From:  Name Withheld on Request
Date:   Sun, 02 Apr 2000 10:37:07 -0400
Subject:  TWA 800


Dear Mr. Bernard (Loeb),

In your response to Bob Donaldson’s inquiry concerning the TWA 800 disaster, you made the following comment:

"The most important factor in evaluating the flightpath of the main wreckage is determining the physical response of the airplane to the loss of the forward fuselage.  Engineering data indicated that this would result in a pitch-up that exchanged speed for altitude."

Your comment necessarily implies that the aircraft continued to fly after the 747’s nose came off. So despite losing some 40 tons from a position ahead of the center of lift, in turn necessarily moving the center of gravity to a point behind the center of lift, this aircraft miraculously confounded the principles of aerodynamics and somehow continued to maintain longitudinal stability allowing it to perform a stable climb.

Just so I am clear here, you are saying that despite the rapid movement of the center of gravity to a point far behind the center of lift, necessarily making the plane violently unstable and incapable of maintaining any semblance of "controlled" flight, you are actually sticking to the story of continued flight, nose first?

Sir, you are being absurd.

As a professional pilot having flown for over 23 years, with nearly 13,000 hours of flight time in over 50 types of aircraft I have a question for you. Excepting the gullible media and laymen, who do you think you are kidding?

That a commercial aircraft is incapable of stable flight in such a scenario is not an opinion, sir. Please lose the attitude and address Cmdr. Donaldson’s and Bob Donaldson’s valid concerns, and do so in the most detailed manner. All of their concerns.

Airline Pilot

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