Show: THE O'REILLY FACTOR
Date: November 13, 2001
Head: Interview With Vernon Grose and Rep. JD Hayworth
Byline: Bill O'Reilly
Guest: Vernon Grose
Joining us now from Washington is Vernon Grose, a former investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
Your old outfit held a press conference a couple of hours ago, Mr. Gross.
And they basically said that this is what they got from the black box, that there was an airframe rattling noise for about two minutes and 24 seconds. It got louder.
And as it got louder, the pilots indicated they were losing control of the plane. Does that tell you anything?
VERNON GROSE, FMR. NTSB INVESTIGATOR: Well, it tells me that the flight was longer than some reports have called it. They said it was about 87 seconds,which is one minute and a half. And so it's longer. I don't know when the recording was really being tapped. It has 30 minutes to run. So it's -- it'll be interesting.
I'm more concerned about what the NTSB says about that because if there's a rattling sound, it's probably has to do with the airframe maybe stalling.
O'REILLY: Yes, but they say they don't know why. I mean, they were flat out, "We don't know." And apparently, this started about 107 seconds after the plane started its takeoff.
This mainframe rattling began. And then it got worse and worse and worse. And then the black box went off, which signified it was a catastrophe on board.
Now people have obviously looking for, you know, did somebody fiddle with this plane, you know?
O'REILLY: What do you say?
GROSE: Well, I think that has to be left open. And one of the things that I'm concerned about is the NTSB is a very objective body.
And as a former member of the board, I'm concerned that they not jump in under pressure, either from economics or from the psyche of the nation that has a lot of fear, or when it comes in from political side. I don't want to see them yield to any of that. And I really felt they were premature when they started out right in Washington.
Never even being on the scene to say every indication they had was that it was an accident.
O'REILLY: Yes, but you know why they're doing that, because the airline industry can't take another act of sabotage. That'll just puff them right out of the sky. Thousands of jobs will be lost.
The nation will get another tremendous blow. So I mean, propaganda, you know, we use it, too. The United States uses it, too.
But in the long run, I can't imagine the FBI and the NTSB covering up an act of sabotage. Can you?
GROSE: Well, I tell you, I did 170 interviews on TWA 800, probably more than anybody else. And I do think there were at times a cover-up.
So I'm a little concerned about that, that it not happen here.
O'REILLY: All right, let's talk about that. You don't believe it was an accident in TWA 800?
GROSE: I still have reservations about TWA 800 as to whether the center wing tank was the initiating event. It did blow, but whether it was the initiating event,
I believe is still up for grabs.
O'REILLY: Now the government, obviously, has faced four catastrophes at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the last few years.
O'REILLY: Egypt Air, where they said pilot flew it into the ground. Swiss Air, we still don't know what happened there. The TWA Flight 800, and now this.
Is it possible that there's somebody in there, you know, inside on the ground doing this kind of stuff at JFK?
GROSE: Well, I don't think so, Bill.
For one thing, all four of those accidents had different -- ended up having a different cause. And so, I don't think that we could get a pattern out of that.
The fact that they all flew out of JFK is just indication to me of the traffic there because New York is the hub for all transatlantic...
O'REILLY: Yes, but Chicago's got more traffic. So does Dallas and La Guardia has more traffic as well. I mean, it just looks. I want to be the voice of reason here.
And I don't know enough about mechanics to ever make a judgment. But I do believe that the government has a vested interest in saying that it's an accident, don't they?
GROSE: I'm afraid they do at this time. And that's what I'm kind of guarding against in my own mind. I think they ought to just say the issue is wide open at the moment.
And until they get real good evidence -- for example, until they study the crash scene itself, they take the tail out of Jamaica Bay.
Well, we know that that's quite a ways from where the aircraft ended up, but that doesn't mean that the tail went off first, but it could.
And until they can resolve that, they really ought to be very cautious about saying that we've ruled out anything but just an accident.
O'REILLY: All right. If there were a bomb on board the plane, though, they would have heard that in the black box.
I'm sure that there would have been some mention of an explosion or a bomb because they did have contact with the pilots, as we said, for two minutes and 24 seconds.
And there was no mention of that.
GROSE: Bill, I think the real key here is what the digital flight data recorder is going to say when they get it back to Washington tonight.
They did locate it today. And so, that will be a very helpful piece of information for usbecause it will tell us all kinds of aircraft information. Maybe 200 different measurements.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, we hope when that happens,they're getting the information out quickly. So we'll assume it'll happen tomorrow that you'll come back and discuss it again, Mr. Grose. We appreciate it very much. Thank you.
GROSE: You're welcome, Bill.
O'REILLY: Plenty more ahead as THE FACTOR moves along this evening.
Will Congress do anything about the charity mess involving the 9/11 families? We'll have an update for you with Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who seems to care.
I don't know if most of these guys do, but he does. And wait until you hear about what happened to the millions of dollars raised to help people with Aids in Africa.
Was it another celebrity boondoggle? We hope you stay tuned for those reports.
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