PM PDT by Hal1950
Washington DC - With the 10th anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800 approaching, the National Transportation Safety Board today released a fact sheet that reviews lessons learned from the accident investigation and the progress toward ensuring that similar tragedies do not happen in the future.
The Board's review found that significant safety improvements have been implemented over the past ten years, but that more needs to be done to avoid another accident like TWA 800.
TWA 800, a Boeing 747, crashed on July 17, 1996, minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight to Paris, France. All 230 persons aboard the airplane died in the accident.
The Safety Board conducted an exhaustive four-year investigation and determined that the accident was caused by an explosion in the center wing fuel tank, resulting from ignition of the flammable fuel/air mixture in the tank.
"The crash of TWA 800 was a watershed event for the air carrier industry," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "In the intervening years, a lot of thought and effort has been devoted to the issues raised by this accident, and the public is safer for it."
The most prominent issues raised by the TWA 800 accident concern protection against flammable fuel tank vapors and aging electrical systems.
Rosenker noted that fleet-wide inspections and analytical reviews of fuel tank design have resulted in significant measures that have the potential to reduce the likelihood of an ignition event inside a tank, and that fuel pumps, fuel quantity indicating systems, in-tank wiring, co-routed wiring, and operational procedures have been modified to make fuel systems safer.
"Equally important," Rosenker said, "is the prospect of substantially reducing fuel tank flammability exposure - something that was seen as impractical ten years ago but is now feasible, even in this difficult era when airline operators need to be extremely conscious of costs."
But while applauding the FAA and industry for the progress that has been made, Rosenker cautioned that the process is moving much too slowly. "Ten years after the TWA accident, fuel tank inerting systems are not in place on our airliners, and flammability exposure is largely unchanged. And proposed rule changes do not include the majority of fuel tanks which are in the wings of transport airplanes, nor this country's large fleet of cargo aircraft." Consequently, he added, reduction in fuel tank flammability remains on the NTSB's Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements.
Rosenker also expressed disappointment that the FAA did not act on the NTSB's immediate, interim recommendations, issued a few months after the TWA accident, that were aimed at reducing the fuel tank flammability problem until longer-term solutions are in place. The recommendation was closed by the Safety Board last year and given an "unacceptable action" status.
Rosenker noted that the TWA accident gave great impetus to legislation that revolutionized the ability of the families of the victims to obtain accurate and timely information about an airliner accident and the subsequent investigation. Passed in 1996, Public Law 104-264 assigned to the NTSB the role of integrating the resources of the Federal government with those of local and state authorities, and the airlines, to meet the needs of aviation disaster victims and their families.
Today, the emergency planning accomplished by the airlines, in cooperation with the NTSB, serves as a model for the transportation industry in this country and throughout the world.
Further information on the investigation of the crash of TWA 800, the text of the final report and the recommendations stemming from the accident are available on the NTSB web site at www.ntsb.gov.
Media contact: Paul Schlamm (202) 314-6100
Ten years. By now every 747 could have been retrofitted to fix the supposed cause of the explosion.
Note that the article does NOT say that ANY 747s hsve been retrofitted.
The article says nothing concrete about what specifically is done differently in new construction.
10 Years ago I did not have a Computer. I remember I was watching TV flipping around, then Breaking News on CNN...
Electrical wires. ...What a joke.
Did the CIA draft this press release?
Walked-on terrorist bomb.
Criminally corrupt "administration."
Abjectly corrupted (for pennies on the Dollar) Cli'ton-Gore-(mless) enquiry into "airline/airport 'security.'"
September 11 2001.
Thank you dinosaur airlines. Thank you Gore. Thank you Cli'ton. Thank you FBI. Thank you FAA. Thank you NTSB.
My son was a day old. My dad was in India on business. And just a week or so later was the Olympic Park bombing. Up until then I don't think I was ever so glad to get all my family members back on American soil. Prior to 9-11, that was the most rocked my security ever felt. It's wierd to look back on it 10 years later, after having a brother who's been to war. *shakes head*
Since it is rather tough to make a plane bomb-proof and missile-proof, I suspect that everyone just decided that new construction tricks would be fruitless.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.