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Ray Lahr's Zoom Climb Lawsuit

October 31, 2006

My individual battle to pry information out of the CIA, the NTSB, and the NSA regarding TWA Flight 800 has been long, and lonely, and expensive. But at last I have achieved a favorable judgment from the federal court. Although Judge Matz emphasized that he is not expressing any opinions pertaining to the underlying premise of a missile, he has determined that I am entitled to most of the requested data and calculations pertaining to the zoom-climb.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT by Judge A. Howard Matz: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) shall produce to plaintiff the material set forth in Exhibit A and the National Transportation Safety Board shall produce to plaintiff the material set forth in Exhibit B.

Plaintiff may file a motion for award of attorneys fees and costs by not later than 11/15/06. Defendants' response shall be filed not later than 12/20/06. Plaintiff's reply shall be filed by not later than 1/8/07. Court will rule upon the papers without a hearing. Parties shall not be precluded by the fact that they have approved this judgment as to form from appealing any aspect of this judgment or of the orders dated 8/31/06 or 10/4/06 (See document for further details)(ir.)(Entered: 10/18/2006)

When and if I receive the requested information, I feel confident that it will show that false assumptions were made regarding the zoom-climb that was propounded in order to discredit the eyewitnesses who reported seeing a missile. Namely, when the nose was blown off, the CG moved 10 feet aft, the aircraft immediately pitched up into a stall, and the aircraft could never climb and then dive as depicted in the zoom-climb scenario. This may be some vindication for this ALPA statement which was included in the official NTSB TWA800 accident report:

"Furthermore, although ALPA does not doubt the technical capability of the NTSB, we are concerned that this analysis was essentially accomplished by only one individual at the Board, with little or no party input or participation. It is a well known and accepted tenet of engineering analysis that the output (results) can only be as accurate as the input data."

Thus far, that input data has never been revealed. If it is released and the zoom-climb is disproved, the government must then acknowledge the eyewitness missile reports. Then the government must determine who fired the missile.

Against all of the rules of evidence, the NTSB adopted the zoom-climb conclusion without providing any supporting data or calculations. It is unfortunate that the missile issue was avoided by this zoom-climb ruse. If the missile issue had been squarely faced, TWA might be flying today. Instead, TWA took the fall for allegedly operating an older aircraft with maintenance that didn't detect a potential spark. Nonsense, that accident wasn't TWA's fault. We can't role back the clock and reinstate TWA, but we can, at least, clear TWA's name.

We don't know who fired the missile. But if it was terrorist missile, and if that had become known, the country would have been alerted to the terrorist threat, and 9/11 might possibly have been averted.

The defendants may appeal this judgment, and if they do, it will delay the final decision. I would appreciate any support that ALPA might feel free to give. In my opinion, it has always been apparent to pilots that you can't blow apart the center section of the wing including the loss of nose and cockpit, and still have the unbalanced and critically damaged aircraft continue to fly and climb. There was no zoom-climb. Three airline crews saw the airplane explode and fall down to the ocean. Someday, the truth shall prevail.

Sincerely, Ray Lahr



  Robert E. Donaldson.  All rights reserved