Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

June 21, 2001

Captain Ray Lahr (ret)
18254 Coastline Drive
Malibu, CA  90265


Ms. Carol J. Carmody
Acting Chairman 
National Transportation Safety Board
490 L’Enfant Plaza East  SW
Washington, D.C.  20594

Dear Ms. Carmody:

            Thank you for your nice letter of June 18, 2001, answering my letter of May 18, 2001.  Your letter referred me to the response of NTSB Director Daniel Campbell in his letter of June 13, 2001.  Coincidentally with the date of your letter, I responded to Mr. Campbell in a letter also dated June 18, 2001. 

            Basically, I resubmitted my request for the calculations used by the NTSB to proclaim a climb by TWA 800 of several thousand feet with the nose blown off.  My request was denied by Mr. Campbell on the basis that Boeing would not authorize the release of data pertaining to that climb.

            That is not a valid reason for denying my request. The NTSB has already  released the pertinent data from Boeing. That data is already part of the public record and can no longer be considered proprietary.  I am not asking for any additional data from Boeing. The Boeing data already released demonstrates conclusively that it was impossible for TWA 800 to climb several thousand feet with the nose blown off.

            My understanding is that the NTSB conclusions about the climb are based on a computer program.  If that is correct, then there is a mistake in the computer program, or there was a mistake entering data into the computer program (garbage in – garbage out). The method used to compute this climb was not revealed to the other parties to the accident investigation, it was not revealed at the public hearing, and it was not made a part of the written accident report so that independent parties like myself could analyze the method.

            That is not an acceptable accident investigation procedure.  The only way we can discover where the mistake was made is to sit down and review the process.  I would be happy to come to your office and meet with you and your staff at your convenience.

            You should also have received a petition from the Flight 800 Independent Research Organization requesting that we reopen the TWA 800 accident investigation.  That petition lists a multitude of other reasons to reopen the investigation.  Perhaps Dr. Tom Stalcup could join me so that we can discuss both matters.

            Looking forward to your reply, I remain,                           


Open Letter
Ray Lahr

cc  Tom Stalcup                   

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