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TWA Flight 800 - Structural and Mechanical Factors Influenced the Accident - Case Study Example

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This paper "TWA Flight 800 - Structural and Mechanical Factors Influenced the Accident" focuses on the fact that on 17 July 1996, the TWA Flight 800, a twenty-five-year-old Boeing exploded only 12 minutes, 51 seconds following its departure from JFK International Airport, New York.  …
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TWA Flight 800 - Structural and Mechanical Factors Influenced the Accident
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Download file to see previous pages According to investigations, the tragedy resulted from an explosion in the plane’s central fuel tank. Numerous people theorize that the explosion resulted from a terrorist’s bomb or missile. Others believe that only a bomb could lead to an explosion powerful enough to bring down a plane as huge as a Boeing 747. Moreover, there were many resemblances of the incident to the bomb-caused Pan Am Flight 103 explosion. Furthermore, the plane had come from Hellenikon airport in Athens, Greece, reputable for poor security. The FBI also discovered on the plane’s remains PETN and RDX, chemical components of SEMTEX, the Czech plastic explosive, thereby increasing the suspicions of terrorism. Another group of people believes that someone must have shot down the plane. This is because the explosion took place over region W-105, a restricted martial area off Long Island coast where Navy training operations take place. A Navy vessel in this region could have therefore shot down the plane inadvertently. Eyewitnesses also claimed to see a flash of light spurting towards the plane. Nonetheless, none of these beliefs is plausible enough – the cause of the explosion remains unclear and to date, researchers are still examining the plane’s salvaged parts as well as other comparable models in an attempt of seeking reasons for the explosion (Flanner, 2002 and FIRO, 1999).
Upon close examination, the wreckage of the plane did not reveal any proof of pre-existing aeroplane structural faults, such as mechanical damage, corrosion or fatigue, which could have been contributors of the in-flight disintegration. Investigations revealed that the structure had minimal pre-existing corrosion damage, none of which could have affected or caused the aeroplane breakup. There were small fatigue cracks in some areas of the aeroplane, including in the floor beams’ shear ties and front spar stiffeners and in the lower chord of the front spar. Nevertheless, none of these cracks had united into a spreading crack that could have caused the in-flight breakup.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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