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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    facility is dedicated to the crash victims and their families The new rule is designed to prevent the risk of catastrophic explosion Peters said adding it is a known risk on large passenger planes She said three fatal accidents involving center fuel tanks have occurred in the last 18 years Families of crash victims have pushed for the change and some of them have been critical of the Federal Aviation Administration for taking too long to remove the flammability risk I m certainly glad that it has become a rule said James Hurd of Severn Md who lost his son Jamie in the accident On the other side I m disappointed it took so look to do it said Hurd who serves as vice president and director 2 0of the Families of TWA Flight 800 Association and was a member of the FAA committee that developed safety upgrades I realize the bureaucracy needs to go through its process But I feel it should have been done within five to six years Acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgill said that as soon as the NTSB identified the fuel tank as the likely cause of the Flight 800 explosion we began working on a solution so no other family would have to be standing on a beach He was referring to the families of Flight 800 passengers and crew who gathered at Smith Point County Park near the site of the crash 12 years ago and every anniversary since Sturgill said the FAA move quickly to make initial changes issuing more than 150 directives on improving the wiring to reduce the ignition risk But we still had the flammability issue until Wednesday he said Peters said the FAA has already taken steps to remove the threat of explosions from exposed wiring but full safety in the air required dealing with the explosive vapors in empty tanks as well She said the FAA in 2002 with help from the industry had developed a device for making the gas tanks inert by injecting nonflammable gases such as nitrogen She noted Boeing the manufacturer of the jet designated as TWA Flight 800 developed its own system and began installing it several years ago on new planes I recognize that this is a very critical time for commercial aviation with soaring fuel prices crea ting upheaval in the industry Peters said But she said the industry could not afford to have another crash caused by a fuel tank Peters said the cost of installing the new devices would range from 92 000 to 311 000 per aircraft depending on its size She said this cost represented as little as one tenth of one percent of the cost of a new aircraft The American aircraft that will be required to be retrofitted include approximately 2 730 aircraft They are 900 Airbus A320s and 50 A330s as well as 965 Boeing 737s 60 Boeing 747s 475 Boeing 757s 150 Boeing 767s and 130 Boeing 777s all built since 1991

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/newsday-7-16-08.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    the zoom climb Somewhere the CIA has made a gross error and the CIA seems determined to keep it hidden Presenting a conclusion without presenting the evidence violates the basic precept of accident investigation and jurisprudent procedure 1 This 130 page packet contains nine sections The first section refers to Mori DocID 1255554 A approved for release in May 2008 the original Mori DocID 1255554 was approved for release in October 2005 This document attempts to discount the eyewitnesses on the basis of a zoom climb but it does not present any evidence about how such a zoom climb could have been possible 2 Pages 11 12 are labeled Program to Analyze x y Data from Radars This is not a program This is the very limited results of a program that transforms radar range and azimuth coordinates to x y coordinates It is not difficult to write such a program The important thing is to release all of the raw radar data from all of the radars that tracked TWA800 so that these results can either be verified or disproved Pages 13 22 are hypothetical performance charts Each chart represents data and a formula probably entered into a computer although they could have been generated by hand These charts are meaningless without the data and formulas Furthermore they represent a performance that was aerodynamically impossible Where are the data and formulas that went into these charts 3 Page 23 is an important page It acknowledges the range of speculation and the huge discrepancies between assumptions made by the CIA and Boeing In order to hypothesize a zoom climb both the CIA and Boeing had to make unrealistic assumptions about the noseless aircraft Both the CIA and Boeing refuse to release the assumptions that went into their calculations Both had to assume that the aircraft remained symmetrically balanced gravitationally balanced control surface balanced and engine power balanced in order continue to fly None of these assumptions are realistic The good eyewitnesses saw the major parts of the aircraft fall downwards out of the initial explosion in two flaming streams 4 Pages 25 39 comprise Mori DocID 1215200 A They are certainly more extensive than the six pages in the original MoriDoc 1215200 However they still share the same basic fault namely no input data and no formulas There is no way to verify or disprove these claimed results 5 Pages 41 50 contain 10 pages of mostly blank boxes This is representative of the non cooperative attitude of the CIA The tantalizing titles on many of the boxes suggest that this is exactly the type of information that we are seeking 6 Pages 51 67 are another 17 pages of mostly blank boxes However the radar hits on page 67 are useful and hopefully can be checked against the portion of radar data that has been previously released 7 Pages 69 90 start off with the view from the bridge This refers to the view described by Michael Wire the

