The in-flight explosion of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996, was one of the deadliest disasters in American history, spurring the most expensive airline investigation ever undertaken by the U.S. government. To this day the crash remains clouded in doubt and shadowed by suspicion of a government conspiracy.
If there was any conspiracy to hide the truth about what really happened to Flight 800, it began long before the crash. Past crashes tell the story: What happened on Flight 800 has happened before and will again, unless drastic changes are made. Now veteran journalist Christine Negroni reveals what the commercial aviation industry has known for more than thirty-five years that during flight confined vapors in the fuel tanks can create a bomb like environment. It takes only a small energy source to ignite it.
TWA Flight 800 was the fourteenth fuel tank explosion on a commercial airliner in thirty-five years. Yet each and every time, the airline industry persuaded regulators to deal with the symptoms of the problem and ignore the cause. When investigators could not immediately determine what happened, they were finally forced to look at the bigger picture. And, for the first time, this book exposes the hubris of aircraft manufacturers who knew all along, but dismissed as acceptable, the risk of fuel tank explosions.
Deadly Departure shines a spotlight on the chaos behind the most massive crash investigation ever conducted, how the White House had to intervene between feuding investigators, and the surprising stories behind the missile theory conspiracies. It also tells the stories of the passengers and their families, the people of TWA and Boeing, the rescue and crisis workers, and the investigators and scientists involved illustrating the devastating effects on human lives. An impeccably researched, eye-opening examination of one of the great disasters of our time, Deadly Departure is a stunning expos of how industry pressure continues to undermine regulatory policy, placing air travelers' lives at risk.
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"Aimed not only at disaster buffs, but at readers curious about aviation, engineering, forensics, journalism, politics..." -- Publishers Weekly
"An excellent book." -- National Air Disaster Alliance
"An important new book." -- Air Safety Week
"An investigative reporter of the first rank, she writes in clear declarative sentences, avoids jargon and names names. She's at her best telling about digging up evidence of shocking decision." -- The Miami Herald
"Her book is full of details and revealing interviews with the major investigators...An excellent book." -- Long Island Newsday
"It ropes you in. A great book." -- Fox Television
Deadly Departure is a well-written, well-researched chronicle of events surrounding the crash of Flight 800. -- The New York Times Book Review, Andrew Chaikin
The story of what really happened to TWA Flight 800
Deadly Departure tells what really happened to Flight 800. TWA Flight 800 broke apart and crashed into the Atlantic thirteen minutes after taking off from JFK International Airport in New York, on July 17, 1996. Two hundred and thirty people were killed. Before dawn, I was on the scene, reporting the story for CNN.
It was tragic, horrifying, shocking. But what caused the plane to explode is not a mystery... tragedy.
As I continued to work this story I kept wondering why nothing was done to address the risk of fuel tank explosions after the first jetliner blew apart in a similar manner in 1963.
I spoke with hundreds of people in the commercial aviation industry and the agency that regulates it, the FAA. DEADLY DEPARTURE details the reasons cited, the excuses given.
To this day, a well known fuel system design flaw exists on thousands of aircraft.
My book is a trip into the heart of the most massive and expensive crash investigation ever conducted and the only account of what caused the 25-year old jumbo jet to self-destruct.
DEADLY DEPARTURE includes documented scenarios from investigators and scientists and personal stories of the heroes, villains and victims of the disaster.
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