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NTSB Identification: DCA96MA070
Scheduled 14 CFR 121 operation of TRANSWORLD AIRWAYS (D.B.A. TWA)
Accident occurred JUL-17-96 at EAST MORICHES, NY
Aircraft: Boeing 747, registration: N93119
Injuries: 230 Fatal.
On July 17, 1996, about 8:45pm, TWA flight 800, N93119, a Boeing 747-100, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island shortly after takeoff from Kennedy International Airport. The airplane was on a regularly scheduled flight to Paris, France. The initial reports are that witnesses saw an explosion and then debris descending to the ocean. There are no reports of the flight crew reporting a problem to air traffic control. The airplane was manufactured in November 1971.
It has accumulated about 93,303 flight hours and 16,869 cycles.
On board the airplane were 212 passengers and 18 crew members.
The airplane was destroyed and there were no survivors.
On the evening of July 17th, 1996, shortly after the sun had set, but while the sky was still light, a Boeing 747-131 jetliner, TWA's flight 800, was taking off from JFK airport on its way to Paris, France. On board were 230 people.
Approximately 11 minutes into the flight, the 747 was flying at an altitude of 13,700 MSL, or 13,700 feet above sea level. Normally higher at 11 minutes, flight 800 had delayed climbing to make room for another jetliner descending into Rhode Island. The plane was over the Atlantic ocean south of Long Island, New York.
Just as flight 800 received clearance to initiate a climb to cruise altitude, the plane exploded without any warning. Thousands of pounds of kerosene, dumped from the center and wing tanks, vaporized and ignited, creating a fireball seen all along the coastline of Long Island. Under the orange glow of the fireball, sections of the 747 tumbled into the ocean. So completely had the plane broken up that weather radar confused the expanding bubble of debris for a cloud.
New radar data relating to the July 17, 1996, explosion of TWA Flight 800 that went down off the coast of Long Island, N.Y., inexplicably have just become available. The well-publicized previous data focused narrowly on a 20-nautical-mile circle centered on the crash site and was the basis of the FBI's conclusion that there was little air or naval traffic in the selected area at the time of the crash. But that restricted data pattern, it turns out, is only a subset of a larger radar field.
. . . . The new data just obtained by Insight from sources at the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, show that between the perimeters of a 22-nautical-mile circle and a 35-nautical-mile circle, a concentration of a large number of radar blips appears to be moving into a well-known military warning area closed to civilian and commercial traffic.
. . . . The anomaly presented by the additional data is as yet unexplained. The Clinton administration previously has stated that no concentration of military vessels was in the area that night. Indeed, the Department of the Navy specified that the closest naval vessel was the USS Normandy, 185 nautical miles to the south.