E-Mail to Dennis Crider re: Exhibit 22c

From:   Bob Donaldson
Sent:   Tuesday, February 22, 2000 10:32 PM
To:     criderd@ntsb.gov <mailto:criderd@ntsb.gov> 
Cc:     Paul Marcone; cmdrdonaldson@yahoo.com
Subject:        TWA Flight 800, Exhibit 22c


I have been reviewing Exhibit 22c and I have some questions.
1.      There seems to be a discrepancy between Figure 18 and Figure 10.  Figure 10 shows that the aircraft was in the air for 53.3 seconds, yet Figure 18 shows the aircraft was only visible on radar for 8 sweeps (the graph shows 9, but its wrong).  That's only 37.7 seconds.  The difference is 15.8 seconds or nearly 4 more radar sweeps.  Since the radar was picking up small boats in the area, the aircraft should have been visible to the radar all the way to impact.  Therefore, it appears that the radar data does not support the Zoom Climb scenario's proposed by the CIA and NTSB.

The two graphs I referenced can be found here:

Q. Did you find anything in the radar data that supports the Zoom Climb scenario?

2.      I did not find a time vs. altitude graph which plots a ballistic fall.  It would seem that this scenario would be far more likely than the zoom climb.

Q. Why didn't you calculate or simulate a ballistic trajectory for the main aircraft wreckage when you calculated one for dozens of other aircraft parts?

2.      When I plotted a ballistic trajectory on Figure 10 it shows the aircraft impacting the water after radar sweep 8.  Therefore, the radar supports this scenario more than the zoom climb. 

Q. Wouldn't you agree that a ballistic fall is at least as reasonable a scenario as the zoom climb and more probable based on the radar data?

3.      Figure 18 shows 9 radar hits with a trend line going through them.  When I plotted the raw data released recently at the NTSB web site, there are only 8 hits on the Islip radar.  There were two hits on sweep 6 and it appears someone mistook this as an additional radar sweep.  In the following graphic I plotted the raw radar data against figure 18.  It shows a discrepancy between your plot and the raw radar data.

Q. Why is there a discrepancy in the plots?
Q. Do you agree that there were only 8 radar hits?

4.      When I plotted the ballistic fall against the zoom climb scenario from the CIA and the NTSB it shows that radar contact would have been lost at 15,000 ft in the CIA scenario, or at 8,000
ft with the NTSB zoom climb scenario.  The ballistic fall scenario shows it impacting the water after the last radar sweep.  Following is a link for the graphic showing the above.

Q. How do you account for the loss of radar contact at 15,000 ft. or 8,000 ft. in the two zoom climb scenarios?
Q. Wouldn't you agree that the ballistic fall scenario fits the radar data better than the zoom climb scenario?
5.      It appears from all the evidence, including the eyewitnesses and the radar data, that the aircraft did not perform a zoom climb, but fell ballistically.

Q. If the plane fell after the nose came off, what did the 96 eyewitnesses see, who saw a streak of light rise from the surface and impact the aircraft?

Thank you for your time. I'm sure you are very busy, but since there is, as yet, no plausible explanation for the loss of Flight 800, I expect you are as anxious as everyone to "turn over every
rock" and explore all possibilities.


Bob Donaldson 
(Cmdr Donaldson's brother)




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