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/lahr/lahr-6-6-08.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    described The officials showed a videotape of efforts to reconstruct the Boeing 747 then took issue with some elements of the story and offered alternate explanations for some of its assertions The Press Enterprise reported Monday that independent tests show some aircraft seats in the destroyed TWA jet contained a residue consistent with solid fuel propellant used in missiles The newspaper also reported that several independent analysts believe other evidence including the way in which debris fell into the ocean east of Long Island points to a missile attack Lawmakers said they would ensure NTSB gets the money it needs We want to give you what you need to do the job Wolf said But the Virginia Republican also asked the investigators repeatedly to answer questions raised by The Press Enterprise lest the American people lose faith in the government or the investigation The credibility of the United States government could be tarnished if this thing goes on much longer he said We are prepared to do anything else we need to do to ensure the credibility of what we re doing Hall said Rep John Olver D Mass also questioned the safety officials at one point He asked whether inferences about technical information contained in The Press Enterprise article were accurate Loeb responded that the reporter can t possibly know because the relevant data has been in the hands of the NTSB since it was recovered But Olver was undeterred and noted that the story contended that sources inside the investigation had provided some information to the newspaper Back on Long Island the NTSB was moved toward an independent analysis of the fabric bearing the red residue mentioned in Press Enterprise articles Monday The NTSB went back to the wreckage debris in Calverton N Y on Monday to take its own samples from the reconstruction scene and test in its own labs NTSB spokesman Peter Goelz said Tuesday The investigation has been wracked by disputes between investigative agencies and some crash investigators believe the FBI has not been forthcoming with all its information and tests We are comfortable in saying our investigators reviewed the residue this fall in the field and that it likely came from adhesives used to manufacture the seat Goelz said Those samples were turned over to the FBI Monday we went up and retrieved more samples and we will examine them ourselves but there s nothing to indicate that this material is anything more than an adhesive Goelz said My understanding is that the FBI has done its test The red residue contains elements consistent with solid fuel for missiles but James Kallstrom the FBI s assistant director in charge of the investigation said the material was adhesive in the seats Loeb told the House subcommittee There is a reddish orange substance that is on virtually all the seats in the forward part of the airplane and for that matter I am sure it is on virtually all of the seats in the airplane FBI

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/press-3-12-97.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    the feds and the suits complained Each looked to the other to cover the costs as they cited a Rand Corporation study which warned of 40 billion maintenance bill Other estimates said the countermeasures would would cost airlines 0 003 to operate per available seat mile or about 70 cents per passenger on a 2 000 mile trip about the cost of a bag of peanuts plus a weight penalty equivalent to two passengers and bags What s more the airlines and the government asserted the American aviation system was too big at 6 000 planes maybe 20 times larger than the Israeli one So there was no way they could give American passengers the same level protection that Israeli ones got After years of Congressional foot stomping DHS decided to devote a relatively paltry 90 million or so to try out some cheaper alternatives Now finally the first three U S jetliners American Airlines Boeing 767 200s that fly daily round trip routes between New York and California will receive the anti missile laser jammers this spring USA Today reports BAE s JetEye countermeasure based on an Army system uses beam of light to confuse the heat seeking missiles guidance system DHS is spending 29 million on the tests But don t expect much to come out of the trials American Airlines spokesman John Hotard says company officials agreed to participate in the tests in case Congress eventually requires airlines to install the devices But American is philosophically opposed to anti missile technology on commercial planes he says When you look at the cost benefit it would be an extremely expensive proposition and in the end is it really going to work ABC News notes that at least 24 civilian aircraft worldwide had been brought down by shoulder to

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/wired-1-4-08.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    will be installed on Boeing 767 200s an airline spokesman said American flies that model mostly between New York and San Francisco and Los Angeles American said it opposes putting anti missile systems on commercial planes but agreed to the tests to understand technology that might become available The technology was developed for military planes BAE Systems of Britain said yesterday that it won a 29 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to test the Jeteye system on passenger planes The technology is intended to stop attacks by detecting heat from missiles then responding in a fraction of a second by firing laser beams to jam the missiles guidance systems The use of a signal to mimic a missile attack has already been tested in the air said Tim Wagner an American Airlines spokesman Those tests also showed that the anti missile system didn t interfere with the jet s other controls officials said American the nation s largest airline has been working with BAE on the project for a couple of years In 2006 BAE installed its hardware on a Boeing 767 that wasn t used to fly paying passengers Burt Keirstead director of BAE s commercial airline protection program said BAE s contract requires it to prove that Jeteye will operate without failure for 3 000 hours of flight and sets a goal of 4 500 hours BAE has received more than 100 million in funding for aircraft protection systems Keirstead said BAE s technology would cost 500 000 to 1 million per plane to install Congress has approved funding for anti missile research partly out of fear that terrorists armed with shoulder fired weapons could attack jetliners as they take off and land American Airlines has said anti missile defense is best achieved by stopping

