TWA Trans World Airlines – Boeing – B747-131 (N-93119) flight TWA800

by | Jul 17, 1996 | Aviation Accident | 1 comment

TWA Trans World Airlines flight TWA800 , a Boeing 747-131, N93119, crashed in the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York on July 17, 1996, about 2031 eastern daylight time.

TWA Trans World Airlines flight TWA800 was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a scheduled international passenger flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, New York, to Charles DeGaulle International Airport, Paris, France.

The flight departed JFK about 2019, with 2 pilots, 2 flight engineers, 14 flight attendants, and 212 passengers on board. All 230 people on board of TWA Trans World Airlines flight TWA800 were killed, and the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the TWA flight 800 accident was an explosion of the center wing fuel tank (CWT), resulting from ignition of the flammable fuel/air mixture in the tank.

the captain of an Eastwind Airlines Boeing 737 (Stinger Bee flight 507) reported that “we just saw an explosion up ahead of us here…about 16,000 feet or something like that, it just went down into the water..”

The source of ignition energy for the explosion could not be determined with certainty, but, of the sources evaluated by the investigation, the most likely was a short circuit outside of the CWT that allowed excessive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring associated with the fuel quantity indication system.

Contributing factors to the accident were the design and certification concept that fuel tank explosions could be prevented solely by precluding all ignition sources and the design and certification of the Boeing 747 with heat sources located beneath the CWT with no means to reduce the heat transferred into the CWT or to render the fuel vapor in the tank nonflammable.


Download Report


TWA Trans World Airlines – Boeing – B747-131 (N-93119) flight TWA800

Tags related to this event: B747BoeingClimbEast MorichesExplosionFuelShort CircuitTankTrans World AirlinesTWAUSA
Event date: 19960717
Model: B747-131
Registration: N-93119
msn: 20083
Location: East Moriches, New York, USA

You may like to review this event, with a similar cause:

China Airlines – Airbus – A310-B4-622R (B-1814) flight CI676

On 16 February 1998, flight Dynasty 676 from DPS to CKS by Aircraft B1814 of China Airlines, type A300-600R was flying with PIC, F/O , 12 cabin crew and 182 passengers. This was the first flight the two pilots had flown together. The flight took off from DPS...

1 Comment

  1. StephBissonnette

    I still beg to differ on this accident. From all that I have studied about this incident, there’re was three things telling me there was a DIFFEEENT CAUSE of the crash. One: over 200 eye witnesses saw things that made it MORE plausible something else was the CAUSE. NOT the “fire”, started by the wiring, etc, in the air conditioning system. Before I mention the other two, let me say to the people and family and all loved ones aboard this plane, God bless you. And Rest In Peace in God’s kingdom. We will never forget you all of you.
    Two: I myself have been flying since I was two year old, 1968, and many of the flights I have taken have been delayed, like Flight 800 had been, before take off, and thank God, we got to our destination, with no problems. What I mean is they said that due to the delay and extra waiting before takeoff, at least a half hour, if I remember correctly,contributed to it overheating and thus sparked a flame in the air conditioning system. Number three, and most important: in the following investigation, explosive residue was found on at least one of the airplane’s surfaces.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *