​TWA Flight 800: Flight Investigation Theories

Author: Rob AdamsBy:
Staff Reporter
Aug. 10, 2014

TWA crash that happened off the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 people aboard Flight 800, might be reopened by Federal authorities after a group of former investigators petitioned the National Transportation Safety Board.

They argue that new evidence shows that an external force, from something such as a rocket or missile, may have brought down the Boeing 747 minutes after it left New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The petition claims “new analyses of the FAA radar evidence demonstrate that the explosion that caused the crash did not result from a low-velocity fuel-air explosion as the NTSB has determined. Rather, it was caused by a detonation or high-velocity explosion.”

The theory of such a strike was heavily investigated by the FBI and other agencies at the time and found to be unsupported. The NTSB eventually determined that a center fuel tank had exploded when an electrical short-circuit caused a spark.

Tom Stalcup, a coproducer of the documentary to be aired on the cable TV premium channel Epix next month, told CNN’s morning show “New Day” that there was radar and other evidence for an external explosion.

People have come forward, “all saying the same thing: that there was an external force — not from the center wing tank, there’s no evidence of that — but there is evidence of an external explosion that brought down that plane,” Stalcup told the cable news program.

The NTSB, which investigated the crash, said it had received the petition and will weigh the next step. It usually takes 60 days for the agency to make its determination.

“The NTSB will review the details of it and will respond to the petitioners once a determination is made,” said Kelly Nantel, director of the agency’s office of public affairs. “As required by NTSB regulation, a petition for reconsideration of board findings or a probable cause determination must be based on the discovery of new evidence or on a showing that the board’s findings are erroneous.”

Nantel noted, “While the NTSB rarely re-investigates issues that have already been examined, our investigations are never closed and we can review any new information not previously considered by the board.”

She also defended the original NTSB probe, which lasted four years.

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