The wreckage of the TWA Flight 800 is set to be destroyed – about 25 years later the doomed aircraft crashed into the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 people.
For the last two decades, the rebuilt Boeing 747 has been housed in a Virginia hangar and used by the National Transportation Safety Board as a training tool for accident investigators.
But federal agency Announced on monday It planned to dismantle and destroy the rubble, as its lease on the 30,000-square-foot Ashburn warehouse is set to expire.
“Advances in investigative techniques such as 3-D scanning and drone imagery reduce the relevance of large-scale reconstruction in teaching modern investigative techniques,” NTBS said.
The aircraft took off over the Atlantic Ocean in eastern Mauritius at 8:31 pm on July 17, 1996, just 12 minutes after it departed from JFK Airport on its journey to Paris.
It took weeks for investigators to carefully put the pieces of water debris together before putting it back together.
The investigation of the ensuing four years was the most complex and expensive in aviation history.
“The investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800 is an important moment in the history of aviation safety,” NTSB managing director Sharon Bryson said in a statement.
Bryson said the agency issued new safety recommendations, stating that “the way aircraft are designed has been radically changed.”
Investigators determined that the tragedy caused an explosion in the center’s wing fuel tank. Evidence showed that the explosion was the result of an electrical failure that ignited the flammable fuel / air mixture in the tank.
The NTSB then used the reworked debris as a teaching tool that trained an average of 2,622 students, including investigators and staff, annually between 2015 and 2019.
The agency said it plans to stop using the reconstruction by July 7, two weeks before the 25th anniversary of the accident.
The agency said it would “document well” using 3-D scanning technology and “scanned data would be stored for historical purposes”.
As part of an agreement with the victims’ families, the wreck was used only as a training implementation and was never displayed for public display.
“To honor this agreement made with the families of the victims of TWA Flight 800, the NTSB will work closely with a federal government contractor to destroy the reconstruction and destroy the debris.”