A Mystery in History: The TWA Flight 800
Disaster. Pain. Grief. It is only through some of the most difficult times that great things come to pass. The natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, not only brought the U.S. nation as a whole together, but it also inspired new designs for safer and more hurricane resistant buildings. Likewise, in terms of flight and aviation, events such as the explosion of the TWA Flight 800 have enhanced the safety of long-distance transportation by flight. While the cause of calamity is still unknown, potential risks in the structure of the plane were found, and the Boeing 747-131 has been changed for the better. The use of explosives and a mechanical error are two common theories used to explain the mysterious…show more content… According to the NTSB, the fact that the engineers of the Boeing 747 placed high heat sources underneath the center wing tank containing the fuel “with no means to reduce the heat transferred,” was a contributing factor (“NTSB Cites”). This explanation provides a very logical hypothesis as to how the Flight 800 may have blown up. In addition, the aircraft captain’s words a few minutes before the fatal explosion suggest that there may in fact have been something wrong with the plane: “Look at that crazy fuel flow indicator there on number four, see that?” (“TWA Flight 800”). While analyzing the ruins of the aircraft, analysts realized “that a giant explosion had occurred in and around the center wing tank of the airplane” (“TWA Flight 800”). If the center wing tank contained most of the fuel, it is possible that the explosion could have been because of high heat. Many believe that the “flammable fuel/air vapors in the fuel tank” were “set off by a short circuit” (Smith). This theory could be accurate, and due to the age of the plane there may have been corroded wires. One report states that a lightning strike could have caused the fuel to catch on fire (“TWA Flight 800”). The probability of this event occurring would be very slim because the weather on the night of the fateful accident “was light winds with scattered clouds” (Smith). Nevertheless, speculations on the case of which part…show more content… Accessed 31 Jan. 2018.
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