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/post-1-5-08.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    send the missile veering harmlessly off course Anti missile systems have been tested on cargo planes But this is the first time these systems have been tested on actual passenger airlines in commercial service says Burt Keirstead director of commercial aircraft protection at BAE Systems which developed the anti missile device It s the ultimate consumer use of the equipment Officials emphasize that no missiles will be test fired at the planes which will fly between New York s John F Kennedy International Airport and the international airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco The purpose of the tests is to determine how well the laser jamming technology works on routine flights how the devices affect fuel consumption and how much maintenance they require according to Keirstead Although there has not been an attempt to take down a jet on U S soil with a shoulder fired missile Homeland Security has warned about the possibility because the portable lightweight weapons can be bought on the black market for as little as a few hundred dollars There have been numerous deadly attacks on military jets and cargo planes overseas and several near collisions with passenger planes In 2002 two shoulder fired missiles narrowly missed an Israeli airliner jet as it took off with 261 passengers in Mombassa Kenya The Defense Department uses laser jamming technology on its planes but using the systems on commercial airliners is much more controversial because of concerns about cost and maintenance If this is going to break down every other month vs every fifth year obviously that s a big big difference says Jim Tuttle of the Homeland Security Department s Science and Technology division Keirstead says the systems could be installed for somewhere from 500 000 to 1 million per plane but it s unclear

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/usa-1-4-08.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • The Flight 800 Investigation
    of his final decisions of the year The legislation creates a system for the media and public to track the status of their FOIA requests It establishes a hot line service for all federal agencies to deal with problems and an ombudsman to provide an alternative to litigation in disclosure disputes The law also restores a presumption of a standard that orders government agencies to release information on request unless there is a finding that disclosure could do harm Agencies would be required to meet a 20 day deadline for responding to FOIA requests Nonproprietary information held by government contractors also would be subject to the law The legislation is aimed at reversing an order by former Attorney General John Ashcroft after the 9 11 attacks in which he instructed agencies to lean against releasing information when there was uncertainty about how doing so would affect national security Dozens of media outlets including The Associated Press supported the legislation Last year the government received 21 4 million requests for information under the 40 year old law according to statistics provided by the Justice Department The government processed nearly the same number of requests which was almost 1 5 million more

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/ap-1-1-08.htm (2016-02-13)
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  • Flight 800 Investigation
    of Information Act asking the government to produce all the records from the NTSB the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency to get all the information that never came out in court proceedings FOIA is the cornerstone upon which the authority for the request for public information generally is based The NTSB has codified the rules regarding the public request for NTSB records at 49 C F R sections 801 845 In addition two sections of the United States Code 49 U S C 1114 and 49 U S C 1154 provide the means and limitations of obtaining NTSB information Under FOIA an agency is required to make records available in a prompt manner if the request reasonably describes the records sought and is not merely a broad sweeping request lacking specificity 5 U S C A sect 552 a 3 A Marks v United States 578 F 2d 261 263 9th Cir 1978 In the TWA 800 case involving the release of information one of the plaintiffs is an aviation expert who is a former Navy pilot and United Airlines captain H Ray Lahr who also has an engineering degree and two other aviation experts sued in federal court in 2003 for full records of documents emails charts and computer simulations related to this crash He says the crash simply could not have happened the way the NTSB described it Lahr who has assisted the NTSB in seven previous airplane crash investigations believes that the front third of the plane broke off when a missile whether friendly fire or terrorist based struck it With the summer Olympics just three days away and 1996 being a re election year for President Bill Clinton some contend that the government did not want to report that a commercial jet was shot out of the sky Lahr has set up a website that contains animations and explanations of his view of the events that occurred on the evening of July 17 1996 http raylahr entryhost com For the first time a federal judge in California on motions for summary judgment recently granted access to some of the CIA records Lahr v National Transportation Safety Board No 2 03 cv 8023 C D Cal decided Aug 31 and Oct 4 2006 In a 58 page opinion U S District Judge A Howard Matz granted access to the identities of eyewitnesses and further technical details Judge Matz recognized Lahr s numerous reasons for believing that the government participated in a massive cover up such as the conflicting eyewitness testimony and the impossible zoom climb theory of the NTSB and CIA Taken together this evidence is sufficient to permit Plaintiff to proceed based on his claim that the government acted improperly in its investigation of Flight 800 or at least performed in a grossly negligent fashion Accordingly the public interest in ferreting out the truth would be compelling indeed Id Previously Lahr received some redacted documents but the judge has ruled that he is

    Original URL path: http://twa800.com/news/foia-10-25-07.htm (2016-02-13)
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