Associated Retired Aviation Professionals
Post Office Box 90, Clements, Maryland 20624 USA

FOIA Appeal Letter to NTSB

September 27, 2001

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

Mr. Daniel D. Campbell
Managing Director
National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC  20594

Dear Mr. Campbell:

            This letter is an appeal of the denial of FOIA request #2001-0410.  In Ms. Melba D. Moye’s letter of denial, dated September 6, 2001, she stated, “To the extent that we have denied your FOIA request, you may appeal the decision by writing to Mr.Daniel D. Campbell”.

           This appeal has already been expressed in part to Ms. Carol Carmody, Acting Chairman of the NTSB. She graciously wrote to me on September 17, 2001, regarding my FOIA request.  Enclosed is a copy of my response to Ms. Carmody.  It explains that my appeal is based on the Boeing information that has already been published by the NTSB.  That information plus the laws of dynamics prove conclusively that when the nose was blown off, TWA800 immediately pitched up past a full stall and fell out of the sky.  The zoom-climb of several thousand feet proposed by the CIA and the NTSB is simply impossible.

            The Boeing engineers are aware of this fact.  Immediately after the CIA animation of the zoom-climb was shown on national television, Boeing issued a public statement that it had no knowledge of the data used by the CIA for its zoom-climb scenario.  Later, the CIA itself stated that the data and conclusions for its zoom-climb came from the NTSB. Therefore, logic dictates that Boeing also has no knowledge of the data used by the NTSB for its zoom-climb scenario. Consequently, the Boeing proprietary information being withheld by the NTSB has no bearing on the zoom-climb. The NTSB is simply using the Boeing proprietary information as a pretext for denying public access to the NTSB zoom-climb calculations.  The zoom-climb scenario was fabricated completely in-house by the NTSB.  The Air Line Pilots Association criticized the NTSB for not allowing any oversight or participation by the other parties to the investigation.  There is absolutely no verification of the NTSB zoom-climb calculations by an outside independent organization.  This secrecy by the NTSB violates all of the principles of an open and objective accident investigation. How can the NTSB expect any public confidence in its operations and conclusions?

            The Boeing data that the NTSB published leads unequivocally to a nose-up torque of about six million foot-pounds.  In order for TWA800 to have climbed several thousand feet, the wing would have had to be maintained in a narrow angle-of-attack range.  That is the only way the wing could have developed the lift for such a climb.  The only way a stable angle-of-attack could have been maintained would have been to somehow counteract that six million foot-pounds of nose-up torque.  There is just no way to instantaneously develop six million foot-pounds of nose-down torque unless you blast  off 80,000 lbs of tail section.  Of course, a tailless B-747 is also absolutely unstable.  The only sensible conclusion is that when the nose section was blown off, the aircraft immediately pitched up past a full stall and fell out of the sky.

            I am repeating my appeal for the NTSB zoom-climb calculations.    My appeal is based on the Boeing data already published by the NTSB.  As pointed out above, the additional Boeing proprietary data that the NTSB is withholding in secrecy has no bearing on the zoom-climb; therefore, it is not a legitimate excuse for denying my appeal.  The American people deserve to know the truth about TWA800.

Ray Lahr


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