TWA Flight 800

by Matthew Anderson


Year Built

1971

Year Sank

1996

Depth

163 ft (49.7 m)

Difficulty Level

Intermediate


TWA Flight 800

Wreck Location

TWA Flight 800's crash site lies off Moriches, New York on Long Island and Fire Island. A memorial to the crash site was established at Smith Point Park on Fire Island, displaying the names of all 230 victims and flags of every nationality of the deceased. The wreck site is on the Continental Shelf. Nearby shipwrecks include the Cunard Liner Oregon, the World War I era cruiser USS San Diego (ACR-6) and the sailing ship Savannah, formerly the first steamship to have ever crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

~ GPS Shipwreck Location ~
Latitude:   40° 38' 60" N      Longitude:   -72° 37' 59.9988" W

Description

The wreck lies in 163 feet of water, meaning it is diveable but probably requires some experience before attempting. The waters off Long Island are a busy shipping lane for large vessels heading into New York City and its surrounding ports. This section of the Atlantic is also a popular diving spot, usually on wrecks such as the USS San Diego or SS Oregon. Not much is expected to remain of the 747 however, as multiple dives throughout 1996 removed 98 percent of the airplane's wreckage. Heavy dredging of the wrecksite after the last dive was performed aiming to clean up any other remaining wreckage.

Footnotes

TWA 800
(Photograph by Eduard Marmet)

N93119 was constructed at the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington in 1971 and served with TWA for 25 years. She was a Boeing 747-132. On July 17, 1996, she was operating as TWA Flight 800 out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York bound for Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France. Less than two minutes into the flight, a short circuit caused by faulty wiring in turn caused a gas tank explosion, ripping the 747 into two pieces. Both sections of the aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Moriches, New York killing all 230 people aboard. The official investigation into the crash by the NTSB took until 2000 to complete, requiring the largest reconstruction of a crashed aircraft in history.




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