Thursday, July 17, 2008
FAA History Lesson -- July 17 (08)
From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...
”Jul 17, 1996: Trans World Airlines Flight 800 exploded in midair and crashed into the Atlantic off Long Island after taking off from New York Kennedy airport for Paris. All 230 persons aboard the Boeing 747 died. Initial speculation as to the cause focused on terrorism. On the day after the tragedy, FAA confirmed that the security measures announced during the previous summer (see Aug 9, 1995) remained in effect, with some adjustments. On Jul 25, President Clinton announced increased security for air travel. FAA stated that steps would include more intensive screening of passengers on international flights, increased screening of carry-on bags for both international and domestic flights, as well as other actions not disclosed to the public. Clinton also announced that Vice President Gore would head a commission to review aviation security. This White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security was formally established Aug 21, 1996. (See Sep 9, 1996.)
Despite painstaking recovery of the wreckage, the TWA disaster proved difficult to explain. Throughout 1996, the National Transportation Safety Board refused to rule out any of three possible causes: a bomb, a missile, or mechanical failure. As the investigation progressed, however, the possibility of an accidental fuel tank explosion received increased media attention. On Dec 13, 1996, the Board announced a group of recommendations for improving the safety of the 747 fuel system. FAA, which had been conducting a review of 747 safety issues in the wake of the crash, issued on Dec 23 an airworthiness directive requiring inspection of certain wiring in the fuel systems of older 747s. “
On eve of Flight 800 anniversary, new fuel tank rule unveiled
What’s 12 years -- when it comes to safety ?
The government is giving airlines nine years to add the devices to 2,730 Airbus and Boeing large jets built since 1991 that are still flying.
Make that 21 years.
July 12, 2008